When we think about ways in making ourselves happy, we quite often think about things we want to add to our lives. More money, bigger or better house, better things. We think we have to look outside ourselves and add things to make us happy.
Maybe instead, we could look inside and perhaps subtract things.
These are my top 6 habits I left behind, to achieve inner happiness.
- THE NEED TO BE RIGHT.
When I was younger, being wrong meant you were stupid and it usually involved ridicule. My parents would often argue points to death, just so they could be right about something. We’re all natural social beings. Ridicule, and being made to feel stupid, doesn’t make us feel great at all.
So, naturally, I grew up believing that I have to do everything in my power to be right – even when I might be wrong. I’d spin the story, or explain my actions, all in the endeavour of being in the right.
When I realised, as an adult, that it didn’t matter if I was right or wrong, and that everyone is different, and entitled to their own beliefs and opinions, I was happy to adjust my sails towards calmer seas and more peaceful social interactions.
- THE NEED TO CONTROL EVERYTHING.
Once again, being controlling is, to a degree, a pretty natural thing to do. When we are in control of our environment, we get a sense of being in control of our destiny.
But sometimes, we over step the line with our desire to control. We try and control our families, our coworkers, our friends and even our partners. We may be doing it out of care or concern, but when we let go of controlling so many aspects of our own lives, and the lives of the people around us, things happen organically.
Taking control of everything around you can often become a heavy burden. Once you are free of control, life will consequently flow more naturally and you will feel a lot of stress lifted from your shoulders.
- THE NEED TO BLAME.
This one is quite similar to being right. We all mess up and make mistakes. There’s no getting around it. Of course we can own up and accept that we messed up, and perhaps we were the ones in the wrong, thus moving on rapidly, but it deflects attention from our own imperfections to blame someone else. It’s easier, and feels nicer, to blame someone else for your actions, rather than taking credit for a mistake.
Remember, we aren’t naturally cruel. This behavioural pattern stems from our peers, families, or even strangers ridiculing us for our imperfections.
You don’t need to impress or please everyone though. In fact, I’m willing to bet you’ll impress more of your peers by owning up to your mistakes, and taking one for the team.
- THE NEED TO COMPLAIN.
Oh my god, doesn’t complaining feel AMAZING!? When something is, or has, bugged you, it’s great to get it off your chest. And the more people you talk to about it, the better it feels.
However, and you knew this was coming, complaining without taking action to fix a problem is useless and brings down the energy of you, and the people in the room with you. Negative energy often makes problems worse, which brings down your energy EVEN MORE. Not to mention, trying to get a positive result out of a room full of negative energy is as hard as trying to get blood out of a stone.
Sure, vent. Get it off your chest. But, form a gameplan to fix problems.
- THE NEED TO LABEL.
Racial, sexual, religious and philosophical labels are all around us. Human beings have this deep set desire to belong, so we pick up on trivial differences, label each other, and then slap on the label that best work for us.
This kind of behaviour only serves to divide us and not only creates unhappiness in ourselves, but unhappiness in our society.
When you let go the need to label, you begin to realise that we are all human beings, all riding on the same boat, that is, life. We all think about and feel the same things, more or less. We experience our reality in much the same way.
- THE NEED TO JUDGE.
This is quite similar to the need to label. It’s easy to judge someone, based on little information. Summing up people based on limited experiences and interactions puts us at ease, but it gives us a false sense of knowing someone.
Drunk, Waster, Crack Head, Lazy, Unambitious… these are just a few snap judgements that we all make of people.
But doing this can unintentionally put a road block up between you and many of the people around you. It creates a social barrier and makes it all the more easier to isolate ourselves.
Once we stop judging people, we can then realise that there may be more to certain people, than first, second or third impressions. There is usually more to the story, than you first thought.
So, when we, in the words of Elsa “let go”, of the need to label, judge, as well as pointless complaining, blaming others, controlling everything and always trying to be right, we’ll find ourselves as much happier people.