If your goal is to be happy in life, say goodbye to these 10 habits

Happiness isn’t as elusive as it might seem. Often, it’s our own habits that hold us back from experiencing true joy.

Here’s the thing about habits – they’re sneaky. They creep into our daily routines, often unnoticed, and before we know it they’re steering our life in directions we never intended.

But what if I told you that by saying goodbye to certain habits, you could pave your way to a happier life?

In this article, I’m going to share with you 10 happiness-stealing habits. So buckle up, because it’s time for a change.

1) Negativity

Happiness and negativity, in my experience, don’t mix well.

Let me tell you a bit about my own journey. For the longest time, I was a self-proclaimed realist, which was really just a nice way of saying I was often negative. I’d always anticipate the worst-case scenario, thinking it would prepare me for any possible outcome.

And yes, there were times when this approach seemed to shield me from disappointment. But more often than not, it robbed me of joy and prevented me from fully appreciating the good times.

It took some soul-searching and self-reflection for me to realize that this negativity was one habit I needed to bid farewell to if I wanted to lead a happier life.

Letting go of negativity isn’t easy – but the benefits are immeasurable. When we replace negative thoughts with positive ones, we begin to attract more positivity into our lives.

2) Taking things for granted

It’s easy to take things for granted – our health, our family, our friends, even the roof over our heads. Often, we don’t realize the value of these blessings until they are gone.

This habit of overlooking what we have can seriously dampen our happiness levels. It creates a void that we try to fill with more and more, without ever feeling satisfied.

Practicing gratitude can help counteract this habit. By taking a moment each day to appreciate what we have, we shift our focus from what’s missing to what’s present.

3) Overconsumption of news

In today’s digital age, we’re constantly bombarded with news from around the world. It’s easy to fall into the habit of constantly checking news apps or social media feeds for the latest updates.

But here’s something you might not know: prolonged exposure to negative news can lead to increased anxiety and stress levels. This phenomenon is known as ‘headline stress disorder’.

While it’s important to stay informed about the world, spending too much time consuming news, especially negative news, can significantly impact your mental well-being and happiness.

So if you’re finding yourself feeling overwhelmed or anxious after scrolling through your news feed, it might be time to limit your daily intake of news. This doesn’t mean burying your head in the sand, but rather being mindful about where and how much news you consume.

Take a break, step back, and focus on the positive things in your life. You might just find that it helps to boost your overall happiness.

4) Chasing perfection

Perfection is an illusion. It’s a never-ending pursuit that leaves us feeling inadequate and dissatisfied. Yet, many of us fall into the trap of trying to make every aspect of our lives flawless.

The reality is, life is beautifully imperfect. It’s in the mistakes we make and the challenges we face that we grow and evolve.

Chasing perfection not only sets unrealistic expectations but also robs the joy of celebrating our progress and accomplishments.

Imperfections make us human. Instead of seeking perfection, strive for progress and personal growth. Remember, it’s okay to stumble as long as you pick yourself up and keep moving forward.

5) Fear of change

Change can be scary. The uncertainty and the fear of the unknown can sometimes feel overwhelming. There was a time when I’d avoid change at all costs, preferring to stay in my comfort zone, even if it wasn’t making me happy.

Change is an integral part of growth and happiness. It’s through change that we learn, evolve, and discover new paths that lead us to happiness.

By avoiding change, we’re essentially saying no to new opportunities and experiences that could potentially enhance our lives.

Embrace change as an opportunity for growth. It might be uncomfortable at first, but the rewards can be truly worth it.

6) Holding on to grudges

We’ve all been hurt at some point in our lives. It’s a painful part of being human. But when we hold on to these grudges, it’s like carrying a heavy load that weighs down our happiness.

Forgiveness is not about saying that what happened was okay, or forgetting about the pain caused. It’s about releasing the negative emotions tied to those memories so they no longer have power over us.

As the saying goes, “Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” The only one who suffers when you hold onto a grudge is you.

Letting go of grudges and choosing to forgive can liberate you from the past and open up space for happiness to enter your life.

7) Comparing yourself to others

In our social media-driven world, it’s easy to fall into the trap of comparing ourselves to others. We see curated highlights of people’s lives and start feeling like we’re falling short.

The truth is, comparison is a happiness thief. It shifts our focus from our own progress and achievements to what others are doing, often leaving us feeling inadequate or discontented.

Everyone is on their own unique journey, and what you see online is rarely an accurate reflection of someone’s entire life.

When you start appreciating your journey and stop measuring it against someone else’s, you’ll find a greater sense of happiness and satisfaction.

8) Procrastination

Ah, procrastination – my old foe.

There was a time in my life when I would constantly put off tasks until the very last minute. It didn’t matter if it was a work deadline, a household chore, or even a phone call to a friend – I’d always find a reason to delay it.

Not surprisingly, this habit didn’t make me happy. Quite the opposite, actually. It created unnecessary stress and anxiety, as I’d scramble to complete tasks at the eleventh hour, often compromising on the quality of my work.

And the strangest part? The tasks I was avoiding were rarely as difficult or time-consuming as I’d built them up to be in my mind.

Once I recognized this habit for what it was – a happiness-stealing monster – I made a conscious decision to tackle it head-on. I started breaking down larger tasks into smaller, manageable chunks and setting myself realistic deadlines.

It took some time, but eventually, I started to see a change. Not only did I become more productive, but I also felt less stressed and more in control of my life – which in turn boosted my happiness levels.

9) Neglecting self-care

In our busy lives, it’s easy to put ourselves last. We often prioritize work, social commitments, or taking care of others over our own wellbeing.

But let me tell you something important: neglecting self-care is a one-way ticket to burnout and unhappiness.

Self-care is not selfish. It’s an essential part of maintaining both physical and mental health. It can be as simple as taking a few minutes each day to meditate, going for a walk in nature, or even just taking the time to enjoy a cup of tea.

When we fail to take care of ourselves, we’re not just affecting our health but also our happiness levels.

Start prioritizing self-care and see how it positively impacts your happiness. After all, you can’t pour from an empty cup.

10) Living in the past or future

If there’s one thing that’s crucial to happiness, it’s living in the present moment.

Often, we get so caught up in regrets of the past or worries about the future that we forget to enjoy and appreciate what’s happening right now.

Living in the present doesn’t mean ignoring the past or not planning for the future. It simply means focusing on and appreciating the here and now.

Enjoy the present moment, for it is all we truly have. Living in the now is where happiness truly resides.

Final thoughts: It’s a journey

Happiness is not a destination, it’s a journey. And like any journey, it involves making choices and changes along the way.

One crucial choice is deciding to let go of certain habits that are holding us back from experiencing true joy and contentment in life.

Whether it’s negativity, procrastination, or anything else we’ve discussed, changing these patterns of behavior can lead to a significant shift in our happiness levels.

And remember, according to Abraham Lincoln, “Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” This implies that our happiness largely depends on our perspectives and the choices we make.

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Tina Fey

Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Ideapod to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

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