If you maintain these 6 habits, happiness will always elude you

You want to find happiness in life (who doesn’t?) But it’s much easier said than done. 

In fact, sometimes it may seem like happiness is always slipping just out of your reach.

And there is a really good reason for that — there are certain habits that will make happiness always elude you.

I should know, because I used to unknowingly do them all myself! And you know what? When I stopped, I finally started living my happiest life that I so deeply wanted. 

So I want to give you the shortcut, so you can save months or years of searching and find true happiness. 

All you need to do is cut these 6 habits out of your life. 

1) Being negative towards yourself

This habit is one of the hardest to catch, because it often runs in the background of our minds without us even noticing. 

Here are some good questions to ask yourself: What are your first thoughts if you see yourself in a picture, video, or hear a recording of yourself? Do you internally cringe?

And, what is your reaction when someone praises you? Do you accept the compliment with pleasure, or do you assume they’re just being polite and you don’t really deserve it? 

I’m ashamed to say I was my own biggest bully up until pretty recently. I allowed a continuous soundtrack of criticism to play in my mind. 

If you catch yourself with this habit too, you absolutely need to stop. First of all, because happiness will elude you until you do — but also, it’s not helpful in any way!

You would never talk that way to a friend or family member you love, so why are you doing it to yourself? 

Start overriding that soundtrack with one of compassion, love, and kindness, and you’ll see how much better your life immediately feels. 

2) Collecting material possessions

Be honest now: how many items do you own?

I recently watched Marie Kondo’s series, where she helps hopeless pack-rats declutter and organize their homes. 

Two things really struck me: one, how many things some people can amass. And two, how blind they are to this! 

Whatever your answer to my question was, I can almost guarantee you that the real answer is at least double. 

If you don’t believe me, just try this test: take every piece of clothing you own and dump it all into one big pile. You’ll be amazed at how big it will get.

But it’s not just clothes we’re talking about here: it’s any kind of possession. Electronic gadgets, accessories, pieces of furniture, souvenirs and trinkets, etc. The whole shebang. 

Now, I’m not here to judge anyone — my own house was embarrassingly full, and I felt pretty attached to a lot of my stuff. But think about this: what did you spend on those items?

That $40 statue that sits on your shelf could be a drinks night with your friends instead. That $100 sweater could be a relaxing session at the spa. 

Objects will weigh us down and eventually break down — but the memories you can make are infinite, and your happiness from them lasts forever.

3) Neglecting your relationships

I’ve already hinted at this habit above. Happiness will always elude you until you start prioritizing deep relationships.

A comprehensive study showed that relationships were one of the top keys to happiness, much more important than money or fame. 

Yet, many people put relationships last. They work overtime to gain recognition rather than coming home to their family. They scroll on their phones rather than being truly present with those around them. 

Now, don’t get me wrong here. This isn’t about always saying yes to what others want, ignoring your own needs and boundaries.

Of course, you should always stay true to yourself, and don’t just follow the herd or go along with what your friends do. 

However, you will have lots of occasions where you have 2 options that could both align with your values and goals. 

And if that choice is between spending on a physical object or a person, or investing time in a superficial activity or a relationship, you know what will bring you the most happiness. 

4) Dwelling on the past

Here’s a habit it’s quite natural to maintain, as the past literally makes up a large part of who we are.

Our beliefs, how we make decisions, and our goals in life are the sum of all the experiences we’ve had up until this point. So it’s quite natural to think about the past.

However, if you find yourself ruminating on things that negatively affected you, or afraid to move forward because of past traumas, that’s a very different story.

In fact, it’s a sign that you have some processing to do. It won’t be easy — my own traumas were quite painful to go through, and took many months of working with a therapist. 

But let me tell you, it is SO worth it. I didn’t even realize how heavily some past events were still affecting me until I was able to finally forgive myself and others involved and gain a new perspective.

You’ll feel so much lighter, and that pain you’re holding on to will make way for happiness instead. Doesn’t that sound like a great trade-off?

5) Seeking external validation and approval

Time for another tough question: how much do you care about what others think?

If you think you don’t, you should definitely still read what comes next. Because experience has taught me that we’re much better at claiming we don’t care than actually not caring. 

I saw this in a friend of mine, and it made me very sad. She’s very passionate about latin dancing, but there’s a super small community where she lives and there are not enough leaders (men) she can dance with. 

So, she decided to learn the man’s steps and become a leader herself. This is not that uncommon on the international scene, but her community is rather traditional and conservative.

People started gossiping about her, and it made her feel uncomfortable enough to make her stop going to the dance parties to practice.

This is a real pity, because she was letting people that had no role in her life at all determine her passions and dreams. 

And thankfully, I was able to encourage her to continue following her passion by traveling to other cities where Latin dancing is more popular and people are more open-minded. Today, she’s even one of the best dancers in her area. 

If she had continued worrying about what others think, happiness would have continued to elude her as well. If you have any similar fears, think of my friend and let her give you the courage to move forward anyways. 

6) Comparing yourself to others

Lastly, if you maintain the habit of comparing yourself to others, you’ll have a really hard time finding happiness.

Because you know what?

There will always be someone who is better than you, younger than you, or more of whatever you’re trying to be. 

But also, those people are in a very different place on their path. For example, let’s say you’re trying to build a business, and you see someone 5 years younger than you who has already done it.

If you compare yourself to them, you might feel disappointed in yourself and feel like you’re already way behind. 

But maybe you’ve invested your time until now in building a strong, healthy relationship, which this other business owner doesn’t have. 

If you wanted to trade your life for theirs, you’d get their pros but also their cons. Would you really want that?

Always remember this: you’re on the path where you’re supposed to be, and your success and happiness is inevitable. You’re in the right place at the right time, and there is absolutely no rush. 

Go out there and find your happiness

Did you recognize that you maintain any of these 6 habits in your own life?

If you did, here’s your powerful sign to let them go, as soon as freaking possible.

Because as long as you keep them, happiness will always elude you.

I know you’re a person who’s committed to personal growth and being the best version of yourself. 

So if you make these 6 simple changes in your life, you’re sure to accomplish amazing things, including the greatest level of happiness you’ve ever experienced. 

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Tina Fey

I'm Tina Fey, the founder of the blog Love Connection. I've extremely passionate about sharing relationship advice. I've studied psychology and have my Masters in marital, family, and relationship counseling. I hope with all my heart to help you improve your relationships, and I hope that even if one thing I write helps you, it means more to me than just about anything else in the world. Check out my blog Love Connection, and if you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter

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