Are you happy? If you answered no, but you can’t put your finger on why – this is for you. Turns out there are some common barriers to personal happiness that we aren’t always aware of. Here they are, along with tips to help you overcome them. We got this from Web MD.
- Barrier #1: Too much stuff. Multiple cars and credit cards don’t create happiness - only hassles. The solution is to simplify. Dr. Thupten Jinpa holds a PhD in Religious Studies from Cambridge University, and is president of the Institute of Tibetan Classics in Montreal. Jinpa, who was schooled in Buddhist monasteries since he was a child, says one of the reasons monks shave their heads is because it simplifies their lives. Jinpa himself isn’t a monk anymore, but he tries to hold on to the basic lifestyle - because he says it’s a clear path to happiness. So, get rid of the clutter and the excess. It only complicates your life.
- Barrier #2: Negativity. There’s a link between how you see things and how you experience the world, so it’s crucial to adopt a positive outlook. The best way to do this is by practicing gratitude. Dr. Robert Emmons is the author of Thanks!: How Practicing Gratitude Can Make You Happier. In his research, he found that people who kept gratitude journals felt better about their lives, exercised more, and were more optimistic.
- Barrier #3: Navel-gazing. In other words – focusing on yourself. Isolation can lead to unhappiness – which means the cure is to connect with others. The best way to do that is by taking care of other people. Dr. Robert M. Sapolsky, the author of Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers, says that primates that groom each other after a stressful time reduce their blood pressure. In fact, grooming others reduces it more than being groomed themselves. Why? Because compassion engages us on a more intimate level. Without it, happiness is just a short-lived pleasure.