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

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There’s a stark contrast between feeling truly happy and just going through the motions.

The difference? Often, it comes down to habits.

When you’re stuck in patterns that don’t serve you, happiness can seem out of reach. You may not even realize what’s holding you back.

As someone who’s been there and come out the other side, I can tell you that it’s often about letting go. Letting go of the habits that are weighing you down.

In this article, I’ll share some of these habits that could be standing between you and your happiness. 

And remember, it’s your choice to say goodbye to them.

1) Living in the past or future

Many of us are guilty of it – dwelling on past mistakes or constantly worrying about future uncertainties.

As a mindfulness expert, I can tell you that the practice of being present is a powerful tool for happiness. However, the habit of living anywhere but the present moment is a common one, and it’s a happiness thief.

Living in the past brings regret and shame, while obsessing about the future breeds anxiety and fear. Neither state allows you to fully experience the joy and peace available in the present moment.

Remember, the past has already happened and the future isn’t guaranteed. All we truly have is right now.

If you’re holding onto this habit, it might be time to say goodbye. Embrace mindfulness and start living presently. It’s not always easy, but it’s a journey worth taking for your happiness.

2) Chasing perfection

Many of us, myself included, have fallen into the trap of chasing perfection. We believe that if we can just get everything “right”, happiness will follow.

But here’s the truth: perfection is an illusion.

Buddhist monk and mindfulness master, Thich Nhat Hanh, said it best: “The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.”

Chasing perfection distracts us from the happiness that’s already present in our lives. It also sets us up for constant disappointment, as the perfect moment or achievement we’re waiting for never arrives.

Letting go of the need for things to be perfect doesn’t mean settling for less. It means appreciating what is, in all its imperfect glory.

So say goodbye to the pursuit of perfection and hello to the joy of the present moment.

3) Ignoring the impermanence of life

One of the biggest barriers to happiness is ignoring the fundamental truth of impermanence.

Buddhist teachings tell us that everything in life is transient and ever-changing. This includes our feelings, thoughts, bodies, and even our sense of self.

Yet, we often cling to the desire for permanence. We resist change, fear loss, and crave security in a world that is inherently uncertain.

This resistance to the reality of impermanence can bring a lot of suffering and rob us of our happiness.

The truth is, when we fully embrace the fact that everything changes, we start to appreciate every moment more deeply. We become more present and grateful for what we have right now.

4) Neglecting self-care

In our busy lives, it’s easy to put everyone else’s needs before our own.

But neglecting self-care is a surefire way to drain your happiness. You can’t pour from an empty cup, as the saying goes.

Practicing mindfulness isn’t just about being present in the moment. It’s also about being present with ourselves, acknowledging our needs, and taking steps to meet them.

Self-care isn’t selfish. It’s necessary. 

It’s about eating nutritious food, getting enough sleep, staying active, and making time for activities that bring you joy.

Prioritize self-care and watch how your happiness levels rise.

5) Holding onto your ego

We all have an ego. It’s that part of us that wants to be right, wants to win, and constantly compares ourselves to others.

In my personal journey and through extensive research for my book, “Hidden Secrets of Buddhism: How To Live With Maximum Impact and Minimum Ego“, I’ve found that clinging to the ego often stands in the way of true happiness.

The ego feeds on comparison and competition. But happiness is not a competition. It’s not about being better than others or having more.

True happiness comes from inner peace, compassion, and living in alignment with your values – not from feeding your ego.

6) Failing to practice gratitude

Gratitude is a powerful force, yet many of us often overlook it.

In the world of mindfulness and Buddhism, gratitude holds a special place. It’s seen as a direct path to cultivating happiness and contentment.

Yet, many of us are too caught up in what we lack, what we want next, or what others have that we don’t. This focus on lack rather than abundance can lead to feelings of dissatisfaction and unhappiness.

Gratitude shifts our focus from what’s missing in our lives to appreciating what we already have. It’s about acknowledging the good in our lives and recognizing that the source of this goodness is often outside ourselves.

If you’re not in the habit of practicing gratitude regularly, it might be time to start. Gratitude isn’t just good for your happiness – it’s good for your overall mental health.

7) Allowing negative self-talk to dominate

We all have a little voice in our heads, the one that chimes in with unsolicited comments and judgments. Unfortunately, this voice often leans towards negativity.

Negative self-talk can be incredibly damaging, filling our minds with doubts, fears, and criticism. It’s a habit that can greatly diminish our happiness.

The reality is, our thoughts are not always true. They’re often skewed by our biases, fears, and insecurities.

If you’re constantly berating yourself or doubting your worth, it’s time to challenge that negative self-talk

Remember, you are not your thoughts. You have the power to change your internal dialogue and foster a kinder relationship with yourself.

8) Overloading your schedule

In our culture of busyness, it’s easy to think that packing our schedules is the key to success and happiness. But in reality, it often leads to stress and burnout.

Mindfulness teaches us the value of stillness and presence. It reminds us that constantly rushing from one task to another leaves little room for rest, reflection, and genuine enjoyment.

Contrary to popular belief, more isn’t always better. Productivity isn’t just about doing more; it’s about doing what matters.

If your calendar is overflowing and you’re constantly feeling rushed, it might be time to reassess. Simplify your schedule, make time for rest and reflection, and prioritize tasks that truly align with your values and bring you joy.

Letting go of habits that don’t serve your happiness is not an overnight process. It takes time, patience, and self-compassion. But each small step you take brings you closer to a life of greater joy and fulfillment.

If you’re interested in delving deeper into the teachings of Buddhism and mindfulness to enhance your happiness, consider checking out my book “Hidden Secrets of Buddhism: How To Live With Maximum Impact and Minimum Ego“. It’s packed with insights and practical exercises to help you live with more peace, purpose, and joy.

Here’s to your happiness journey.

– Lachlan Brown.

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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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