The pursuit of happiness. Most of us are on board that train; destination happiness; but what habits are you practicing that are wrecking your journey on a daily basis?
Habit 1: Limited emotional vocabulary.
Does your emotional vocabulary consist of two words? Happy and sad?! Or can you articulate the gamut of emotions between and around happy and sad? Having the self awareness to recognise your emotions, then the vocabulary to articulate them will improve your emotional intelligence. When you have emotional intelligence and awareness of your mood, you can accept it for what it is - a passing feeling - and don't have to allow your mood to dictate your attitude and behaviour.
Habit 2: You lack purpose and intent.
How often do you stop running on the hamster wheel to consider where you are heading and to set your intention for how you want to act and feel in your next interaction? Stopping for a few minutes to plan and consider your purpose throughout the day is invaluable to you kicking goals in the activities you invest your time in. The same as you would go into a meeting with clear purpose and intent of what you want to achieve and the outcomes you are aiming for, so you can set your intent for your mood. In your next interaction how do you want to be perceived - as energetic? as enthusiastic? as bored? Think about how would behave in order to be perceived that way, and think about the feelings that come with that. Set your intention and take a breath before you go into that interaction. Allow yourself to be surprised how your interactions and feelings follow the intent you set - because your behaviour and attitude influence them!
Habit 3: Appreciation is reserved for big milestones only.
Is every day you live just test of patience as you impatiently wait to achieve your big goals? Do small milestones slip by without you even noticing? Do you have a mindset that life now is nothing, but once you have achieved your goals, then you will be happy? Appreciating the ordinary, everyday facets of your life is a key to your happiness. No doubt there are many aspects of your life that others may consider their life long goals (think third world/first world here). Not only can appreciating all of your everyday ordinary blessings impact your mood positively, but adjusting your mindset will help greatly too. If you are focused on "being happy once a,b or c happens" I will suggest two things; 1; you will be disappointed when you get there because with this mindset there is always another goal to achieve, and 2; you will miss MANY opportunities for happiness and joy in your everyday because you are too busy focusing on your ideas for the future.
Habit 4: Constantly running from A to B and chasing your tail.
Are you so busy with a task list that is 3 miles long most days, that stopping (to articulate your mood, take a breath, set your intention or appreciate the moment) is way beyond your realms of consideration? Being that busy is dangerous for your mood and wellbeing, because of all that is above - you don't take the few minutes to stop and be mindful. Mindfulness is definitely a trendy catch cry word at the moment, but there is a good reason for that; practicing it can bring you huge health and wellbeing benefits! Being mindful is an extension of adopting the different mindset I spoke about in habit 3. Practicing it as a habit causes you to ground yourself in the moments of your day and appreciate your journey, rather than being overwhelmed with thoughts and plans for what is coming next.
Habit 5: Meaningful social connections are not a priority.
Do you keep all your social and professional interactions as superficial as possible so you don't have to deal with your own emotional baggage or that of others? Not all of your interactions needs to be deep and meaningful, but if you don't inject authenticity on some level into them, your happiness and wellbeing will suffer. To know and to be known by other trusted human beings is a critical protective factor in your mental health outcomes and physical life expectancy. Allow yourself to be known in your interactions. And make it a priority to connect on a meaningful level with a trusted person most days (the occasional day off for emotional solace and recovery is acceptable in my book (insert winking emoji)!)
There are ofcourse many other bad habits that will negatively impact your mood, and other good habits that you can adopt. To listen to my latest vlog about how you can implement these positive strategies into your every day life to improve your mood and happiness, click on the link to my youtube channel below.
Kristy is the founder of Wellbalance. She is inspired to motivate leaders and workplaces toward proactive, effective and productive communication with their people, to achieve positive outcomes for all and resolve conflict. Kristy enjoys long walks on the beach and holding hands at sunset (just joking - actually not really!) Kristy thrives on seeing relationships reach their full potential, and celebrates when people come to understand their true value - to love their flaws, accept their perceived failings and grow beyond these. She believes that the entire human race are healthier and happier when they CONNECT - with their people, GROW - in their self awareness and ability to engage with others, and LIVE - life to their full potential.