10 Slechte gewoonten van chronisch ongelukkige mensen

In dit artikel uit de Huffington Post een overzicht van 10 slechte gewoonten, waar we ons allemaal wel eens schuldig aan maken ;-), die ons als we niet oppassen chronisch ongelukkig maken.

10 Troubling Habits of Chronically Unhappy People

Happiness comes in so many different forms that it can be hard to define. Unhappiness, on the other hand, is easy to identify; you know it when you see it, and you definitely know when it’s taken ahold of you.

Unhappiness is lethal to everyone around you, just like second-hand smoke. The famous Terman Study from Stanford followed subjects for eight decades and found that being around unhappy people is linked to poorer health and a shorter life span.

Happiness has much less to do with life circumstances than you might think. A University of Illinois study found that people who earn the most (more than $10 million annually) are only a smidge happier than the average Joes and Janes who work for them.

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% of a person’s happiness. The rest is up to you.

“The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.” – Benjamin Franklin

Unhappy Habits

When people are unhappy, it’s much more difficult to be around them, let alone work with them. Unhappiness drives people away, creating a vicious cycle that holds you back from achieving everything that you’re capable of.

Unhappiness can catch you by surprise. So much of your happiness is determined by your habits (in thought and deed) that you have to monitor them closely to make certain that they don’t drag you down into the abyss.

Some habits lead to unhappiness more than others do. You should be especially wary of the ten habits that follow as they are the worst offenders. Watch yourself carefully to make certain that these habits are not your own.

Waiting for the future. Telling yourself, “I’ll be happy when …” is one of the easiest unhappy habits to fall into. How you end the statement doesn’t really matter (it might be a promotion, more pay, or a new relationship) because it puts too much emphasis on circumstances, and improved circumstances don’t lead to
happiness. Don’t spend your time waiting for something that’s proven to have no effect on your mood. Instead focus on being happy right now, in the present moment, because there’s no guarantee of the future.

Spending too much time and effort acquiring “things.” People living in extreme poverty experience a significant increase in happiness when their financial circumstances improve, but it drops off quickly above $20,000 in annual income. 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 because, beyond the disappointment you experience once you get them, you discover that you’ve gained them at the expense of the real things that can make you happy, such as friends, family, and hobbies.

Staying home. When you feel unhappy, it’s tempting to avoid other people. This is a huge mistake as socializing, even when you don’t enjoy it, is great for your mood. We all have those days when we just want to pull the covers over our heads and refuse to talk to anybody, but understand that the moment this becomes a tendency, it destroys your mood. Recognize when unhappiness is making you antisocial, force yourself to get out there and mingle, and you’ll notice the difference right away.

Seeing yourself as a victim. Unhappy people tend to operate from the default position that life is both hard and out of their control. In other words, “Life is out to get me, and there’s nothing I can do about it.” The problem with that philosophy is that it fosters a feeling of helplessness, and people who feel helpless aren’t likely to take action to make things better. While everyone is certainly entitled to feel down every once in a while, it’s important to recognize when you’re letting this affect your outlook on life. You’re not the only person that bad things happen to, and you do have control over your future as long as you’re willing to take action.

Pessimism. Nothing fuels unhappiness quite like pessimism. The problem with a pessimistic attitude, beyond it being hard on your mood, is that it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy: if you expect bad things, you’re more likely to get bad things. Pessimistic thoughts are hard to shake off until you recognize how illogical they are. Force yourself to look at the facts, and you’ll see that things are not nearly as bad as they seem.

Complaining.
Complaining itself is troubling as well as the attitude that precedes it. Complaining is a self-reinforcing behavior. By constantly talking–and therefore thinking–about how bad things are, you reaffirm your negative beliefs. While talking about what bothers you can help you feel better, there’s a fine line between complaining being therapeutic and it fueling unhappiness. Beyond making you unhappy, complaining drives other people away.

Blowing things out of proportion. Bad things happen to everybody. The difference is that happy people see them for what they are–a temporary bummer–whereas unhappy people see anything negative as further evidence that life is out to get them. A happy person is upset if they have a fender bender on the way to work, but they keep things in perspective: “What a hassle, but at least it wasn’t more serious.” An unhappy person, on the other hand, uses it as proof that the day, the week, the month, maybe even their whole life, is doomed.

Sweeping problems under the rug. Happy people are accountable for their actions. When they make a mistake, they own it. Unhappy people, on the other hand, find problems and mistakes to be threatening, so they try to hide them. Problems tend to get bigger when they’re ignored. The more you don’t do anything about a problem, the more it starts to feel as though you can’t do anything about it, and then you’re right back to feeling like a victim.

Not improving. Because unhappy people are pessimists and feel a lack of control over their lives, they tend to sit back and wait for life to happen to them. Instead of setting goals, learning, and improving themselves, they just keep plodding along, and then they wonder why things never change.

Trying to keep up with the Joneses. Jealousy and envy are incompatible with happiness, so if you’re constantly comparing yourself with others, it’s time to stop. In one study, most subjects said that they’d be okay with making less money, but only if everybody else did too. Be wary of this kind of thinking as it won’t make you happy and, more often than not, has the opposite effect.

Bringing It All Together

Changing your habits in the name of greater happiness is one of the best things that you can do for yourself. But it’s also important for another reason–taking control of your happiness makes everyone around you happier too.

 

Bron: Klik hier

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De 6 sleutels tot meer geluk en succes

Op de site van Business Insider (uk.businessinsider.com) staat onderstaand artikel met een beschrijving van 6 sleutels tot meer geluk en succes.

A Stanford psychologist says these 6 things are the keys to happiness and success

If you want to be successful, you should work as hard as possible and suffer, right? Or so we’re told.

But that notion is completely wrong, according to psychologist Emma Seppala, science director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University.

As Seppala explains in her new book “The Happiness Track: How to Apply the Science of Happiness to Accelerate Your Success,” being successful and being happy are not mutually exclusive.

“We have this misconception that in order to be successful, we have to postpone or sacrifice our happiness now,” Seppala told Business Insider.

Seppala has scoured the research and identified six things that she says are key to being happy and successful:

1. Live in the moment

jumpingBusiness Insider

In today’s working world, we’re encouraged to work nonstop in order to stay on top of everything. We’re also constantly checking things off our to-do lists. But research suggests that when we’re focused on the present, we’re much more productive and more charismatic.

The Hungarian psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi describes the experience of being intensely focused on something while enjoying what you’re doing as the “flow” state. His research suggests that whether you’re an Olympic athlete or a mathematician, you are at your best when you’re in flow.

2. Be resilient

When we’re constantly working ourselves to the bone and feeling stressed, it activates our sympathetic nervous system, also known as the “fight or flight” response. Studies show that while short-term stress can be good for you, long-term stress is terrible for your health.

But if we can train ourselves to be more resilient to the setbacks in our lives, we’re more likely to bounce back from them, a 2004 study suggests. The study found that resilient people were able to recover faster (as measured by their heart rate and blood pressure) when they used positive emotions to respond to a stressful experience.

3. Keep calm (and carry on)

don draper meditation mad menAMC

When you’re constantly in overdrive, it can lead to burnout, which as much as half of the American workforce experiences, Seppala said. But if you take time to be calm, it can help you manage your energy.

In 2014, Seppala and her colleagues conducted a small study of 21 veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Half of them were assigned to do breathing meditation, and the other half received no intervention. The group that did the meditation reported lower PTSD symptoms and anxiety a month and even a year later.

Seppala told us that breathing exercises are an “absolutely critical” part of her own life, too.

4. Do more of nothing

In Western society, we have this ingrained notion that we need to constantly be doing something, or we’re not being productive. But in fact, research suggests that we are most creative when we’re not at our peak alertness.

In one 2011 study, researchers gave 428 students questionnaires to determine whether they were a morning person or an evening person, and then gave them logic problems in either the morning or late afternoon. Surprisingly, they found that morning people scored highest in the late afternoon, whereas evening people scored highest in the morning.

The findings suggest that we’re at our mental best when we’re not especially alert or focused. So if we want to be creative, we need to give ourselves more time off.

Even in our leisure time, we tend to go full bore. In surveys, when Americans are asked to define happiness, they often use words like excitement, elation, and thrill, whereas people in East Asian countries use words like peacefulness, serenity, and calm.

Seppala recommends building downtime into your workday by alternating high-intensity activities like preparing a presentation or attending a board meeting with low-intensity tasks like organizing your desk or files. And when possible, it’s a good idea to “unplug” from work completely, she said.

5. Be good to yourself

hurdles fallREUTERS/Phil Noble

We tend to assume that because we’re good at some things and bad at others, we should stick to our strengths. But that’s a fallacy, Seppala said.

Research suggests that a fear of failure can lead you to choke up, make you more likely to give up, lead to poor decisions such as cheating on tests or making questionable investments. It may also make it harder to pursue the career you want.

Instead, Seppala said, you should be kind to yourself, remember that everyone makes mistakes, and observe your negative thoughts from a distance without letting yourself really dwell on them.

6. Be compassionate to others

Finally, we often assume that we should be looking out for ourselves first and foremost. But in fact, research suggests that you’re better off nurturing supportive relationships with others. If you have good relationships with your boss, colleagues, or employees, you’re more likely to inspire loyalty, which in turn makes everyone more productive, Seppala said.

And you can actually train yourself to be compassionate, Seppala and her colleagues have found. People who underwent a nine-session training program at Stanford’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education had lower stress, were more empathetic, were more likely to help others, and were more resilient to the suffering of others.

“If you have supportive relationships with others, you end up doing well in the long run,” Seppala said.