We all want to be happy, that’s a given. But there is no magic pill for happiness, in most cases you have to get out there and make it happen for yourself. You have to cultivate a frame of mind that allows you to look for the good, avoid the bad and be able to pick yourself up after any setbacks. Most of us make choices every day that hold us back from being happy without even realising it. Are you guilty of any of these seventeen things?
Stagnating in your job – Most of us spend around forty hours a week in the workplace. If you’re unhappy in your job, that’s a significant chunk of your week that you’re unhappy. Maybe you’re in a dead end role, or perhaps you’re overworked. Maybe your career just doesn’t fit you anymore. A change of career is scary but could be exactly what you need to improve your life.
Staying in an unhappy relationship- Our spouses or partners are some of the most important people in our lives. A healthy relationship should involve encouragement, support and the ability to grow and evolve as a person independently as well as together. If you partner upsets you, is violent to you or controls you in any way then break it off or speak to divorce solicitors. If you’re unhappy more often than not these days, it’s a sign that you’re no longer right for each other.
Holding onto toxic friendships – When we’ve known people for a long time (in some cases, our whole lives) it can be difficult to let go of them even though we know they’re not good for us. Just like partners can be toxic, friends can be too. If they make you feel bad, are unpleasant, unkind or disrupt your peace of mind then it’s time to let them go.
Over analysing- Thinking a decision through carefully is good. Speculating and worrying and obsessing isn’t.
Eating junk food and not exercising – Healthy body, healthy mind. This ones a given, if you fill your body with junk and don’t exercise this is going to take its toll on your mental and physical health.
Living in a messy home – As the saying goes, ‘tidy home, tidy mind.’ It’s true, research has shown that mess and clutter contributes to stress levels and can even prevent you from dropping off to sleep. Take pride in your home; declutter, redecorate and take pride in your home.
Not making time for yourself – You might have a duty to look after others (children, mentally ill friends, disabled family members etc) but you also have a duty to look after yourself. Make time for you a priority, put your feet up and relax to avoid burnout.
Knowing you’re depressed but not seeking help – If you think you’re depressed then you probably are- you don’t have to feel this way. Don’t be too proud or too scared to see a doctor, seek help so you can get back to feeling like ‘you’ again.
Wasting money – Money is hard earned and we spend most of our lives trying to acquire it, so when you waste money on useless things you’re really wasting your time. Stop impulse buying, and instead make a list of the things you really want and save up for them.
Spending too much time alone – Spending time alone is healthy, having space to relax and be alone with our thoughts can help us to unwind and also helps us to know ourselves better. But spending too much time alone can quickly get lonely. If you work alone, perhaps from home as a freelancer or live alone you can find that you’re not spending all that much time with other people. Make the effort to do so, invite friends over or arrange a family get together on a regular basis. Don’t let social media be your only form of communication.
Staying in one place – We all lead busy lives; working, raising a family, having hobbies and a social life doesn’t always free up much time for anything else. However travel is one thing we should always make time for when we can. Travel to new places as often as you can- backpacking, camping and staying in motels are all options if your budget is smaller.
Never learning new things – As humans we’re curious creatures, it’s important to keep learning in life even after full time education. Read books, take classes, listen to podcasts and watch informational videos. Find out what your passions are and learn about these as much as possible. It will keep your brain sharp and you’ll feel happier knowing that you’re improving your mind.
Using too much social media – Research has proven that too much social media makes us unhappy. Stop obsessing over others highlight reels- instead focus on your life. Real life!
Daydreaming – Do you spend too much time letting your mind wander? We’re all guilty of it at times, but letting this happen too often will make you unhappy. There’s no point dreaming up ideas in your mind and then doing nothing about them. Use your mind to create your reality, if you ideas then write them down, make plans, make your dreams materialise!
Not setting goals – Having goals are what keep us moving forward, ensuring we reach our potential and keep us on track in life. When you don’t have goals it’s easy to stagnate and fall into a rut. Set goals for your work and personal life. Everything from a daily to-do list to a five year plan helps you to get things done and puts you on the right path.
Letting your appearance go downhill – When you feel bad about your appearance then this can affect you mentally too. Treat yourself to a haircut, some new clothes or have a pamper day every now and again. You deserve it!
Being too critical of ourselves – No one is perfect, even if you make every single mistake on this list on a daily basis you are still worthy. Instead of criticising yourself, evaluate the decisions you make and use this as a way to become better. Stop hating your personality and body and instead work on accepting what you cant change, and changing what you can.