Philosophers and pop psychologists have tried to define happiness and uncover it hidden secrets. But no one has found the secret as one size doesn't fit all people. There will always be hurdles to overcome and obstructions to face but it's your decision if you will keep your joy. If you constantly feel like you're running into a brick wall, then maybe you're doing something wrong. This is where we need to alter our perceptions and let go of the bad habits that we're carrying with us. Consider giving up these 10 things if you really want to be happy.
1. Let go of judgments.We are the cause of our own unhappiness. What keeps us a prisoner is our own judgments. When we are on the treadmill of life and invariably strive for achievement, we are missing out on the blessings that we already carry. When a judgment comes that you are not this or that, cast aside those judgments and refocus on your attributes.
2. Stop focusing on your flaws.Make a list of all your strengths and keep it handy when you are feeling down. Take note of all those who struggled and who beat the odds in life despite their flaws. This will help you to avoid the trap of focusing on what is wrong and to re-shift your focus on your strengths. If you need help reach out to a friend or a counselor to help build your self-esteem. Proverbs 3:26 explained it this way: "For the LORD will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught." Make the decision today to not settle for a low self-worth or allowing your past to build the future.
3. Get rid of toxic thinking.Take note of your thought life by building healthy thought patterns. This will take some time to develop, but you will catch self-defeating thoughts and trash them for productive thoughts. Barbara Fredrickson is a psychologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and shared: "Paying attention to positive emotions literally expands your world while focusing on negative feelings shrinks it." You have nothing to lose by getting rid of your negative thoughts. In fact, you might have a better outlook on life.
4. A lack of belief in yourself.We will never lose our identity no matter if we have money to pay the bills or have millions of dollars to spare. When we look around to see the world in shambles, we need to be secure enough to remain strong. Confidence is defined as "A feeling of self-assurance arising from one's appreciation of one's own abilities or qualities." You need to know that despite external circumstances that you are still valuable.
5. Refusing to take risks.This means to hold your breath and jump into uncharted waters. There will times that you will fail, but along the way, those wins will boost your stride in life. You have to step out or you will never grow or encounter happiness in a profound way. "We question ourselves and fill ourselves with negative input that paralyzes us, making ourselves feel like we've failed before we've even begun," author Agapi Stassinopoulos wrote.
6. Never forgiving others.Forgiving others will help you unload the emotional baggage that is stealing your happiness. This doesn’t mean forgetting, it means releasing the person out from judgment and enjoying a resentment-free life. A heart at rest is better than a heart fighting of bitterness or spite. Go to the other person and work to remove the conflict. Seek council before asking forgiveness and let it go if they decline the gesture as you did your part. Chronic unforgiveness may suppress the immune system. When this happens, you are at an increased risk for diabetes, stroke and depression.
7. Always living for the future.Change your focus by getting out of your head and staying in the present. When we don't, we allow ourselves to continually get sucked into a negative cycle. Go outside for fresh air, go for a walk and take a breath. This will quiet the mind and spirit. Think of the now, not tomorrow or the past.
8. Never envisioning success.Envision what you want in life and see yourself victorious. The mind is a powerful force and it can take you from feeling negative into feeling more positive. Try something new like learning a new trade or attending a workshop that you always wanted to take. See yourself overcoming and most likely, you will. "Begin to notice when you feel excited or curious about something. That's a clue from your intuition about what to pursue," writer Lynn A. Robinson wrote. Take a moment and just envision your success in your career, in your marriage and in the world.
9. Being ungrateful.Gratitude helps our health and frees us to become happier! Robert Emmons is a leading gratitude researcher and found that being thankful is efficacious. "Reduces a multitude of toxic emotions, from envy and resentment to frustration and regret." If you want more joy, start making a list of all your blessings and start counting them!
10. Never learning how to handle stress.We already know that stress can really hurt the body. We need to learn that we will never be able to control everything in life. "You inappropriately take on issues that are not your battle to fight. The healthy response is to take the time to evaluate what is truly within your control and what is not. If you can control something, do so," author Dr. Crista Gambrell wrote. Most people were never taught good coping skills and that is not your fault. Find ways to deal with stress by journaling, exercising or talking with a therapist.
We all want to be happy. But that is up to you because not everything in life will go your way! Are you ready to dump some old habits? Then get ready to experience true happiness.