Get (and Keep) Your Happy!
In This Episode
Society tells you: ‘Buy this!’ or ‘Do that!’ Then you’ll be happy. You need a bigger house, a new car. A new man. Newer, bigger, better. And our appetite is never satisfied, as we are conditioned to want More. More. More.
But more isn’t always better. Getting back to YOU and what makes you happy so you can live a life of fulfillment and satisfaction means that you have to eliminate things and people in your life who are unnecessary and serve no good purpose.
In this episode of Kickin' it with Daree, I want to share my take on an article that lists 15 things that happy people avoid at all costs. The author says something I completely agree with: It’s not what happy people do that makes them so different, but what they choose not to do that allows happiness to circulate into their life.
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Key Points & What You Can Do
1. Toxic People
You’ve probably heard of The Rule of 5, which says that the five people you spend the most time around have the biggest impact on who you are as a person. Spending time around negative people who shoot down your dreams takes a lot of energy and wears out your level of happiness.
It takes courage to distance yourself from these people, but devoting your precious time to people who make you miserable isn’t worth missing out on happiness. I've got an entire series on how to identify, deal with, and eliminate toxic people, which is linked in the show notes for this episode.
2. Rushing/Being late
I try to head this off by leaving with enough time to allow for traffic incidents, setting out my clothes or other materials that I will need to grab with me in the morning before I leave,etc. but if I'm late leaving the house, whether it's my fault, or because I'm waiting for someone else in the house to get ready, it starts my day off wrong. When I arrive somewhere late, it robs me of my peace because I am stressed and irritable about it.
3. Unhealthy Addictions
When we say addictions, you may think of smoking, drinking or drugs, but other addictive habits can affect your happiness too. You could be addicted to a PERSON, a TV show, social media, ice cream, soda or coffee. None of these is inherently wrong, but done in excess is not healthy and may signal a deeper emotional issue.
Can you go 2 days without caffeine, watching TV or using social media? Try it on the weekend or when you don’t have to work. It might be harder than it sounds! Consider taking a “fasts” from certain habits in your life. So you can how much free time you have without TV or how you don’t actually need coffee or whatever your crutch is to start your day.
4. Media Overload
Social media, internet and email fall into this category. I suggest setting an audible time limit on this, with an exact next step afterward. For example, decide in advance what you will do after spending 30 minutes on Facebook-- spending time with your family, making an important phone call, or going to sleep! Using your device in bed does not help your quality of sleep.
5. Suppressing Emotions
The biggest misconception about happy people is that they are happy ALL the time and never experience any emotion other than pure joy.
The truth about happy people is they experience all emotions just like every other human, the difference is they let their emotions show and trust that, by expressing that feeling, it will pass.
Emotions come from our natural instincts, so when you try to hide an emotion like sadness, it doesn’t go away. Sadness fights back and comes out even stronger. Expressing yourself releases the emotion and allows happiness levels to come back into focus.
6. Four-Wall Syndrome
Staying inside all day every day, traps you from the freedom of the outside world. It’s no coincidence that a majority of happy people love to explore outdoors, whether it’s hiking, road trips or as simple as family barbecues.
I'm not a big nature or outdoors person, but I find that when I step out into the sunshine for a walk or go for a run, it releases negative emotions and even if I'm upset when I leave the house, I return feeling better.
The longer you keep yourself cooped inside all day the harder it is to get the motivation to step outside. Surrounding yourself by walls in the physical world builds up emotional walls by changing the way you interact with people. So at least every other day, go out and get some fresh air!
This is a horrible epidemic going on among people these days--especially young people. A sense of hard work and doing unto others as you would have done to you, seems to be a lost teaching as kids get away from the wisdom of our elders. Letting go of self-entitlement gives you the ability to appreciate all the amazing things we already have in your life.
No one owes us anything. We are blessed to be alive. So many people will never get to experience this day that you are in. Make a gratitude journal or get in the habit of giving thanks every day! It will put things in perspective.
8. Too Many Expectations
When people always set their expectation through the roof it becomes too easy for them to be disappointed.
You can’t expect everyone to want to do things exactly the same way as you, some people just view the world differently. Just the same, you can’t always expect for things to go your way. And you can't expect someone else to make you happy. You are responsible for your own happiness.
Letting go of expectations doesn’t mean expecting things to be terrible, it means allowing things to be what they are and become what they need to be.
9. Staying At A Job You Hate
It’s hard to be happy when you spend 40+ hours a week at a job you can’t stand. It’s even harder to be happy when you can’t afford to leave. If you hate your job, you can start taking action towards changing jobs or careers, by putting saving money for change and creating an exit plan. It’s okay to hate your job right now, it’s not okay to hate your job 5 years from now and still be at the same place, blaming everyone else for it.
Sometimes complaining is totally acceptable and healthy. It can be good to let out all of that stress and get some air out of your chest. But, indulging in complaint driven attitudes is contagious and spending too much time around that toxicity can negatively affect your outlooks on life. It has nothing to do with moving forward and making changes that will improve your situation.
11. Excessive Clutter
Too much clutter bogs down your life making it difficult to have peace of mind. The physical clutter around you has an emotional effect as well.
If you ever think of moving and have to decide against it because you have too much stuff, you’re a victim of clutter.
Material possessions should only be purchased if they enhance our life, not hold us back. It shouldn’t be something that stops us from doing something we want to do. If you are buying things because you are emotional, or bored, or just because you have a card with available credit, you need to re-evaluate your priorities. Clutter and debt never make anyone smile, they are both extremely hard to dig out of--I know this from experience.
Take action by throwing out the junk you don’t need so you can really appreciate the things that make your life better. Then set a rule that you will not bring anything else in your home unless you toss or give something away.
12. Putting Others Down
The main reason we put other people down is to feel better about ourselves. In other words, we don’t like who we are as an individual, so we need to put someone else down so we don’t look bad. Putting someone else down provides a short term boost, that’s why we do it. But in the long term, you’re still the same person as before but now a jerk on top of it. And stepping back to media for a second--reality shows and competition shows don't help this, because they encourage us to judge others. When you have no inclination to put someone else down, or discourage them from their dreams, that’s a good signal that you are a happy person.
One of the worst habits you can have is holding on to a grudge long after the altercation is over. A grudge forces you to plant one foot in the past and never fully allows you to move forward from the situation.
When you hold a grudge it changes a part of who you are. You’re staying angry with someone who already made their mistake and there’s nothing they can do to change what they did. Unforgiveness is like drinking poison hoping that the other person will die. Holding onto a grudge only hurts yourself, and the quicker you can forgive and let go the faster you can get back to enjoying the rest of your life.
14. Worrying About The Future
When we focus all our attention on the future we end up forgetting where we are in the moment and never make any progress. It’s good to think about the future, to develop an instinct to act and prepare yourself to live a life you want. But you can’t control everything that’s going to happen. You can manipulate certain parts of the future, but the majority is out of your hands.
There’s no positive impact from worrying about the future. All you can do is enjoy the ride and trust that GOD will take care of you.
15. Taking Life Too Seriously
In the end we live and then we die, and if you did things right, you had a lot of fun in-between.
We make things more complicated than they need to be. We make up all these rules and start wars over misunderstood conversations between people in funny suits.
When you let go of all seriousness the pressure is off. You’re allowed to experience your life first hand and create it to become the amazing life you dreamed of--even with the craziness here and there that may ensue.
Making Room For Happiness In Your Life Once And For All
By avoiding negative environments, bad habits, and poor lifestyles, happy people create space in their lives that makes room for happiness.
Again, I want to reiterate that the responsibility for your happiness lies with you and your choices--no one else. It's a mistake to depend on a friend, significant other, or anyone else for your happiness. C.S. Lewis said, "Don't let your happiness depend on something you may lose."
So now that we have concluded the list of 15 things happy people avoid, do any of them resonate with you? If you have been enlightened on some things may be getting in the way of getting your happiness, and how to eliminate them for good, please share them with me.
Links and Resources
This podcast was inspired and remixed from George Mortimer blog at http://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/15-things-happy-people-avoid-costs/
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