We all do things that we know aren’t good for us. If you’re feeling crappy about some sort of decision you made, chances are it’s because you know better and you know it’s not helping you. A lot of time, those things are compulsive. They’ve become habitual. The how and why is not clear, but you know the what; you’re not happy. When you end up stuck in a perpetual cycle of unhappiness, it’s not good. You’re just going through the motions. It sucks, I know. I’ve been there. The only one who can make the changes necessary to be happier is you. So here are some of those unhealthy habits you should probably break to try and make yourself a happier person.
1. Having harmful relationships
This can mean friends, significant others, etc. Sometimes these people start out as some of the greatest relationships you have ever had. Sometimes they are harmful from the beginning and you just don’t notice. Whatever they case, these people are in your life, and they are poisonous. Maybe you are avoiding ending it because you have mutual friends. Maybe it’s because you don’t want to rock the boat, or that you don’t know how to stand up for yourself. Or maybe it’s just because you’ve grown accustomed to the relationship. It’s familiar.
As much as you love this person, there comes a time that you have to say to yourself, “Is this relationship good for me? Is it more helpful then harmful? Do they make me feel good about myself? Do they support me? Would they go out of their way for me like I do for them?” If the answers to any of these questions are no, then there’s a problem. You need to re-evaluate your relationship with this person.
If you could try and sit down and talk with them (if you think it would help) about your relationship, then do it. Tell them what’s wrong and the things you need from them in the future to help make the relationship more positive and negative. Compromise might be necessary, but if they’re willing to work with you, that’s great.
If they are unwilling to talk with you or you can’t come to a compromise that works for both of you, then maybe it’s no longer (or never was, depending on the case) a relationship you need in your life. That’s okay. These things happen. Sometimes we outgrow people, and sometimes we grow apart. In the end, you need to do what’s right for you, and if this relationship isn’t working for you anymore then it is okay for you to want to end it. It doesn’t need to be malicious. Just be courteous and try to make the other person understand why your relationship is not working for you anymore. If they refuse to accept that, remember this: you don’t owe anybody anything that compromises your happiness.
2. Being a doormat
I’m not saying don’t be a nice person. What I’m saying is if you are afraid to speak up for yourself, are getting walked all over by others, or are being taken advantage of, then you might be a little bit of a doormat. That’s not good for you. You can’t let other people take advantage of you. You are your own advocate, and you can’t rely on anyone else to stick up for you. Stand up for yourself. No one else is going to. Don’t worry that it will make others think less of you (it won’t unless you’re rude). I guarantee if you stick up for yourself, people will probably respect you more then if you don’t. Speak up for yourself, because some people might not even realize they’re taking advantage of you (some do, but there are people who generally don’t even realize it).
3. Comparing yourself to others
Especially if it’s on social media, which is where everyone puts their best face out there to try and make their life look great. The reality of that is nobody is exactly what their profile says. No one is going to brag about the bad things going on in their life. When you compare yourself like that, you’re coming your worst self to their best self.
Stop comparing yourself to other people. It’s not a competition. If you make it one, nobody wins. The only person you’re really hurting in the end is yourself. If you have to delete your social media accounts to stop comparing yourself to others, then do it. It’s clearly not healthy for you, and you can always reactivate those accounts when you feel like you can handle it.
4. Doing work you don’t enjoy or believe in
Nothing is harder than getting up every day and going to a job you hate, or worse, to a job that conflicts with your morals and personal beliefs. In the long run, you’ll be happier getting paid to do something you enjoy.
I’m not saying to up and quit your job, because we all need to pay the rent somehow. I’m just saying to maybe look for a different job. Make a change in your professional world. If you feel like you want and need to change career paths (and can afford to do so) maybe start researching taking some classes. Taking those classes and/or working towards a degree in a field you enjoy might be beneficial for you.
5. Bottling up your emotions
You don’t have to put everything out there. It’s really okay if you’re a private person and want to keep some things to yourself.
However, if something is bothering you, hurting you, or affecting your life negatively, you shouldn’t just bottle it up. If you do, eventually you’re going to explode.
Talk it out. Talk to people you trust. If you need to, go see a therapist. It doesn’t make you crazy, and it’s nothing to be ashamed about. It’s their job to listen to you and to help you work through your issues.
6. Having no social life
Yes, working hard is important. You should always try your best and avoid being lazy or a slacker.
That being said, working isn’t the only thing. People are social creatures by nature. We need to go out every once and a while and do something fun. Socializing can help you to unwind and de-stress, which, in turn, will help make you happier. Join an intramural sports team with either friends or coworkers (which I did, and it’s totally awesome). You’ll make other friends, get some exercise (which is also super important for your health and happiness), and have an all around blast. If that’s not your thing, then just try to do other things with your friends, family, and coworkers for fun. Go to a game, go see a play, or even just go for a walk.
Sure sometimes you want to be anti-social, hole up in your room and read a book. That’s fine too. The key is to manage your time wisely and balance the time you don’t spend working either socializing or relaxing (or both).
7. Holding yourself back
You are your own worst enemy. Don’t let yourself get in the way of your success. You miss a hundred percent of the shots you don’t take. This entire number has been a complete cliche, but that’s only because it’s all true. Don’t hold yourself back or bring yourself down; there are plenty of other people in the world who are going to try to do that to you. Don’t help them do it.