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5 Habits That Ruin Your Happiness and How to Break Them

Sure you are happy . . . but are you really happy?

Or does your happiness seem more like being stuck in an ordinary life while watching others live full, fun and exciting lives? You need to know you are absolutely worth the fullest life you can imagine - there may just be a few things holding you back from real happiness.

If you're feeling more idle than excited in your current situation, you may begin to form bad habits that keep you from your happiness. It's so easy to get lost in habits like judgment, comparison, attachment and denial.

Sometimes it can be difficult to even realize your happiness has been impacted because you have done such a good job burying it under your habits. Letting go of these self-debilitating habits will help you find your way to true happiness and contentment with yourself, all that you have, and your life.

Here are 5 habits that may be holding you back from true happiness:

Habit: The impulse to judge

Judging others usually comes from a personal feeling of inadequacy. When you have negative thoughts about yourself, it may be easier to shift the focus to someone else and focus on their flaws instead. But this impulse to judge only creates an endless cycle of unhappiness.

How to break this habit:

To find real happiness, we need to learn how to accept and love ourselves. It is debilitating to feel like you are never good enough, and if we continue to judge our abilities, then we will never feel deserving or worthy.

Always remind yourself that you are capable of anything. Recite the mantra "I Am Enough" daily as many times as needed until you know it to be true.

Habit: Seeking outside acceptance

Who doesn't want to be liked right? It's human nature. The problem arises when your need to be liked and to please others interferes with your own needs and your authentic identity.

When you are willing to compromise who you really are for another person, it will take a toll on your own happiness and authenticity. You will be less likely to have genuine, satisfying relationships if you cannot be yourself. Never be afraid of disappointing someone by being the real you.

How to break this habit:

Remember that we are all perfect when we are being our true selves. Let go of the idea that you have to be perfect for people to like you. When you remain your true self, you'll attract others who authentically and genuinely belong in your tribe. Your vibe attracts your tribe!!

Habit: Negative self-talk:

Your impulse to complain and focus on the negative keeps you spinning in a cycle of self-fulfilling prophecy. The more that you stew negativity, the more you will see it in the world around you. When you see the world through a pessimistic lens, you will continue to see the worst, and this will take over your emotions and your life.

A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. - Winston Churchill

How to break this habit:

Positivity and optimism are huge factors that contribute to lasting happiness. Shifting our attitude and perspective from negative and cynical to positive and grateful allows us to recognize all the potentials and things we have to be grateful for.

Habit: Resistance to change

The only thing constant is change, which for some can be terrifying. Fear, uncertainty and denial can hold us back from allowing change to make us better individuals. Not to mention it's just easier to convince yourself that nothing is wrong and growth isn't needed.

There is a difference between being comfortable and being complacent. Feeling good in your own skin, confident in your choices and at peace with your life - that is being comfortable. Feeling stuck, like there is no way out of your situation - that is being complacent.

How to break this habit:

When you find yourself in a pattern of complacency, you need to stop resisting change and trust your instincts to find happiness. Standing still will get you nowhere, so it's better to move slowly than never take a step forward at all.

Habit: Attachment

We often become attached to ideas, possessions, or outcomes. What is it that you want more than anything else in the world? Why? Do you already have it? What would you do if you no longer had this prized possession? Who you are without it?

These attachments to future outcomes can hold us back from experiencing true happiness. We often tell ourselves we will be happy when we conquer that yoga pose, get the promotion, finish our degree, or fall in love. But being attached to these outcomes can harbor feelings of defeat and keep us from finding happiness in the present moment.

How to break this habit:

Consider how much these attachments hold us back. Everything in this life is temporary and we have to find a way to acknowledge all that is good in our life – even when things don’t go our way. Practice finding contentment, peace, and gratitude in the present moment without being attached to controlling it.

There is one factor that ties all of these habits together, and that is acceptance. Judging others, craving to be liked, negativity, fear of change, and our attachments all relate back to a lack of self-acceptance. These habits make us look externally for support, when we should instead be reflecting and looking inward.

The only person who can make you happy is you.

So who are you when nobody is watching? How do you treat yourself when no one is listening? Can you let go of these habits that are holding you back from present happiness? Now is the best time to be happy. Let go.

Originally published

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