Happiness is what we all aspire to experience and feel throughout our lives. Although you may believe you are doing all that you can do to bolster your happiness level, oftentimes you may be sabotaging your joy unknowingly. I doubt that anyone purposely chooses to be unhappy, so it is just a matter of bringing awareness to some of the behaviors you may partake in that can stand in the way of upholding happiness. That way you can make the necessary changes you need in order to undo these common inclinations.
We are all on this journey together so let’s pour our hearts and souls into being as happy as we can be, regardless of our life circumstances. Here are seven ways you may be sabotaging your happiness, along with advice on how to change that for the better.
When you give fuel to this beast, you are essentially guaranteeing yourself a seat in the world of unhappiness. In small doses, it is only natural to express curiosity at what other people are all about. However, when this seemingly innocent tendency takes over your mind, it can make way for a life clouded with disappointment, restlessness, and any number of ill feelings. Believe me when I tell you that stepping foot into self-comparison mode can be as destructive as many other addictions.
You have the power to stop this common habit from controlling your destiny though. Tap into your own gifts, imperfections, and experiences and fall in love with all of it. There is only one you in the world for a reason, so do not reject yourself. Compare yourself to a brighter, happier you and leave it at that.
2. Maintaining “Grass Is Greener on The Other Side” Mentality
Similar to self-comparison, this is another view you may want to remove from your life to increase your happiness levels. If you give yourself away to this approach, happiness is out of reach because you will never be in the right place at the right time or able to test out all of the grass in the world. Hence, you will always fall short and wonder about how things could be if you were on another body of grass. This is a losing battle no matter how fabulous your life may be and can truly steal your happiness right out of your hands. Not to mention how many amazing experiences and moments you will miss because you are unhealthily eager about what else is outside of yourself.
This is a trap that can paralyze your mind. Choose to be right where you are and embrace the magnificence in that.
3. Holding Onto Past Regrets
This one is quite the happiness sucker. It is totally healthy to reminisce on your past and draw insight from it. We all have regrets associated with our pasts; it’s simply part of being human.
With that being said, the past is over, and there is no rewind button you can access that will allow you to make different decisions. Therefore, you have two choices: You can either remain enslaved to bitterness regarding your past or you can trust the life journey you are on, despite the imperfections along the way.
Personally speaking, I have given away so much of my energy to regretting elements of my past and wondering about what could have been, had I acted differently. Yet, this manner has proven pointless and self-sabotaging. Learn to forgive yourself for anything that you are still holding onto and place emphasis on your present life. Your past is part of you and is therefore worthy of your love.
4. Fighting With Your True Nature
Each and every one of us has a unique nature that makes us who we are. One of the most beautiful sights is witnessing someone owning themselves wholeheartedly and accepting themselves just as they are.
Happiness is bountiful when you love yourself and live in accordance to what your mind, body, and soul craves. The potential for unhappiness arises when you enter a boxing match with yourself and become your own worst enemy, nitpicking and judging every detail about yourself that isn’t “perfect.”
Remember that there is no way you can exchange yourself and purchase a new person, so you might as well stop the boxing match before it ruins your life.
5. Giving Fear Too Much Attention
People oftentimes forget how much influence fear can have on their actions. Fear is an acceptable part of human psychology and it protects you from a great deal of danger. It is understandable to tap into fear if and when you need its assistance in protecting you from less-than-savvy external situations, such as impending accidents, toxic conflicts, and the like. You can take advantage of the positive side of fear so that you don’t become too reckless in your decision-making, but it is imperative that you have boundaries with this feeling.
Without maintaining distance from fear, it can easily spread its wings and conquer your life. A happy life is one that says yes to new experiences, challenges, and risks. And it feels so much better to know that you didn’t wait behind the veil of fear, allowing it to make decisions on your own behalf. Chances are there are countless actions you would love to take if you had the guts to do so. What are you waiting for?
6. Inviting Unnecessary Drama Into Your Life
Let’s face it: drama is sometimes unavoidable. The only time that drama can sabotage your happiness is when you do not have balance in this category. If you find yourself in toxic friendships, abusive relationships, and/or varying conflicts time and again, you need to realize that you are giving away your vitality to these matters, thereby leaving less room for happiness to take the front seat.
Take a step back and judge whether particular engagements you are participating in are worth the consequent drama they bring forth. It is really that simple. Life is too short to be spent on people, activities, and thoughts that are harmful to your mind, body, and soul in any fashion.
7. Forgetting that Happiness Is an Inside Job
Whether you like to admit it or not, true happiness is derived from the inside out, rather than the outside in. It doesn’t matter how much money you have in the bank or what kind of fancy title you have next to your name because those factors do not necessarily lead to happiness. You can be miserable and rich at the same time. Happiness cannot be bought with anything from the external world even though social media begs to differ. Sure, external accomplishments are wonderful in their own right, but you have to be happy internally regardless of what you accrue from outside of yourself.
Balance is key in this department. It can be very easy to fall victim to the mentality that more is more in life or that there is always the need for constant outward seeking in order to experience happiness. Let’s focus on being happy for no particular reason at all—that is an accomplishment!
Journey within to break free of unconscious patterns that may be standing in the way of your happiness at Meditation Weekend, the Chopra Center’s two-day introduction to meditation retreat. Learn More.