We don’t like to admit it, but sometimes unhappiness is self inflicted through actions, attitude, or poor life choices. How we respond to adversity makes all the difference. Here are a few things that can get in the way of happiness.
1Wanting More – “If only” complex
“If I only had that house with the view, I’d be so happy. My trip to work would be so nice, if I only had that car to drive.” When we continually need material possessions to feel happy we are creating a mirage in our head. Appreciating what you have (not what you don’t have) will bring true happiness.
Judging others that don’t have the same beliefs, values, or moral compass can eliminate a lot of friends. Without friends, life can be very lonely. Diversity can be a good thing especially if you have quality people in your life. It’s OK for others to see things differently than you do. Accept people the way they are and hopefully they will respond in kind.
If you exude jealousy when something good happens to someone else, it’s time to check yourself. When that green-eyed beast comes a knockin’, learn to shut it down. Face this problem head-on. If you can’t be happy for others, your mind will never be at peace. Someone will always make more money, drive a nicer car, have youth on their side, or be in that “perfect” relationship. Learn to address these negative thoughts and feelings before they have a chance to rob your happiness. Trust me, to someone going through a difficult time, YOUR life is pretty perfect right now.
If you’re co-dependent on other people for happiness, happiness will be short lived. No one is perfect. Someday, those you cling to will let you down. What actions can you take today to be more independent?
5Setting unrealistic goals
Sometimes we have to face reality and not confuse our dreams and bucket-list ideas with our daily goals. Set realistic goals and time aside to tackle those projects a little each week. Need that closet cleaned? Take one shelf at a time. Even if it’s just 10 minutes per night, you’ll accomplish something and that is better than making an elephant task-list you know you’ll never keep. Using this approach will make you a winner, even through the small stuff, which can make you happier and more productive.
6Using substances to alter your moods
Okay, we all know which ones are the big No-No’s. Anytime we need something to fill a void – that “fix” will be short-lived, too. The real issues still remain. At some point they will need to be addressed head on. There are a lot of factors that mess with the chemicals in our brain. If you feel unhappy 24/7 maybe it’s time to get help.
7Not giving back
If we help others, happiness will rub off on us. Getting out of a funk requires action. Who do you know that could use a little help? Perhaps a single mom could use a much needed night off. Perhaps an elderly neighbor would sincerely appreciate help with yard work or meal preparation. Getting out of the house when we least feel like it might just be the ticket. When we lend a hand, it builds character (and hopefully some good karma). Remember, you can always be your own best friend. If you’re unhappy, now’s the time you take care of yourself.