6 Reasons You May Not Be Reaching Your Ultimate Level of Happiness
Do you often feel like there’s something missing in your life? Do you wonder why, in spite of “having it all,” you can’t bring yourself to be genuinely happy? Have you tried to emulate the happy people in your life, only to end up frustrated that what worked for them didn’t work for you?
If you said “Yes” to any of these questions, it may be time to rethink your approach to achieving happiness.
Here are 6 reasons you may not be happy…
Do You Let Others Define Your Happiness?
In one study, researchers found an interesting difference between happy and unhappy people. When happy people received feedback, they took it well — regardless of whether the feedback was positive or negative, and regardless of whether their peers did better or worse. Unhappy people, on the other hand, experienced significant self-confidence boosts only when they received positive feedback, and only when someone else fared worse. Otherwise, the feedback did nothing for them — if not make them feel bad.
Do You Always Say “Yes”?
You can’t be everything to everyone. You can’t juggle 20 balls, knowing perfectly well you can only handle 5. You can’t be afraid to set boundaries with people, because of what you think they’ll do to you otherwise.
Remember: Setting boundaries is crucial to maintaining healthy relationships. It might be scary to do so at first, but think of it this way: Why would you want to be around people who have no respect for you whatsoever? They’ll only drain you in the long run.
Do You Always Say “No”?
On the other hand, you don’t want to shut all your doors either. It’s okay to be afraid at times, since it’s an ingrained survival mechanism. But if you always let fear get the better of you, you’ll miss opportunities that “lucky” people will grab without batting an eyelash.
Making sure your place of employment has a positive effect on your life can be one way of measuring your happiness and how you could improve your happiness level by determining what this environment is or is not doing for you! If your job is not supplying a positive effect on your life, you may want to search for other jobs/opportunities to make money, and possibly recover from your stress-induced state of mind.
Do You Honor Your Body?
Sometimes, happiness is a matter of changing what you eat. A lot of foods readily available at the grocery store have nutrients scientifically proven to boost your mood. If you don’t have time to cook, you can at least stock up on the aforementioned foods.
Exercise is a great mood booster too. It helps your body release endorphins, or the so-called “happiness hormones.” Even if you can only spare a brisk, 30-minute walk every day, exercise can do wonders for your body and overall well being.
Do You Take the Bad with the Good?
Happiness isn’t about being “up” all the time. It’s about acknowledging that life throws you curve-balls and facing them head-on, instead of pretending the curve-balls don’t exist. It’s about being able to get up no matter how many times you’re knocked down. If you try to be “happy” at the expense of everything else, it can actually make you unhappier.
Do You Suffer With Depression?
What if you’ve gone through all the above, and your unhappiness still debilitates you? In that case, it’s possible you may have a form of depression. If left untreated, this disease can have serious consequences.
So how do you know if you’re depressed, as opposed to having the usual “ups and downs” everyone else has? It’s really hard to say, unless you get a professional diagnosis. (Heck, even experts can’t agree on what constitutes depression and its variants.) In any case, the earlier you get help for your condition, the better.
How Are You Defining Happiness?
Happiness means different things to different people. Some think it’s as grand as penning an international bestseller. Others think it’s as simple as a perfectly brewed cup of coffee every morning. That’s why suggesting a one true path to happiness is, to put it bluntly, ridiculous and reductive.
Still, people who go down the aforementioned path often meet the same kind of obstacles again and again. You can’t make those obstacles go away completely, but you can know enough about them to prepare for them when they come around. As long as you’re honest with yourself about your happiness (or the lack thereof), that’s already a big leap towards obtaining a better life.