5 signs you are spoiling your happiness, magazine, gq, shell, orchid
5 signs you are spoiling your happiness. Photo: Mark Alexander @lostpeony

I am not sure about you but I do have a self-destruct button. I am aware of it and I do my best to keep it at bay. Even if you don’t have that button, you probably do things that are damaging to you. Be it consciously or subconsciously.

Here are 5 signs you are spoiling your happiness without realising it:

You don’t live in the moment

Have you noticed that as soon as it’s Monday, you start thinking about the weekend. Even though the week is probably more exciting than the weekend, you don’t see it at the time.

In fact, more often than not, we do things on autopilot. We plan and we work to make sure that moment happens and when it does, it feels like an anticlimactic experience.

I challenge you to change that: Take a minute and savour this moment. Look around you and familiarise yourself with your surroundings. Find something that you like and that makes you happy.

In my case, this is the orchid on my desk behind the laptop. I cut one of its stems the other week because the weight of the flowers made it snap. It’s recovering and it’s already growing out a new stem. I can’t wait to see it covered in flowers soon. Find your “orchid” and take a moment to enjoy it.

You do everything

It’s so easy to do everything. It’s not just a temptation, it’s the norm. We do things either because we want to save money paying someone else to do it or we can’t wait for it to be done. Whatever the reason, doing everything ourselves is not the most efficient way of getting the job done.

We get overwhelmed and frustrated if it doesn’t go to plan or we just lose our patience with it and leave the job unfinished. That attitude makes us question our abilities and it makes us feel like a failure. Both of these are enough to wipe the smile off your face and make you unhappy.

It’s OK to ask someone else to do things for you or to pay a professional if you want the job done properly and promptly. It’s OK to do one thing at the time. Try it.

You work too much

Technology makes it so easy for us to do too much work. It’s so tempting to open your email just to check it one more time. Then, before you know it, you end up replying to the new emails. That leads you on to checking things which leads to more work and before you know it – it’s midnight.

You have work hours for a reason. Stick to them and use the rest of your time to do things for yourself which are not related to your work.

You worry too much

I know I used to worry about everything and anything. There was a time when silly things like not saying Thank you to someone or using the wrong word in an email, used to keep me awake at night.

Before you know it, these silly things accelerate into bigger things and put a big load on your shoulders.

Be compassionate and be caring but do it within reason. Detach yourself from things that are out of your reach and out of your control.

You don’t rest

It may well be the 21st century we live in but we are still humans. We are not robots and we need to rest. Listen to your body and when it tells you to rest, you rest.

All of these signs are part of everyday life. There are too many distractions preventing us from enjoying and appreciating the present. We try to do too much. We work too much, worry too much and we forget to take time off to rest.

You can’t just stop doing these things but you can certainly become more aware of them. Look out for telltale signs of overdoing it and do something about it. Take a break if you feel tired. Delegate some of the jobs you need to do. Have a worry-free day. Switch off work completely the minute you step out of your office or shut down your computer. Do something fun at the weekends and be happy 🙂


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