If you can’t remember the last time you felt happy in life, say goodbye to these 8 habits

Happiness can often seem like a distant memory, especially when you’re bogged down by negative habits.

You see, some habits are more than just actions – they’re mental blocks preventing you from experiencing joy.

I’m Lachlan Brown, founder of Hack Spirit, and I’ve spent a good portion of my life studying mindfulness and Buddhism. I’ve come to realize that happiness is often about letting go rather than holding on.

If you’re stuck in a rut and can’t remember the last time you felt truly happy, it might be time to reassess your habits.

In this article, I will share with you 8 habits that might be stealing your happiness. Once you say goodbye to these, you might just find that elusive joy again.

Let’s get started. 

1) Mindless scrolling

We live in a digital age, and while technology has its benefits, it also has its pitfalls.

One of the major ones is mindless scrolling. It’s easy to get lost in the endless stream of social media updates, news articles, and viral videos.

But here’s the thing: this habit can rob you of your happiness.

The constant barrage of information can be overwhelming and anxiety-inducing. Not to mention, it’s easy to fall into the comparison trap when you’re constantly exposed to everyone else’s highlight reel.

Plus, it takes away from the time you could spend being present in the moment – a fundamental aspect of mindfulness and Buddhism.

If you want to reclaim your happiness, consider reducing the time you spend on your devices. Be present with yourself and those around you. You might be surprised at how much more joy you can find when you’re not staring at a screen.

2) Neglecting self-care

In my journey with mindfulness and Buddhism, I’ve come to understand the importance of self-care. It’s a concept that’s easy to overlook, especially in our fast-paced world where productivity is prized above all else.

But neglecting self-care is a surefire way to drain your happiness.

Maybe it’s skipping meals, not getting enough sleep, or constantly pushing yourself past your limits. Whatever form it takes, this habit can leave you feeling run down and unhappy.

As Thich Nhat Hanh, a renowned Zen master and mindfulness expert, once said: “To meditate means to go home to yourself. Then you know how to take care of the things that are happening inside you, and you know how to take care of the things that happen around you.”

Self-care isn’t about indulgence; it’s about respecting and nurturing yourself.

After all, you can’t pour from an empty cup. Make time for rest, nourishing food, physical activity, and activities that bring you joy. It’s a simple change that can make a world of difference in your happiness.

3) Clinging to negativity

Buddhism teaches us about the impermanence of all things. Yet, one habit many of us have is clinging to negativity, be it past mistakes, regrets, or unpleasant experiences.

This habit can make happiness feel like a distant dream.

But here’s the raw and honest truth: Holding onto negativity doesn’t change the past or predict the future. It only drains your present moment of joy.

The Buddha once said: “Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” The same can be said for any form of negativity.

Learning to let go isn’t easy, but it’s a crucial step towards reclaiming your happiness. Practice forgiveness, both towards others and yourself. Adopt a more positive mindset and remember that every day is a new chance to start again. With time and patience, you’ll find the joy you’ve been missing.

4) Living on autopilot

Ever felt like you’re just going through the motions? Like you’re living your life on autopilot, without truly experiencing it?

It’s a common habit, but it’s one that can strip away your happiness.

Mindfulness encourages us to be fully present in each moment, to engage with our experiences without judgment or distraction. But when you’re living on autopilot, you’re disconnected from the richness of life. You’re missing out on the simple joys that each moment can bring.

Here’s the honest truth: Life isn’t a rehearsal. This is it – your one chance to experience, learn, love, and grow.

Switch off the autopilot. Start being present in your life. Engage with your senses, pay attention to your feelings and thoughts. You’ll be surprised at how much more vibrant and joyful life can become when you’re truly living in the moment.

5) Living with a big ego

One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned in my journey with Buddhism and mindfulness is the importance of living with humility.

Having a big ego can significantly hinder your happiness. It can lead to unrealistic expectations, constant comparisons, and a never-ending desire for more. This constant striving can leave you feeling unfulfilled and unhappy.

In my book, Hidden Secrets of Buddhism: How To Live With Maximum Impact and Minimum Ego, I delve deeper into how ego can affect your life and share practical strategies on how to reduce its influence.

Reducing your ego isn’t about diminishing your self-worth. It’s about recognizing that we are all interconnected and that everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses.

Letting go of your ego can lead to more empathy, compassion, and contentment—key ingredients for true happiness.

6) Ignoring your emotions

Here’s a raw and honest truth: Ignoring your emotions doesn’t make them disappear.

Whether it’s sadness, anger, or fear, many of us have a habit of suppressing negative emotions. We think that by pushing them aside, we can carry on with our lives unhindered.

But Buddhism and mindfulness teach us a different approach.

Instead of ignoring our emotions, we should acknowledge them. Recognize them for what they are, without judgment or resistance.

It’s okay to feel what you’re feeling. Emotions are a natural part of being human.

When we suppress our emotions, they tend to manifest in other ways – stress, anxiety, even physical ailments. But when we acknowledge and accept our emotions, we can process them healthily and move forward.

It might be uncomfortable at first, but it’s a crucial step towards healing and happiness.

7) Being trapped in the cycle of want

It’s easy to get trapped in the cycle of want. You think, “If only I had that job, that car, that house, I would be happy.” But once you get it, you find something else to covet.

This constant chase after material possessions and achievements can leave you feeling perpetually unsatisfied and unhappy.

As the Dalai Lama wisely said, “We need to learn to want what we have, not to have what we want, in order to get stable and steady happiness.”

True happiness comes from inner contentment and peace, not from external possessions or achievements. So, start appreciating what you have. Practice gratitude. Experience the joy that comes from living in the moment rather than always chasing after the next big thing.

It’s a hard truth to face, but breaking free from this cycle of want can open the door to lasting happiness.

8) Overplanning

It might sound counterintuitive, but overplanning can steal away your happiness.

We’re often told that planning is the key to success. And while it’s true that having goals and plans can provide a sense of direction, overdoing it can lead to stress and anxiety.

When you’re constantly focused on planning for the future, you can miss out on the joy of the present moment. You might find yourself unable to enjoy a beautiful sunset or a heartfelt conversation because your mind is elsewhere, plotting the next step.

Mindfulness teaches us the value of being present. It’s about focusing on the here and now, rather than getting lost in what may or may not happen in the future.

Try loosening your grip on your plans a little. Give yourself permission to go with the flow sometimes. Embrace the uncertainty and welcome spontaneity. You might find it brings more happiness than any plan ever could.

Conclusion

Reclaiming your happiness isn’t always about adding more to your life. Sometimes, it’s about letting go of the habits that are holding you back.

Changing habits isn’t easy, but with mindfulness and patience, it’s possible. And the reward – a happier, more content life – is well worth the effort.

If you want to delve deeper into the wisdom of Buddhism and mindfulness, consider checking out my book, Hidden Secrets of Buddhism: How To Live With Maximum Impact and Minimum Ego. It provides practical strategies and insights to help you live a more peaceful and fulfilling life.

Happiness is a journey, not a destination. So start your journey today by saying goodbye to these 8 habits. You deserve a life full of joy and contentment.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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