Here at Avibra, we try to focus on the positives. Life is about the walk you did take with your family through the park, or the movie you did see with friends. There are, however, some habits that do a really good job of stealing your happiness right out from under you. In the spirit of the new year, we’ve pulled together some of these joy-thieves so that you can kick them to the curb for good.
Setting Unreasonable Expectations
We’re often taught that part of knowing our own self-worth is having high expectations for those around us. While that seems like a positive way to approach relationships (of any kind) it turns out that we may be doing more harm than good. Research has shown repeatedly that unhappiness is often driven by a mismatch between how we expect the world to work and how it actually works. That doesn’t mean to have no bar for others’s behavior, but it might mean that you want to rein things in a little. Set your goals on what you and your partner, coworker or friends can control and try not to constantly set unattainable goals.
Failing to Focus on Yourself
This one can be especially easy to fall into — and especially damaging — if you’re a parent or a caretaker. Caregiver stress and burnout is a very real thing, and it requires proactive work to avoid or manage. In a world where parents are scrutinized for every decision they make, it’s tough to find the time or willpower to focus on themselves occasionally. Avoid the trap by setting small, personal goals that benefit you and no one else.
Dwelling on the Negative
This one is especially tough. As human beings, we’re hardwired to focus on the negatives in our life. Perhaps, once upon a time, this was a useful way to stay alert — and alive. Nowadays, though, it’s mostly how we fall into anxiety spirals. How can you fix it? Some people like listing things they’re grateful for first thing in the morning. Others journal about the positives of their day before bed. Even going through old memories occasionally can be a great way to refocus your mindset.
Setting the Wrong Goals
It’s January, so you’re likely being bombarded by the constant flow of resolutions. And while using that energy can be useful in getting your own motivation going, it’s important to avoid mimicking the goals of others. You don’t need to try to read 52 books this year if you prefer leisurely going through that stack of novels. You most definitely don’t need to lose weight just because someone else wants to. And you don’t even need to change things up if what you have right now is working for you.
In the end, people are often comprised of the habits — both good and bad — that they’ve accumulated over the years. For the less productive ones in your life, remember to be gentle and honest with yourself as you move toward a happier, healthier you.