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5 Ways We Sabotage Our Happiness

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1. We Put Our Happiness in Other People’s Hands

Happiness is OUR job. We can’t rely on anyone to “make” us happy. That is impossible! Only WE can do that. We can be with the “perfect” partner, but if we don’t feel good about ourselves, we will blame them for our unhappiness. When we put our happiness in other people’s hands, we place unrealistic expectations on them. We are so focused on expecting them to be who we want them to be that we cannot accept who they are. In fact, we stop seeing who they are. If we want to be happy, we have to look at the people in our lives through an untainted lens and ask ourselves:

  • Is this a person I want in my life?
  • What do I respect about the person?
  • What do I love about this person?
  • What does he/she contribute to my life?

Happiness is a choice. If we can separate our baggage from another person’s baggage, we can see that their choices do not have to affect our happiness. We don’t HAVE to jump into someone else’s chaos.

Another way we put happiness in other people’s hands is by who we choose to talk to when we are struggling. Are we choosing a person who is going to feed the drama or show us our accountability for our own feelings and actions? Is the person going to listen to us blaming someone else over and over or are they going to stir thoughts in us such as:

  • What am I doing to take care of me?
  • How can I make the situation better?
  • How does thinking this way make me feel?
  • Why am I choosing to be triggered by this?
  • Is this where I want to be?
  • What am I doing about it?

Instead of telling us what we want to hear, empowering friends will encourage us to look at the person in the mirror. They help us to start focusing on the one person we can change.

2. We Give Ourselves Away

Constantly giving ourselves away without considering our well-being is NOT healthy. When we are giving to others from a healthy place, we are energized, loving, and satisfied. Giving with an expectation of something in return is a red flag that we are depleting ourselves and therefore we need to refill the well. Sometimes it means we should say “no” to one of their requests, or what we are doing for them they need to be doing for themselves. If we feel exhausted, used, and unappreciated, we are draining ourselves of our happiness.

Even when we feel that our intentions are pure, we can’t assume that we know the right actions other people should take and then do it for them. That is THEIR journey.

If giving to others does not fill us with joy, we need to look at:

  • Am I taking care of my own needs?
  • Am I doing for others what they are choosing not to do for themselves?
  • Am I focusing on them to avoid taking care of me?
  • Why am I putting someone else’s value above my own?
  • How can I put more value on me?

3. We Focus on Other People’s Lives

If we are comparing our happiness to those in the tabloids and the people around us, we are not focusing on our own lives—both the good and the areas that need improving. Who is looking after us? If we are busy figuring out what makes everyone in our lives happy, how do we know what makes us happy? We should ask ourselves.

  • What inspires me?
  • What feeds my soul?
  • What brings out my passion?
  • What gives me energy to give from a loving place?

Some people want marriage; others don’t. Some people like big families; others want to keep it small. Some people like adventure; others prefer to keep it safe. Some of us are religious, while others believe in a different spiritual path. It is imperative that you start painting a picture of what happiness looks like for YOU. Your life is more important than all the other people’s lives that you are focusing on!

4. We Think We Don’t Deserve Better

Guilt and shame are ready to sabotage our happiness the second we give them the power to do so. We subconsciously set limits to our happiness by only allowing ourselves as much as we think we deserve. If it goes over that set amount, we sabotage it. We may stir up drama, verbally or physically self-abuse, abuse others, blame, fight, or spread anger, fear, and hate. If we frequently fall into self-sabotaging behaviors, we need to explore:

  • Why do I feel unworthy of love and/or happiness?
  • Do I feel like I am enough the way that I am? If the answer is no, why?
  • What am I not forgiving myself for?
  • What am I holding onto that is keeping me down?
  • Why am I stirring up dis-ease?

How do we break this cycle? We should talk to ourselves with love and respect. Have a love affair with ourselves. Spend the time on us that we would normally invest in someone else. Upping our happiness “ceiling” starts with forgiving ourselves for not being perfect; none of us are. We all make plenty of mistakes and have ample opportunities to learn. Our struggles are the foundation of becoming spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and/or physically better. If we want happiness, we must embrace who we are.

5. We Live in the Past and the Future

The past gives us an opportunity to learn and grow. Our future is a chance to practice what we have learned. Other than those two things, they tend to cause stress and pain. Living in either place only distracts us from the present moment. We miss the beauty of nature, the sweet look in a child’s eyes, the love of our families, and the miracles of everyday life. Happiness comes from appreciating the moment. Even in the darkest times, there is a light in the present, but we will miss it if we are not there.

  • What did I learn from the situation I’m dwelling on?
  • How can I apply the lesson today?
  • What would I like my behavior, response, or action to look like in the future?
  • How can I let it go and be in today?

If we want to stop sabotaging our happiness, the first step is to become aware of when we are doing it. Then we can accept our responsibility for our behavior and at the same time forgive ourselves. We then have the power to take action and change it. This is a process; it will not happen quickly. Congratulate yourself with each step. You will learn a little more with every victory. It’s time to start the journey and embrace your happiness!

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff

 

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6 Reasons Why You Should Create A Bucket List

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Reasons Why You Should Create A Bucket List

The term ‘bucket list’ has become quite popular in recent years. It has been used in pop culture references and as a casual topic of conversation when someone wants to do something. Chances are, you have heard someone say, “Oh, that’s on my bucket list!” But, a bucket list is more than just a fantasy, an out of reach dream or an excuse to say that you want to do many things, only to never follow through on them.

There are actually many benefits to creating a bucket list, if you just put in the time, the thought and the dedication into it. Making a bucket list is a perfect way to set your life goals and to stay focused on making them a reality. Still not 100% convinced? Let’s take a look at six reasons why you really should create a bucket list. Maybe, by the end of this article, you will be ready to put together one of your very own.

1. It Gives You a Purpose

While putting together a bucket list won’t tell you what the meaning of your life is, it can help to give you a purpose to your life. A bucket list should be more about the major goals that you have for yourself, rather than a bunch of fun little things that you might want to do. A bucket list gives you something to get out of life and allows you to stay focused while you are doing it.

Have you ever been bored, wondering what you’re going to do this weekend to fill up your free time? A bucket list can give you that answer, encouraging you to always work towards the things that you truly want to do and experience in life.

2. It Brings Your Goals to Life

As stated above, a bucket list should be about exciting goals that you have for yourself. But, it is also an opportunity to hone in on those goals. Many people have ambitions and even make goals or resolutions for themselves each year only to be forgotten a few days later. But, when you have a specific list of goals written down, it can help to make you more motivated and focused to achieve them.

Goals are incredibly important to have, and the fact that your bucket list can make those goals clearer and more tangible is really important.

3. You Will Create Lasting Memories

Memories are one of life’s greatest treasures. As you start to accomplish the things on your bucket list, you will also be making wonderful memories each time. Since you are doing the things you really want to do, those memories will bring you comfort, a sense of achievement and give you something positive to look back on and share with others.

Bucket list Create Lasting Memories

4. It Will Pull You Forward

Have you ever been in a “funk” in life, or maybe you have had bouts of feeling down or depressed that have kept you from doing the things you typically enjoy? No one wants to stay in that kind of mindset for long. Because a bucket list can help to give you a sense of purpose, it can also give you the motivation to pull yourself out of a funk. It can call you to do something new, something different, or something that even challenges you. Sometimes, that’s all a person needs to be pulled out of a tired or depressed state.

Additionally, doing something on your bucket list will help to distract you for a while. That can be a great solution for someone who has anxiety or tends to focus too much on the negative things in life. Sometimes, a distraction can be a welcomed reprieve.

5. You Will Experience Life-Long Learning

When you commit yourself to having new experiences, you are also committing yourself to learning something new. So many people think that learning stops when you finish school, but you can learn so much more simply by living and trying more new things throughout your life. People who embrace this type of lifestyle are called “lifelong learners”. The reality is this; you will never be able to learn everything there is to know. But, because all of us have such a short time on this planet to figure things out, the more experiences we participate in, the more that we will learn and grow. Not only can a bucket list help you to learn things about different cultures, skills, situations, people and personalities.

It can also help you to learn more about yourself. Closing your mind off to the idea of lifelong learning will cause you to become stagnant with your thoughts and your growth. As a human being, you should have a desire to continue to grow and achieve as much as you possibly can throughout your life. Working through your bucket list can help you to achieve that.

Bucket List For Life long Learning

6. You Will Never Run Out of Things to Do

If you sit down to make a bucket list, you might write down anywhere from 10-100 things that you really want to do. But, it doesn’t have to stop there. Chances are, as you start to work through some of the things on your list, you will come up with more ideas.

Experiencing new things, and even challenging things, is a great way to get inspired and motivated to continue on that trend. A bucket list can truly be never-ending as you come up with more exciting new ideas and goals for yourself.

Building Your Bucket List and Bettering Your Life

There are so many additional reasons why you should create a bucket list for yourself. Remember, a bucket list is a very personal thing, and the experiences you put on the list should be things that you truly want to do or accomplish. Don’t make them  so unrealistic that you will never plan on committing to. Instead, promise yourself that you will immerse yourself in those experiences.

A bucket list might be something you create to accomplish things before you pass on, but in creating one and diving into new experiences, there is a good chance you will feel more alive than ever!

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8 Ways to Take Care of Yourself Every Day

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8 Ways to Take Care of Yourself Every Day

Self-care is a term that gets thrown around a lot lately, to the point where it’s easy to ignore or blow it off as some kind of “buzz word”. But, it’s so much more than that, and when you are willing to take self-care seriously, you might just start to see how much easier it will be to get through each day. (more…)

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The Top 8 Most Important Things in Life

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The Top 8 Most Important Things in Life

It is easy for people to speculate and debate about the most important things in life. You have probably heard that “the best things in life are free” or that “love is all you need”, but what about what are the most important? What do you really need in this life in order to find contentment and fulfillment? (more…)

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