Happiness is something everyone strives for. After all, life is about living, and who doesn’t want to be happy and enjoy life? Unfortunately, it’s not the easiest thing.
While there may be no one-size-fits-all formula for achieving true contentment, research has identified certain behaviors and habits that can hinder one’s ability to live a happier life.
Here are four common things to avoid to increase your chances of being happier.
Long hours that are not balanced with sufficient rest often lead to burnout, stress, and frustration. Think about it this way: working too hard will not only lead to exhaustion and affect your physical health, but also cause you to miss out on moments of joy. You may be able to get away with it for a while, but sooner or later you’re going to end up exhausted and unhappy.
First of all, learn to delegate. Say you’re an insurance litigation lawyer, for example: invest in an intern, assign them certain tasks, and give yourself time to do the parts that really matter. Additionally, set boundaries and respect your limits. Try not to answer work emails when you’re off the clock and don’t force yourself to work 16 hours in a row just because a colleague does it.
Humans are social creatures who need connection, so isolation hurts both physically and mentally. Individuals who lack meaningful relationships with others report lower levels of satisfaction in their lives. Furthermore, loneliness is associated with an increased risk of depression, chronic medical conditions, and even premature death.
Try to make connections a priority. Take the time to build and maintain relationships with people who are important to you, such as family members and close friends. You can also consider joining a club or activity that interests you. Opportunities for social engagement exist everywhere; all you need is to take the first step and invest in those relationships.
It is easy to fall into a cycle of negative thinking. Unchecked, negative thoughts are like weeds that grow and choke out your happiness; leading to anxiety, depression, derailed relationships, etc.
Make a conscious effort to recognize and address negative thinking. Question the accuracy of your thoughts and replace them with more positive ones. For example, if you think “I’m so clumsy,” try reframing it into something like “Everybody makes mistakes; I’ll just do better next time.”
Unhealthy Eating Habits
Unhealthy eating can take a toll on physical and mental health. Poor diets are linked to depression, anxiety, mood swings, sleep problems, difficulty concentrating, and chronic diseases like diabetes or heart disease.
Plan for nourishing meals and snacks. You can even get creative: try researching new recipes or experimenting with ingredients and flavors. Eating nutritious food should be enjoyable, not a chore. Also, consider your relationship with food: do you eat when you’re bored or to avoid stress? If so, explore healthier coping mechanisms.
Ultimately, it is essential to recognize the importance of avoiding unhealthy habits and practices. Doing so will help you lead a happier life, reducing your risk for physical and mental health issues. Take the time to assess your lifestyle and find opportunities to make positive changes; even small things can make a big difference!