In life, we make a million decisions every day. Decisions of all degrees. Significant and trivial. Which career should we pursue? What are we going to have for dinner? What type of people should we be hanging out with?
Each individual on this planet makes choices differently. But the similarity lies in this one fact. That is, at the end of the day, every action that we all take has just one intended result. Happiness!
Everyone’s greatest desire is to live a joyful, worry-free life, to love and be loved, and to fulfill life’s aspirations. Simply put, TO BE HAPPY.
But sometimes, the harder we try to attain Happiness, the more distant it seems or the more unhappy we are. We tend to look at Happiness as a single-end goal. We fail to realize that Happiness has been right under our noses all along when we were painfully searching for it elsewhere! Why can we not see it then?
Has this been happening to you? Do you find yourself in a constant state of sadness? Are you unhappy at all times? Before we determine what we can do to enhance our Happiness, we must first look at what we should not do! Why do we feel constantly unhappy when our lives aren’t actually all that miserable at all!
Look out for these mistakes you might be making that are fuelling all of your worries and keeping you from living a happy life.
1. Tying our Happiness to people or situations that are not under our control.
We usually have a tendency to rely on external sources for our Happiness, and more often than not, they are not under our control! We cannot control how much of a tough time our boss gives us, how cranky our friends’ mood is, or the bus that is not on time, making us late for office or college!
But what we can control is our reactions to these situations. We can choose to sulk about it the whole day or just accept that we cannot control or please everything and everyone!
We are, and we should be, the only person responsible for our Happiness. Truly, Happiness is a choice we make! We can choose to be happy, or we can choose not to be. It is up to us. I would like to sum this point up with this quote that I read online. And it goes like this,
Don’t put the key to your Happiness in someone else’s pocket.
2. Constantly surrounding ourselves with negative people.
The type of people or energy that we surround ourselves with has a significant impact on our Happiness. Being around negative people who continuously complain about everything wrong in the world will inevitably make us like them. Pessimists! Who only see the negative side of things and make others a part of their pity party as well!
Most of the time, we can choose who we spend time with. Make sure you surround yourself with positive people who help you see the bright side of the world. People who encourage you, push you in positive ways, and most importantly, do not fill you with negative thoughts.
Obviously, there are some people we cannot choose, like our colleagues, our family, or our childhood best friend! Does this mean we should give up on friends and family who are negative? No! Instead, we should become the positive person people would like to be around. Uplift them, encourage them, and be kind to them.
Just like laughter, Happiness and Sadness are contagious as well! If you feel that your loved ones are constantly sucking out your Happiness with their negative behavior, do not hesitate to talk to them about it. Because it is crucial for your Happiness!
3. Comparing our lives with others.
Comparing ourselves or our lives to others should be a sin! The problem lies in this one fact. We perpetually compare ourselves with people who are more prosperous than us.
With the advent of social media, this problem has just skyrocketed. Especially among youngsters! Remember that nobody posts a picture of their struggles, pains, or what it took them to create that life you call glamorous or that body you call hot! And if they did, trust me, you would love your life a lot more!
Every person in this world is unique in their own way. Then why measure our Happiness based on how better or worse we are than some other person? We should aim to live our lives to the fullest and not use somebody else’s life as a yardstick for our Happiness!
This brings me to my next point.
4. Not being grateful for what we do have.
It’s easy for us to get swept up in making a fuss about all of the things we do not have. We feel, not having that perfect body, the latest iPhone, or dinner at a fancy restaurant is the worst thing that could happen to us!
We never appreciate all of the things we do have, which makes us unhappy all the time. The fact that you are fortunate enough to have a healthy body, the gadget to read this post, and food on your table every day should be a reminder of what you do have!
Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn, or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.– Denis Waitley
Practicing gratitude has been found to create a long-lasting positive impact on our Happiness and overall well-being. One of the best ways to practice gratitude is to maintain a gratitude journal.
5. Not practicing self-love.
Often, we tend to be the meanest to our own selves. We loathe ourselves too much. We fail to appreciate all the goodness in us. This can cause a constant sense of dissatisfaction.
Self-love isn’t just about pampering yourself with a spa day or buying new clothes! What self-love actually implies is that you love every bit of yourself! Take time to take care of your mental health and physical well-being. It is vital.
Do not be too hard on yourself. It is good to be self-aware as it can help you improve yourself. But indulging in too much self-criticism will do you no good and cause you a lot of unhappiness. Be kind to yourself and acknowledge you for being you, without any judgments passed.
6. Confusing Happiness with materialistic gains.
Oh man, I wish I had that car, and I would be the happiest person! I wish I had that dress, and I would want nothing else! No. That is not going to happen.
Happiness achieved by fulfillment of such materialistic wants is very short-lived. There’s definitely gonna be a newer car model or a different dress. We’ll start wanting those because our old ones will seem worthless. That is how we humans are. We can never have enough. The rat race for wanting more and more never ends.
When we attach our Happiness to materialistic gains, it is a sure-shot recipe for sorrow! This isn’t to say that you should never buy anything for yourself! You absolutely should pamper yourself once in a while. But it is wise to link our Happiness to our inner self and not to cars, dresses, or other materialistic yearnings. Do not rely solely on things to make you joyful. Only then would you be genuinely happy.
7. Enslaving ourselves to the past.
Living in the past is one of the most common sources of unhappiness. We dwell on something which cannot be changed or altered in any way.
Holding grudges over something that happened months or probably years ago. Staying angry about a silly fight with your spouse. Sulking about how your life might have turned out if you had taken a different route! This isn’t going to help you! By enslaving ourselves to our past, we fail to enjoy the present!
Learn to live in the present moment with love and gratitude in your heart. Let go of the past and do not be anxious about the future. It is not going to take us anywhere. Instead, focus your time and energy on today. Do things that will help you grow as an individual and nourish you to become a happier person.
And about all the people who may have hurt you. Do not just forgive, but learn to forget as well. Do not hold on to resentment and anger. It causes you more harm than others. Moreover, it makes you unhappy.
8. Constantly trying to please everyone.
Let me say this loud and clear. We CANNOT please everyone. We just CANNOT. The sooner you accept this, the better.
There’s always going to be somebody unhappy with what we do. If our source of joy is behaving in such a manner to make others happy, then eventually, there will be no one in as much pain and agony as us. The constant pressure of suppressing our emotions for the sake of others is a happiness-draining task.
As long as you know what you are doing is ethically the right thing to do, stop worrying about how people are gonna feel about it.
9. Playing the blame game.
Do not hold someone as the cause for everything that goes wrong in your life all the time. Instead, learn to take responsibility for your actions.
She hurt me, he broke my trust, and so on. These are just excuses we give ourselves for not getting out of the misery we have brought upon ourselves. Excuses! for our inaction to get out of the unhappy state we are in! We should learn to take complete charge of our lives. Yes, I agree. People hurt us. But there is nothing much we can do about their behavior.
Even if someone is the cause for you to be unhappy, the only thing you can do about it now is to learn to move ahead in life and rely on only yourself to make you happy! LEARN. ACCEPT. MOVE ON!
10. Saving the best for the last.
There are a few things I would like for you to keep in mind.
- Do not expect people to treat you the same way you treat them. These expectations hurt because the world does not go by your rule book. That is a hard fact that you have no choice but to accept or be unhappy!
- Don’t be a prisoner of your comfort zone. Do not be afraid to try or learn new things! Let go of all your fears. Often, the only way to achieve all our dreams is by breaking free of our comfort zones. Swimming only in the comfort Zone = Unhappy you! Learn how you can let go of all your fears here.
- Learn to enjoy your own company. Get comfortable with being alone. Do not solely rely on someone else’s company to make you happy!
- Give up constant nagging and complaining. This is futile and a prescription for unhappiness. It is toxic to your mental health. Learn to live in gratitude.
- Take good care of your physical fitness, it is crucial for a happy life!
- Live your life to impress yourself and not others. Constantly seeking validation from someone could be a disaster for your Happiness journey.
- Do not chase perfection because it is the enemy of progress. Accepting flaws increases Happiness.
- Worry less, live more!
Happiness is defined differently by each individual. Nevertheless, here are 13 action steps that you can take right now to make your life much happier.