Believe it or not, having a more positive outlook on life and being genuinely happy is a totally attainable goal. There are tiny tweaks and steps you can take each day that can make a noticeable difference in the way you feel and approach things in your day-to-day life. Even if you feel like you’re drowning in a sea of motivational quotes and positive thinking Instagram accounts without seeing a change, we’re going to introduce you to nine actionable steps that can set you up for increased happiness!
1. Trying to Bond over Gossip
Let’s be honest, gossiping is fun and many of us are guilty of this super destructive habit. Whether you’re talking about something as seemingly harmless as a co-worker’s lack of fashion sense or your boss’ extramarital affair; gossiping does not equal forming a connection with someone. In fact, it’s much more likely to cause doubt and insecurity as you’ll start wondering what people are saying about you. Instead of trying to bond with someone over something negative, challenge yourself to find common ground with someone over something positive or even neutral. When you bond with someone over something negative, it’s superficial and it’s probable that once the gossip dies down, you won’t have anything in common with that person anyway.
With so many demands on our time, it’s tempting to want to schedule every single hour of your day. There’s nothing wrong with creating a schedule and wanting to ensure you get your tasks done. What you don’t want to do is schedule every waking moment where you have no wiggle room with your deadlines. Overscheduling will only stress you out because it’s not feasible to begin and finish each task within the given time frame all the time. You’ll feel like you started a bunch of things you never finished and end your day feeling unaccomplished. Instead of creating hard deadlines, create start times so that you have a prompt to work on ongoing projects each day.
3. You’re Obsessed with Taking Pictures
What does being happy have to do with taking pictures-a lot more than you’d think! When you’re taking a picture of something, you’re literally placing something between you and whatever you’re taking a photo of and you’re no longer in the moment. This also reminds me of an interview that Aziz Ansari where he mentioned that he’d rather talk to fans than take a photo because it takes away from the moment. I get wanting to capture the moment but while you’re focusing on getting the perfect shot, adding filters, and uploading it, the moment has passed without truly experiencing it.
4. You Allow outside Influences to Dictate Your Mood
I think we’ve all heard that it’s not what happens to you but how you react to it that’s important. It might sound corny, but your reaction to your daily encounters truly matter. If you go about your day on autopilot allowing other people or circumstances to affect your mood and well-being, you’re basically a moment away from losing your cool. I have those days where I’m basically at the mercy of others and happenstance and it’s so unnecessary and bad! You can decide to have a good day and be in a good mood. You are truly in control of you and your emotions.
5. You Strive for Quantity, Not Quality
In most instances, we’re striving to strike that perfect balance between quality and quantity. If you’re looking to be happier, you’ll definitely want to focus more on quality than quantity. This goes for work, friends, and most definitely when it comes to how you spend your day. Try to avoid making an endless to-do list that leaves you stressed and frustrated. Give your all to completing a certain reasonable number of tasks and then let yourself off the hook. It’s much better to dedicate your full concentration and time to a few key things rather than spreading yourself thin and struggling to finish up 15 half-assed things at once.
6. You Value Comfort over Happiness
While some may view comfort and happiness as the same thing; I can tell you that in this case, it is most certainly not. Seeking comfort or things that familiar to us might give us a sense of security but it ultimately won’t lead to happiness. Always sticking to what’s familiar to us won’t lead us anywhere but in the same position we’ve always been in. There will be times when you need to step out of your comfort zone in order to achieve short-term goals or take that next step in your education or career. Be cognizant of this so that you can avoid the comfort trap.
7. Trying to Fix Problems You Don’t Fully Understand
Many of us consider ourselves problems solvers at work or school but have you thought about how you go about solving problems in your own life? There’s a big problem with just slapping a band-aid on a problem without really getting to the bottom of the issue. It’s like trying to fix a leaky faucet with a piece of gum. You’ve plugged up the leak but the gum isn’t going to last forever and you’ve still got a part that needs repairing or replacing. You can treat the symptoms all you want but you’ll never get rid of the problem until you understand what’s truly wrong.
8. Waiting for a Magic Moment
There are lots of inspirational stories floating around about life-changing events. While they’re uplifting reads, they can lead us to believe that we all need to wait for a magical moment to provide meaning to our lives. The truth is, your life is what you make of it. We can wait all of our lives for something or someone to show us the meaning of life or you can take control and write your own story.
9. Spending Money Indiscriminately
Having the latest and greatest stuff might seem important at the time but, in the long run it means you have less to spend on your necessities. Be careful with how you spend your money and invest in yourself before buying frivolous things. Investing your money on promoting a healthy mind and body directly contributes to your level of happiness whereas impulse purchase and random things that catch your eye just leave you with buyer’s remorse.
What do you think of these suggestions? Would you ever consider implementing them? Let us know in the comments!