“Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions.” – Dalai Lama XIV
I think it is fair to say that, ultimately, all any of use really want from our lives is one basic thing; to be happy. It is easy to be fooled into believing that happiness will eventually come to you when you pass those big life milestones; earning a certain amount of money, achieving career goals, finally moving into your dream home, having children… there are many more examples, I’m sure.
The thing about these things is this; yes, they will bring some amount of happiness, but true happiness, from head to toe, is gleaned from an every-day attentiveness to the little things. It is near impossible to go from zero happiness to 100% contented by the grace of a single, often material achievement. Happiness comes from the small choices we make, the positivity of our outlook and the habits we keep.
There are a few habits that many of us slide into quite easily that can sneakily dampen our potential for happiness. Here are a few you might want to consider avoiding…
1. Backed Up ‘To Do’ List
‘Later’ and ‘tomorrow’ are words that you may find hinder your happiness when used too often. Little chores and jobs can build up rapidly if you have a tendency to put them off. Clutter is never really a useful thing… this goes for physical clutter, and mental clutter. Undone chores and jobs will sit in the back of your mind niggling at you and taking up space. Often, getting over the initial lack of motivation to get something done is all you need to swiftly tick it off your list. A mind without the burden of things not yet done, is a much freer and contented one.
This follows on very nicely from our last point. Procrastination… doing anything other than the thing you should be doing not only leaves that thing not done, but I can leave you feeling very frustrated. There is nothing more annoying than suddenly having realised that you have wasted the day scrolling through nonsense on social media as a way of avoiding engaging in something else. Desires, goals and dreams are often scary, but ultimately the leap of faith reaps much more gratifying rewards than avoidance.
3. Binge Watching
T.V is amazing these days… some say it is going through a golden age. However, the way in which we view T.V these days can render whole weekends, even weeks, lost to the world of visual media. This is not a terrible thing in moderation… however, doing this habitually can mean that we are losing our self in other realities more often than confronting our own. Mediate your viewing time and engage with your life… not always as interesting perhaps, but certainly a great deal better for our mental health and for the progression of our personal and professional lives.
The internet is full of windows into the lives of others. These windows are snapshots, highlights, greatest hits, without the messiness and complications that come with every human life. We forget this fact sometimes. We forget, compare our own lives to these and wind up feeling ‘less than’. Comparison is the natural enemy of self-esteem, and it is one of the biggest threats to our collective mental health. Understand and remember what these windows of life show, and what they don’t. And, most importantly; take time to appreciate your own snapshots and highlights.
Projecting refers to the habit of worrying about situations that either have not happened yet, or may never happen. This clutters the mind with worry that really needn’t be there. Unless there is something you can do right now to directly affect the outcome of said situation, then worry certainly won’t help. Know that the situation may never come to pass, and that, if it does, you will be much better equipped to deal with it if you are able to approach it with a calm, open and pragmatic mind.
By Chris Thomson
These are just a few things to employ in your life in your quest for contentedness. However, there are many more things that you can add to boost happiness even further. Perhaps this little piece from our archive will be of some help… Mindful Living: How to Practice the Law of Attraction
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