We all strive for happiness because nobody likes to be miserable. But sometimes, we are the thing that's standing in our way. It isn't necessarily our circumstances that halt our joy, it is ourselves. Here are seven things you need to stop doing if you want to find true happiness.
1. You struggle to accept a situation for what it is
One large culprit to zapping our daily joy is not accepting our current situations. We focus on how we think the situation should be and why it isn't that way. Instead, we need to remember that trials (whether big or small) are the only way we can progress. Without them, we won't move anywhere in life. So, don't dwell on why a situation isn't working out how you think it should and focus on how to progress and move through it.
Somebody is always going to have a bigger house, a larger budget, more toys and a nicer car. On social media you'll see families with pristine kitchens, kids who never fight and a woman who ran five miles without breaking a sweat. We let these instances - these images - make us question our own lives and all the blessings we have. You need to remember there is so much you don't see behind closed doors. While one person may seem to have their life together, behind the scenes they are fighting many battles.
3. You've become obsessive
We can easily become obsessed with an idea, a person, a thought or even a fear. Unfortunately, when we obsess over something, we let other things slip through the cracks, like our health or even our family. According to Psychology Today, "obsessions amount to the same thing in all cases: addiction."
No matter how much we obsess, it won't provide true happiness - that comes from having variety in life.
4. You live in the past
The future is a scary place because it's filled with uncertainties. The past, however, is something we're familiar with. But, you can't change the past, so why live in it? Don't dwell on a previous version of you that was thinner, had more money, a better job or younger kids. This mindset does nothing for you and takes away from all the blessings, gifts and joy the future has to offer.
Eating a healthy diet, regularly exercising, getting plenty of sleep and other healthy habits not only affect your physical well-being but your mental and spiritual well-being as well. When you take care of your body, you feel good and are more inclined to accomplish your goals. Think about some of your hardest days - could a hot shower, a long run or even a nap make you feel better? Most likely, the answer is "yes."
6. You are over-committed
While you may think you are a superhero and can handle anything that's thrown your way, the truth is you may be sacrificing your happiness. When we over-commit ourselves, we sacrifice something else in our lives for our busy schedules. This may be time with our family, sleep, taking care of our home or other obligations. Before we agree to numerous projects, we need to think about what we will be giving up.
It is OK if people don't like you. It is OK if you aren't always the best. It really doesn't matter what other people think of us even though we may think it makes all the difference. And when we dwell on their thoughts and their feelings, that's when we lose our joy. That becomes our worry and our focus. Don't let that happen.
How do I become happy?
This question is a simple one to answer: just be you. Don't try to be someone you are not and stop comparing yourself to your neighbors and friends. Don't try to do it all or be the best because nobody is the best at everything. Don't even try to be a past version of yourself, because that person has overcome trials and grown into the person they are now.
Courtnie is an editor for FamilyShare.com and has a degree in journalism. She has a slight obsession with running, newspapers and large fuzzy blankets. She currently lives in Idaho with her husband and two sons.