Time explores twelve common habits that can adversely affect happiness and offers tips on how to change them.
1. You don’t stand up straight. Research found that how we walk and how we feel are connected. A study showed that people who walked hunched over experienced more negative thoughts and worse moods than people who did not.
Tip: Walk with your chin up and your shoulders back.
2. You don’t enjoy the moment. Taking too many pictures can affect the way we remember moments. Diedra L. Clay, PsyD, said, “The lens is a veil in front of your eyes and we don’t realize it’s there.”
Tip: Enjoy moments while you are in them so you remember the experiences happily and well. If you are taking pictures, be sure to focus on the subjects instead of snapping pictures without purpose.
3. You’re not sticking up to the office bully. Unfortunately, bullying doesn’t stop after school. It is alive and well in the workplace with roughly 35% of U.S. employees getting bullied at some point in their career.
Tip: Visit the Workplace Bullying Institute website for research and guides on how to handle bullying in the workplace.
4. Exercise isn’t part of your routine. Exercise is critical to physical and mental health. Those who are active three times a week are at 19% less risk for depression.
Tip: Incorporate activity into your daily life. Whether you change your happy hour to an exercise hour, walk to your errands, or take the stairs, any activity will make a difference for your mental state.
5. You procrastinate too much. Putting tasks off until the last minute does not make it so you do not have to do them, but it does increase the stress, anxiety, and nerves involved.
Tip: Decrease your stress level before handling a task or problem. Go on a walk or a run, listen to music, etc. before you start to increase your enjoyment and lessen your stress.
6. You haven’t left your bad relationship. The relationships we maintain have a profound impact on our lives, happiness, and feelings of self-worth. Remaining in a toxic relationship can cause stress, anxiety, and depression.
Tip: Research the signs of an abusive relationship and an abusive partner. Then enlist someone to help you recognize those signs.
7. You don’t laugh enough. Taking things too seriously is bad for your mental health and can increase anxiety and depression.
Tip: Insert more humor into your daily life with a funny show or more time with your lively friends.
8. You don’t sleep enough. The quality of our sleep is directly proportional to the quality of our lives. Sleep is the root of our wellbeing – it affects our emotional and mental capacities and capabilities, and the quality of our bodies’ functioning.
Tip: Determine if you are not sleeping enough, well enough, or both and strategize how to rectify that. If the problem is you aren’t getting enough sleep, try setting a bedtime. If the problem is you aren’t sleeping well, you may need to get a noise machine, change your blinds, or even speak to a professional.
9. You don’t have any alone time. Having time to focus on yourself is important for warding off depression and anxiety. You may need ten minutes or an entire day, but it is important that you get it.
Tip: Put it on your calendar as you would any other appointment and don’t cancel.
10. You don’t talk as much as you should. Social media and texting have made it easier for us to communicate without actually speaking aloud to someone. This makes it more difficult for us to understand people and connect with them, while also increasing our need for instant gratification.
Tip: Keep in better, more personal contact with your family, friends, and partner. Make sure you are talking to or meeting up with someone at least once a week.
11. You don’t go anywhere without your phone. The ability for Smartphones to connect us to whatever we want, wherever we want has caused us to become overstimulated. This makes it more difficult for us to truly rest and reset, which can lead to anxiety and depression.
Tip: Set aside time when you abstain from devices each week. Get outside or read a book, just don’t use your electronics.
12. You multitask too much. Multitasking often leads to increased stress levels, inattentiveness, and poor communication.
Tip: Don’t multitask everything you’re doing. Focus on your tasks and conversations at hand so that your brain can properly process what is occurring.