8 Destructive Habits that Steal Your Happiness
Think about something that took you a while to learn, like how to ride a bike. At first it was difficult, you had to devote a lot of practice to it, along with some tears and scraped elbows. But after some time it became much easier and now you don’t even have to think about it – it became habitual. Riding a bike, brushing your teeth, or making your morning coffee all are formed habits. The routine of doing them over and over again eventually becomes automatic. Unfortunately, not all habits are good. Biting your nails while excessively gambling is obviously not on the good list, but what about the ones that aren’t so obvious? What about the destructive habits that steal your happiness?
I’ve done some digging and uncovered the 8 destructive habits that steal your happiness. You may not even realize you do many of these on a daily basis. The good news is, with practice and time you can eliminate these destructive habits.
Identifying the 8 Destructive Habits
- Comparing yourself to others. Focusing on other people is a very destructive habit and harbors jealousy. When you spend time in your day thinking about what other people have and do and you compare your life to theirs then you have a good recipe for unhappiness. This just takes up valuable time that you could be spending working toward your own goals. Take control and focus on your own story instead of other people.
- Thinking negative thoughts. Everyone has negative thoughts. Its whether or not you choose to believe them or replace them with positive ones that determines your success and happiness. Look at your life, are you hanging out with negative people, listening to negative radio, or watching negative TV-shows? Consider spending more time with sources that lift you up and make you feel good instead of ones that drag you down.
- Working for a paycheck. If you are dragging yourself to work everyday just for the paycheck it brings home, you might as well put on an orange jumpsuit because you’re sentencing yourself to life in prison. Think about it, you spend a large percentage of your life at work so why would you do something you aren’t passionate about? Do something you’re interested in instead. It’s not always about the money; it’s about you and your happiness.
- Staying in your comfort zone. We get it, life is uncertain and we don’t always know what the next day is going to bring. This can be a scary thought, but playing it safe isn’t going to make you happy. To be happy you have to grow and challenge yourself. To do that you’re going to have to step outside your comfort zone and take some risks.
- Filling your conversation with gossip and complaints. This destructive habit can be subtle. You probably don’t even realize you’re doing it. All this is doing is spreading negativity and limiting your happiness. Happy people put out a positive vibe by filling their conversations with what they’re grateful for and their possibilities for the future.
- Dwelling on past failures. Living in the past is only going to make you more unhappy. Instead, analyze failures and see them as learning opportunities. Don’t keep thinking and talking about it in a negative way. Take the next step forward and move on.
- Always staying busy. Checking emails, spin class, conference calls, board meetings, and soccer practice day after day is only going to exhaust you and leave you feeling unfulfilled and unhappy. When you are busy all of the time, it leaves you no room for you to recharge. Allow yourself times of peace and rest during your day, even if it’s just for 20 minutes.
- Constantly being afraid and worried. Anxious thoughts of worry and fear are often just that, thoughts. They never actually happen. Wouldn’t it be nice to realize that now and enjoy each moment instead of worrying about it? Let go of the worry because all it does is weigh you down. Your feelings of jealousy, fear, and control are covering up a happy person. Think of what will go right, instead of focusing on what could go wrong.
Happiness is key to living a successful life. You shouldn’t let anyone or anything get in the way of that. You can become a happier person. Like all habits, they take time and practice to become automatic. If you think some of these destructive habits are stealing your happiness, talk with a coach who can help you identify and guide you on the right path.
Written by Cathy Warschaw, CPC, ELI-MP
Founder & Make It Happen Coach
© Up All Night Coaching, 2016
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