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6 Subtle Habits That Are Sabotaging Your Happiness | Nick Wignall

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6 Subtle Habits That Are Sabotaging Your Happiness | Nick Wignall
Everybody wants to know what they can do to be happier. We crave some combination of lessons, tricks, inspiration, goals, strategies, life-hacks, pills, or even apps that will add more happiness and wellbeing to our lives. But what if finding happiness is less about what we should add and more about what we should subtract?

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Worrying about the future

Worrying is the mental habit of trying to solve a problem that either can’t be solved or isn’t really a problem. 

It gives us the illusion of control. Worrying about i...

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Isolating yourself

When we hide our pain and isolate ourselves, we throw away the most powerful antidepressant: loving support from people who care about us.

You don’t need coping strategies when you’re ...

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Keeping quiet

Most of us hesitate to push back and stand up for ourselves because we’re afraid of being perceived as aggressive or rude. And so we default to being passive.

But there’s a middle road betwee...

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Talking trash to yourself

If you talked to other people the way you talked to yourself, you’d probably have zero friends, no job, and multiple warrants out for your arrest. Why treat yourself in a different way?

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Trying to manage stress

Stress management is a Band-Aid. It’s treating the symptoms.

If you’re constantly stressed, the long-term solution is to fix the original cause of the stress (the stressor) not the fee...

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Believing your own thoughts

Cultivate a healthy skepticism of your own thoughts. Learn to let them be. You’ll be happier for it.

Your thoughts aren’t special. And a lot of them are actively detrimental if you mai...

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"The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation, but you thoughts about it. Be aware of the thoughts you are thinking. "

Eckhart Tolle

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Good relationships

Having good, supportive friendships, a strong marriage or close and loving relationships with our family members will make us much more likely to be happy. 

Action steps: T...

Optimism and self-esteem

These are some of the best indicators of people who lead happy lives. Happy people feel empowered, in control of their lives, and have a positive outlook on life. 

Action steps: Get into the habit of squashing all negative thoughts and replacing them with positive ones.

Flow

People find greatest enjoyment not when they’re passively mindless, but when they’re absorbed in a mindful challenge. This is flow, when we're so immersed in our task that we lose track of time. 

Action steps: Find work  and hobbies that you’re passionate about and that fully engage you.

Make room for your emotions

Make room for your emotions

Rumi, the 13th-century Sufi poet, compared emotions to unexpected visitors. 

We're supposed to let them in and not hide from them, suppress them or pretend they do not exist.

Gaining peace of mind

In a society that promotes gratitude and positivity, there is pressure to suppress or conceal negative feelings.

But psychological studies reveal that acceptance of your negative feelings promotes emotional resilience, with fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety.

The magic of acceptance

Acceptance of negative emotions involves not trying to change how we feel but taking them for what they are.

Acceptance works because it blunts the emotional reactions to stressful events. In time, it can lead to positive psychological health.

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Narrative Habits

The way we talk to ourselves about the events in our lives is subject to the same laws of learning and habit formation that physical behaviors are.

That means we can learn to talk to o...

Events + Thoughts = Emotions

Our emotions are always mediated by some form of thinking. 

If our thoughts determine how we feel, that means how we habitually think will determine how we habitually feel.

Mind Reading

It happens when we assume we understand what other people are thinking without any real evidence.

It is a failure of imagination because we often only imagine and focus on the negative aspects.

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