We all aspire to happiness, don’t we? I’m assuming a majority of us do. And yet, subconsciously or consciously, we adopt patterns and habits that drag us further away from our happiness goals, leaving us alone with an unhappy life to lead. If you have been feeling depressed, dejected and generally down lately, it might be time to ask yourself some tough questions and figure out where you are going wrong. Here is a checklist for starters – are you guilty of any of these happiness-slaying habits?
1. Amplifying Your Problems And Being Unhappy
There is even a fancy term for this – ‘The Persecution Complex’. Feeling like a victim and complaining about anything and everything all the time trains your mind to focus on the negatives and overlook the positives. Minutes before I wrote this paragraph, I had been ranting before my mom about how my toddler is a handful. Looking back, I realize that while that didn’t make the situation any better, it did give my frustrations a spa treatment. So the next time I feel whiny, I’m going either going to get off my butt to do something about it, or sit back and reevaluate my attitude towards the situation. I prefer not to lead an unhappy life.
2. Brushing Your Problems Under The Carpet
There is only one thing worse than creating a big hoo-haa over your problems and that is to turn your back to them and pretend they don’t exist. Escapism never solved anything and it never will. If you cannot solve a problem, at least acknowledge it so that it doesn’t eat you on the inside and turn into a personality/behavioral issue. Recognition is always the first step towards resolution.
3. Making Unhealthy Comparisons
Envying that-other person who is thinner/taller/better looking/richer/smarter/more famous may seem harmless but do you realize what you are telling yourself every time you sigh and say “I wish I could be like that”? You are telling yourself that you are not good enough, and that you will need to change drastically in order to become a worthy person. Doesn’t sound like a happy situation, right? If channeled constructively, comparisons can keep us inspired and motivated, but if the ugly green monster rears its head ever too often and without reason, you are probably on the path to self-depreciation. Make a list of things that you do have, give yourself a pat on your back for things that you did right and celebrate your achievements, however big or small. More than anything, love yourself for what you are. When you have enough reasons to be happy, why lead an unhappy life?
4. Expecting Too Much
When we care about people, we build certain expectations around them. Are you still resenting your BFF for choosing work over your anniversary bash? Are you disappointed and unhappy with your children because they don’t call or visit often? When our expectations are not met, we turn bitter and resentful. That is not to say that you should simply give up on people who are not err, “delivering”. It just means that you need to internalize your source of happiness and not make it dependent on what others do and do not do for you. Don’t let your expectations to become a reason for you to be unhappy in life.
5. Being Too Eager To Please
Even if you devote every single second of your life to it, you will never be able to please everyone. There will always be people who agree with you, and those who don’t. Trying to change yourself just so that others will love or value you more will just result in poor self-esteem and an identity-crisis. And above all, it will make you unhappy in every possible way. Don’t be afraid to stand by your opinions, learn to say no, live for yourself and let your actions be guided by what you want, not by what others would have you do.
6. Carrying On With Toxic/Dead Relationships
Sometimes we know that a relationship had died a natural death but we keeping trying to convince ourselves otherwise. Maybe you and your soul sister from high school have grown apart and have nothing in common anymore. Maybe you don’t hold the same importance in her life. Realize that people change, as do their priorities and sometimes it is best to let go and move on. Then, there relationships that devalue you, hold you back and fill your life with negativity. If you find that a relationship is giving you more pain than pleasure, it may be time to break away from it. Only when you let go of stagnant relationships, will you be able to make room for new, dynamic ones.
I am sure this list can go on and on. However, what do you think are some of the other ways that usually lead you to being unhappy in your daily life?