(HealthyResearch.com) – Genetics can impact your mental health, but you still have control over your happiness. You may already know that performing random acts of kindness and maintaining strong relationships promote a happy state of mind, but you might be wondering what not to do. These are 11 habits and behaviors you should avoid if you want a happier life. Happy people don’t:
1. Place Blame
Happy people don’t blame others when something goes wrong because they understand that no one else is responsible for their happiness. They accept their role in the situation and move forward with solutions instead of assessing blame.
2. Hold Grudges
“Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself.” Harboring grudges can block you from feeling joy, and make it difficult to enjoy your current blessings. For your own well-being, consider leaving the past in the past to focus on living in the moment, even if you don’t think someone deserves your forgiveness. Also, just because you extend forgiveness does not infer you automatically extend trust or resume relationships — you are not even obligated to let the person know they are forgiven!
3. Dwell on Lack
It’s easy to spiral into a negative mindset when you focus on what you lack, rather than the blessings you have. Happy people tend to appreciate everything — big or small — that life sends their way.
4. Think in Black and White
Unhappy people tend to overlook the gray areas in situations, going to melodramatic extremes. This can make it difficult to understand the plights of others or create a resolution for an unpleasant situation. You may even feel trapped or hopeless when you see everything as black and white, instead of accepting that the reality is somewhere in the middle.
5. Live in the Past
It’s nice to reminisce about your past sometimes, but it’s not good to get stuck there. Sometimes it’s a fine line between analyzing pivotal points in your past to improve future decisions and dwelling on or overthinking negative past experiences or missed opportunities. Your past may inform your present and future, but it doesn’t determine it.
6. Constantly Complain
It’s normal to vent when life throws us curveballs, but some people complain about everything, from the temperature of their latte to the way the cashier looked at them while they were grocery shopping. This may deter others from spending time with you, causing your personal relationships to suffer. It also promotes a negative mindset and blocks gratitude, so you may miss out on happiness if you’re frequently annoyed by life.
7. Make Excuses
Sometimes, all we see are roadblocks instead of looking for viable paths around the roadblocks. For instance, instead of saying you’re too tired to hit the gym or go back to school, carve out 30 minutes a day to go to the gym or take online classes. Happy people find avenues to make their goals attainable instead of focusing on the roadblocks.
8. Bash Others
Happy people rise above negative people or situations. Everyone vents from time to time, but the keys are choosing time and place wisely. Workplace gossip or family drama can create a web of negativity that can drag you and others down, weaken relationships, and possibly even cause you to feel guilt or shame about your actions.
9. Obsess About Personal Flaws
Nobody’s perfect, but obsessing over your perceived cosmetic or psychological imperfections won’t improve your life. Set actionable, attainable goals if you’re upset with your flaws, but don’t dwell on your imperfections. Learn to love and value every bit of yourself, including what you perceive as imperfections — someone else might see them as features that make you beautifully unique and valuable.
10. Make Only “Selfless” Decisions
There are times when we place the interests of others above our own. We seek our loved ones’ input for some matters, like what to make for dinner or where to take the next family vacation. But you can’t continually live your life for others, especially if that means sacrificing your goals and dreams to satisfy someone else. Becoming a doctor just like your dad won’t make you happy if you want to teach, and bleaching your hair to please your spouse won’t bring you joy if you love your dark locks. Consider the input of others, but follow your heart. Happy people value themselves, their goals, their dreams and their autonomy in balanced ways to meet their personal needs.
11. Stay in Bad Situations
Happy people surround themselves with the right people and situations. They aren’t afraid to find a new job when their boss doesn’t value them, and they know when it’s time to exit a toxic relationship.
Happiness is an attainable goal. Make positive changes in your life until your mood improves, and don’t be afraid to leave toxic situations, people or beliefs in your dust.
~Here’s to Your Health & Safety!
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