People often inadvertently block their happiness due to the way they think. Their perception makes them imagine that situations are difficult when in actuality they are not. They believe they should please others or find problems where there need not be any. Doing so continuously creates sadness, depression and low self-esteem. Here are eight things that commonly get in the way of peoples’ happiness:
1. The need for approval
Your heart tells you when you’re on the right track, and your opinions should matter to you. However, you’ve been taught to seek approval and quash your intuition. Sometimes, you don’t listen to your instinct or even logic. Instead, you try to please people at the expense of your well-being. As a result, your confidence drops, making you unhappy.
Stop being a people-pleaser and listen to your wise self. When you have a gut feeling that something’s not a good idea, take a few deep breaths and move your attention into your mind and body. Ask yourself what is the best course of action, and don’t worry if it doesn’t match what others want.
Complaining is a habit with perks. When you get sympathy, you receive a mental & emotional reward. You feel good, righteous even. However, after the commiseration is over, you are low again. Complaining deepens misery because it keeps you focused on problems not solutions. Soon, negativity hangs above you and is hard to shift. Stop complaining, and the stress will lift, leaving you lighter and happier.
3. The need to be right
Without realizing it, you fight to be seen as right over matters that aren’t important. Being wrong, or not having your ideas validated seems scary. Nonetheless, what would happen if you admit you make mistakes or stop trying to prove you are right?
The world won’t stop turning if you give up the need to be correct all the time. In fact, you will argue less and be good company. Most importantly, you will gain freedom. Relinquish the desire to be right, and you’ll have less anxiety and more room to be happy.
4. Limiting beliefs
Restrictive beliefs block happiness and prosperity. They make you miss profitable opportunities because you don’t think you will succeed. When you’re presented with chances to improve your life, those beliefs ensure you behave like a snail receding into its shell. Recognize the urge to retreat and mentally list reasons why you’ll succeed if you take a chance. Focus on the reward more than the risk. You’ll meet more joy, happiness and increased self-esteem.
5. Wanting to impress
People try to impress others, only to feel deflated later. The joy of impressing doesn’t last because it’s an empty conquest. In most cases its fake. You feel great for a moment, and then the impact you made bursts like a bubble. You need to repeat your behavior in different ways to get the little boost of confidence you felt before. Stop wanting to impress people and focus on impressing yourself. When you live up to your own standards, you’ll be happy.
Blaming others for your feelings disempowers you. In truth, no one can make you feel anything since you create your own emotions internally. When you imagine that others control how you feel, you can’t govern your own emotional life.
Give up blaming people when you aren’t happy. Only then can you take back the power to create your joy. Once you’re at the wheel, you can steer your emotions and keep them in the right direction.
7. Critical self-talk
Sometimes, the critical voice in your head makes you cynical. The stories you create within about how you aren’t good enough, or people don’t like you, leave you miserable. Mostly, such tales are works of fantasy based on fear, and believing them reduces joy.
Remind yourself negative thoughts reflect your emotional state and aren’t literal. Use them as tools, indicating whether you need to shift your focus onto a different topic to relieve stress. Be your own supportive friend.
8. Living in the past
Going over happy memories is pleasant. However, people consider what’s gone wrong much more than their successes. Doing so keep sadness or anger alive in them, so the pressure of whatever didn’t work out continues for days, weeks, months and even years. If this sounds familiar, stop entertaining memories that make you blue. When thoughts of a troubled past come, bless the lessons you’ve learned. Focus on gratitude for having moved through difficulties.
You don’t mean to make yourself unhappy, but you’re used to thinking and behaving in ways that dampen joy. Changing this will take a while but, you can tackle the ways you block happiness one at a time. Gradually, you’ll change, and gladness will come automatically. Why not start today? Pick one of the points above and implement it in your life starting now.
By Rafael Tomik for BeGreat.com