Unhappy people do certain things that happy people avoid like the plague. If you’re doing these things, you’re not as happy as you could be. Achieving anything involves avoiding certain behaviors and adopting other behaviors. The same holds true for your happiness.
Some people have a natural skill for being happy. Even if this skill isn’t natural for you, you can learn.
Avoid engaging in these behaviors if you want to be happy:
1. Dwelling on the past. Feeling bad about something that’s already happened doesn’t make a lot of sense. Without a time machine, there’s nothing you can do. Late for your job interview yesterday? How will feeling bad about it help now? Mad at yourself for not asking out Suzie Watson in 11th grade? It’s too late now.
* Leave the past alone and focus on today. Life only happens in the present. You’re wasting your life by being focused on the past or the future.
2. Worrying about the future. Worrying about the future isn’t much better than being bitter about the past. Both perspectives sacrifice your present and ruin your mood. Prepare for the future, but avoid worrying about it. Most of your concerns will never happen anyway.
3. Holding a grudge. Refusing to forgive others only punishes you. Half of the people you’re mad at don’t even know it. They’re going about their lives without any concern for you. Who are you actually punishing? Only yourself.
4. Comparing themselves to others. With over 8 million people roaming the Earth, there’s always going to be someone who’s wealthier, better looking, smarter, or a better disco dancer. Comparing yourself to others is a losing game, especially when you compare your weaknesses to other’s strengths.
5. Ignoring the positive. Humans are programmed to look for danger and focus on the negative. That makes it easy to ignore all the positive things going on in your life.
* You can counteract this tendency by making a list of all the good things in your life and reading it each day. Make a habit out of this. Keep the list by your bed and read it every morning and night.
6. Focusing on the negative. When you look at everything that isn’t the way you’d like it, it’s easy to feel depressed and hopeless. Again, give fair time to the positive things in your life. You have plenty of them.
7. Worrying about the opinions of others. You might think you outgrew this mindset after high school, but you’d be one of the very rare few. Kicking this habit can take a lifetime, but it’s also incredibly satisfying. You’re never free if you’re worried about what others are thinking. It taints every decision you make.
8. Working at a job they dislike. It’s called “work” for a reason, but it doesn’t make sense to spend 8+ hours each day in a way you despise. Find work that you find agreeable and you’ll remove one of the primary causes of unhappiness.
Are you as happy as you’d like to be? If not, there are certain things you must avoid doing if you want to maximize your happiness. Happiness is a choice you must make each day. Failing to choose happiness is choosing unhappiness. You have to make the effort if you want to experience happiness on a regular basis.
Consider your perspective of the world. Is it making you happier or less happy? How do you spend your time? What do you think about? What changes can you make that will shift your life toward happiness? Spend some time thinking about it. These ideas can change your life.