Is happiness something that suddenly appears when everything “falls into place,” or is it something that happens every day?
Well, let’s put it this way: when you feel it, you know it. Maybe it’s the feeling you get when someone you love smiles at you. Or maybe it’s the feeling you get when you spend a lazy Sunday morning in bed listening to the rain falling outside. Or maybe it’s the feeling you get when you’re crushing it at work. Happiness means different things to all of us. But it’s also something we often overcomplicate.
The key to happiness is in the things we do every day. It’s not some magical land only attainable to a special few. Happiness is something we create, not something that comes in those fleeting moments that are few and far between. It’s our daily habits which can either make us miserable or fill our life with more joy, more laughs, love, and gratitude.
To that end, here are 7 habits that can steal your happiness. These are all within YOUR control, so make the choiceto stop doing these things …. TODAY!!
HOLDING ON TO TOXIC RELATIONSHIPS
Walking away from a relationship is always tough. It’s even more difficult when you care a lot about the other person, but their actions hurt you and they, on the other hand, don’t seem to care at all. All healthy relationships require two people who are equally committed and invested. If all you do is give (love, attention, time, energy), and you receive nothing in return other than hurt, emotional dumping, pain, and frustration, it’s time to move on. As difficult and heartbreaking as this can be at times, it can also be one of the best – and most self-honoring – thingsyou’ll do for yourself.
TAKING EVERYTHING PERSONALLY
It’s time for some tough love: Not everything is about you and not everyone has to like you. Just because someone gave you a bit of an attitude at the grocery store doesn’t mean you did anything wrong. Consider the possibility that someone was rude or short with you because they’re having a crappy day. And if someone tells you that you did something wrong or that he/she doesn’t like you? LET. IT. GO. Never put the key to your happiness in someone else’s hand. Life is too damn short. You can’t be everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s totally fine.
FOCUSING ON THINGS YOU DON’T WANT
Are the things you talk about aligning with your goals and dreams? For some strange reason, we tend to talk about things we don’t want, more than we talk about things we do want. Pay attention to what you say. Talk more about the things you love, the things you want, the things you find beautiful, wholesome or inspiring.
PUTTING YOURSELF DOWN
Learn to guard your speech– this includes your inner voice (often your inner gremlin). If you had a bad day, didn’t get something done on time, snapped at a friend, or forgot your buddy’s birthday … learn to forgive yourself. If at the end of the day you did at least one small thing, took one small step that will bring you closer to your goals, you’re closer to achieving them.
Putting things off until the “perfect moment” is a load of crap. You know why?
Because no such moment exists.
I know people who spend their entire lives waiting to start living. Year after year, dreams are unrealized and that’s exactly what they remain: just dreams. If there’s something you’ve always wanted to try or do, go out and do it. If it requires resources or skills you don’t have yet, do everything within your power (find a mentor, do your research, hone your skillset) to move that needle forward. Take small steps, but don’t stand still. Even one small step gets you closer than you were the day before.
Don’t let another year pass where, yet again, you realize time went by and you didn’t get to do any of the things you wanted to try.
ALLOWING FEAR TO TAKE OVER
Don’t put your energy into things that feed your fear or worry. Learn to accept challenges for what they are, instead of reacting with anger and fear. Learn to flow and stop resisting. Challenges help you grow and learn; they help you see just how strong you are. Don’t let fear and needless worry take over; know that you’re much stronger and braver than you give yourself credit for.
You can’t continue to write your own story when you’re constantly busy following someone else’s. Whenever you compare yourself to others, you’re selling yourself short. You look past your own achievements and even if you think that some things in your life are “okay,” you’re guessing that someone else’s must be better.
How do we know that?
We guess. We often don’t see the whole picture, so we fill in those blanks ourselves.
So, we assume.
Here’s something to remember: comparisons add no value to your life. Instead, try practicing appreciation and expressing gratitude. I know that it’s not always easy, but when you see someone doing something you’ve always dreamed of, or achieving goals similar to yours, think of it as a proof. Proof that it can be done. Let that inspire you instead of feeling discouraged.
Don’t listen when the world tells you that you’re “too old” to try something new, or that it’s “too late” for you to do something incredible with your life or even make a small change. Regardless of where you find yourself at the moment, remember that there are still so many beautiful moments ahead. There are places to visit, people to meet, passions to discover, books to read, skills to develop. Pay attention to those small habits that steal your happiness and ditch them once and for all.