Five Behaviors That Can Steal Your Happiness and How to Overcome Them

family dinner with phones

In today’s world people have become accustomed to the accessibility technology gives us and the “wanting now” approach. Even though it may be helpful and easy to manage, does that really make a person happy? I was at a restaurant a week or two ago and took a look around and noticed a couple sitting in the table beside me that hadn’t uttered a word to each other. They were both on their phones and deeply engaged in whatever they were looking at. Is that what the world is coming to? Are physical, social interactions becoming void?

This is just one behavior that I have noticed becoming more commonplace. I am suspect to checking Instagram one too many times during dinner, I am very aware. So my advice: put your devices down and pay attention to those people who are sitting with you in the physical world. But this situation got me to thinking about other negative behaviors people struggle with as well.

Working off the technology bit...

I also thought about the entertainment industry and the effects that the rich and famous have on us normal folk. Being a typical woman, we always think that we can always use one more workout session or one more look in the mirror. Comparing ourselves to others is a huge obstacle that not only women need to get over, but men as well. Thinking we aren’t good enough and trying to match ourselves to others is time consuming and exhausting. It’s sometimes hard to get over the fact role models and celebrities that we look up to aren’t perfect either. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses that might not show up in a magazine or on television.

Another behavior that varies from person-to-person is taking things too personally.
[caption id="attachment_274526" align="aligncenter" width="553"]Angry_tiger Some remarks upset people for days...[/caption]

I am an up-front, confrontational person and I believe that getting something off your chest is good for mental and psychological health. Bottling up something for months upon years doesn’t do anyone any good. Sometimes it’s for the best to be given some tough love -- but then again, sometimes it’s negativity that just needs to be brushed off.

There is a quote that reads: “don’t take life too serious, you’ll never get out alive.” I never fully understood it until I took a moment to reflect on it. Other people’s opinions don’t define you, they either motivate you or bring you down, and both can be hard to realize. Sitting on something that somebody said about you not only breaks you down but it also gives the person the upper hand. Forgive, forget, move on. Next!

Thinking about what "could have been" is real time-consuming.

Not only would you need a time machine to go back to that moment, but as we all know from our favorite Sci-fi movies, you also would screw up history which could be bad. Re-living the past is probably a behavior everyone can relate to. Whether it be that job you didn’t get or that relationship that didn’t work out, they both can leave a mark on someone’s life. Realizing it happened for a reason and (see above!) not taking it too personally can save you a load of time and worry lines on your face. Taking up a yoga class or doing something you never thought you were good at can open brand new doors to the future and may even turn out better than you ever imagined.

The last behavior that many people carry with them is worrying about what is ahead of them, the future.

einstein quote - future

Whether it be college, a job, marriage, or money, at one point or another, everyone has dwelled on one of those. Becoming consumed in the thought of what’s in front of us will make us miss the “now.” Having a grasp on what’s to come is sensible but the obsession of it makes a person miss the important things like family, friends or day-to-day life experiences. Even a job that may not necessarily pay well or is as exciting as you want it to be can lead to a goal or skills that you had never thought of.

People’s lives are fast paced and hectic. Technology is all around us and gains us access to getting things faster and easier. But is that necessarily what we need? Comparing one’s self to someone that is in gossip magazines or on the television is just exterior and not the interior. Being yourself is something to be proud of. Taking criticism or a compliment in the wrong way can work a person up for days. Worrying about the past is hard to get over, but living life in the present is a reward on its own. And finally, just the same as the past, the negative thoughts of worrying about the future can eat a person up. You can only do so much to forbid things of happening in the future and sometimes you just need to go along for the ride. If you can be able to at least change one of these behaviors in your life you are on the path to happiness.   Photos via: Artotem -- Google  

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