Almost every action we take in life is aimed at achieving or maintaining happiness.
Life circumstances have little to do with happiness because much happiness is under your control—the product of your habits and your outlook on life. Psychologists from the University of California who study happiness found that genetics and life circumstances only account for about 50 percent of a person’s happiness. The rest is up to you.
So much of your happiness is determined by your habits (in thought and deed). So you have to monitor them closely to make certain that your habits don’t drag you down into the abyss.
- Holding your feelings
One of the great misconceptions concerning emotional intelligence is that it is about repressing our feelings and holding them in. Emotional intelligence means honoring your feelings and allowing yourself to experience the catharsis that comes.
- Numbing with technology
Everyone deserves the opportunity to watch a TV show and get lost in a book. The real question is how much time you spend plugged in to video games, the TV, the tablet, the computer, the phone, etc. When your escape becomes a constant source of distraction, it is a sure sign you have fallen into the trap.
- Spending too much time and effort acquiring “things”
People living in extreme poverty experience a significant increase in happiness when their financial circumstances improve. There’s an ocean of research that shows that material things don’t make you happy. When you make a habit of chasing things, you are likely to become unhappy.
- Fighting change
Change is an inevitable part of life, and those who fight it do so because they are struggling to remain in control. The problem is that fighting change actually limits your control over the situation by putting up a barrier between yourself and the actions you need to take to improve your situation.