Everyone wants and deserves to be happy, but not everyone understands what happiness is. Happiness lies in the heart and it always comes from the inside, not the outside. Unfortunately, many people believe money brings happiness and they are trying to earn more money in order to be happy. This actually is one of the biggest mistakes unhappy people make. I know it’s hard to believe but a lot of wealthy people are unhappy, because happy people have good habits that improve their lives and their aim is not to make a lot of money, their aim is to live a happy and fulfilled life.
Apart from money, unhappy people have a few other bad habits that they need to break to live a happy life. You might say that there are times when it’s impossible to smile and enjoy life. Yes, I agree. Everyone experiences unhappy times every now and then, but a large part of unhappiness comes from our own behavior, thinking and habits. Just like Elbert Hubbard once said, “Happiness is a habit – cultivate it.” Stop making any excuses on why things are not working out for you and why you are unhappy – you are the only person who is in charge of your own happiness. Read on to discover 8 worst habits of unhappy people and a few effective tips on how to break them.
1. Dwelling on the past and dreaming about the future too much
Dwelling on the past and reliving all your failures, painful memories and conflicts can hold you back from moving on with life. Dreaming too much about the future is never a good thing too. We often imagine how things could go wrong in our relationships, at work or with our health and it builds into appalling scenarios playing over and over in the head. This is an unhealthy habit that we should break no matter how hard it is. Dwelling on the past and dreaming about the future can lead to missing out on plenty of amazing experiences. Start living in the present if you want to be happy.
How to break this bad habit:
We all think about the future or the past on occasion, and it’s not a bad habit unless you dwell on it too much. It’s important to learn from your past and plan for tomorrow or next year, but make sure you spend more of your time in the present. Focus on your current activity and think of the problems you have now. Stop worrying about tomorrow – it’s going to happen whether you worry about it or not. Forgive all past mistakes, failures and hurts, they won’t help you in the future. Next time you dwell on your past or dream about the future, sit still, take a few deep breaths, and take in what is all around you with all your senses for a while. I also like to take a short walk and enjoy nature. It reminds me that I live in the present moment. Don’t let yourself dwell on the unhappy past, live your life now and meet any challenge with smile.
2. Overcomplicating things
Overcomplicating life is becoming a habit these days. But I think life is too complicated to make it more complicated. While life can create unhappiness, it’s often created by us. Stop overcomplicating things and try to develop new habits that will help to make your life simpler. Life isn’t easy, but it doesn’t have to be as challenging as most of us make it.
How to break this bad habit:
Avoid multitasking and do one thing at a time during your day. Make a small to-do list with 3-4 important things and write down your most important goals on a whiteboard that you’ll see daily. This will help you to accomplish the most important tasks on time and reach your goals faster. Another thing to do to break the habit of overcomplicating life is to get rid of the things you don’t need anymore – give them away or throw them away. Having too much stuff means throwing away your precious time and it can prevent you from doing more useful things.
People who have a habit of overcomplicating life have many problems in the relationships. That’s because they spend too much time thinking about the past or the future and creating new problems. The best way to reduce misunderstandings and conflicts in any relationship is to communicate and ask questions. Don’t create problems that don’t even exist and don’t waste your time and energy being upset about them.
If you have a super busy schedule and it seems impossible to simplify your life, I’ve got some recommendations for you. First of all, try to spend less energy and time on your email in-box – check it once a day and write shorter emails. Make a short to-do list every day and make sure you set realistic goals. It’s easy to get stressed out when you have a busy schedule and plenty of things to do. Take a few short breaks throughout the day and make sure you eat healthy. Also, make time to exercise (I recommend you to work out in the morning) since it helps reduce and manage stress levels. It might be a bit overwhelming at first, but good time management is a sure way to simplify life.
3. Striving for perfection
Happiness has nothing to do with making everything perfect. There’s nothing perfect in the world so striving for perfection is just a waste of time and energy. I learned this lesson a few years ago. I was trying to make everything perfect but no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t be perfect all the time. I realized I had to break this habit when I started to feel miserable and completely unhappy. Striving for perfection is harming your mind and it usually leads to low self-esteem, constant self-criticism and feeling that you’re not good enough, even if you have great results. If you are a chronic perfectionist you should realize it and break this habit because it may be the main reason why you are unhappy. Here are a few effective ways to overcome perfectionism.
4. Focusing on the negative things in life
Seeing only the negative side of every situation and dwelling on it is a sure way to be unhappy in life. There’s always a positive side of every situation, even the worst one, and it’s always possible to turn a negative situation into a positive one. Both happy and unhappy people have problems. The difference is the way they solve those problems.
How to break this bad habit:
I can tell you from my experience that it’s hard to break this habit and you will need a lot of patience. If you are a chronic perfectionist, you should break this habit first. Once you kick that habit, start breaking the habit of focusing on the negative things in life. Learn to see both the negative and the positive sides of any situation you are in and accept things as they are. If you can change something, do it. If you can’t, let go mentally and emotionally of what is negative and don’t dwell on it. Whining about the negative detail is just a waste of time. Every time I’m in a difficult situation, I always think of the ways to turn a negative into a positive because only then I can think clearly how to solve the problem.
5. Being dragged down by negative voices
It actually goes hand in hand with focusing on the negative things in life, so if you have this habit, you need to break it today. Who you socialize with, what you watch, read and listen to have a huge impact on how you think and feel. You will never be happy if you live in a sea of negative voices, which tell you that life will always be filled with limits and it will be unsafe and unhappy. In order to break this bad habit, you need to replace those negative voices with positive ones. Avoid negative people and surround yourself with positive people who make you smile and happy. Don’t start your day with watching the morning news or reading the paper. Instead, listen to the inspiring music or read some inspiring books.
6. Comparing yourself to others
Comparing yourself to others is one of the worst habits that most people have these days. We often compare jobs, houses, cars, relationships, money, clothes and many other things. We get upset about someone else’s success and many of us end up living someone else’s life. Comparing what you have in life to what other people have is a sure way to make yourself unhappy. Have you ever tried to compare yourself to yourself? Sounds strange, right? But it’s actually the key to success and a happy life. See what you’ve achieved, how much you’ve grown, and what you’ve made to reach your goals. You can even have a special journal where you write down your goals and your progress in reaching them. This way, you won’t have time to think of other people and their success. You will learn to love and appreciate yourself and what you have in life. Check out the article How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Other People that will help you to overcome the habit of comparing yourself to others and will help you live a happier life.
7. Limiting life
If you hold yourself back and you don’t live your life to the fullest because you’re afraid what others may say or think if you do something new or different, you need to break a habit of limiting your life. There’s nothing wrong with trying new things and everyone is unique in their own way. Unhappy people think that they know how others see them and what think about them. Stop caring about what other people think and start living your own life and doing things you like. Never take criticism as a personal attack and let go of negativity. In fact, other people don’t care about what you say and do. They have their own problems and fears and they worry about their own lives. Instead of thinking about your flaws and fearing what everyone thinks of you, focus on the people around you. Be kind and polite. Help people in need and it will help you boost your self-esteem and improve yourself.
8. Focusing too much on money
While it’s okay to focus on making money, saving and buying a lot of expensive things, if you do it all the time, it can make you miserable. Unfortunately, most of us have this bad habit without realizing it. We believe money can do everything and we stop being thankful for what we have in life. Both rich people and poor people can be happy and unhappy. I know a couple of rich people who have everything they want, but they don’t have one of the most important things in life – happiness. I also have a few friends who don’t make a lot of money, but they are always positive and they really enjoy their happy life. Zig Ziglar once said, “Money won’t make you happy, but everybody wants to find out for themselves.” It’s just an illusion that money will bring you happiness. Stop focusing too much on money. Embrace all your daily blessings and be thankful for everything you have in life.
It’s not difficult to be happy, you just need to want it. Try to break these worst habits no matter how hard it will be. But make sure you really overcome your bad habits, because sometimes people don’t break their bad habits, they simply replace them with the new ones. Cultivate your happiness and live your life to the fullest and without regrets. “Remember that happiness is a way of travel, not a destination.” – Roy Goodman. Do you have any bad habits of unhappy people?