I hate to break it to you, but if your life seems extra awful lately, you could be the reason why. I couldn't figure out what was leeching the enjoyment from my life until I researched happiness. The realization that I was the reason for my long bouts of self-pity was shocking. Let me tell you, that knowledge was eye-opening and left me feeling distraught and frustrated.
Instead of dwelling on how miserable I felt, I decided to figure out how to rid my life of my nasty bad habits and find true happiness.
1. Resisting change
Change is inevitable. Although it's scary, change is such a positive part of your life. Fighting change traps you in a land of no progression. You remain stagnant, with no means to better yourself.
Change isn't the problem here - your resistance to the inevitable is! Go with the flow and don't be afraid to embrace trends and welcome new ideas. The fastest way to understand change is by getting involved and helping getting into the swing of things.
2. Living in the past
People stuck in their glorified past miss out on all the incredible opportunities of the present. Six years ago, I was a skinny, confident, determined and unbeatable ballroom dancer with a six-pack. The more I look back at what I was, the more awful I feel about myself and my circumstances now. I realized it's time to start loving myself for who I am at all times, instead of who I was int he past.
Choose to look at your past fondly and move on. Remember the lessons learned and the memories made, but choose live in the moment.
3. Waiting for the future
There's nothing wrong with looking ahead and planning for the future, but saying, "I'll be happy when..." stops you from finding satisfaction in your life now. No matter how you finish that sentence, that long-awaited moment will never bring the happiness you're seeking.
Instead, focus on being happy now. The future is unpredictable.
4. Technology numbing
Binge-watching Netflix once in a while provides an escape and relief from the daily grind. But when does that "escape" start making you numb to your surroundings? When you're constantly plugged into your TV, phone or computer, the distraction no longer becomes an escape. Instead, too much of a good thing becomes an unhealthy habit that's difficult to break.
Free yourself from the technology trap by putting your phone away and spending time with friends. Have some good old-fashioned conversation with the people who really matter.
Pessimism makes you (and everyone around you) miserable. Negativity only contributes to your self-pity and makes you feel worse. And honestly, nobody wants to hear you complain about how terrible your life is.
Shake off the negative and stop letting bad vibes define you. Look for the good things (no matter how small they are). Change your attitude by remembering everything isn't as bad as it seems, and look for the light at the end of the tunnel.
Staying in with your cat every weekend keeps you from an adventurous life. You'll convince yourself that your life is a bore. If being boring is your personal goal, then you've met it, but most people want to be likeable and interesting.
Get up, go out, get dressed up, try something new and strive to be the dynamic character you've always wanted to be. Have courage and treat each day as a clean slate. Have the confidence to break out of your comfort zone every once and a while.
Constantly comparing yourself to others is exhausting. There will always be a "cuter" couple, a "thinner" woman or a person who seems to have unlimited funds for amazing trips.
Get over it.
Start pointing out the things you love about yourself. You're just as good as everyone else and constant comparison only makes you feel (and appear) less like the amazing person you are. Who knows, someone may wish they had your life because you're unaware of all your blessings.
Once you understand the ways you're killing your happiness, break those bad habits. Psychologist Timothy Pychyl said, "Breaking a habit really means establishing a new habit." Give it a try. What do you have to lose... your happiness?"
Kristina Tieken is a staff writer for FamilyShare, public relations specialist with a love for the fine arts, food and exercise. She enjoys watching movies and spending time with her husband and family.