3 Ways We Sabotage Our Own Happiness & How To Stop
A deep state of happiness came over me. I was sitting in meditation in a Buddhist monastery. For a week I had lived a minimalist life. Simple food, no media, and a lot of mindfulness. The effect was a profound joy from within that I had never experienced before.
The bliss came from the inside. I did not need an event, or person on the outside to experience pleasure. I looked inward and there it was. The treasure we are all chasing. It was just there. It always had been. All I needed to do was reach out. So why play the game of searching for happiness on the outside? A game that we lose more often than not? Waiting for our circumstances to match our desires before we allow ourselves to be content. How can we stop sabotaging us? And appreciate the beautiful gift within. Here are ways we sabotage our happiness and how to stop.
1) Reliving the past
Trapped in our past is exhausting? Reliving it repeatedly? The Blame or regret. Two common emotions we hold about the past.
Maybe we hold grudges against our parents? Or someone who has wronged us? Whether we accuse someone else of doing something. Or we attack ourselves. Isn´t it enough that it happened once? Why do we repeat it in our head over and over again? Playing the blame game will block us from experiencing peace. We need to stop allowing that thing from poisoning us. We cannot change the past. But we can learn from it. And deal with it in an empowering way.
2) Not appreciating the present
We wait for something to happen, so we finally are happy? The present moment is not good enough. Something needs to be added to create joy. We constantly search for the next thing. Only to discover that the moment of bliss is fleeting. And we strive for the next thing that gives us the short-lived spark. We look for the perfect job, relationship, the next trip. Thinking if only we were with our dream partner. We would be less lonely. Turning to the outside for pleasure. Wishing that everything runs the way we want. It is a trap. And we fall into it repeatedly.
There are ups and downs in life. It is part of the journey. Expecting to only ride the high wave is saying no to life. We miss half of our life if we cannot accept the downs. And step into happiness, no matter the circumstances. Is it possible to not just accept the tough times but to appreciate them? What if we saw the hidden blessings? The lessons that we could learn. The excitement from growing and becoming better. And accepting the present moment as it is.
3) Worrying about the future
Worrying is something our brain is prone to do. We constantly ask, what if this or that happened? What if my partner leaves me? What if I lose my job? To take care of potential threats is important. But being trapped in the what-if cycle is not helpful. Just as constantly being afraid of the worst outcome is.
It deprives us of happiness. And creates anxiety. This constrains us from taking action to solve the situation. Let us take advice from the Dalai Lama who said, “if you can do something about a situation, why worry? And if you can’t do something about a situation, why worry?”
To sum up
Genuine happiness is found inside, not outside. We can always tap into serenity unless we sabotage ourselves. Common ways we do that is by being trapped in the past. Reliving the past and holding on to grudges and regret. Not accepting the present moment. Trying to adjust something, so it fits our dreams. We only have those wishes because we think they will make us happy. Aren´t you tired of playing the chasing game? Stop obsessing about the future. If you can change it, take action. And if you cannot change it, stop worrying. Just be happy now.
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