Subtle Things You Do Every Day That Are Destroying Your Happiness

While you are in control of your own happiness, you might be surprised to learn just how easily those mundane, everyday actions of yours can negatively affect your overall mood. Before long, little things can lead to negative outcomes in no time, taking a toll on your emotional well-being.

When it comes to these eight everyday habits, heed caution: They’re more detrimental to your happiness than you think.

1. Assuming you know what another person is thinking

Thinking young woman looking up at many question marks

Don’t waste your time wondering what others are thinking of you. | iStock.com/SIphotography

You’re not a mind reader, so it’s best not to act like one. Unfortunately, we can’t really control our thoughts, and unpleasant ones pop into our heads from time to time. But try your best to avoid making assumptions about what other people are thinking about you, because it just needlessly makes you feel bad.

2. Scrolling through social media

young female worried by what she sees on cell phone

Skip the scrolling, it’ll make you happier. | iStock.com/nandyphotos

In a society run by fashion bloggers and dictated by the latest and greatest, it’s no wonder social media has us acting more like puppets and than real human beings. But it’s time to cut the strings once and for all.

We won’t get too ahead of ourselves here, but seriously, try to cut back on social media just a bit. What do you really stand to gain by drooling over your ex-co-worker’s honeymoon in the Maldives? Not much. 

3. Seeking advice from other people

hipster couple talking in cozy cafe

Support is good, but make sure you’re not solely depending on others for advice. | iStock.com/KatarzynaBialasiewicz

We’ve all been there before; so deep in a rut, you’ll listen to just about anything anyone has to say in regards to what you should be doing with your life. The only problem is, this line of reasoning isn’t really helpful at all. How could this be? Aren’t there times you want — better yet need — advice from someone in your life?

No one knows you better than yourself, so it’s not worth relying on others for advice. Solving your own problems, even with the assistance of a friend or professional, will lead to a greater sense of self-confidence.  

4. Living with regret

man sitting by himself

Focusing on regret will get you nowhere. | iStock.com

It’s pretty impossible to have zero regrets, no matter how good of a person you are. At some point in your life, surely there was one instance in which you wish you would have done something differently. But unfortunately, going back in time isn’t an option. But that’s OK, because regret can actually produce some positive results, like the opportunity to learn from your mistakes, or the ability to make you more humble.

But is it really possible to stave off regret for good?

Ways you can combat feelings of regret

Happy confident young woman

Don’t let regret get the best of you. | iStock.com/UberImages

Believe it or not, there are things you can do to overcome the regret you’re living with on a daily basis. If there is nothing you can do to change the situation, let it go. Of course, this is easier said than done, but make a conscious effort to do so. Additionally, relinquish yourself of all the blame or come to peace with the fact that you cannot change the past, only how you react in the future.

5. Not working out

Fat guy sleeping on the couch

Skip the exercise, risk your happiness. | iStock.com/txking

Most people are no stranger to the positive, lasting benefits of regular exercise. After all, we know exercise gives us endorphins, and endorphins make us happy. If you’re interested in more on the science of it all, check out what CNN has to say. Without going into too much detail, we’re confident in saying that not working out isn’t doing anything for your overall state of happiness. If you’re looking to boost your mood, be sure to squeeze in a good sweat session as many days a week as possible.  

6. Spending the entire day by yourself

Sad woman lying on the couch at night

Isolating yourself can be detrimental to your happiness. | iStock.com/tommaso79

Humans are social creatures, so it’s normal to seek companionship throughout the day. Even for true introverts, everyone needs some sort of human connection. But even if you know this to be true, it’s sometimes easier said than done. Take people who work remotely, for example. Maybe they choose to work from home, without stepping foot outside to go to a coffee shop or co-working space. They literally could go an entire day — or two or three — without having any human contact at all. If this sounds like you, tread lightly.

How social withdrawal can lead to a more serious issue

man lost in depression

Social isolation can be a sign of depression. | iStock

On a much more serious level, social withdrawal can be a hallmark sign of depression. According to WebMD, “Some people skip activities they normally enjoy and isolate themselves from the world. Others turn to alcohol or junk food to mask their pain and unhappiness.” We’re not saying that you will inevitably fall victim to depression if you go one day without human contact. But what we are saying is not having any social interaction may be contributing to your unhappiness.

7. Always saying yes

man rubbing his eyes while he works on a laptop

Agreeing to do anything for everyone else will leave you tired, overwhelmed, and unhappy. | iStock.com

You know those folks who are real people-pleasers? The ones who are always saying yes, no matter what? They’re agreeable, so that’s helpful. But you can’t please 100% of people, 100% of the time. So, consider this: If you’re always pleasing everyone around you, are you able to stay true to yourself? Establishing boundaries will ensure you’re respecting yourself and making your own happiness a priority, rather than sacrificing it for someone else’s. 

8. Allowing your mind to wander

Young man relaxing at sunset

Don’t think about your dream vacation, do it. | iStock.com/Berko85

Daydreaming over the span of a long day at work is natural. But what about daydreaming’s counterpart — living in the moment — and the fact that it’s a good thing. 

It’s a logical progression, and there’s research to back it up. In fact, The Atlantic reports psychologist Matthew Killingsworth and psychology professor Daniel Gilbert co-authored a paper in which they wrote, “a wandering mind is an unhappy mind.” Furthermore, the publication writes, “the achievement of the human brain to contemplate events past and future at great, tedious length has, these psychologists believe, come at the expense of happiness. Minds tend to wander to dark, not whimsical, places.” Just something to think about.

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