A lot of people think that they don't deserve happiness; that it wasn't meant for them. But what if I told you that by NOT doing certain things, happiness could be yours? It's true! Happiness is available to you. You just have to reach out and grab it. But first you have to believe it's possible. Don't let old messages, or even new ones for that matter, convince you otherwise.
There are things you can do in your life that will bring you happiness. And things you shouldn't do in your life that will bring you happiness. And that's what I'm going to talk about here in this article. There are six things that you need to STOP doing in order to generate happiness and joy in your life. It's going to take some work, but isn't being happy worth it? I think so!
Let's take a look at some of the things you might be currently doing that are stealing joy from your life.
1) Pleasing Others
You might think that by constantly pleasing others you'll earn more respect; that people will like you more. That is usually not the case. In fact, the reverse is typically true. For every person that you please, there'll be another one that you don't. And another one who doesn't care about you either way.
If you are a kind person and like doing things for others, that's great. What I'm talking about here is pleasing others at your own expense. You putting yourself second, third, in last place, just to make someone else happy, or because you think they'll like you more. It truly depends on your inner motivation.
If you respect yourself, value your time, and set boundaries, that's when people will start appreciating and admiring who you are.
Trust that self-care and boundary-setting will allow others to see how you treat yourself. In turn, they will treat you the same way.
2) Seeking External Validation
If your happiness depends on what you receive from others, then you're in potential psychological harm's way. Why? Because as long as you're receiving kudos, compliments, and encouragement, you feel happy, but what happens if that stops? What happens if you were complimented on your appearance on Tuesday, but on Wednesday no one said a word? How will you feel?
External validation is short-lived. Validation has to come from within; that way you'll always have an endless supply. You can pull from it anytime. It's nice to receive compliments and attaboys from others, but don't count on them for your happiness. The only one you can count on for that is you!
3) Fearing Change
This is very common. People feel safe in their comfort zone and fear anything that might disturb that which they love so dearly. And even if they don't love it that much, it's familiar so they feel comfortable. Change is going to happen whether you like it or not. It's inevitable. The best thing you can do is to go with the flow. There will be some changes you don't like, others you'll embrace with joy. Either way, it is change, and both good and bad have to be taken in. The changes will be like guides for you. They will steer you into uncharted territory. But remember, at one point, the road you're on right now was uncharted as well. So take it in. Make whatever adjustments are necessary to find joy within whatever change comes your way.
4) Living in the Past
Are you living in the past? Do you talk about it often, recalling how great things used to be? Or maybe you're not recalling some victory, but instead you're recalling some misfortune you experienced. Either way, both the victory and the misfortune are over. You cannot go back and become the head quarterback, or the model you used to be when you were 22. And whatever misfortune you had has come and gone, only the effects remain. Living in the past is losing the present moment--the only moment that exists. Soon the present will become the past, and you'll be in another moment.
Looking back only steals from the NOW. You cannot exist anywhere else. Recalling a memory is not necessarily a bad thing. It's when that's your primary focus that it becomes a problem; when you allow the past to keep you from possible opportunities. Stop living in your head; that's where the past is. Focus on where you're standing right now. What are you going to do with that precious moment? Learn to live where you are, when you're in it.
5) Putting Yourself Down
Are you one of those people who always has an unkind thing to say? About yourself? To yourself? You're not alone. Self-inflicted putdowns are common. We all have days when we don't feel our best. Still, that is not a reason to say, "I'm a bum! So lazy!" Or, "Man, I look terrible today; I might as well wear a mask when I go out." Or, "I'm never going to amount to much. I'm the poster boy for failure." These and more, are things that we say to ourselves. We disrespect who we are all the time, not only with put downs, but by what we do to our bodies, by the bad junk we eat, by the lack of self care.
It is in your power to treat yourself with the love and respect you deserve. Starting today, when you first get up in the moment, SAY something kind to yourself, then take it a step further and DO something kind for yourself. You do deserve it, whether you believe it or not. And once you start believing it, everyone else will too!
Do you live in your head? Plagued with an ongoing onslaught of thoughts. Do you try to solve your life situations with more thoughts instead of action? Then perhaps you're overthinking. Thoughts are a part of our lives, for sure. But don't give them so much credit. Thinking too much is what usually gets you into trouble. "Hmmm...why didn't they say hi? How rude. Maybe they just don't like me. I'll show them. Next time I won't even look at them as they walk by." Hey, how about, maybe they just didn't see you?
Overthinking also keeps you from doing what you need to do to start living your dream. By overthinking, you are lulled into thinking that you're doing something, when in fact, you're doing nothing, just living in your head. You're not actually taking steps to move forward in your life.
Think of overthinking as a hamster on a wheel. Really, how far do they actually get? Get off the wheel, and start producing goodness in your life, not just thinking about it.
Happiness is yours for the taking. So take it! Stop doing the things that are keeping you stuck in a morass of mental traffic jams, and find the joy you deserve!