Happiness slips away from us in various places. Very often we are robbed by the difficulties of every day. Other times depression, anxiety, or chronic health problems hijack her. But happiness also leaves us when we live in a hurry, executing tasks and solving tasks as if we were on an assembly line.
We go through the days without stopping to ponder the important issues and travel on autopilot. We let our habits take over, even though they sometimes lead us down paths that deteriorate our emotional well-being.
We have control over many things that influence our happiness. Here is a list of 10 ideas for you to identify where you could be losing happiness and what type of patch you could use to stop the leak.
1. You Are Already Happy but You Haven’t Realized It
Have you ever thought that maybe you are already happy enough? Believing that you should be even happier—when you already feel happy—ironically could make you less happy. Wanting to be a perfect 10 on the happiness scale by being a solid 8 or 9 can generate a sense of false lack and dissatisfaction. Sometimes the secret is simply to recognize that, at least in this period of your life, you are happy or you already have part of the advanced path.
2. You Don’t Know What Makes You Happy
We often use pre-made molds instead of a custom-made suit and we believe that what makes others happy will make us happy too. Take a moment to reflect on the following questions: What activities, people, places, experiences translate into happiness for you? Running, listening to music, reading, painting, singing, playing the piano, cooking, dancing, watering the garden, walk with your dog, write, swim? And how can you integrate them into your daily routine? Identify what you like and do it more often.
3. You View Life Through a Lens of Scarcity
We are very good at detecting faults, what we do not have or cannot do. Gratitude is the perfect antidote to this habit. It consists of developing a deep feeling of gratitude for life. It has to do with noticing the little details, the good things that happen to you, what you do have, what you can do, and the people who are with you loving you, supporting you, and contributing positively in your life. Gratitude allows you to view life through a lens of abundance.
4. You Compare Yourself With Others
No matter how good you are, how beautiful your home is, how important you are at work, how handsome you are, how smart you are, or how fashionable you dress… there will always be someone a little better. There is no way to win this competition in a world that includes Tom Brady, Wonder Woman, and Photoshop. Make an effort not to fall into the game of social comparisons… they are toxic. Better practice gratitude regarding what you have and who you are.
5. You Neglect Your Social Ties or Are You Alone
To be happy there is nothing more essential than our social ties. From the factory we come wired to connect. If you suddenly find yourself lonely and sad, make an effort to change your situation. Look for social environments where you can find people with the same tastes and values. Smile, chat and show interest, accept invitations, create opportunities to socialize. Take care of your relationship with the most important people in your life … ironically, they are the ones we neglect the most, putting them in second place after work or any other activity.
6. You Spend Time With Unhappy or Toxic People
Emotions are contagious. Our well-being is heavily influenced by the people with whom we spend the most time. If your friends or family are a constant source of negativity—endless complaints, sour comments, bad news, bad moods, detectors of everything that is wrong—it is time to reduce your contact with them and look for more positive people.
7. You Don’t Take Care of Your Body
It is the only place we have to live. It is difficult to be happy when our health is not good or we do not have the energy to do what we have to do. Exercising—moving naturally—eating healthy and getting enough sleep is key to taking care of our well-being. They are also the cheapest and most efficient preventive tools for a healthy life.
8. You Do Not Inhabit the Present
The happiest people live and enjoy the present moment. Spending a lot of time reminiscing about the past creates feelings of nostalgia and depression; while constantly thinking about the future produces anxiety. Take breaks and engage your senses to notice the beauty around you. This moment is what you have available right now.
We recommend: 10 habits of happy people, according to science
9. You Fall Into the ‘When’ Trap
Do you leave happiness for later or for when a certain condition is met? I will be happy when I get married, when I have vacations, I will be happy when I am promoted at work, when I change cars, when my children finish their studies. Thinking in this way makes happiness always one step ahead or around the corner. Take a few moments or a few days to enjoy the goals you achieve, the objectives you meet. Don’t put off happiness.
10. You Have Not Found the Purpose of Your Life
The happiest people can articulate in a short sentence, the reason why they get up every morning—not counting the alarm clock. When we are not clear about where we want to go, we can go everywhere. Our life purpose is at the intersection of what we are passionate about, what we know how to do, our values, personal strengths, and sense of transcendence. What inspires you? What makes you curious? What do you enjoy doing? What do you know how to do very well? How would you like to be remembered? What would you be willing to do even knowing that you could fail? Take time to reflect on these questions and quite possibly your life purpose—if you are not clear about it—will begin to take shape.
Life circumstances can reduce our happiness. But a part of our happiness or lack of it depends on what we do and think every day.
If you discovered on this list a corner where happiness is escaping you, make sure you seal it.