There are a number of things in our lives that can contribute to unhappiness and sometimes things just aren’t going to go right. However, a large contribution to our unhappiness are the destructive daily habits that become routine to us and drain our energy and motivation.
I have certainly fallen victim to these time and time again, but actively trying to overcome these habits has helped me a great deal. Here’s a list of 7 bad habits and tips on how to overcome them.
Stop trying to be perfect.
This is one I’ve struggled with a lot and I have to ask myself, “Do I have to do things perfectly and get perfect results before I am happy?”
Don’t buy in today’s myths of perfectionism. It is very easy to let this habit eat you up when we try to base our world off today’s TV shows, movies, music and what we are bombarded with in media. It causes unnecessary suffering and stress for not only yourself but the people around you, often the ones you care about most. When your expectations aren’t based on the real world it can lead to harm in your job, projects you’re working on and relationships you have with others. It’s okay not to be perfect!
Perfectionism is not a quest for the best. It is a pursuit of the worst in ourselves, the part that tells us that nothing we do will ever be good enough – that we should try again.
Letting go of the past
I’ve spent countless hours of my life living in the past. Reliving painful memories over and over, repeating a number of “should haves” to myself when thinking of missed opportunities and reliving through pointless conflicts. We have absolutely nothing to gain from doing this! It is no good for happiness and we have to remember not to dwell on the past and live now.
If you find yourself dwelling on the past just take a few minutes to sit back, breath and focus on the present moment.
Getting stuck in the future
Just as we can waste countless hours of our lives living in the past the same can be said for living in the future. Of course it’s important to think about the future but drifting into your imagination of how things could go wrong in different areas of your life (your job, health, relationships) can be extremely destructive.
Again, if you find yourself dwelling too much on the future just take a few minutes to sit back, breath and focus on the present moment.
Life is divided into three terms – that which was, which is, and which will be. Let us learn from the past to profit by the present, and from the present, to live better in the future.
Stop focusing on the negative
Another sure way to pointlessly eat up our energy is to focus on the negative aspects of our lives. This one is infectious and often brings down the people around us which can become a vicious cycle. Negative thoughts can get to the point where you are having them pop into your head automatically which can lead to anxiety and depression.
Try to notice when negative thoughts pop into your mind and say to yourself “STOP!” Situations in your life are going to be both good and bad. Focusing and dwelling on every negative detail is no use. Accept things as they are and say to yourself “So what? Who cares?” A lot of the time these negative thoughts aren’t big problems at all and you realize they are nothing in the long-run.
Positive anything is better than negative nothing.
Comparing your life to others
It’s hard not to compare yourself to other people and their lives in today’s world. We compare money, relationships, shoes, cars, jobs, children, clothes, bodies, popularity… the never ending list of comparisons goes on. These are self-esteem killers and lead to the negative thinking mentioned in our previous point.
You’ll never win if you keep comparing yourself to others. The best ways to minimize this nasty habit are to compare you to you and to be kind to yourself and others. Look at yourself and see how much you have grown over the years, achievements you’ve made and the progress you’ve made in different areas of your life. Remember to be kind to other people because the way you treat other people has a very large effect on your thoughts about yourself. Stop ranking yourself on a list with other people and focus on the positive aspects of yourself and others.
Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.
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