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20 Poisons To Your Happiness

20 Poisons To Your Happiness

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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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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