Are you doing any of these 11 things and preventing yourself from being happy?

Are you doing any of these 11 things and preventing yourself from being happy?

via Bustle by Raven Ishak

For many people, happiness seems more like a dream than a reality. But even though it’s difficult for most of us to be happy 24/7, you could still be preventing yourself from being happy without even realizing. It’s often easy to blame external factors, but at the end of the day the only person who has true control over your happiness is you.

“When people are depressed, it can become a way of life. They can believe it is part of who they are, and that they are not capable of feeling any other way. They have to learn that there is help available, and there are tools and techniques to help them lift their mood. People have made being unhappy part of who they are, so they need to learn a new part of themselves that is positive to replace it,” says psychologist Nicole Martinez Psy.D., LCPC, in an interview with Bustle over email.

It can be tough to attempt to change your outlook on life, but if it’s going to turn things around in a positive way, then it’s worth it, right? If you’re not content with the current state of your life, and you’re not sure why, here are 11 ways you may be preventing yourself from being happy.

1. You’re Comparing Yourself To Others

You’re never going to be happy if you’re viewing yourself in a negative way, especially if you’re comparing yourself to other people. “Constant comparisons to other [people] — and the seemingly happy lives they live — is one of the most noxious sources of unhappiness for people. This is getting worse and worse as social media channels become more and more a part of our lives. [Social media apps] give us windows into all of the ways in which others are ‘winning’ — with awards on display, marriages, and all other accolades and trophies [people] tend to boast about. The main thing to remember is that this is an illusion. In general, we put our wins on display, not our ‘failures’ or all of the muscle and sweat that goes into each of those wins. So you’re comparing yourself to something that isn’t even real. Stop ingesting so much social media, and focus [on] figuring out what really gives you joy and meaning in life, and spend your time ingesting more of that,” says holistic wellness coach Pax Tandon in an interview with Bustle over email.

2. You’re Not Practicing Mindfulness

“When we turn inward, clear our minds and focus on our breath, we are able to let all of the ‘noise’ evaporate so we can attune to the essence of ourselves. This essence is one of pure joy and presence to our lives. The more you practice, the more adept you become at staying present and attuned to this essence,” says Tandon. Practicing mindfulness can give you an extra boost of positivity. It normally centers your thoughts and allows you to see the big picture.

3. You’re Being Too Hard On Yourself

Sometimes it can be easy to be your own worst enemy, but you prevent yourself from being happy when you constantly criticize yourself. “We place such heavy expectations on ourselves, to succeed, to be ‘perfect,’ to ‘win.’ The real win in being human is actually simply to recognize what a miracle it is to be alive, and how an important and standard part of being human is to feel pain. We have all of these illusions of what will make us happy — more money, success, and things — but research shows time and again these fail to make us happy. Our connections with others, our ability to give back and volunteer, and a sense of purpose, are the real markers of happiness,” says Tandon…

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