Happiness is something that most people spend their lives trying to attain but never succeed. A common mistake is to try and find happiness externally with expensive clothes, the latest gadgets, a big house or a flashy car. But that’s not where you’ll find it. True happiness comes from within and is the product of your thoughts, your actions, your daily routine and your outlook on life. Unfortunately, most people regularly suffer from negative thought patterns and emotions which stop them from living a happy life.
In this article I’ll share with you the six daily habits that are often the key causes of unhappiness. Depending on the individual, some habits lead to unhappiness more than others and you should regularly monitor yourself to make sure you are not developing any of them. If you do believe you are suffering from any of these thought processes, eradicating them will help you to live a happier life.
1/ Complaining. Complaining can be a self-reinforcing behavior. Expressing your feelings about bad situations can be therapeutic, but constantly complaining about your life, your past and your future can deepen feelings of negativity and increase feelings of anxiety and unhappiness. Another effect of complaining is that it can drive away friends and family from spending time with you thus making you even unhappier.
2/ Waiting for the future. One of the easiest unhappy habit traps we all fall into now and then is telling yourself “I’ll be happy when…” This statement is often completed by referring to a new job, more money, bigger house etc. But even if you get your new job or house, the thought pattern will still be there and you’ll be waiting for the next big change in your life before you can be happy. So don’t spend your life waiting for something that may never happen and instead focus on being happy in the present moment.
3/ Not improving yourself is a common problem with unhappy people. An unhappy person usually lacks motivation and tends to sit back and wait for life to happen, wondering why nothing ever changes for them rather than setting themselves new goals, learning new skills and going out and embracing life.
4/ Staying home. We all do it, when you are feeling unhappy or a little miserable, it’s tempting to stay at home and avoid any interaction with other people. This is usually ok if it happens only occasionally but it can easily become a habit and fuel unhappiness. This is because socializing, even when you don’t want to, is so important for your mood and happiness. Try to recognize when you are being antisocial and make the effort to get out and interact with other people.
5/ Regretting the past. Regret is not only a pointless emotion but having repetitive, negative thoughts about decisions you’ve made in the past can be extremely detrimental to your happiness. Research has found that by stressing over past events or actions, we can increase our stress levels and risk for depression. Besides, not living in the present can lead to missing out on new and exciting experiences. Leave the past behind.
6/ Worrying about the future. Just as regretting in the past can make you unhappy, worrying about the future can be just as harmful. There’s nothing we can do about things that haven’t happened yet. Happy people daydream about the good things that may be in store for them in the future. Unhappy people often fill their thoughts with worries and fear over what could go wrong.
None of us are able to have happy thoughts all the time as we’re all going to encounter negative thoughts and emotions. What is important is how quickly we move our focus back to positive feelings. Changing your daily habits in the quest for happiness is probably one of the best things that you can do for yourself.