7 Small Habits That Will Steal Your Happiness

Written by on August 16, 2019 in Conscious Living, Thrive with 0 Comments
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By Henrik Edberg | The Positivity Blog

“Simply put, you believe that things or people make you unhappy, but this is not accurate. You make yourself unhappy.”
Wayne Dyer

“Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.”
Marcus Aurelius


It is usually pretty easy to become a happier person.

It is also quite easy to rob yourself of your own happiness.

To make yourself more miserable and add a big bowl of suffering to your day. It is a common thing, people do it every day all over the world.

So this week I’d like to combine these two things. I want to share 7 happiness stealing habits that I have had quite a bit of trouble within my own daily life (and I know from the emails I get that many of you do too).

But I’d also like to add what you can do instead if you find yourself being stuck in one of these destructive habits.

1. Going for a daily swim in a sea of negative voices.


This one can be quite subtle.

You just go around in your daily life like you usually do. Hang out with the same people. Listen to the same podcasts or radio shows, watch the same old TV-shows and read the usual blogs, books, and magazines.

But what influence do these things have over your thinking and the limits you set for yourself and what you feel you deserve in life?

What to do instead:

Make a list of the 5 people you hang out with the most and the 5 media sources you spend the most time on during your week.

Then ask yourself this for each of these 10 things/people: is this one dragging me down or lifting me up in life?

Consider spending less time with the ones that drag you down (or cut them out completely) and to spend more of your time with the people and sources that lift you up and make you feel good, motivated, etc.

If you have trouble getting started with this one, then go smaller.

Take a few minutes to think about what one person or source that has the biggest negative impact on you. And how you can start to spend less time with it/him/her this week.

2. Waiting for just the right time.

When you have a dream then it is so easy to get lost in planning how you will accomplish it. To drift away in daydreams about how it will be. But also to get stuck in fears about failing with it.

So you make a common choice and wait – and wait and wait for maybe years – for just the right time to take action and get started with making that dream into something real.

What to do instead:

Sure, not every dream is something you can get started with right now.

But there are many that you can get going with. Dreams that only fear is holding you back from.

To make things easy on yourself. You don’t have to do it in a big and extremely courageous jump.

If that was the case then only the bravest people in the world would do and achieve what they want.

Instead, take a small step forward. Take one small action.

That is it.

Then tomorrow you can take another small step forward.

The important thing is that you get started and get going instead of spending so much time on just waiting and feeling more and more frustrated and unhappy about the state of your dreams.

3. Letting criticism get under your skin time and time again.

When someone criticizes or verbally attacks you then it may just roll off you like the water of the back of a duck.

But if it, on the other hand, gets under your skin pretty much every time and drags you down into hours or days of self-doubt or self-beatings then you have a problem.

What to do instead:

  • Let it out. Talk it over with someone close to you to let the inner tensions out. And to find a healthier perspective on what happened together.
  • Remember: it is not always about you. If your self-esteem is low then it is easy to start thinking that all the negative things people tell you are your fault in some way. That is however often not the case. People will attack or harshly criticize to let their own steam out. Because they have had an awful day, week or simply do not like their lives that much. So don’t think it is all about you. There are two of you in this situation.

4. Focusing on the wrong people and getting lost in envy and powerlessness.

When you spend much time in your day thinking about what other people have and do and you compare your life to theirs then you have a good recipe for unhappiness.

Because you spend the attention and energy in the wrong place.

What to do instead:

Focus on you. Compare yourself to yourself.

See how far you have come. The obstacles you have overcome. How you have improved in small or sometimes bigger ways. Appreciate that and yourself.

Focus not on what others have but on what YOU deep down want in your life.

And ask yourself: what is one small step I can take today to get the ball rolling with this goal/dream?

Keep your focus on yourself and what you can actually do to raise your self-confidence, to start walking on your own path and to spend your limited daily time and energy on something that will actually pay off.

5. Not allowing yourself times of peace and rest during your day.

When you are busy, busy, busy all the time and give yourself no time to recharge then you soon become fatigued.

And so each step and each thing you do starts to feel heavier and you do not get much enjoyment at all out of pushing and pulling yourself through it.

What to do instead:

  • Take a break every hour. Try setting the timer on your cell phone for 45 minutes. During that time-period just focus on doing your most important task at the moment. Then, as the bell rings, set the timer for 15 minutes and step away from your workspace. Have a snack, talk a walk or stretch a bit. By cycling rest and fully focused work like this you’ll get more things done, do a better job and it will be easier to keep the optimism and motivation up.
  • Be 10 minutes early. Transform those traveling times during your day into relaxing breaks instead of passages of time and space that only increase your stress levels and other negative feelings.

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