Are you really happy? This is a question that I ask myself (not out loud of course) at least once a day. I’m often saddened by the times when my answer is “No”. On the outside looking in I should be living the good life. I have my dream job, dope ass friends and a loving and supportive family. What could possibly be missing?
Is it because I’m not in the same state as my family?
There is FaceTime for that.
Is it because I’m single?
Nah, remember I want a bae. I don’t need one.
So what the heck could it be?
The reality is that when we think of being unhappy we always look to major issues as a source. These major issues could be a contributor. However, we miss the daily activities that can also influence our mood.
Here are 7 daily things that you likely do that are making you miserable.
#1. Allowing one incident to dictate your entire day.
One incident is just that ONE incident. However, we have the tendency to allow the feelings related to that single experience to influence the rest of our day. For example, your alarm failed to go off this morning and now you are running late. So you show up to your first meeting 10 minutes late and spend the rest of the day being upset that your failed alarm has thrown your entire day off course. In reality, it only influenced one meeting.
Watch the use of all or nothing language such as “entire day”, “nothing will go right” when describing a single incident.
#2. Always putting others first.
Stop. Doing. This. Whether this is your spouse, kids or job it’s not conducive to your overall positive well-being. By always prioritizing the needs of others, you fail to have any time or energy left to care for your own needs. You can’t do everything for everyone. By trying to achieve this goal you’re the one who suffers in the end. Remember: If you do not take care of yourself you will be no good to take care of other people in your life.
#3. Only reflecting on the negative incidents from the day.
It’s always easy to remember what went wrong in your day. What conversation could have gone differently… that potential typo in the document…or ruminating on that meeting that you missed because it somehow wasn’t on your calendar.
Assess each of these negative situations and decide if there are any specific actions that you can do to resolve any of these incidents. For most of the items the answer is no and for others, there is a clear future solution. Thus, ruminating on the past isn’t going to make that past moment not have happened. A better use of your reflection time is identifying what went well during your day and what you are most thankful for in your daily life. These positive moments may be as simple as I found a parking spot or I arrived on time to my first meeting. I love keeping a gratitude journal. It allows you to be intentional about highlighting daily positive experiences.
#4 Constant focus on future activities.
Just like you can’t change the past you can’t change the future either. A lot of times we spend our morning thinking about all of the things we have to accomplish that day. It can be overwhelming and lead to anxiety due to the anticipated busyness of the day.
Learn to be more mindful. Focus on the here and now. What am I doing at this moment? Not what I did yesterday nor what I need to do later today. What am I doing right now? Practicing mindfulness can be a bit challenging in the beginning; however, the more you practice this approach to your daily life you will recognize an increased calmness and peace.
#5 Always in a rush.
Somewhere in life, we decided that people who are always busy are somehow the gold standard for success. Uh, no. You aren’t following that person around every day to get a good glimpse at their mental and physical state. Always on the go is not the mindset of a hustler but the mindset of someone who doesn’t prioritize their personal health. Take breaks. It is important and essential for daily happiness. Taking mini-breaks throughout the day has been shown to increase productivity. Therefore, balance equals success.
#6 Failure to have a plan.
I get it, you are free-spirit and just want to go wherever life takes you. However, that approach to life doesn’t automatically mean you are happy. Plans that are not overly rigid can be good for your overall well-being, as they create short-term and long-term goals for you to work towards. You get to treat yo’ self when you are able to successfully accomplish these goals. Now that’s happiness.
#7 Setting unrealistic expectations for your day.
Conversely to #6, setting an extremely rigid plan for your daily life or even the year is setting yourself up for failure. To be a realistic planner you must schedule fewer things during your day and allot more time than you actually think it will take to complete each activity. Also, if your day is anything like mine where it is meeting after meeting make sure to factor in breaks between meetings and transition time.
One proposed strategy to help organize your day is the 1-3-5 rule. You create a daily to-do list with nine items-1 major task, 3 medium size tasks, and five small tasks that you plan to accomplish during that day.
Overall, our daily happiness is significantly influenced by our response to daily tasks, failure to prepare, and an inability to live in the present moment. Thus, we must not only focus on major issues such as the quality of interpersonal relationships, but we also must focus on the quality of our daily lives.
Are you truly happy?
Like what you read? Check out 7 Ways that Living Your Best Life Can Improve Your Dating Potential