Happiness can be a complex, hard-to-figure-out emotion. It’s something we all want for ourselves, yet so often we find ourselves struggling to find it. When I was in high school, I was a really happy kid.
In college, I wasn’t as happy, but I was okay. After college, I was depressed and hating life–so much so, that I vowed if I ever found happiness again, I would never let go of it.
Much of one’s happiness lies in the habits they choose to do each and every day.
Here are six habits that unhappy people often exhibit in their lives, and what we can do to prevent doing them ourselves:
When we complain about something, we’re just wasting energy. Energy that could be spent on actively trying to make your life better. Instead of complaining, realize that you (and you alone) are accountable and responsible for your life.
No one ever said life was fair, so complaining is worthless. Just keep your head up and do your best to move forward.
A large part of being happy is how you view yourself. And if you’re constantly viewing yourself in a negative light, chances are good that you won’t be happy. The best thing you can do to stave off a negative inner dialogue is forgive yourself for mistakes and flaws.
At the same time, work on forgiving others for their imperfections as well. They deserve to be happy too.
If you’ve ever wondered why “balance” is something so many people strive to find in their lives, or why the phrase “everything in moderation” is said so often, you’ve never been entirely consumed by an addiction.
Whether it’s drugs, alcohol, pornography, or sugars and sweets, any type of addiction can lead one to rock bottom.
Regretting things from your past
If complaining serves no purpose, then worrying about events that happened in the past is actually harmful to you. Research has even found that when we stress over past events, actions or behaviors, we increase our risk for chronic stress and depression.
The best ways to handle regret include: learning from mistakes, letting go of the situation, and understanding you’re not entirely to blame.
Stressing about a future that has yet to happen
Just as living in the past is unhealthy, living in the future can be just as bad. As humans, we thrive when we fully embrace living in the present moment. Because there’s nothing we can do about things that haven’t happened yet.
This means handling problems and obstacles as they come up, and then letting go of them. It means being fully conscious for the best moments in life, the ones that pass you by when your head is in the clouds, stressing out about the future.
Having poor diet
While this one might not seem that bad, the truth is that when we regularly eat a poor diet, it’s because we’re not happy.
So many people turn to the instant gratification of sugary, high-fat foods when things aren’t going their way. But this is a terrible habit to pick up, because it can lead to terrible health conditions like obesity, depression, diabetes, and heart problems.
When we eat right (or even just decently) we have more energy, our brains are functioning more efficiently, and we just feel better overall.