We all have habits we are not proud of. Many habits we have can prevent us from living a happy life. When you eliminate negative habits you can start to feel joy. If you want to see a change in your mood, be willing to commit to the change and it will happen!
Avoid these habits and you'll enjoy greater happiness:
1. Concerning yourself with the opinions of others. Criticism is inevitable. You could truly be perfect in your own way and someone will still present you with criticism. You cannot impress everyone! Shift your focus to making yourself happy and surround yourself with people who accept you as you are!
2. Stop that negative self talk! We are all critics of ourselves. However, there is no true benefit to negativity in your life; whether it comes from you or someone else. We don’t need to add the many challenges that life presents us with daily. Try to re-frame or replace the negative thinking with positive self talk. Highlight the things you are good at; the traits you have that are different; and what a wonderful individual you are.
3. Stop harping on the things you don’t have. If you're living under a park bench, it's natural to want a home. But if you have what you need and remain content with what you already have, wanting more can be a source of stress and frustration. Be reasonable in what you strive for. No one needs a personal jet or a $10 million home. But goals are possible.
4. Comparing yourself to others. Everyone has their own unique strengths, weaknesses, past, and challenges. If you want to make a reasonable comparison, compare your current situation to your situation 5 years ago. If you've made progress, celebrate. If you haven't, figure out why and get busy.
5. Beating yourself up over mistakes. Regret does not provide any benefit. Mistakes are a daily part of life. Learn from them and move on toward a brighter future. Ask yourself if your regret is getting you to where you need to be?
6. Blaming others. You begin to lose control when you believe someone else is the cause for difficulty that you experience. You only have the power to fix things if you believe you identified how you added to the situation. Regardless of who you believe is to blame; it’s still your responsibility to handle it.
7. Set those Boundaries! Saying yes to everything and everyone will eliminate any self care time you have. We all need some down time to re-charge our internal batteries. Learn to say "no" when necessary. It’s not selfish, it’s self care!
8. Waiting for perfect conditions. Have you ever thought to yourself, “I’ll move when I have the money,” or “I’ll have children when I am fully stable and set in life.” Whether you're waiting for the perfect time to have children or start your own business, that perfect time will never arrive. Get started right away on the activities that mean the most to you. Time is of the essence!
9. Avoiding new experiences. Our own thoughts prevent us from living at times! Just as I stated in number 8 above; there is no perfect time to do things. What's the point in living the same day repeatedly? You only have so many years on Earth. Get the most out of it and live a life of many experiences.
10. Trying to change too much at once. We are remarkably adaptable in the long term. However, it's very challenging to make major changes in the short term. Make smaller changes in your life and build upon them. You can't change much in a week, but you can make major changes over a year or more with small attainable steps.
I encourage you to review your habits. Determine which you need to keep and which are good to get rid of in order to be happy. Happiness is closer than you think!
Nicole Festa LPC, LAC, NCC, EMDR, NCAC
Nicole has authored e-books and runs a podcast called "Calm Connect," which can be found on most platforms to include Itunes, Anchor, and Spotify.