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

Happiness can sometimes feel like an elusive goal, especially when we’re stuck in certain habits that drain our joy without us even realizing it.

The thing is, the road to happiness often requires us to let go of these habits. It’s a matter of choice – continue with the habits that weigh us down or make a conscious decision to break free from them.

Breaking these habits isn’t about becoming a whole new person overnight, but gradually stepping into a version of yourself who knows what it feels like to be truly happy.

In this article, I’ll share with you 8 habits you might need to say goodbye to if you can’t remember the last time you were truly happy. It’s time to make room for joy and happiness in your life!

1) Living in the past

Let’s face it, we all have moments when we’re stuck in a loop of reminiscing about the past.

It’s completely natural to reflect on past experiences, but problems arise when we start dwelling on them, especially if they’re filled with regret or negativity.

When you’re constantly looking back, you’re not truly present in the now. You’re missing out on the opportunities that life is offering you today, and that can seriously dampen your happiness.

So if you find yourself frequently living in the past, it might be time to say goodbye to this habit.

Yes, acknowledging our history is important but remember, your past doesn’t define you. Your present and future can still be filled with joy and fulfillment.

Let’s focus on making our present moment as happy as possible because that’s where true happiness lies.

2) Neglecting self-care

I’ve been there. The hustle and bustle of everyday life can get so overwhelming that self-care gets pushed to the bottom of the priority list.

During my busiest days, I used to think taking time for myself was a luxury I couldn’t afford. But then, I started noticing its effects on my overall mood and happiness levels.

I was constantly tired, irritable, and just couldn’t find joy in the things I usually loved. That’s when I realized: taking care of myself wasn’t a luxury, but a necessity.

When we neglect our physical, emotional, and mental well-being, it’s hard to feel truly happy.

So if you’re like how I was and constantly putting everything else before your own needs, it might be time to bid this habit goodbye.

Remember, making time for self-care isn’t selfish. It’s essential for our happiness. And trust me, the more you start caring for yourself, the happier you’ll feel.

3) Overthinking

Our brains are powerful tools, but when we get stuck in a cycle of overthinking, they can become our own worst enemies. Overthinking can lead to excessive worry, stress, and anxiety, all of which can rob us of our happiness.

Psychologists suggest that over 50% of our day is spent lost in thought, and this constant mind-wandering can significantly reduce our happiness levels.

So if you find yourself often stuck in a cycle of what ifs and worst-case scenarios, it might be time to break this habit.

Remember, overthinking doesn’t prevent bad things from happening, it just prevents you from enjoying the good. Let’s tune into the present moment and experience the joy that’s right here, right now.

4) Holding onto expectations

In our quest for happiness, we often set high expectations for ourselves and others. But when reality doesn’t align with these expectations, it can lead to disappointment and unhappiness.

This concept aligns closely with Buddhist teachings, which emphasize the importance of letting go of attachments, including our attachment to certain outcomes.

In my book, “Hidden Secrets of Buddhism: How To Live With Maximum Impact and Minimum Ego“, I delve deeper into this concept. I explain how detaching from our expectations doesn’t mean giving up on our goals, but rather understanding that happiness isn’t dependent on whether or not these goals are achieved.

So if you find yourself constantly feeling disappointed because reality isn’t living up to your expectations, it might be time to let this habit go.

5) Comparing yourself to others

I used to look around and see people who were more successful, more accomplished, had more friends, and it would fill me with a sense of inadequacy. I’d feel like I was not enough, not doing enough.

This comparison trap is a slippery slope. It can lead to feelings of jealousy, inadequacy and ultimately, unhappiness.

It’s important to remember that everyone is on their own unique journey. We all have different strengths, different weaknesses, and different paths to follow.

If you often find yourself comparing your life to others, it might be time to break free from this habit.

Instead of measuring your worth against others, focus on your own growth and progress. Celebrate your small victories and appreciate who you are. Because you are enough, just as you are.

6) Chasing after happiness

This might seem a bit counter-intuitive, but often, the more we chase after happiness, the more elusive it becomes.

Happiness isn’t something you can capture and hold onto. It’s not a constant state, but rather, it’s a series of moments. And often, those moments come when we’re fully engaged in the present, not when we’re actively pursuing happiness.

So if you find yourself always on the hunt for happiness, it could be time to reevaluate this approach.

Instead of pursuing happiness as a goal, let’s focus on engaging fully with our lives. Let’s cultivate gratitude for what we have and find joy in our daily experiences. Happiness tends to follow when we least expect it.

7) Ignoring your feelings

We all have moments when we experience negative emotions. Whether it’s sadness, anger, or frustration, these feelings are a natural part of our human experience.

However, ignoring these feelings or trying to suppress them doesn’t make them go away. In fact, it often amplifies them and stops us from finding true happiness.

So if you find yourself often brushing your feelings under the carpet, it’s time to reconsider this habit.

Embracing our emotions, both positive and negative, allows us to understand ourselves better and navigate life more effectively. It’s okay to feel what you feel. Allow yourself that emotional space and remember, it’s okay to not be okay sometimes.

8) Believing happiness is a destination

The most crucial thing to remember is that happiness isn’t a destination. It’s not something we arrive at one day and stay forever. Happiness is a journey, filled with ups and downs, moments of joy and sadness.

If you’re constantly waiting for that ‘one thing’ to make you happy, you could be waiting forever. It’s important to understand that happiness comes from within, not from external circumstances or achievements.

So let’s let go of the notion of happiness as a destination. Instead, let’s focus on finding joy in the journey, embracing the present moment, and cultivating gratitude for what we have right now.

Ultimately, happiness is an inside job

The quest for happiness is deeply personal and unique to each individual. It’s not about achieving a certain status, acquiring material possessions, or even eradicating all negative experiences.

Rather, it’s about cultivating a mindset that allows us to appreciate the present moment, manage our expectations, and navigate through life’s challenges with grace.

In my book “Hidden Secrets of Buddhism: How To Live With Maximum Impact and Minimum Ego”, I delve deeper into this philosophy. I explore the concept of finding happiness within ourselves, rather than seeking it externally.

Letting go of these 8 habits isn’t an overnight process. It requires awareness, patience, and constant practice. But remember, every step you take towards breaking these habits brings you closer to a happier self.

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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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