Lisa Cypers Kamen, is an internationally recognized positive psychology coach and author of Are We Happy Yet? Eight Keys to Unlocking a Joyful Life. She hosts the popular radio show “Harvesting Happiness,” which has helped millions of people around the world generate more joy and fulfillment in their lives. And today, we’re happy to have her here, sharing five common ways that we sabotage our own happiness and how we can stop it, pronto!
5 Ways You Sabotage Your Own Happiness and How to Stop, By Lisa Cypers Kamen
Life isn’t meant to be a smooth journey, but most people would be surprised to learn that they are the saboteurs of their own destinies. For some reason, on a level that isn’t even fully conscious, we often put actions into motions that work against our own happiness. If someone were to ask us if we were doing it, we’d likely say “no.”It’s not that we’re lying to ourselves or anyone else. We just have no idea.
You are not powerless to stop your actions that do not serve your best interests. Here are five steps that will help you to minimize your less desirable habits and amp up your intuition about the better choices that lead to happiness.
1. Instead of envying others, count your blessings.
When we look at others and feel negativity over what they have that we do not, we are doing a great disservice. Many times the natural response is to wish that something bad actually happens to that person to “knock them off their high horse.” For example, if they got that great promotion you may hope that it doesn’t make them any happier. If they post loads of pictures of their wildly happy life and lifestyle, don’t compare where you are in life to what they show. There is no point, and if you believe in karma at all, you know that what you cast out there for emotions is likely to come back to you at some time. If you find that you engage in this type of thought or talk be cautious, because no good can come of it for you.
2. Don’t participate in behaviors that you know make you feel bad afterward.
When we are feeling bad about ourselves in some way we often sabotage our recovery from the situation, and even our perspective, in several ways. We may binge eat, gossip about others, fill our spirits with negative self-talk, and even take on addictive behaviors. When this happens we often regret it the next day and think that we’ll never do it again, only to do it again next time we’re challenged. When we set ourselves up for failure and don’t healthily address our emotional issues we’re sabotaging our chances of coping in a healthy manner.
3. Make movement part of your daily “must-do” list.
Our bodies aren’t meant to be sedentary, and when we have physical movement it is good for us on every level of our existence. This isn’t about weight management either; it’s about giving our body what it needs to feel better, therefore think better. The toughest days for most people are days where they are trapped behind a computer or stuck in one spot without being able to move around. Two simple ways to make sure you’re doing something in the movement area are: a) to commit to parking in the back of parking lots and walking to your destination, thinking peaceful thoughts and taking deep breaths; and b) trying to move around at least once an hour for a few minutes during your work day if you have a stationary position.
4. Get help if you need it.
There is no shame in seeking out help when you need it to lift yourself from depressed thought or to simply get out of that funk that you just can’t shake off. There are many ways to do this, including talking with a counselor or therapist, listening to motivational and inspirational messages, or reading or listening to audio books that target what your particular challenge is. Explore what is most effective for you. Maybe it’s a combination of all these things. One solution that many people have said is effective is to walk and listen to motivational audio books at the same time.
5. Stay clear of “negativity breeders.”
Sometimes it’s not about being nice; it’s about getting through your personal storm. If you’re having challenges finding and maintaining happiness you need to take a step back from the people who see no joy in this world and love to camp out in the “complain zone.” The more you separate from people who are dwelling in negativity, the easier it is to see the light. With that light comes the happiness.
If you’ve read through this and find that you’ve been sabotaging your own happiness by not doing things that are healthy for you, don’t feel bad. It happens to everyone and when life is busy, we all get caught up in the drain trap of negative emotions at one time or another. Now that you know, you’ve already taken the first step to flush away that self-sabotage and open up the faucet of happiness and let it flow into your life.