You want to be happy; who doesn’t? While you think you may be doing all you can to achieve satisfaction, you may be sabotaging your happiness without even realizing it.
Habit researcher, Dr. Benjamin Gardner defines a habit as ‘an impulse to do a behavior with little or no conscious thought. If you are not keenly aware of a particular action, you will be less likely to change it, even if that means sacrificing your happiness.
First, you need to consciously choose happiness by learning how not to be miserable. You may be settling for some version of contentment but ask yourself; what does genuine happiness look like to you?
You can then learn how to find genuine happiness by recognizing a bad habit that hinders your ability to be happy. From there, you will need to get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable with change.
Ironically enough, we do find solace in our habits, even the ones that cause us distress. But we can find true pleasure by committing to short term unease for the sake of sustainable joy.
1. How To Find Genuine Happiness
In an attempt to create more positivity in your life, you may instead be cultivating misery. Why? It could be because you may not understand or have yet tasted the sweet freedom of genuine happiness.
First, ask yourself; what is your definition of happiness? Does it require material possessions or constantly feeling productive?
Seeking outside validation through external measures or trying to multitask through life may provide a temporary feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment, but that is usually not sustainable in the long term.
"What will generally happen is that we will be presented with a next object of our need; anything will appear to be "essential" to our well-being." Assuming happiness is outside of ourselves leads us to run on a hamster wheel, always moving but never internalizing authentic peace.
The routine that you have created for yourself in an attempt to secure contentment is actually working against you. You may be feeling lonely, irritable, and disconnected from the very thing that you are trying to achieve.
Mainstream capitalist society has instilled in us a stoic work ethic where the goal is to work hard in order to accumulate wealth. Many of us have also been taught to detach from our emotions in order to forge on and to not appear ‘weak.’
If you want to stop cheating yourself out of a life worth living, take a good look at how you are doing things. If the journey is not as fun as the end destination, it may be time to dismantle your destructive habits.
2. Six Subtle Sabotaging Habits
We create habits and routines as a way of compartmentalizing our lives. When life becomes hectic, these habits can sometimes go into overdrive, either as a way to speed up productivity or even to cope with stressful situations.
Some habits are so ingrained in us that we don’t think twice about their impact. Here is a list of six subtle habits that are sabotaging your happiness.
Worrying about the future. Being overly concerned over things you can’t control won’t stop bad things from happening. But it will cause you misery before they even do.
Not seeking support when you need it. Remaining stoic when you need help will not make your problems easier; it just makes you feel more alone.
Avoiding conflict. There is a difference between being combative and being assertive. You have the right to express yourself respectfully.
Engaging in negative self-talk. Harsh judgments and criticisms will not only put you in an unhappy place; it will keep you there.
Misdirecting your management. You may feel the need to manage stress or anxiety, but that will not address the underlying issue.
Giving your thoughts too much power. You are not your thoughts, and they don’t always tell the whole or true story.
3. How Not To Be Miserable
It’s easy to choose misery when it is cloaked with false promises of fulfillment. However, separating from your actual being in order to form an ego-driven version of yourself will never lead to authentic joy.
In our quest to achieve subtle happiness, we tend to reach for more, more opportunities, more material possession, and more life lessons. But less is more when it comes to your well-being, and it starts by removing habits that are causing you to suffer.
To achieve real happiness, alter habits you currently engage in, to reflect the following changes below;
Remain in the present moment. The only moment that exists is now. Meditation and breathwork techniques are excellent tools to keep your mind from wandering off.
Connect to a support system. Permitting yourself to receive help will deepen your relationships by engaging others in your life.
Learn how to be assertive. By holding your space and speaking your truth, you will validate your worth and increase your self-esteem.
Treat yourself with loving compassion. Speak and think of yourself as high as you would your best friend because you are your best friend.
Find the source of your distress. Instead of energizing your negative emotions, dig deep to locate the reason you are feeling that way.
Separate yourself from your thoughts. Pull away from your thoughts by observing them from a place of non-judgment.
We often engage in manners that can impair our personal growth and impede our ability to feel joy. Often, these habits are so deeply entrenched in us that we fail to recognize what they are and the damage that they cause.
However, if you genuinely desire genuine happiness and are willing to make a conscious effort to change, you can transform your misery by examining behaviors that are causing you grief. You can start by cultivating more awareness around your daily routine.
We encourage you to ponder the list of subtle habits that you may be exhibiting. Now, consider the alternatives and take action so that you can stop sabotaging your happiness.