12 Habits That Hold People Back From Finding Happiness

12 Habits That Hold People Back From Finding Happiness

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Are you happy? If you can’t say that you’re pleased, then do you know what’s causing you to be discontented? Life is full of ups and downs, but you must learn to maintain happiness no matter what comes your way.

Your partner leaves you, loved ones pass on, and your children give you so much to worry about that it interrupts your sleep. How do you get back on track and get your life back together after a significant blow to your happiness? Did you know that you can get into a negative pattern that can keep you down?

Twelve Habits That Keep You From Finding Happiness

Today is the day that will change everything in your life. You’re going to learn the twelve things that are sabotaging you from finding happiness. These self-destructive habits are holding you back, and once you identify them, you can learn to alter these behaviors.

Here are the twelve things that are keeping you from living every day with joy.

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1. Being A People Pleaser

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Do you try to please others more so than yourself? Do you do everything you can to keep those around you happy? You worry so much that people will judge or reject you that you go out of your way to seek their approval.

Stop gauging your self-esteem and confidence by what others think of you. Remember, you are not responsible for how other people feel, and they’re not responsible for your feelings either. Stop taking things so personally and set boundaries and guidelines for your life.

Finding happiness is going to be challenging when you let others dictate your every move.

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2. Using Numbing Mechanisms to Cope

Finding happiness comes easier to some than others. However, no one wants to feel sadness, fear, shame, and disappointment. Many people become a master at numbing their emotions, and they’re resilient to happiness. It’s easier to bypass what hurts than to be aware of it and work on this issue.

Some say that emotional pain is worse than physical discomfort. However, anything that hurts is going to get your attention. It would help if you had boundaries in your life and learn to speak up for yourself.

If you’re using food, alcohol, shopping, work, or scrolling social media to numb your emotions, it’s time to face what hurts so that you can work through it.

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3. Perfectionism Harms Your Happiness

Do you feel that you must be perfect to succeed and reach your goals? Sadly, the roots of perfectionism are steeped in the belief that you’re “less than” more so than a successful person. People who struggle with this mindset live in fear that they will make a mistake.

Did you know that you can have a legacy of perfectionism that is passed down through genetics? Your parents or siblings may suffer from the same issue. You must let go of these unrealistic expectations and learn to deal with criticism.

Start by setting realistic expectations for your life and not overwhelming yourself when things aren’t perfect.

4. Trying to Control Everything

Do you try to control everything, but you’re failing miserably at it? You can’t control the world or even those around you. No one likes to be around control freaks who have no boundaries.

The real issue behind this behavior is that you’re afraid of uncertainty. Start by keeping your opinions to yourself, and stop giving people unsolicited advice. Then, work on the reasons why you feel like your life is so out of control.

The lack of self-trust has deep roots that need to be uncovered, dug up, and disposed of properly.

5. Isolating Yourself

It’s only natural to want to make the world go away by hiding behind four walls. Sure, your home brings you comfort as it’s your safe place, but you must be careful about isolating yourself. When you withdrawal from the world, it’s effortless to lose interest in things like personal hygiene, proper nutrition, and making your home clean and tidy.

According to Marian Mitchell, an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach with Road To Living Whole, you need support, love, friendship, and laughter, which comes from being around other people. Additionally, self-isolating can be an ongoing problem that you must push your way through.

6. Hiding Your Emotions Behind A Tough Exterior

Why do people fear showing emotions? It’s okay to hurt, and it’s okay to cry. Crying doesn’t mean you’re weak, and hiding your emotions doesn’t make you stronger.

You’re resilient by nature, but it’s okay to fall apart when the situation warrants it. Don’t suppress your feelings and hope they go away. Allow yourself a good cry, and you can even get mad and vent once in a while. Suppressing your emotions is just building things up for a big explosion later.

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7. Bracing Yourself for Disaster

Do you engage in catastrophic thinking? You can’t enjoy the good things in life because you’re always waiting for the next disaster to strike. Rejections and disappointments from past mistakes can hang around and make you miserable. The key to finding happiness is to be thankful for what you have and finding joy in the smallest of things each day.

8. Comparing Yourself to Others Impedes Happiness

When you fall into the trap of comparing yourself to others, it will make you miserable. It’s hard to avoid this habit, especially when you have low self-esteem or don’t value your self-worth. Please don’t feel bad about yourself and compare your life to others, as you only see their best moments.

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To fix this issue, you must become intimate with your successes. It’s okay to have some pride in your accomplishments. It’s not bragging about being proud of what you’ve done; make sure you stay humble. You don’t need a Pulitzer Prize to be happy with the things you’ve achieved.

Try making a journal of all your accomplishments. Every time you feel the urge to compare yourself to others, remind yourself of all the things that you’ve done that are amazing.

9. Being Overly Critical of Yourself

Do you beat yourself up over the minor mistakes? You’re human, and you’re going to make blunders. However, you can’t wallow in pity every time you do something wrong.

Inspiration to your Inbox

Stop criticizing yourself over things you can’t control and the times that you stumble. Rather, look at these mistakes as lessons and learn something from them.

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10. Engaging In Self-Sabotaging Behavior

Self-sabotaging behavior is a tricky thing to understand. These behaviors start by feeling justified in your feelings and going after what you want, whether it’s right or wrong. Even when everything is going great in your life, you can beat yourself up over past failures.

Assume you got a promotion at work. Since you’ve been with the company for ten years, you feel justified in the increase. However, it’s not soon after your promotion that you start thinking about all the failures along the way.

Your fears of not measuring upstart to flood your mind, and soon you find that you’re in a panic that you will mess things up. You’re using self-sabotaging behaviors. When you expect things to fall apart at any moment, you’re creating the inevitable. You must love yourself enough to avoid such behaviors.

Take action to stop this conduct by calling out the behavior and understand that your inner critic is speaking from anxiety, hurt, and fears. Stop using words like:

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  • Can’t
  • Don’t
  • Only
  • Just
  • Simply
  • But

Changing your vocabulary can help you transform your mindset. Be proud of your accomplishments and stop being so critical.

11. Basing Your Self-Worth on Achievements

Overachieving is very unhealthy when you begin making your achievements all about what you are. Being an overachiever is based on the belief that you will avoid rejection from others if you do more. You often see these characteristics in workaholics.

According to Psychology Answers, workaholics are driven by anxiety, low self-esteem, and intimacy problems, so they hide behind their job. These people are often engaging in neuroticism, perfectionism, and industriousness, and it makes them miserable.

12. Nursing Unhealthy Guilt

Everybody holds onto a little bit of guilt. However, you must be apologetic, express regret, make changes, and move on. When you get stuck with their feelings of guilt, you will act in a manner that’s unhealthy.

While it’s good to be aware of your accountability, you must ensure that you don’t distort a situation in your mind and blow things out of proportion.

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Final Thoughts on Finding Happiness

Did you learn anything from this article that can help you change your mindset and put you on the path to finding happiness? You have one life to live, so why not make it the best you can?

Rather than getting involved in perfectionism, comparing yourself with others, and self-sabotaging behaviors, it’s time to live your truths. Being honest with yourself is freeing, and it can open you up to finding the true happiness you long for in life.

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Deborah is a full-time editor, blogger, and children's book author. Her book series helps children with anxiety overcome the challenges in everyday life using kindness and courage. She holds a Bachelor's of Science degree in Secondary Education English and a Spanish minor from the Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. When she's not working on one of her many writing projects, you will find Deborah working in her herb garden. She is currently completing her master herbalist certification and can't wait to share the knowledge.

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