If you’re not feeling happy in life, say goodbye to these 8 habits

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Ever feel like you’re just not as happy as you could be? Well, it’s time for a little self-reflection.

You see, sometimes our own habits are the biggest barriers to finding joy. And the first step to breaking these barriers is to recognize them.

As Lachlan Brown, founder of Hack Spirit and a keen enthusiast of mindfulness and Buddhism, I’ve spent a lot of time studying happiness. 

In this article, we’re going to say goodbye to eight common habits that could be robbing you of your happiness. It’s a tough journey, but trust me – it’s worth it.

Let’s get started. 

1) Overthinking

Ever find yourself stuck in a cycle of excessive thoughts? You’re not alone. It’s a common trap many of us fall into, and it’s one of the biggest joy-killers out there.

Overthinking often leads to unnecessary stress and anxiety. It’s like a treadmill for your brain, where you’re endlessly running but getting nowhere. It’s exhausting and fruitless.

Mindfulness, my friends, is the key to breaking this cycle. It helps us to live in the moment, instead of being trapped in our heads. When we embrace mindfulness, we learn to take things as they come and stop obsessing about what might happen.

If you find yourself overthinking, take a deep breath and try to focus on the present. Trust me, your happiness levels will thank you for it.

But remember, it doesn’t happen overnight – just like any good habit, it takes practice.

2) Constant Comparisons

In our social media-driven world, it’s easy to fall into the comparison trap. We see glimpses of other people’s seemingly perfect lives and start feeling inadequate. But remember, these are just highlights, not the full picture.

As a mindfulness practitioner, I’ve learned to appreciate the beauty of my own journey, without comparing it to others’. It’s liberating, I assure you.

The great Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh once said, “Comparison is a form of violence against the self.”

This quote resonates with me every time I feel the urge to compare my life with someone else’s.

By letting go of this habit, we can start focusing on our own growth and happiness. After all, everyone’s journey is unique. Let’s embrace that.

3) Chasing After Material Possessions

Let’s get brutally honest here. We live in a world which incessantly tells us that happiness lies in having more. More money, more possessions, more success. But if we’re really seeking joy, we need to break free from this illusion.

Buddhist teachings tell us that the root of all suffering is attachment. And what is materialism if not a deep-seated attachment to worldly things?

Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying the finer things in life. However, if we’re constantly chasing after these things, thinking they’ll make us happy, we’re on a never-ending treadmill.

True happiness, according to Buddhism, comes from within. It comes from peace of mind and contentment, independent of external factors.

4) Neglecting Self-Care

Neglecting self-care is a surefire way to drain your happiness. Whether it’s skipping meals, skimping on sleep, or neglecting our mental health, we’re all guilty of it at times.

But here’s the thing – you can’t pour from an empty cup. If we’re constantly running on empty, how can we expect to feel happy?

Mindfulness teaches us the importance of being present and listening to our bodies’ needs. It’s about recognizing when you need a break and actually taking it, without feeling guilty.

Start prioritizing self-care. Take that bubble bath. Read that book. Go for that walk. Meditate. Do whatever fills your cup.

Being mindful of your needs and taking steps to meet them isn’t selfish – it’s necessary for your happiness. So, don’t compromise on self-care. You deserve it.

5) Living with a Swollen Ego

Up next is a habit that’s a little closer to home for me. Living with an inflated ego – it’s a happiness blocker that many of us don’t even realize we have.

In our quest to prove ourselves, we often let our egos take the driver’s seat. We become defensive, self-absorbed, and miss out on the beauty of genuine connections.

In my book Hidden Secrets of Buddhism: How To Live With Maximum Impact and Minimum Ego, I delve into how the ego can hinder our happiness and personal growth.

Buddhism teaches us about Anatta, the principle of non-self, which encourages us to shed our ego and embrace our interconnectedness with all beings. It’s a profound shift in perspective that can lead to greater happiness and fulfillment.

Let’s work on reducing our ego. It’s not about diminishing ourselves, but rather opening up to the world around us. It’s a journey worth taking.

6) Holding onto Grudges

Here’s an uncomfortable truth: Holding onto grudges is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to suffer. It’s a heavy burden that only serves to rob us of our happiness.

Buddhism and mindfulness teach us about the power of forgiveness. Not as an act of charity towards the other person, but as a gift to ourselves. It’s about freeing ourselves from the chains of resentment and bitterness that hold us back.

In essence, letting go of grudges is about embracing the present moment. It’s about releasing the past and opening up to the opportunities that lie in the now.

Let’s be brave and let go of those grudges. It’s not easy, but it’s a vital step towards reclaiming our happiness.

Forgiveness is not a sign of weakness but a testament to our strength.

7) Ignoring the Present

One of the most common yet overlooked happiness-stealing habits is ignoring the present moment. We’re either dwelling on the past or fretting about the future, thereby missing out on the beauty of now.

Mindfulness and Buddhism both emphasize the importance of being present. As the famous mindfulness expert Jon Kabat-Zinn said, “The best way to capture moments is to pay attention. This is how we cultivate mindfulness.”

Life is happening right here, right now. The past has passed and the future is uncertain. All we truly have is this moment.

8) Seeking Perfection

Last but not least, let’s talk about the pursuit of perfection. Sounds like a noble quest, right? But here’s the counterintuitive truth – it’s often a happiness killer.

Striving for perfection sets us up for constant dissatisfaction. There’s always something more to achieve, something else to improve. It’s like chasing a mirage.

Mindfulness, on the other hand, encourages us to embrace imperfection. It teaches us to accept and appreciate things as they are, including ourselves.

Life isn’t perfect, and that’s okay. It’s in the imperfections that we find beauty and uniqueness.

Let’s ditch the perfectionism and start celebrating our perfectly imperfect lives. It’s a liberating shift that can bring us closer to genuine happiness.

Conclusion

These habits aren’t easy to shake off, but with mindfulness and patience, it’s definitely possible.

If you want to delve deeper into some of the concepts we’ve discussed, I invite you to check out my book Hidden Secrets of Buddhism: How To Live With Maximum Impact and Minimum Ego. It’s a comprehensive guide on how to apply Buddhist teachings to everyday life.

Let’s journey towards happiness together, one mindful step at a time. Remember, it’s not an overnight process, but the rewards are immeasurable.

Here’s to living with maximum impact and minimum ego.

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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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