Your habits are something within your control and play a large part in determining whether or not you experience happiness. It's important to recognise which of your habits are affecting your happiness and replace them with more positive ones. Of course, as we are largely unconscious of our habitual negative thoughts and actions, it helps if someone else points them out. Often merely recognising that you have negative habits and what they are, can be enough to provoke an unconscious change...
- Comparing yourself to others - Comparing ourselves to someone else's level of income, appearance, 'happy' family life, size of house etc can often lead to negativity about what we don't yet have. However, we can never be really sure of what's happening in another person's life, there may be any amount of negativity going on behind closed doors. Whilst comparing ourselves to others, we often forget all the good things that we do have in our lives and focus on the lack. Next time your find yourself coveting what someone else has, remember to be mindfully aware of your own successes.
- Working in a job we don't like - Growing up, we are often taught that work is not supposed to be fun and as a result, you would be amazed at how many people I work with who hit the magic '4-0' and realise that they've been in the wrong job for most of their careers and they are dreadfully unhappy and feeling generally unfulfilled ... It doesn't have to be that way! No matter how old you are you can change direction with the right guidance. Yes, it can be daunting and sometime difficult, but if you want something badly enough, you will always find a way.
- Allowing worry to control you - Worrying is a debilitating and destructive emotion which serves no real purpose. As our brains can't tell the difference between something real and vividly imagined, we can spend our lives living and re-living something that may never happen, generating exactly the same feeling and emotions that we would have if it did. As we tend to get what we think about, we should spend only 20% thinking about the problem and 80% looking for solutions. Focussing on solutions takes us out of the negative emotional patterns caused by worry as we are thinking about the problem constructively .
- Neglecting your passions - When you neglect your passions, you neglect one of life's greatest gifts: doing what you love. Taking time out to do something that you love to do - especially something that puts you in 'The Zone' or 'In Flow' (that place we automatically go to when we are totally absorbed in what we're doing ... when time seems to zoom by) - allows your brain a break from the day to day stresses of life and ultimately allows you to have better perspective when dealing with problems. Your happiness and passion is something that money can never replace.
- Putting things off - Having to do something that you aren't fond of instead of doing something enjoyable can be mentally taxing. Procrastination can have a long term negative effect on our lives often leading to feelings of regret, lack of control, lack of confidence in abilities etc. Often in the time we've taken up worrying about something we should be doing, we could have had it done and moved on to doing something we're passionate about. A good way to overcome procrastination is to not think too deeply about the task we need to complete, but just get up out of the chair and just do it. As I say repeatedly to my clients "JFDI" (Just Flippin' Do It!).
If there is anything happening in your life at the moment, either professionally or personally and you would like a free no obligation consultation about how to manage it, please feel free to get in touch.