We have all, at one point or another, poisoned our own happiness, whether it be through worry, fear, or just poor decision making. Life can certainly throw a person into a tailspin but the real culprit isn’t the adversity, it’s how we perceive and respond to the adversity that determines the outcome. Sometimes it is simply a matter of wrong motives in life that can lead us down the venomous path, rather than the path that leads to the antidote.

1. Your jealousy can ruin any relationship.

Your better off dealing with jealousy head on when it rears its ugly head. Most people don’t want to admit when they have been bitten by the green-eyed monster but it can happen from time to time. There are people who exude jealousy to the point that it ruins relationships. It usually stems from feelings of inadequacy, and those are the things that a person must take a hard look at in order to salvage their relationships. A happy person is one who is free from jealousy and it shows in healthy relationships.

2. Your desire for superficial things in life can poison happiness.

It is often said that the happiest people are those who do more for others, rather than themselves. If your the type of person that pursues the superficial things of life: wealth, cars, name brand clothes, etc. then it is safe to say that you are poisoning your own happiness in life. The desire of the perfunctory will only lead to more dissatisfaction because our brain is hard-wired at a threshold for such things; it’s called hedonistic adaptation. Living a life of modesty will bring you more happiness in the long run.

3. Your grudge-holding will destroy your happiness.

I once knew a man who held a grudge against his father for leaving the family. His grudge festered within him like a cancer and destroyed any hope of his living life to the fullest. The Stoic philosophers believed that some things are out of our control, so in short, they aren’t worth worrying over or trying to fix. Happiness comes from moving forward in your life and letting go of grudges that would hold you back.

4. Your regrets in life will destroy your peace.

Your life most certainly will be filled with regrets from time to time; I call them mistakes. Mistakes are only there to teach you that a certain path has ended and so it is time to try another. There’s no use in looking back in regret, because you cannot change the past. Simply move forward and try another road. You will most certainly be happier for it.

5. Your dependence on others will hinder happiness.

If you are dependent person or to use another phrase, codependent on another person for your happiness, you will undoubtedly be waiting a very long time for a happy life. Happiness will never come to you from another person, it can only come from within yourself. You can find happiness with someone within a relationship, but that cannot be trusted for your own happiness, because at some point in time, that person will let you down. Looking within is the only way to true joy.

6. Your need to fix other people will ruin your happiness.

This ties into co-dependence as well. If you feel the need to “fix” others, then you will never be focused on your own well-being and happiness. When your focus shifts away from the self, you will always find something that needs to be fixed in others in order to make you feel happy. The only person you can control is you; so why not focus on self-actualization for long-term happiness.

7. Your fear can hold a person back from experiencing true happiness.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said “Fear defeats more people than any other one thing in the world.” It can stem from many places, but you will only experience true happiness when you release your fears and simply do the thing your are afraid of doing.

8. Your selfishness is a poison to your happiness.

If your a selfish person, it means you always want things your way and others’  needs and opinions are often discarded in the process. Most people do not want to be in relationship with a selfish person and if this describes you, you may just find yourself alone and unhappy if it is not changed. Take a good look at yourself and examine areas of your life that have fallen prey to selfishness and make the necessary changes; you may find happiness was waiting for you all along.

9. Your happiness will wane when you set unreasonably high expectations of others.

Your need for everyone to meet your standards in life is an unreasonable expectation that most people will never be able to attain; therefore, you will most always be disappointed in people and thus unhappy in life. All people have their own personality type which will prevent them from ever being able to live up to what you expect of them. They cannot do it. When you let go of the expectation of others to perform to your standards, you will find that they, as well as yourself, will be much more elated. A free person is a happy person.

10. Your self-righteous attitude will halt your happiness.

If your a self-righteous person it means that you feel you can do no wrong, and that other people are always in the wrong. I used to attend church and always felt this type of attitude amongst the people, which in turn made for a lot of unhappiness in many of the people’s relationships. It is impossible to be perfect all of the time, so why not do drop your self-righteousness and experience true happiness. Not only will your relationships flourish but you will be a much more relaxed individual.

11. Your living in the past will hinder happiness.

If your living in the past, it means that you are unhappy with the present. Your happiness is a current state of mind and if your life is not making you happy, then maybe it is time to examine your situation and makes some changes for the better. Maybe you need a new career goal? Maybe it’s time to finish a project you’ve been putting off? Whatever the case, moving forward in life will help you feel that you are living in the “now.”

12. Your dishonesty can dampen happiness.

If you are a dishonest person, chances are you have alienated yourself from others. Often times, people who are dishonest gain the reputation as someone who cannot be trusted; therefore, they are seen as an unfaithful friend and partner. Alienating yourself through dishonesty will surely lead to unhappiness and isolation.

13. Your substance use alters states of happiness.

Some may disagree but even if you use substances for temporary states of “happiness” it will be short-lived and once the high wears off, your feelings of unhappiness will be there, staring you in the face. Even for those who use chocolate and caffeine as means of escape, must admit that the euphoria is short-lived.

14. Your pessimism leads to perpetual moods of unhappiness.

It is thought that if you are the type of person that always has the pessimistic attitude it can lead to a life of unhappiness. In a sense, your words and thoughts have power to them and if you constantly use “negative talk” it’s like sending negative vibes out into the world. Thus, unhappiness appears to follow you around like a virus that won’t go away. The medicine for pessimism is to become aware of your negativity and work to change your thoughts and words for the better. Read, exercise, take up a hobby, whatever you need to feel better about yourself is worth a try.

15. Your prejudice of other people can make you unhappy with yourself.

You would think that if someone is prejudiced against a group of people, it means they are unhappy with that group but quite the opposite is true. A prejudiced person is often an unhappy person, spewing their unhappiness onto a “scapegoat” group of people. Prejudiced people look for instances in which to unleash their fury onto others. They think it will somehow make them feel better, but it won’t. If you find that you are prejudiced (and we do all have certain prejudices), it may be time to sit down and really take stock in yourself and confront these issues head on; you will be glad you did.

16. Your self-doubt can lead to feelings of unhappiness.

If you doubt yourself consistently, it would stand to reason that it will lead you to feelings of unhappiness. A self-doubter may engage in negative self-talk which leads to deeper and deeper feelings of unhappiness. It’s a vicious cycle that needs to be addressed with a close friend or counselor who may be able to help you through these feelings. Maybe finding a positive outlet in which to volunteer your time can boost your self-worth as well, and take your mind off yourself for a change.

17. Your unhappiness can stem from unchecked mental health.

If you suffer from anxiety or depression, it isn’t hard to figure that unhappiness follows. What causes these mental imbalances? Often the society we engage in daily is enough to send anyone into states of unhappiness by way of anxiety and other mental illnesses. Sometimes there are more serious issues at hand but unhappiness is robbed all the same. Take time and talk with someone in whom you trust who can help you sort through life’s mishaps. When in doubt seek professional help.

18. Your pet can help ward off happiness poisons.

Pets are a wonderful way to boost your happiness. If you are someone who doesn’t like or doesn’t want a pet, think about volunteering at a place with animals or some other outlet in order to introduce yourself to the appropriate ways to interact with pets. It has been found that when petting an animal, a person’s mood automatically lifts.

19. Your ability to volunteer your time to the needy can help you become happier.

Giving your time to those in need will help cure the unhappiness in your life. Sometimes seeing those less fortunate than yourself helps put things in perspective.

20. Your stress can prevent happiness in your life.

Stress is not only unhealthy for your physical well-being but emotional as well. If you are the type of person who has constant stress in your life, it may be time to make drastic changes. Take inventory of your life and get rid of the unnecessary. Living a life of simplicity can sometimes be just the thing you need to prevent stress and improve your happiness.

I hope you find these insights to be of use in your life. If you find that your happiness is being poisoned, maybe one of these tips is the culprit. In any case, seek happiness from within. Meditate, read, pray, exercise, whatever you need to improve yourself, and happiness is sure to follow.

Featured photo credit: anitapeppers via mrg.bz

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