In his book, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey shared how having deliberate and mindful habits can help you be successful in business.
So to with happiness. Psychologists who study happiness say that genetics and life circumstances only account for about 50% of a person’s happiness. The other 50% is driven from attitudes and habits.
Sometimes it’s easier to recognize what makes you unhappy than happy. Here are seven habits to avoid or to watch for to help you be more happy:
- Being pessimistic. Nobody likes a pessimist. What’s worse, pessimism can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you think the glass is half full, it will be.
- Focusing too much on yourself and not on others. If you think you are the only one with problems in the world, think again. Thinking and doing things for others will help you take your mind off your own problems and make you feel good about yourself.
- Seeing yourself as a victim. This kind of goes hand in hand with #1. You are in control of your own destiny. Don’t blame others if things go wrong.
- Not having goals. If you don’t have goals, you’re at risk of stagnating. Even if it’s just to learn a new recipe or getting more exercise, having a goal will give you purpose and make you feel good when you achieve it
- Focusing only on the future and forgetting about today. The happiest people find joy in life’s little moments and the gifts of each day.
- Overreacting or stressing out over little things. This is a tough one if you are prone to stress or anxiety, but if you can find ways to roll with life’s challenges, you will be more balanced and happy.
- Retreating into yourself. It’s great to spend time alone, but studies show interacting with people and having positive relationships are critical to happiness.
As Benjamin Franklin once said, “The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.”
This week’s #HappyAct is to avoid these seven unhappy habits. Have a happy week.