28 Feb Beware of these 9 traps that might be limiting your happiness
via the Huffington Post by Dr Travis Bradberry
Almost every action we take in life is aimed at achieving or maintaining “happiness”—that elusive state where we feel contentment, satisfaction, and even bliss.
Still, happiness can be a bit 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.
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.
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 bad habits don’t drag you down into the abyss.
Some habits lead to unhappiness more than others do. These traps are easily avoided once you’re aware of them.
1. Holding your feelings in. One of the great misconceptions concerning emotional intelligence (EQ) is that it is about repressing our feelings and holding them in. While it is true there are feelings that high EQ individuals do not allow to erupt on impulse, that does not mean those feelings are not expressed. Emotional intelligence means honoring your feelings and allowing yourself to experience the catharsis that comes from embracing them for what they are. Only then can you express them in a manner that helps rather than hinders your ability to reach your goals.
2. Numbing yourself with technology. Everyone deserves the opportunity to binge-watch a TV show now and then or to switch on your Kindle and get lost in a book. The real question is how much time you spend plugged in (to video games, the TV, the tablet, the computer, the phone, etc.) and whether it makes you feel good or simply makes you numb. When your escape becomes a constant source of distraction, it is a sure sign you have fallen into the trap of too much of a good thing.
3. 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…
…keep reading the full & original article HERE