The 7 Deadly Happiness Sins: What We Should Avoid

large

I was a bit hesitant on writing a post about the things people do wrong when it comes to happiness – I’d rather write about the mindsets and perspectives we should adopt to live a happier life – but I think sometimes it can be easier to spot what we aren’t quite doing rather than be told what we should be doing! 🙂

As humans, we can sometimes get into habits that we pick up from an early age or we can be easily influenced by what our parents think or thought, what society thinks or just general opinions that people we come across have.

1. Devaluing happiness

There’re so many articles about how to be happy that a lot of it has become quite cliché. We can roll our eyes and dismiss it all. But in doing this we can devalue the potential of creating happiness in our lives. Our ideas of happiness can be misunderstood – happiness comes in the form of the big achievements rather than in the walk to work or the conversation we had with the postman or neighbour. By doing this, we’re never really that happy and we devalue happiness in the process. Never find yourself in a position where you feel happiness is overrated and you should just accept the crap going on in your life. This will just keep you from experiencing the joy of happiness altogether.

2. The need to be superior to others

How many times have you argued with someone and you have the overwhelming urge to be right. You absolutely have to prove that they’re wrong! This comes from a place of superiority. Accept that everyone essentially thinks they’re right. Accept that what you think isn’t ‘better’ than someone else. Everyone has different perspectives based on their life experiences – let it go. Recognising that trying to prove your point is essentially, well, pointless! It only generates feelings of frustration and lessens your happiness.

3. The need to be loved

We all want to be loved but the problem comes when we feel we need to be loved. This indicates a lack of self-love within ourselves because if we truly think we’re awesome there is no need to be loved because you already feel it. If you feel this need to be loved you may want to look at possible low self-worth issues or the idea that you’re not enough unless you’re loved by people. Happiness comes from within and this starts with the love you have for yourself.

4. Being overly controlling

The need to control, again, comes from a lack of self-worth. You feel that things must be a certain way for you to be happy. But true happiness comes when you release control and be happy with whatever the outcome will be. Once you do this you instantly feel more at peace and realise by controlling outside factors you were actually restricting your own ability to be happy.

5. Lack of trust in others

We do live in a untrusting society but this doesn’t mean we have to buy into being untrusting ourselves. The majority of people are honest and sincere at their core. Believing otherwise stops you from experiencing that trust and also stops the other person experiencing being trusted. It’s a wonderful feeling to choose to believe you can rely on other people to do something without worrying. Learn to trust and your happiness will grow.

6. Lack of trust in life

Faith is massive when it comes to happiness and by ‘faith’ I’m not necessarily talking in a religious sense. Trusting the direction of your life and believing whatever happens is for your higher good in the long run will give you that sense of peace that comes with being happy. The problem comes when we spend precious time worrying that our life isn’t how it should be or we must be doing something wrong every time something ‘seemingly’ goes bad. Relax and trust it’s ultimately all good.

7. Ignoring your inner-energy

We are extremely powerful beings. Our thoughts shape our beliefs which, in turn, shape our lives. We have the ability to change how we think. We have the ability to change our beliefs and our mindsets. We have gut feelings that steer us in the right direction if only we wouldn’t ignore them. Dismissing our inner-energy and walking around disconnected with it, is a sure-fire way to know you’re not reaching your full happiness potential. Meditating even for a few minutes a day can help you connect with your own unlimited supply of happiness. Everything you need to be happy is found within you.

 

 

Advertisements

Why Having A Pet Can Bring You Happiness

tumblr_lftbk6StaE1qc4uvwo1_500

If you’re an animal lover then having a pet is a great addition to your life. I’m a self-confessed dog lover. I love everything about them. I love their endless ability to be happy no matter what’s going on and the abundance of love they seem to dish out at every opportunity. I really think we can learn a lot from their unconditional state.

But what are the roles that animals play in our happiness? Pets in general can supply us with an amazing amount of happiness and here are some ways that the furry addition to your life can enhance your overall well-being.

They stop us from being lazy. Especially if you have a dog, getting outside and walking is a great benefit. Studies have shown that walking with a dog makes us walk 28% faster than if we were walking with a person resulting in dog walkers having higher fitness levels.

They make us healthier. Aside from keeping us active, exposure to animals at an early age can lower the risk of developing allergies. Petting animals produces a higher level of antibodies in our systems that fight off allergies later in life.

They help to heal us. Having a well-loved pet can lower stress levels resulting in less cardiovascular problems and lowering blood pressure caused by stress. Even people who have had heart attacks have been known to recover quicker when owning and interacting with a pet.

The ability to unite. Having pets diffuses tension resulting in more unification within squabbling families. People tend to laugh more and be more playful around animals and therefore creates a more harmonious environment.

They provide emotional benefits. It’s no secret that having a companion helps relieve loneliness and elevates our mood. Pet owners have found to be more physically fit, less lonely, suffer less from depression, are more conscientious and less preoccupied than non-pet owners. They also trigger a larger release of oxytocin which we all know is the feel-good hormone and therefore leads to a larger sense of happiness and well-being.

Any dog or cat owner can tell you how happy their pet makes them. There’s something about coming home to an excited wagging tail and the feeling of something wanting to genuinely spend time with you. There are countless benefits to having a furry friend in our life.

 

 

 

Happiness Is All About Our Perspective

Perspective

How often do we just accept our perspectives on things?

Our perspectives come from our beliefs – the beliefs that are formed from the people around us or the experiences we’ve had. But we hang on to these perspectives for dear life believing that how we see things is the correct way.

I think if we want to be happy we need to question the way we choose to see the world around us.

Everything in this world is neutral. Every situation, circumstance, object or person is neutral and it’s only the label we put on these that cause them to mean something to us.

I can’t remember where I read this but there’s a good analogy about a rainy day. A rainy day is not good or bad. A couple on their wedding day will see a rainy day as bad yet a farmer wanting his crops watered will see a rainy day as good. Neither is a right or wrong perspective but you can guarantee which set of people will be experiencing a more stressful day as a result!

The importance of this is that it can be applied to anything in our own life. We can choose to see a positive perspective or a negative one. We are the ones doing the labelling and whatever we choose will also condition and train our mind over time to see these different situations and circumstances in the same way.

Once we label something it has the tendency to stick. If you always associate a rainy day as ‘bad’ then there’s more chance of you always associating a rainy day as a negative in the future.

So how can we use this to increase happiness in our lives? Every time you choose to label something happening to you as ‘negative’, stop and question yourself. Is it really negative? Could it just be the way I’m choosing to look at it? How could I spin it to a positive? Even doing this in a small way will condition your mind to see the good in even dire situations and you will start to see more positivity around you and feel it within yourself.

 

Once we do this we can also start to understand other people in a more empathetic way. We can realise others are seeing things and reacting to things based on their limiting beliefs, their current life circumstance, thoughts they’ve created from other people, or the culture and society they live in. Understanding this means we can detach ourselves from getting upset or offended so easily by others.

So remember, everything is neutral and you are the one giving it meaning. To live a happier life, start to see things in a more positive light and question why you are giving certain negative meanings to things. It can be a good step towards leading that happier life 🙂

Setting Energetic Goals For Happiness

8fba8c3addcf82f2bcaa33f21647af25

We all want to improve ourselves in some way. The start of a new year seems the perfect time to re-evaluate ourselves and think of ways we can make our outlook on life more positive.

It’s easy to set goals such as getting fit or getting involved with different activities and these are great ways to increase our happiness. However, without consistency, achieving happiness in this way can only be short-lived.

That’s why setting goals around improving your energy is a much better way of cultivating the happiness we all want to have.

By energy, I mean the way we feel about things, people and situations. Asking yourself what is the energy is behind what you want to do – are you feeling good about it or are you feeling forced and reluctant?

Getting more in tune with our emotions is hugely important in guiding us on the right path. Many of us choose to ignore our gut feelings or dismiss our intuition about things but it’s exactly this that is routing us to a better direction.

Energetic goals could be anything from changing your mindset, trying to be more understanding about other people’s situations or opinions, being more open with people or more vulnerable with your feelings, or just not giving in to the comparison game. All these things involve your inner energy and emotions and effect how you feel which, in turn affects how you act and make others around you feel.

In fact it’s a massive circle that starts with you. If you change your mindset and outlook to a more positive and open one, it will radically change how you feel about yourself, those close to you, strangers you come into contact with, your reactions to negative situations and rubs off on everything around you.

So instead of trying to lose 10 pounds or vow to make more money, try evaluating your energy and set your goals around how you feel. How do you want to feel today, this week, this month or by this time next year? By doing this other areas of your life will magically transform for the better and increase your ability to see and feel happiness all around you 🙂

Why Feeling Sorry For Yourself Is So Destructive For Your Happiness

c32cb0553e99f4c6250798d5dcc2cb21

Life is full of ups and downs and the way in which we react to them are very different depending on our mindsets. But something we can all be guilty of is feeling sorry for ourselves.

While it’s normal, natural and healthy to feel our negative emotions to a situation, when it becomes too persistent and prolonged – even a habit – then it can have a detrimental effect on our happiness and well-being.

Do any of these describe you?

  • You tend to complain about life not being fair
  • You feel like you always have bad luck in life
  • You often think and feel the world or other people are out to get you
  • You think people who have great lives are the ‘lucky ones’
  • You struggle to find anything to be truly grateful for

As human beings, we are always drawn to the easier route and in this case it’s easier to feel sorry for ourselves than to pick ourselves up and face our problems. We can let our overwhelming feelings of pity get in the way of moving forward, creating a better mindset and better perspectives.

The problem with this is, we never really allow ourselves to reach our true potential of happiness.

It can blind you to the good that is right there in front of your face. You can push people away with constant ‘glass half empty’ chatter because, sometimes without knowing it, negativity can spread like wildfire to others around you.

None of us are perfect and we all throw ourselves a pity party every once in a while but to be more consistent in our personal discovery of happiness it’s really important to make a conscious effort to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and move forward.

More often than not, negative emotions will breed more and more creating an everlasting circle and it’ll become a destructive habit. We believe it takes too much effort to start changing our thoughts, beliefs and perspectives  – that they’re too ingrained in us and something we have no control over – but it’s not true and to change our thoughts is never as hard as you think it is.

Next time you notice a prolonged period of time where you feel nothing ever goes right for you, just stop and take note of it. Make a conscious choice to see the opposite perspective. The people out there who are ‘lucky’ are no different to you and me other than the way they choose to see the world.

Make your happiness a choice…it’s not always something that just magically appears but does needs cultivating and consistent habits in order to achieve it 🙂

We Can’t Fully Be Happy Unless We Are Truly Our Authentic Selves

110d9c11724689d37b1b578317cde624

It’s probably become a bit of a cliché to say that you should be yourself no matter what. But authenticity is a major factor in achieving a more peaceful, happy way of life.

We all have our little insecurities and hang ups whether it’s the way we look, certain parts of our personalities, how we sound or the way we walk. We often harbour beliefs about ourselves that can stop us showing others how we really are but by doing this and not embracing ourselves warts and all, we are shutting ourselves off from a lot of happiness potential.

Being yourself attracts more authentic people. When we are our true selves we are putting ourselves out there – we are being vulnerable and doing it anyway. We attract what we give out so by being as authentic as we can will attract others who are being authentic.

We will attract the right kind of people because they are seeing who we really are. By not fully embracing ourselves we can’t be fully embraced by others and the relationships and friendships that will bring us the happiness we need.

It will also deter the people who won’t fit into our lives and this isn’t a bad thing. Never worry that by being yourself others will see you and all the faults that you see in yourself – these are only a figment of our paranoid imaginations anyway!

Loving yourself is the best thing you can do. To be your authentic self you need to learn how to love yourself. Some people may need more work on this than others depending on the false beliefs and perspectives they have of themselves but you have no idea how many of the negative problems that occur in your life can be resolved by just seeing how amazing you are.

You don’t have to be successful, rich, give all your money to charity and help everyone but yourself until you’re stretched and exhausted, to be an amazing person. You are unique and wonderful just for the sheer fact you are alive and the sooner you realise this the better 😉

Learning not to be a people pleaser. How many times do we say yes to people out of politeness or not wanting to let them down? While this is good sometimes, you are putting yourself at risk of lowering your authenticity every time. You are going against what you truly want to do or say which only keeps up the pretence and illusion and may even cause you stress in the process.

Learn to say no and love and respect yourself more to not chase after people in order to please them. That doesn’t mean being rude and offhand – it’s about respecting your boundaries and asking others to respect them too.

Make peace with how your life is in the present moment. We’re all guilty of chasing after the happiness that will come when something happens and a lot of the time that something either never comes or doesn’t bring us the happiness we craved.

To be authentic means to live in the present moment; to appreciate right now and not be constantly living in the past or the future. We are not the person we were in the past nor are we the person we will be in the future. Embrace how you are right this second, go with the flow of how you’re changing and adapting to life’s experiences.

Don’t be who other people want you to be. Society has managed to inflict rules upon us that cause us to act, speak and often be people we feel others think we should be. By bowing down to a way of life that doesn’t truly match our inner selves and passions, we are shutting off our full potential.

Life is too short to live according to how others feel we should. Most of the time the beliefs that others have are from their own limited idea of the world and it’s these limitations that have the potential to stop you from showing yourself as you really are and reigning in your happiness in the process.

Don’t compare yourself to others. As I’ve mentioned in a previous blog post, comparisons are only detrimental to you. You can’t compare yourself to someone else – a completely different person with different perspectives, beliefs, thoughts and limitations. Doing this damages your ability to embrace who you are in the present moment and making peace with your own unique journey in life.

So remember, for your happiness to truly flourish you must make yourself your number one priority. This isn’t about being selfish, it’s about going to the source and creating the means to living a life you want. Loving yourself and being authentic can only affect others around you in a happy and positive way so it’s the least selfish thing you can do 🙂

Do You Focus Too Much On Lack?

chibird2

I think we can all be guilty of this. When life isn’t quite going our way we focus on just that – that life is not going our way! What about what is going our way?

It’s become a bit of a cliché when it comes to happiness – be grateful and appreciate what you have in life – it goes over our head because we’ve heard it a million times and we stop applying it to our own lives.

But there’s great power in how you focus. There are times in life when everything is moving along perfectly and there are times when, well, it just isn’t. However, the way in which you step back and look at what is going on – the bigger picture – really can be the difference between feeling positive and just feeling crappy.

If your life is taking a turn or you are struggling to see how life is good try to steer away from focusing on the lack.

Our minds are naturally drawn to focus on lack and what we don’t currently have in our lives that we would like to have. If we want the perfect job but feel we don’t have it, we may focus on our current job and what’s wrong with it like the annoying boss and the boring work, but instead try and focus on what’s good about it. Maybe your commute is short and trouble-free, you have fun colleagues, the pay is enough to deal with your bills. The more you focus on the good things about a situation that’s less than ideal, the more you can cope with it.

Remember every situation is temporary and we’re continually moving forward. When we focus on the better things, our mind fights us and thinks we’re trying to accept a situation we hate and thinking about the negative aspects is somehow helping us, that focusing on what’s not there but wish was is somehow going to help us change the situation – but it’s not!

Focusing on the abundance rather than the lack isn’t about giving in. It isn’t about  just accepting the situation and desperately trying to be happy about it. It’s not about accepting it’ll never change; it’s about changing your inner thoughts which, in turn, will gradually change your level of happiness. It’s when you’re in this better state of happiness that you’ll be in a better state for moving forward and inspired action will present itself to you – that perfect job will suddenly appear in the strangest of ways!

So next time you find yourself focusing on something you don’t have like a relationship, perfect job, perfect house or enough money, try to change your thinking to that of abundance – the love of your friends and family, a job that pays the bills for now, a roof over your head (maybe a small one but a roof all the same!) and the money to buy you what you need.

Remember focusing on abundance is about putting that monkey mind at ease and allowing it to enter a more positive state that will go towards opening up paths to new opportunities that frustration, apathy and depression from focusing on lack can block.

So perhaps try noticing how much you focus on lack and change your perspective to that of abundance. Make it a conscious, consistent habit and start seeing the positive changes to your happiness 🙂