Stop Sabotaging Your Happiness

Happiness is something you create through the choices you make in your life. You are responsible for it. You are always perceiving the events in your life, both good and bad, your own way. You decide what value and meaning you give to them. You generate it internally every day. It can't be bought or given to you. If you are honest with yourself, you’ll see that most of the time YOU are the cause of this unhappiness. Here are five ways that you can stop sabotaging your own happiness and live a more joyful life.

Stop assigning your happiness to future events

Have you ever told yourself that you'll be happy when you finally get that job, earn more money, buy a house, or get married? These things are nice, but they won't magically make you any happier than you are today. Happiness comes from within yourself and how you choose to live. A wedding day won't make you happy for the rest of your life. A house won't change the way you live and how you feel. Only you can do those things. Stop saying you'll be happy when you're 40 or when you purchase your vacation home and learn how to be happy NOW. By assigning your happiness to a future date or event you are denying yourself happiness now.

Practice gratitude everyday

If you spend most of your time complaining, it will be difficult for you to be happy. You're focusing on the negatives around you and what's going wrong in your life instead of seeing the positive and being grateful for the things you have. Being grateful doesn't mean you stop working for the life you really want. Keep moving forward but, also be grateful now. Spend time each day thinking of things to be grateful for and there is nothing too small to be grateful for. It's important to be grateful for the basic everyday things as well as the big things. Life is made up of a few big things but also many smaller things. Don’t forget about those. When you learn to be grateful instead of complaining all the time, your energy will rise and you will become a happier person.

Seek experiences not possessions

Why did you buy that thing? The most likely answer is that you were hoping that it made you feel a certain way. In other words, it resulted in an experience.  So, the question is; can you get that same experience without spending that much. Or at least spending it on experiences rather than stuff.  Over the past two decades research shows that experiences bring people more happiness than possessions. Try it. Scan your own memories. Aren’t your happiest memories directly related to an experience rather than a possession? Who was around? What were you doing? How were you feeling? Yes, you may be briefly happy when you bought those $500 pair of shoes to show off in. But, how much happier would you be had you purchased $100 shoes instead and wore them to a concert, a restaurant, a charity event, a museum and a spa with the remaining $400? At the end you will only remember your experiences not your possessions.

Stop procrastinating

If you're not chasing your dreams, you're denying yourself happiness. It might be easier to spend your time texting friends, watching TV, or sleeping in, but these things won't make you happy long-term. Setting goals and chasing dreams will lead you to the life you want. You won't get there by sitting around, making excuses or blaming people. If your dream is to write a book, spend time every day working on that dream. You might not have hours to devote to it, but it's not hard to find thirty minutes. Any amount of time counts. Stop putting off the hard things that will make you happy simply because doing other things is easier. Short term pain, long term gain.

See my video on overcoming procrastination

Remove toxic people from your life

It's hard to be happy when you are dealing with toxic relationships in your life. If you have anyone in your life who drains your time, energy, or money, it's time to distance yourself from them or at the very least draw some boundaries. It doesn't matter how long you've known someone or if they are a family member. If you want to be happy, it's important to spend your time with people who make you smile, laugh and feel better about yourself. You'll quickly notice an improvement in your mood when you minimize the impact of toxic people from your life.

Limit your social media time

Spending too much time on social media may cause you to feel unhappy because you'll start to compare your life to other people's. Of course, you see their HAPPY MOMENTS posted ONLY and begin questioning why you aren't farther ahead in life, why you don't own that house, that car, that relationship or that trip.  Remember that social media is the place people go to show off the highlights of their life. They aren't going to talk about the baby that threw up and the hour they spent cleaning up after that. They aren't going to talk about how their relationship with their wife has gone downhill in the past two months and that they’re in therapy. If you find that you feel bummed after looking at social media, look at it less often. Anything worth knowing will be told to you personally if you have a strong enough REAL-WORLD friendships. Remain content with the life you're building for yourself instead of comparing yourself to others.

See my video on comparing yourself to others

You can internally generate happiness every day. Happiness is something you can achieve right NOW. You don't have to wait for tomorrow or until some special event happens. Take charge and CHOOSE HAPPINESS NOW.

By Rafael Tomik for BeGreat.com

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