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10 Happiness Habits You Often Forget

10 Happiness Habits You Often Forget

Happiness is achieved by the simplest of habits that we can practice every day, without learning fancy principles. But often the simplest ways are the ones we most easily forget. If you can’t beat the blues, then you have most likely forgotten these happiness habits:

1. You forget to breathe consciously

Most spiritual teachings today talk about meditation of all forms and kinds. And they all share the same fundamental instruction: breathe. Go out, find a natural spot under the shade of tree or in a park. Inhale deeply, then exhale. Repeat this 10 times and watch how you lighten up your mood.

2. You forget to smile at people around you

Smiling is not just a happiness booster for yourself, you also boost other people’s happiness. In fact, the more you smile at the people around you, the more they are eager to help you when you need it, even without asking. That’s because smiling breaks the ice between strangers and brings so much positive energy that you’ll end up making great friends.

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3. You forget to say thank you

Saying thank you is not just about appreciating someone who did you a favor. It is also about your overall feeling and imagination: of being thankful for the littlest things that you receive and enjoy. Never let those things go unnoticed. Feel good, be thankful and you’ll be always happy.

4. You forget to savor your experience

Are you always hurried with what you are doing? Do you always feel that you’re running out of time or money? Or do you always think that there’s not enough for you to enjoy? Take some time to enjoy the taste of the food you are eating, or the comfort of the chair you are sitting on, or anything that brings convenience to your life that you often take for granted. Savoring each moment and experience brings more life to your life.

5. You forget to stay quiet for a while

You surf the internet, you watch TV, you go to work, you hang out with friends, you do so many errands. You are so caught up with all these things that you have forgotten to spend some quiet time. Take a moment to sit down, find a quiet place, breathe, and do nothing – feeling the silence and being happy.

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6. You forget to stretch like a cat

How often do you wake up in the morning and still feel stressed and heavy? Stretch out your arms and legs (look at your cat and see what I mean). You don’t need to do yoga when you stretch (although it helps if you know the basics). Stretching makes you feel lighter and more energetic.

7. You forget to dance

It seems like dancing is the most awkward thing for many people, especially those who often feel the blues. To dance is always an expression of happy celebration. It doesn’t matter if you aren’t a pro. All you have to do is move to the beat, glide your feet on the ground, swing your arms and happily sway your hips. You’ll notice how easy it is to be happy when you dance.

8. You forget to pay attention

Have you ever stopped for a while just to look at the vivid colors of flowers and plants? Have you ever listened intently to the birds singing in the morning? Have you ever hugged someone tightly, hugging much longer than usual? Have you walked barefoot on the grass or dried leaves? Paying attention is about engaging yourself in the unnoticed world around you, no matter how seemingly trivial things are. See how this habit can instantly bring you so much happiness.

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9. You forget to watch the sunset

Sunsets are always a beautiful view beyond words. Every sunset is kaleidoscopic, with beautiful patterns that cannot be repeated. The clouds change shape in a matter of seconds. The skies change color from golden yellow to orange to dark blue, and the setting sun turns into a bright red disk. Watching how the sun sets is a bliss all by itself.

10. You forget to daydream

For people who work too hard, daydreaming is such a waste of time. At school, teachers scold students who daydream more than listen to boring lectures. We never thought that daydreaming was a healthy way to reboot your mind. You get to make your imagination work and get your creative juices flowing, and sharpen both your memory and concentration without being dragged down by all the worries that eat up your energy. Pause and daydream, and unleash happiness in a very simple way.

Happiness is about the simplest habits we often forget. Do just one or all of them every day, and let happiness be your daily thing!

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Featured photo credit: Joy.Youth.Sky.Blue.Sun.Shine. Sunshine.Happiness naive./Irina Iordachescu via flickr.com

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Last Updated on March 30, 2020

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

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1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

2. Be Honest

A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

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If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

4. Succeed at Something

When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

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6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

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In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

Final Thoughts

When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
[2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
[3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
[4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
[5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
[6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
[7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
[8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

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