If only everyone could be as happy as the people in Pharrell Williams’ new song, then we would never have any discontented people in the world. However, the stark reality is that our moods are continuously ruined and brought down by a number of things.
Ideally, we all would like to be happy as much as possible, and believe it or not, there are actually ways to help promote this possibility. Everyday there are countless instances, objects, and occurrences that bring your mood down. Don’t believe us?
Here is our list of six various things that are ruining your mood:
1. Brooding On Old Stuff
There is an old saying to forgive but never forget. However, sometimes forgetting is the best thing one can do when it comes to pursuing happiness. The recurring thought of past events, especially the negative ones, can have a negative effect on our psyche.
Everyone has a memory or two that is less than pleasant. Perhaps it is the loss of a loved one, an accident, or a failure that we have experienced. But, we all have at least one.
Often times our minds wander back to these experiences to ponder how they could have been different, or if there was something we could have done to prevent them.
However, these dwellings are where we go wrong on our pursuit towards happiness. Psychological studies have proven that brooding on these past experiences trigger depression and can cause us great harm.
As unfortunate as it is, psychology proves that we as humans are more likely to remember negative experiences over positive ones. Even worse, psychologists claim that worrying on these negative experiences only breeds more negativity and bitterness. It is as if these negative dwellings begin a vicious cycle that is difficult to break.
What You Can Do
As easy as it sounds, do your best to stick to the positive. Waking up every morning and finding a positive out of every situation will make your life that much happier. You cannot change the past. Instead, use the lessons learnt from your past as a stepping stone to better your future, even if it may seem extremely difficult at times.
2. Thinking About The New Stuff
In contrast to the previous section, dwelling on your future can also cause more harm than good. Of course, planning for the future and setting yourself up for success is necessary. However, worrying and stressing in excess in unnecessary.
Psychologists from the University of Kentucky have found that people who fret the future tend to have higher anxiety than others. The “what-if” type people tend to generate these hypothetical scenarios that are more than likely never going to occur.
In theory, the people who fret the future and the “what-if” scenarios are worrying themselves for nothing. These people cause misery and can actually put themselves at a higher risk for heart disease and a shortened life span.
It is no secret that this anxiety and stress can in turn completely crush any good mood. Instead of enjoying happy, peaceful moments, these stressed out, anxious people cannot find the joy in anything.
What You Can Do
Treating anxiety is no easy fix, especially for those suffering from chronic anxiety. Physical and mental practice, such as yoga and meditation are highly advised for anyone looking to center their body and mind. Of course, you can consult a physician for medication or treatment options. But, there are plenty of safe holistic options that can be tried first.
3. It Isn’t All About The Fame And Fortune
Too often we become consumed with fame and fortune. Ask anyone what they would change about their profession, and the majority of people will tell you they would want a pay increase.
Most people prioritize their salary over job satisfaction, and that is the unfortunate truth of our world. However, this obsession with money, in addition to the constant thirst for fame and publicity is a lead cause for a decrease in mood.
Interestingly enough, psychologists have surveyed people across the span of financial income, and the results show no link of money to happiness. In a recent survey, the findings proved that American billionaires are no happier than the average middle-class citizen.
The small percentage of billionaires who claim to be happy all had one thing in common. The reason these billionaires, amongst many middle-class citizens, are happy has to do with relationships. Of those surveyed, the people who were happiest had healthy, loving relationships. Also, these people tended to feel as though they found their purpose in life.
What You Can Do
Money tends to be the root of many issues. But, veering away from an obsession with finances can do wonders to the psyche. Instead of stressing over making more money, figure out numbers that fit a comfortable lifestyle.
Apart from stressing over money, think about what makes you happiest in life. Spend your time on this activity as opposed to the activity that brings in revenue and we are sure you will find yourself in a better mood more frequently.
4. Finding Your Inner Beauty
Unfortunately, society today tends to create the accepted perception of beauty. Models, actresses, magazine ads, and commercials all advertise beautiful women who boast a nearly impossible figure and appearance. While beauty fades within our lifetime, it is coveted as the determining factor of attractiveness and sexuality.
Therefore, women, and men too, strive for sheer perfection in their appearance. Money spent on plastic surgery, makeup and gym memberships has shot up within the past decade, and it is no wonder why. Yet, this attempt at flawless physical appearance can do us more harm on the inside than we may ever know.
One popular journal of psychology studied runway models and their varying levels of happiness. This study found that models at the peak of their career, and consequently beauty according to their profession’s standards, were significantly less happy as compared to their average counterparts.
Another sad study looked at children aged nine to 12. The children who were likely to develop depression identified beauty as a means to achieve happiness. In contrast, children who did not see happiness linked to physical beauty tended to be happier than their peers.
When we base our definition of beauty off of other’s perceptions, we create significant levels of anxiety for ourselves. We put our hopes of happiness within the hands of others, and this is dangerous.
What You Can Do
Make a list of things that you love about your appearance. Avoid any emotional or personal qualities and stick to the solely physical attributes. There have to be physical qualities of yourself that you enjoy. And, in order to be happy with yourself, you have to find and embrace them.
Having trouble finding any favorable physical qualities about your body? Ask your peers. Your friends and family are sure to help you create a list for you. Once you embrace your outer beauty, then you are sure to find inner peace and ultimate happiness.
5. Ignoring The Box
Thinking in a black and white type fashion can have its perks. This logical, calculated way of thinking is great for many different things, but the pursuit of happiness is not one. Studies have proven that those who think in a black-and-white pattern tend to be unhappier than those who can think outside of the box.
This negative response is due to two different things happening. Firstly, black-and-white thinking patterns tend to distort reality.
Not everything can be explained using one or the other rationale. Therefore, anyone using this decision making process is not critically assessing the world in an unrealistically-logical fashion.
In addition, anyone who refuses to see the middle ground is magnifying negative emotions. Psychological studies have linked these negative emotions, or tension when something does not occur the way one perceives that it should.
What You Can Do
Play devil’s advocate. Sometimes it can be hard. But, remember that there is always more than one possible answer for most problems posed your way.
If it is difficult to play devil’s advocate and come up with many different possible answers, then seek the help of a third party. Often times, someone who is neutral to the situation can offer insight that may be overlooked by someone in the heat-of-the-moment.
6. Optimism Breeds Happiness
Okay, this one may sound pretty self-explanatory. But, pessimists are proven to be unhappy. Psychological studies have proven that optimists live longer and happier lives, compared to their realist counterparts.
Those who tend to think the best of every situation earn more money, are more successful in their chosen career paths, and have more quality friends.
What You Can Do
Staying in negative emotions will reap something you wish you had not sewn. So, do your best to find some silver linings to situations thrown your way.
It can actually be a funny exercise to find a positive to some really unfortunate circumstances thrown your way. Did you forget your umbrella today, and then it started pouring outside? Well, perhaps your clothes were dirty and needed a good wash anyway.
For example, the bad thing is that a tree fell on your roof during a bad storm, but you wanted a new roof anyway and had been pushing off repairing it. See? There can be a positive to any situation, regardless of how corny or insignificant it may be. You will ultimately become happier and have consistently more positive moods if you think in this mind frame.
If you are not as happy as you would like to be, then be sure to reassess your lifestyle. We are not recommending you completely change your personality. However, we guarantee there are a few tweaks you can make to find some more happiness in your life.