You know that saying “I am my own worst enemy?” Well, it’s true. You can have meaningful, loving relationships with others, have a great career and seem to have everything going for you but still not be happy. There are habits you can fall into that can be destroying your own happiness. Things that you may not even realize you are doing. Here are a few things I have found myself doing that only bring misery and not happiness.
Nowadays, it is extremely easy to compare yourself with others. Social media will often display all the amazing achievements of others. The reality is hardly anyone puts what is really going on in their life on social media. It’s easy to post a picture of what seems like a perfect day, while on the other side of the camera your kids are throwing tantrums, your spouse is mad at you and you just got a bad review at work.
Please don’t fall into the trap of everyone’s life is better than yours. Everyone is different; everyone has different challenges, failures and successes. Count your own blessings and achievements.
2. Comfort zones
Oh, comfort zones, the area where we want to live and never leave. They’re so cozy and familiar, but usually what keeps us from being even better. What we want usually lies just beyond our comfort zone. Are you willing to get dirty, push your limits and even be uncomfortable at times to achieve it? Perhaps the grass really is greener. . . outside our comfort zone.
Piggybacking on comfort zones is laziness. It’s natural to be lazy, but it is detrimental to progress and growth. Being busy actually helps people get more done in a day. It forces us to structure our day and schedule things we know we need to get done. When we have all day to complete a task, it is natural to put it off with the thought that we will get to it later, and then before you know it, the day is over and the task was never completed. Try to add structure to your day. Our bodies thrive on routine, so get up at the same time each day, tackle your hardest tasks first, and make sure you go to bed at a set time each night.
Being in debt can really tear at our happiness. Financial problems can lead to stress, worry and even marital issues. Stop buying things on credit, build a savings and set money aside for emergencies. This is a lot easier said than done, but if you are able to do this, you will have a huge burden lifted from your shoulders.
Gossip is like junk food. You know it is bad for you, you know it will hurt your health, but it’s just so good. It can be addicting to want to know what is going on in someone else’s life, especially if the news is saucy. It doesn’t even matter if it is true or not, when we hear something about someone else it makes us feel better about our own lives. Unfortunately this brings negativity, breaks trusts and in the long run hurts all those involved.
Self-doubt can destroy your confidence. When we doubt ourselves, it makes us question our decisions and makes it impossible to move forward. It is important to believe in yourself and stand behind your decisions. Take time to research, learn and gather advice about your decisions, but once you’ve made them they are yours and doubting yourself is only holding you back.
Fear is another crippling trait that can destroy our happiness. It is healthy to have fear — to a point. It prevents us from doing dangerous activities, but if you let it control your life, it can stop you from living. If we are afraid to try, then we don’t try at all. It can hurt when you fail, it can break you down and make you question yourself, but the important thing is to be able to pick yourself back up and not let it stop you from trying again or trying at all.
Nobody likes to hear excuses, yet we all seem to be really good at making them. Excuses are a way of validating your faults and mistakes. Maybe you should stop talking and start listening. When someone offers advice instead of just dismissing it with an excuse, let the information sink in, think about it and see what happens.
9. Bad relationships
It can be hard to recognize when we are in a bad relationship. It is usually easier for outsiders to see what a relationship is doing to you. Trust your friends. If they are worried about you or seeing a change for the bad, it could be because of who you are hanging around. Take a good look at yourself. Are you the person you want to be when you are around them? Are your decisions ones you would recommend to a friend? If not, perhaps you need to get out while you still can.
Worry can be what is standing in the way of our happiness. If we are constantly worried about what might happen in the future, it prevents us from enjoying our present. When a problem occurs, make sure you are prepared to deal with it and move on. Don’t spend your hours, days and weeks worrying about something that may never even occur. It is a waste of time.
For many, feeling happy seems to be a lifelong pursuit. Yet by simply taking a look at some of the choices we make in our lives, achieving true happiness may be easier than you think.
Megan Shauri graduated with a bachelors in Anthropology and a masters in Psychology. She lives in Salt Lake City and is a mother of twins. Contact her at Meganshauri@gmail.com