Everyone want to be happy but only a few are truly happy. True Joy and happiness has to come from within you.
A lot of us keep chasing after those things we think will make us eventually happy, but its an endless pursuit. When we do get those things, we sadly discover that the happiness that comes with those acquired things, are fleeting and temporary, so we are on to chasing the next best thing to be happy again.
Instead of looking towards those temporary things that can only give us momentary happiness, its high time we realize that happiness should never be tied to things. Only then can we discover lasting happiness. We should be happy with or without, because true happiness is not circumstantial.
Haven’t you ever wondered why some of those people you believe should be happy, because from the outside, they seem to have everything going for them, but then you get close to them and they are not?
Since we have come to establish that happiness comes from within, it also important to note that there are certain things that if allowed can cost you that inner joy and happiness.
There is good news. You can be truly and constantly happy if you do away with many of these habits that slowly but surely steal the joy from your life. Whether you are actively conscious of it or not, what we do everyday makes up our habits. They either build us up or bring us down. They can either cause us to be happy or be a source that drains our happiness.
The thing about habits though, is that as you say No to those bad habits, you have to say Yes to good habits. So drop a bad habit for a good one, like an exchange, so there is no vacuum.
With each of these habits that I list here, I will suggest alternative good habits that you can use to replace them.
Habits stopping you from being happy and habits to replace them with
As humans, we are limited in the the things we can see about the future. This can be a source of worry.
We worry about an unknown future, we worry about even little things like what to wear, why your boss did not smile at you this morning, why your loved one is not picking up their call, etc.
We worry about what others think about us and many other things.
Worry does not do anything. It just makes you feel like you are in a helpless state.
Instead of worry
- Why not Write out Actionable plans. Actively get to do something about the situation, and if you feel you have tried all you need to do, rest easy.
2) Not going outside your comfort zone
Many of us are afraid to take risks. We just want to be safe. But life is too short to just be safe. We are scared to take that risk because “what if it does not turn out right?”
Truly happy people are those who are not afraid to get out of their comfort zones.
Instead of Not going outside your comfort zone
- Do it Afraid
- Take that risk. Jump of that plane. Make that invest. Take calculated risks.
3) Self doubt
Self doubt stops you from seizing opportunities.
Instead of Self-doubt
- Work on building up your self confidence.
- Have more faith, trust and confidence in your abilities. You are more powerful than you think you are. Believe in yourself. Dream big and take action on achieving your goals.
- Accept and love yourself more.
4) Not practicing gratitude
If you are too focused on what is yet to be, then you are not going to be happy about those things which already are.
Instead of Not practicing gratitude
- Be grateful always, be thankful always.
- Stay positive and always be optimistic.
There are different things having fear does. One of them is that it causes you to see things that are not really there. Distorting your view of a situation and stealing away your happiness in tow.
Went to drop off a friend at her place and when we arrived, there was a dog standing in front of her house. My friend who had just happily walked out of the car after we had said our goodbyes, suddenly rushed back in, as result of fear.
I looked out to see the Dog that was causing my friend distress, and noticed that the owner was standing right next to it.
But that was not her focus, she made the decision not to get into her house because her own focus was on the fact that the dog had no leash. She did not consider that the owner who stood with it, had the power to control the dog.
This paints a picture of how fear affects us and does not allow us to see the big picture. Fear brings Negative energy. It is a magnifier by making a situation look bigger than it really is.
Fear also makes us overthink a decision, putting a lot of pressure on ourselves to make perfect decisions.
Instead of Fear
- Have more faith in your decisions.
- Turn to God’s word for help.
- Do not hold on to negative thoughts and obsess over them.
Don’t be afraid, for I am with you…Isaiah 41:10
May your choices reflect your hopes, and not your fears. Click To Tweet
If you keep comparing yourself with others, you will never be happy. There will always be someone who is doing better than you.
There will be someone who is living the perfect life and you are not.
And if you keep comparing, you will try to play the game of catch up. This game is one that never ends.
You will never get the chance to celebrate your own victories because the moment you remember Mr or Mrs A did it this way and are on to the next thing, your happiness will be short lived.
Instead of Comparison
- List out for those things and experiences that make you unique. Twins born on the same day, growing up under the same conditions still posses qualities that are unique to their individual personalities. So no one is exactly you. There is no one like you, you are uniquely you.
Your environment and experiences coupled with your individual characteristics make up you.
- Practice contentment. Godliness with contentment is great gain.
7) Attaching self worth to things, people
If we derive our identity from something superficial, lets say for instance you derive your identity from a job, e.g Being a post man, then you are not simply somebody, but this person who is a post man.
Your joy and happiness is attached to being a post man and if for some reason, you are not able to be a post man again, then you lose yourself.
It can be attachment to your kids, a partner, a friend etc. It can be attachment to being in a relationship always, because you are scared of being alone, so you constantly are in need of re-assurance by being in a relationship.
Your sense of self is dependent on a position, e.g being a parent. It could even be living in a high brow neighbor hood, or driving a certain type of car.
All these are quite shallow.
Instead of Attaching your self worth to things, people,… etc
- Set healthy boundaries and Know your self worth is not attached to things.
- Practice detached love for things. Detached love is knowing that at anytime the nature of that relationship or thing could change.
- Embrace uncertainty, it is a fact of life you cannot escape from. it does not mean you do not connect to all you have going on but your worth is not solely based on them.
- Everyday seek to learn and unlearn. That is what growth is all about.
If you ever been wronged or felt wronged before, you understand what it is to hold on to the pain of being hurt. It does you not good.
Unforgiveness is that monster that eats you up alive while you are still living. It is a weight no one should be carrying around.
Instead of Unforgiveness
- Practice forgiveness. Even when those who you feel have wronged you don’t apologize, or see anything wrong in what they have done.
You will find that when you let things go, you feel 100 times lighter and you are able to be embrace happiness.
What is past is past.
9) Taking things personal/Living in the opinion of others
If you take a lot of things personal, you will keep on hurting yourself.
It will greatly affects your happiness if you also allow yourself live in the opinion of people.
Realize that a person’s opinion of you, is based on their personal experiences and prejudices.
No one can make you feel inferior without your consent is a favorite quote by Eleanor Roosevelt we often say out loud. And it is the absolute truth
Instead of taking things personal/living in the opinion of others
- Don’t take the opinion of others to heart. Its just their opinion and everyone is entitled to have one.
- Live your life not to impress others. Understand that their opinions are based on their own level of understanding and move it on.
- Don’t always try to find hidden meanings in what people say.
10) Paying too much attention to Social media and news media
Its great to be informed. News is good, but when it is becoming a source of unhappiness because of the daily negative occurrences, it’s time to switch off that TV. All those little subtle negative media, you feed your mind with, affects your happiness.
You may not even think on it immediately, but somehow the more you hear, the more it changes you.
Ever found yourself humming the words to a song you heard but where not even actively paying attention to? I have a lot of times. The mind is powerful.
Instead of paying attention social media and news media
- Listen to positive podcasts, positive music, read inspiring books.
- If you have to use social media, do it with intent. Know the reason why you are there and don’t just engage in mindless scrolling.
- Listen to people and media that will build you up.
- Unfollow all social media accounts that inspire negativity.
11) Unhealthy lifestyle choices
Your lifestyle choices either enhance or diminish the value of your life, health, peace and happiness.
For example, eating a heavy meal late at night can cause your body to work overtime during the night and affects the quality of your sleep.
Not sleeping enough affects the state of your mind. You become more jumpy and irritable.
life will not be thoroughly enjoyed if you keep consuming things that will contribute to ill-health later in the future. You may not see how it affects you now, but in the long run you will.
Health and Happiness go hand in hand.
Instead cultivate a healthy lifestyle
- Avoid late night eating.
- Cut out added sugars
- Take food supplements
- Eliminate caffeine and alcohol
- Be active…etc
A happy body leads to a happy mind.
12) Not taking care of your soul
Peace of mind is underrated. Everyone wants to have a peaceful life but not every one can have it. That you can sleep easy every night is because you have peace.
Your soul is a very important but often neglected part of you that can ensure you have peace.
Instead Take care of your soul
- Have a relationship with God
- Study and read the word of God.
- Stay connected to God through prayer and praise. True and lasting Joy and happiness is only gotten by being connected to the source of your life.
- Live each day, knowing you are not your own. It will affect the choices and the decisions you make daily
You will keep him in perfect peace, all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you. Isaiah 26: 3
Little by little these habits like little drops of water filling up a bucket, can affect your life positive and make you truly happy.
Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking. Click To Tweet