3 Surprising Ways You May Be Sabotaging Your Own Happiness
By Seline Shenoy
If you ever ask people what they want most out of their life, one of the most common responses you will get is this: “I just want to be happy.”
The search for true happiness has been an ongoing quest for many and continues to elude most of us. The reason it seems so out of reach is because most people don’t realize that happiness is not dictated by their external circumstances, but their perception of those circumstances.
Mother Nature has given us the gift of self-awareness. Unlike other creatures on the planet, we are not solely being driven by our instincts. Yet so many of us don’t know how to handle our consciousness in a healthy way. Most of us are not taught how to do this and we usually gain this wisdom after going through many years in the “school of hard knocks”.
But why should we go through pain and hardship when we can easily bypass most of it? I truly believe that all of us have the capacity to self-manage and learn by example if we are open to it. That’s how it worked out for me.
Of course, in my case it did take a few challenges to wake me up to the fact that I was creating my own misery by the mismanagement of my thoughts and emotions. Sometimes it does take a difficult experience to shake our world and motivate us to change; but most of the time these “life crises” could have easily been avoided if we had the right perspective.
So based on my personal experience and what I have observed in the world, here are what I think are the top 3 most common and surprising ways people sabotage their own happiness:
They base their happiness on external events and people: We live in a world driven by consumerism. Corporate giants skillfully deceive us with the false notion that if we buy their product or service, we will be smarter, richer, hotter, etc. Some people who derive their happiness and identity from relationships want others to approve them and develop an unhealthy dependency on this external validation. What I have realized that is that this is all ultimately an attempt to fill an internal void- a void that can only be filled when we genuinely love and accept ourselves no matter what.
They don’t take care of their bodies: I truly believe in the mind-body-spirit connection. We have to accept the fact that our body is our vehicle for our life. When we abuse or neglect it, we are ruining our vehicle thereby ruining our ride for our journey. Our body is essentially a bunch of chemicals that is directly impacted by the kind of lifestyle that we choose. Most of the health-related issues and mood fluctuations are a result of the poor management of health. Respect your body and it will return the favor with good health and great sense of wellness, balance and vitality.
They are disconnected from their internal world: We are living in an age where we have become more distracted and busier than ever. This has resulted in a world filled with people who are constantly on the go and living in what I call “auto-pilot” mode. With all this focus on the outside world, very few take the time to pause and tune in within themselves. We miss the opportunity to check in with our thoughts, emotions and body which are constantly in flux based on what is going on around us. The practice of mindfulness can significantly reduce our anxiety and dissatisfaction and help us tap into the gifts that we have. True and lasting happiness can only happen when we are willing to enter a deeper realm of existence and develop a strong connection with ourselves.
By consciously handling these potential roadblocks, you will be well on your way to creating fulfillment, joy and meaning in your life!
All my best on your journey,
Seline is the CEO The Dream Catcher. She is a Blogger, Career Empowerment Coach and Seeker of Truth on a mission to inspire others to live fully and authentically coax them to chase their biggest dreams (yes, even those scary ones!). She is the founder and writer of the popular blog "The Dream Catcher".