Happiness is something that many people now strive to achieve. Say goodbye to these 7 things in order to be happy!
Most of us look for happiness from people around us, material possessions, our jobs, etc. It’s elusive because we search for it in the wrong places. We look for it outside of us when the simple solution rests within us. We are clinging and holding on tightly to so many things that do not serve us and are preventing us from living a happy life. Here are 7 things we should bid goodbye to now in order to achieve authentic happiness.
We all know that friend or friend’s friend who is just ungrateful in every way. They play the victim of circumstances and they never fail to see the glass as half-empty instead of being half-full.
They complain about the weather, their family, their neighbors, their job (or lack of), the person on the street they just saw – the list goes on. They are always dissatisfied but they do not take responsibility to change their situation. They have mastered the blame-game. They dwell on the negative side of life and nothing positive ever comes out of their mouths.
Being around them can be dangerous, especially if you are the type of person who’s easily affected by the moods of the people around you. They will zap all the energy and good vibes out of you. Spend an even longer amount of time with them and you’ll soon find yourself adopting their habits. That is not something you want.
So, starting right this moment, make a conscious decision to surround yourself with people who are strong, positive and possess a vibrant outlook in life. Spend time with people who you see are always grateful no matter what life brings them.
“I am nothing compared to them.”
“I’m never going to make it.”
“I’m not important.”
“I don’t matter at all.”
“I’m a failure.”
Negative self-talk is dangerous because it has the power to shape your future. When you keep telling yourself that you are not going to make it, it causes you to feel less empowered. It decreases and eventually eliminates your motivation. When you reach that state, it becomes difficult for you to get back on your feet and face life head-on again because the negative thought has taken control over you. The “thoughts” become “reality.”
Maybe you failed your major exam or an interview at work. Maybe you got fired from your job. If you’ve been through any of these experiences, you may have told yourself: “I’m a failure.”
Instead, say: “I failed but I will not let this failure define me.”
Notice the big difference between the two statements? In the first statement, you defined yourself by the event that occurred. In the second one, you recognized that a failure indeed took place, but you did not declare anything about it defining you. Rather, you declared that you are taking responsibility of changing the future, after acknowledging the fact that you are accountable for what happened. This is what we call responsible self-talk.
Changing our perspectives whenever we talk to ourselves makes a lot of difference, so the next time you talk to yourself (whether it’s mental talk or you’re thinking out loud), talk responsibly.
First, we set unrealistic expectations of ourselves. For example: “I should drop three jeans sizes by tomorrow.” The fighting spirit is admirable, but we all know that dropping three jeans sizes does not happen overnight. We have to distinguish between wishful thinking and common sense in order to set realistic expectations.
We can hope for the best, but there must be a Plan A, Plan B and even Plan C in place. We should be able to calculate the odds, and no matter what the outcome is, we have to be emotionally prepared for the results. If not, we are setting ourselves up for disappointment or worse, heartache.
We also have unrealistic expectations from people around us, especially from our partners. For instance, “I expect him to forgive me when I apologized already.” The truth, most of the time, is expectations are often assumed and, more often than not, the one who has the expectations does not feel the need to communicate them because “they’re common sense.” However, that’s not usually the case. Even if it’s common sense for you, it may not be for them, so you have to sit down with the person and talk it over. Put yourself in their shoes and remember not to set expectations that you know you yourself cannot live up to.
The sooner we can let go of unrealistic expectations from ourselves and people around us, the sooner we can be happier.
Most of us are guilty of this. We compare ourselves to a friend, neighbour, celebrity, or stranger. When we turn on the TV, open a magazine or browse through the internet, we get bombarded with different images of what the media defines as “beautiful” and we usually see ourselves coming up short. Our self-esteem goes down to the point of wishing we were that person we are comparing ourselves to.
However, we are not doing ourselves any favours when we compare ourselves to someone we think is “lesser” than us. It causes an unhealthy feeling of superiority and that will do us no good.
So you see, there’s no winning when we make comparisons. The best approach is to kiss all comparisons between ourselves and other people goodbye, and, if tempted to make comparisons in the future, compare yourself to only one person: you. The moment you shift the focus to your inner self and acknowledge your areas of improvement, you become a better person and that’s when you become a truly “beautiful” individual.
Most of the things we worry about are beyond our control. Despite this, most of us still worry. We fret and agonize over things in the future, how we look, what to make for dinner, our jobs, our families, etc. The list for worry-warts is endless.
The thing about worrying is it’s kind of like overthinking, and when we overthink, we create problems that weren’t there in the first place. It can also be detrimental to our physical, emotional and psychological health. It zaps all the energy from us and leaves us feeling drained, spent and tired. Incessant worrying causes us to lose sleep and stress; it also speeds up the ageing process, and we really don’t want that to happen, right?
So, the next time you worry about whether or not you wore the perfect dress for your girls’ night out, or if you’re going to nail your presentation at work, remind yourself of the price your mind, heart and body will pay if you allow yourself to obsess over things that haven’t even happened yet. If your mind drifts into the “future” again, breathe deeply and focus on the “now”. It’s all in your mind. You are your mind’s captain, so direct it back to the now for a stress-free, happier life.
We look at change from different angles. For some, it can be a good thing. For most, it signals uncertainty, which can be a bad thing. I mean, who would volunteer to march into the unknown? People want predictability and certainty. When there’s a change right in the corner waiting to take place, we feel threatened. That is why we stay in miserable jobs and unhappy relationships. We are afraid of anything that’s outside of it.
Clichéd as it may sound, it’s true that change is inevitable. If you are still struggling with your fear of change, remember that it’s not the strongest or most intelligent people who survive and win but the people who have adapted the most to change. The people who are happiest (and most successful in the end) are those who welcome change and face it with their game-on, let’s-do-it face.
Since change introduces us to new things and unknown territories, it can be tricky and uncomfortable at the start but once we get the hang of it, we learn that change is not so bad. We just have to keep an open mind. So, welcome change with open arms and you’ll be surprised by how it can turn your life around.
We all do it: put off important things that we have to do in order to achieve our dreams. Our dreams the remain dreams because we don’t put in enough effort to make them happen. We all struggle with this and some of us are now pros at procrastination because of the constant putting off for tomorrow the things that we could do today. This can be a destructive habit and prevents us from achieving happiness in our daily lives.
First, we must recognize and admit that we are procrastinating. We can’t correct any destructive behaviour if we’re not honest enough to admit to ourselves that we’re guilty of it. Next, let’s get to the root cause: why are we procrastinating? Is it because there’s too much on our plate already and we are overwhelmed with so many tasks at hand? Is it because we are disorganized? Is it because we have poor time management skills? Once we figure out the reason, the next step is to create a plan to beat it.
Creating a to-do list and setting a deadline helps. Breaking down tasks into mini tasks and working on them a little bit each day is also beneficial. Enjoy doing the little tasks each day and reward yourself when you finish them. Remember not to put too much pressure on yourself and if you do not meet the targets you set, learn to forgive yourself, too. It’s more important that we focus on starting the task before we think about finishing it. A small step will get the ball rolling and when the task is done, satisfaction and happiness will follow!
So, what are you waiting for? Happiness is within our reach – it’s just 7 steps away!
Maine Belonio is a twenty-something mom and writer who has a penchant for coffee, long distance running, Tolkien, Switchfoot, and Jesus.
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