3 EVERYDAY THINGS YOU DO THAT SABOTAGE YOUR HAPPINESS
I'm a strong believer in the idea that happiness is built on a framework of consistency and it’s the things we do in our daily lives that bring actual happiness. This is not a new idea by any means but I have found that when we think of habits in the day-to-day, we automatically think of adding in new good habits or removing the habits we know are bad for us. However, I believe it's in the less-than-obvious "bad" habits that real change, growth, and happiness can occur.
There are three things that the majority of us do every day that can completely sabotage daily and long-term happiness. All three can be energy and time suckers in their own unique ways. And by paying attention to these habits and reining them in... more time, energy, and personal power is available to actually focus on those new good habits and removing the big bad ones. I know you want me to tell you what they are and get on with it, so here goes. The three everyday things you are doing that are sabotaging your happiness are:
1. Watching TV
I've written about the changes that happened when I gave up Netflix in November of 2015 but what I haven't said is that I started watching it again with my husband last year. Yeah, I completely backslid into my addiction. And everything came back just as it had before. I started eating when I watched TV and I gained back all my weight I'd lost. I started to prioritize watching the next episode over sleep. I would even have things that needed to get done that I would convince myself could wait until I finished the show... only to have several days go by where I continually dropped the ball. All of this also really really pissed me off. I was so mad at myself for backsliding! But I'm happy to say that once again, I've given up TV and whoa, the free time it allows me! Suddenly I have time for training my dogs, hanging out with my husband, reading, working on other priority things, and more. I have more time to focus on cultivating good habits.
2. Eating certain food
We all know we should eat healthily but have you ever tested out how you really feel when you eat certain foods? For me, I've discovered I have garlic and dairy intolerances. This was done completely through trial and error but every time I eat garlic, I get really sick, nauseous, and dizzy. Dairy makes me incredibly tired, bloated, and sluggish. In short, I feel like complete crap and am totally miserable when I eat those foods. They completely slow down my productivity and make me feel more negative and resentful. Sugar is another culprit that has very negative effects on my emotions so I try to stay away from it as well. Obviously, you may not have my intolerances but I encourage you to pay attention to how you feel after eating certain foods. You may be surprised at how much what you eat without even thinking about it can impact your overall happiness.
3. Surveying social media
I wrote last month about comparison and the need to "run your own race" and I think that covers the concept of looking at what others are posting and not feeling behind or down about your own life. But what I mean by here is the ever-scroll for information. We can spend hours on hours looking at our Facebook and Instagram feeds and just like my TV addiction, ever-scrolling can result in a lot of wasted time, missed opportunities to be present, and less than stellar bedtimes. And what value does the ever-scroll really add to your life? Are we completely changed by that funny cat video? I'm completely guilty of this and I'm doing my best to rein it into a manageable level where I can still feel in-the-know but not miss out on all the real things in life that make me happy.
Photo by Arto Marttinen