The four vicious modern habits that affect our happiness
Not unlike other addictions, people can become stuck in the vicious cycle of ‘rewarding’ themselves with more unhappiness. This happens when they practice the mindless, habitual activities and thought patterns that lead them to wishing time away. When you get up feeling the burden of the day that lies ahead of you, running a preview tape of everything you need to do that day, it should come as no surprise that you will wish the day was over before it even begins, and look forward to getting back into the bed you just got up from.
Over the last 20 years, I have noticed a pretty consistent pattern among my patients.I have come to identify four of the most common modern issues that block us from feeling our best. It is important to name and define as many unhappiness habits that may be present in your life. This will help you to begin to identify how much this is consuming and destroying your life. There are four main unhappiness habits that I see in my practice that affect the overall sense of well-being of my patients.
How do you typically feel after spending an extended period of time scrolling your feed? This habit often doesn’t make people feel happier and better about themselves or their life in general. Mainly, people feel defeated, resentful, jealous…bitter about life and how they don’t measure up to all of those high points of life that they see posted on social media. Yet, they continue to go right back on there, often many times daily.
Disconnected to Nature
The simple act of spending more time outside, immersed in nature, can reduce the perception of stress and improve emotional health. Studies have even shown that residents in urban areas who are exposed to more trees experience less anxiety. When people spend more time outside moving around in their green surroundings (what I like to call ‘green light therapy’) they display reductions in physical signs of stress such as muscle tension and pulse rate.
When you ask people what matters most to them, they will often cite their loved ones. Maintaining healthy relationship takes both intention and time. Because many people feel so overwhelmed and have a sense of not having having enough time in the day to get everything done, they will often drop spending quality time with their family and friends. Also, if they are distracted and not feeling present during those interactions, relationships can suffer.
At the root of self-criticism is a poor sense of self-worth, lack of self-love and ultimately, shame. More than half of women harbor negative thoughts about themselves weekly. This is a deep-rooted issue that is worsened by stress, making people in our fast-paced society much more vulnerable to negative self-judgement.