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There’s nothing wrong with being sad.
As Susan Cain would say, “We really are creatures born to transform pain into beauty.”
It’s true. We have an incredible ability to transform our emotions and experiences into something beautiful. But we also have the ability to transform beauty into pain—or to prevent the beauty from entering at all.
And actually, we do it all the freakin’ time. How many of you have also become masters of self-sabotage like I have?
We have the ability to allow more joy into our lives. We just have to be willing to work for it. It’s easy to fall back on unhelpful habits—like endlessly scrolling through social media—but did you know that these behaviors are literally preventing us from the joy we deserve to be feeling?
We all engage in these kinds of behaviors, even if only once in a while. But remember, there’s no need to be hard on ourselves; we just need to recognize that maybe these behaviors aren’t adding to our lives and perhaps they’re even taking away from them.
The first step is always awareness.
Here are six things we often do that prevent us from being happy:
1. Extending your bedtime into the late hours
Ever stay up too late feverishly scrolling through social media? Put down the phone or the TV or the whatever and get your much-needed, well-deserved rest.
2. Not enjoying the simple moments
Start a gratitude journal and don’t just write down the big things you’re grateful for (i.e. food, shelter, family), but include the little things in your day that brought you joy (i.e. that first sip of coffee in the morning, watching the squirrels chase each other, the way your neighbor made you laugh).
3. Never exercising
Movement is medicine. Don’t let the energy in your body stagnate. Move it. Let it out. Release the emotions that get stuck in your body.
4. Ignoring your mental and physical well-being
Check in with yourself. Every damn day.
5. Not progressing
What do you do when you’re bored? Instead of watching Netflix or scrolling on Instagram, do something that will stimulate growth. Learn something new. Read a book. Meditate. Create something beautiful.
6. Only staying in your comfort zone, being too comfortable
Stepping out of your comfort zone can be tough. But we have to be willing to fail at something in order to get good at it. Get a little uncomfortable. Be willing to fail…and fail again. That’s when you’ll grow.
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