Have you ever heard the saying ‘children smile 400 times a day, but by the time they reach adulthood they only smile 10 times a day?’
I know it sounds sad, but it’s so true.
Somewhere between being a kid and growing up, we lost a little of our joy along the way. We lost the ability to feel happy about the ‘little’ things and be in the moment.
But here’s the good news. You can choose to bring more happiness into your everyday. It just takes some awareness and being mindful to avoid those things that bring you down and alter your mood.
Here are 8 ways you could be sabotaging your true happiness.
1. Isolating Yourself
Keeping yourself isolated from social contact is big contributor to feeling unhappy. Even if you don’t consider yourself a ‘social person,’ having regular contact with other people is uplifting to your mood. We all have days when we’d rather stay in bed under the covers. But if this is a regular thing for you, then you need to make a conscious effort to get out and connect with other people.
2. Hanging with Negative People
Being around people who are negative all the time, definitely brings you down. Most of the time, negative folk are looking for others to join their ‘pity party,’ so they can feel better about themselves.
If you find yourself surrounded by complainers, then do your best to avoid being drawn into conversations that affect your feelings. Instead, surround yourself with people who inspire you and lift you up.
Anyone who makes you feel anxious, or stressed out, is draining you and your time. Give negative people a wide berth and then watch how your outlook on life improves as a result.
3. Being Too Controlling
It’s easy to keep yourself unhappy when you try to control every aspect of your life too much. More so, when you trying to control other people.
The only person you can control in your life is you. So, when you feel the need to tell other people what to do all the time, beware that it will inevitably backfire. Treating people this way won’t leave you (or them), feeling happy about yourself at all.
4. Obsessed with Social Media
It’s important to remember that Facebook and other social media, can be a false representation of reality. Social media provides a filtered, success-enhanced snapshot at only what people “choose” to display to the public.
Whilst, we don’t believe you have to give up social media, we do suggest taking a good look at how often you “check-in” everyday and how much it alters your mood.
Your level of self-worth should never be determined by a like button. Consider putting yourself on a week’s social detox, every month or so, so you’re reminded how real life is more meaningful and how much you’re happier as a result.
5. Blaming & Complaining
When you’re constantly blaming others for your circumstances, then you’re not taking responsibility for your own life.
Venting about what is bothering you, can often make you feel better, but there’s a fine line between healthily expressing your emotions and choosing to always feel unhappy.
Shift how you look at your circumstances. Look at other people from a new perspective. What can you do differently to change the situation? How have you contributed to this event? For what reason, are you letting this person affect your mood?
When you take responsibility for your part in something, your new perspective changes how you feel for the better.
6. Motivated only by Material Possessions
There’s a mountain research that shows us, that acquiring material things do not make you happy. They’re simply a short term ‘fix.’
If you’re only focusing on impressing others with the fancy cars, clothes, accommodation, and so on, then you’re never really attaining the true source of happiness - and that is having people like and accept you for who you are.
7. Having No Purpose
For a person to thrive, they must have a purpose in life. It’s what drives you and gives you hope. It also makes you feel good about yourself and your contribution to society.
That’s why it’s important to set value-based goals that are inspiring (and specific). Without any goals or purpose, you’re only drifting along in life without a clear direction. Having a purpose, makes you feel alive, motivated and definitely more happy.
8. Focusing on Fear
The most common type of fear is imaginary fear. It’s simply an emotion that is fuelled by people imagining the worse that can happen to them.
Real fear however, is primal. It’s that sense of warning or rush of adrenaline your body gets, when you step out onto the road, only to realise there’s a car heading right for you. That ‘rush’ is there to protect you, so you can jump out of the way.
Unfortunately, most people let themselves succumb to imaginary fear. Whenever they want to try something new, or put themselves out there, they feel the imaginary fear and let it stop them moving forward.
Imaginary fear is purely being uncomfortable with the ‘unknown.’ Ironically, the only way to get comfortable with the unknown, is to do the thing you’re fearful of.
Whenever you feel that familiar feeling creeping up on you, ask yourself, ‘What’s the worst thing that can happen to me? Will it kill me?” Then, if you know you will survive it, then it’s a no-brainer to proceed.
The great news is, that on the other side of imaginary fear is happiness - mixed with a good dose of pride, self-accomplishment and new courage.