“Rationalization is a process of not perceiving reality, but of attempting to make reality fit one’s emotions,” – Ayn Rand
[dropcap]I[/dropcap]n our quest to live a happier life, we find ourselves doing more. We know staying focused on our goals and getting more done will make us happier. Or will it?
Sometimes we think we are doing all the right things only to be led further away from the happier life we crave. So how do we know if our habits are serving us or hurting us? The simple answer lies in how you feel.
How we feel at any moment is a great guide as to whether our actions at that moment are right for us or not. It seems so simple, yet we often go through our day ignoring our gut instincts.
To help you recognize common things that might be hurting you, here are habits, that if left unchecked, could actually block you from happiness:
1. Being Extremely Honest
Of course we’ve all heard the saying “honesty is the best policy.” Well, it isn’t always. Sometimes being honest is used as a disguise for complaining. So while honesty can be the best policy, make sure it is serving everyone.
2. Taking on Multiple Projects
Our sense of productivity can mistakenly lie in how many projects we take on at once. It is a fallacy that doing more, or multi-tasking, makes someone more productive. The opposite is true. Tackling one project at a time will not only result in better work, you will also get more work done.
3. Working Through Lunch
Our mind and our body require breaks to keep performing optimally. A working lunch to clear our to-do list may be doing us more harm than good.
4. Eating 3 Meals a Day
Eating three meals a day may seem like a good idea and for some it might be. Don’t mistake eating three squares with good nutrition. Limiting your eating to specific periods may lead to overeating during mealtime because you begin the meal hungrier than if you ate smaller meals more frequently.
Studies show there are benefits to eating more regularly including more energy and better sleep. Of course, the best plan is the plan that benefits your body the most.
5. Constant Cleaning
There is a big difference between being clean and constant cleaning. Being focused on a spot-free environment, takes us out of living in the moment and puts our attention on something that isn’t really achievable (especially with kids!)
6. Staying Focused on the Goal
When we are too focused on the goal, we become indifferent to what is happening around us. Working towards our goals is admirable and even needed to live a life that involves more happiness, but doing so at the cost of enjoying life itself is counterproductive.
7. Helping Your Friends Without Them Knowing
Sometimes we think we know what is best for a friend, but only they truly know what is best for them on their path. Our time would be better spent talking to our friend about how we can help them achieve happiness and creating a plan together, rather than simply trying to rally the troops behind their back.
8. Sharing Credit for Your Successes
In an attempt to be humble, we often share the credit for our successes with others. It seems the admirable thing to do, after all. However, we must remember that it’s important to accept responsibility for the decisions and choices we make to honor our truth.
9. Never Giving Up
Perseverance is a trait of successful people, but successful people also know when to cut their losses. When you stay focused on a certain result without constant evaluation, you may miss out on valuable opportunities and happiness along the way. Persevere when it makes sense, otherwise move on.
Being loyal is an important trait in developing a strong social network. Blind loyalty, however, is another matter. It isn’t uncommon to grow apart from people that once mattered. However, staying in relationships out of loyalty, we are depriving ourselves of happiness by not spending time with people that can provide a more positive impact.
11. A Strong Sense of Right and Wrong
A community of people with a solid moral compass is what helps societies function, but living in a black and white world can erode that very foundation. When we stand so firmly in our beliefs that we can’t compromise and find the gray, we end up putting our relationships and own happiness at risk.
12. Being Helpful
Being helpful is one thing. Being helpful at the cost of taking care of yourself is another. We all want to show compassion and kindness to those in need, but it’s important that we make ourselves the priority to truly achieve happiness. By taking care of ourselves first, we will be better positioned to help others.
Do you want to be closer to happiness each day? It’s time to listen to how your body responds. Do more of the things that make you feel good and stop doing the things that don’t – it seems easy, but once you master it you will see remarkable changes happen in your life.