9 Destructive Habits to Get Rid of If You Want to Be Happy

It’s no secret that we all want happiness. After all, the “pursuit of happiness” is even enshrined in the Declaration of Independence. But happiness is fleeting.

So how can we find it and keep it? According to Sonja Lyubomirsky, a psychology professor at the University of California, it is possible to make yourself happier permanently.

The large portion of your happiness that you control is determined by your habits, attitude, and outlook on life. She says there are numerous bad habits that make us unhappy.

Here are 10 habits that you need to eliminate immediately if you want to be happy:

1) Immunity to awe

It’s hard to be happy when you just shrug your shoulders every time you see something new. But awe is an important emotion to experience. It’s inspiring, full of wonder and reminds us that we’re not the centre of world. One of the best ways to experience awe is to get out in nature and be flabbergasted by some amazing views.

2) Isolating yourself

When we feel unhappy, we tend to isolate ourselves from others. Yet, according to research, this is one of the worst things you can do. Humans are social beings and we all need some level of contact. Whenever you feel unhappy, get out there and make an effort to see people. You’ll notice a difference immediately.

3) Blaming

We need to take responsibility for our own lives to be happy. Blaming is the exact opposite. When you blame other people for your circumstances, you’re not taking control of your life.

4) Criticizing

Judging other people and speaking poorly of them is never a way to be happy. Usually you think it makes you feel better about yourself, but that will only last a short while. All judging does is create a spiral of negativity.

5) Complaining

By constantly talking about how bad things you are, you simply reinforce your negative attitude. Not only that, but no one enjoys being around a complainer.

6) Trying to impress others

Trying to impress other people is a huge source of unhappiness. The people who will be impressed with your fancy job or car aren’t your source of happiness. The people you really need to hang out with who are those who like you and accept you for who you are.

7) Hanging around negative people

These kinds of people wallow in their problems and fail to focus on solutions. They simply want people to join in on their negativity. Avoid getting drawn into these types of conversations. It’s simply a ball of negative energy that feeds on itself.

8) Comparing to others

A lot of us naturally compare ourselves to others. But the problem is that we compare ourselves to the best parts of others and don’t really see their whole life. It’s better to realize that we’re all unique with different and complex life circumstances that it’s literally impossible to compare properly with anyone.

9) Giving in to fear

Fear is nothing more than a lingering emotion that’s fueled by your imagination. Danger is real. Fear is a choice. Happy people are addicted to the euphoric feeling they get from conquering their fears.

Check out Hack Spirit's eBook on How to Use Buddhist Teachings for a Mindful, Peaceful and Happy Life.

Here's what you'll learn:

• How and why to be mindful: There are many simple exercises you can do to bring a mindful attitude to quotidian activities such as eating breakfast, walking the dog, or sitting on the floor to stretch.

• How to meditate: Many beginning meditators have a lot of questions: How should I sit? How long should I meditate? What if it feels awkward or uncomfortable or my foot falls asleep? Am I doing it wrong? In this book, you’ll find simple steps and explanations to answer these questions and demystify meditation. (And no, you’re not doing it wrong).

• How to approach relationships: This section offers tips for interacting with friends and enemies alike and walks you through a loving kindness meditation.

• How to minimize harm: There is a lot of suffering in the world; it’s best for everyone if we try not to add to it. Here you’ll read about the idea of ahimsa (non-harming) and how you might apply it to your actions.

• How to let things go: As Buddhism teaches, excessive attachment (whether we’re clinging to something or actively resisting it) all too often leads to suffering. Practitioners of mindfulness meditation find peace in letting go and accepting things as they are in the moment.

Check it out here.