The funniest thing about how the little things add up to create our moods is how rarely we notice them, or how they are affecting us. For example: you may not be conscious of the fact that your disorganized closet makes you feel stressed just by having to look inside it (and get stuff out of it) each day, but once you've finally cleaned it out, you realize that every time you glance over now, you get a feeling of visceral calmness. You realize that it was stressing you out without you ever realizing it, and perhaps that is the most insidious thing of all.
So how do you even begin to shift your life away from all the clutter and chaos without knowing where to start? Well, that's up for you to evaluate on your own terms, but there are a few ideas you can start with here. From making sure everything stays organized in your home to pre-planning your days to halting all that gross judgment you don't even realize you're spewing out over cocktails with your girlfriends, what you're going to find is that happiness is a habit more than it is just one choice. When you begin to realize how being more conscious of even the smallest things shifts the quality of your life altogether, you'll never turn back. (Just be careful to focus on being healthy; this is how people get obsessive about routines and particularities.) Here, all the little things you don't realize are stealing your happiness:
Trying To Work "Harder," Rather Than "Smarter"
You have professional goals, deadlines to land, and of course you generally want to do your best work each day. The problem is that we very often confuse having to work smarter with just trying to work harder, when by streamlining, simplifying, getting creative, and prioritizing, you can reduce your time spent and stress felt and end up with a better product regardless.
A Routine That Doesn't Flow For You
Routine is super important — every person who is even a little fulfilled understands this. Yet, at the same time, unless that routine is truly catered to your individual needs, it's probably not going to be as effective. It's sometimes difficult to remember that, as an individual, the routine that works for you may not be the routine that you see working for someone else, but it's crucial to remind yourself that forging your own path, while scarier, is the most rewarding thing of all.
Trying To Uproot And Change More Often Than You Try To Stay And Fix What's Wrong
You know the dramatic "drop everything and walk out of the office like the liberated, free bird you are" scene you see in every other modern rom-com? Yeah, that's great and everything, but we're beginning to become saturated in the idea that when we don't like something, it's because we need to ditch it, rather than fix it. Spoiler alert: what makes you happy in that instant will not make you happier in the long run.
Evaluating Other People's Lives And Judging Their Choices, Even When Seemingly Benign
Even when it seems like cocktail conversation, or you're speaking about a friend just out of "concern" and it seems like there's absolutely nothing offensive or mean about what you have to say, it is still getting you into the mindset of judging someone else's life — and when you're judging someone else's life what you don't realize is that you are judging your own as well.
Cluttered Or Disorganized Spaces In Your Home
You may not think the pile of dishes upsets you, or your cluttered closets feel terrible, until you actually clean them out and feel incredible. When it comes to the spaces you use and inhabit every day, there is sincerely nothing more important than remembering to keep things organized as often as possible. Simply, it just allows for more flow, and the more you "flow" through even the smallest of daily routines, the more energy you have to devote to the stuff that matters.
Eating Too Little
The first thing you should ask yourself when you feel anxious is: "Have I eaten enough today? Have I had enough water?" You would be absolutely shocked to realize how often the answer is "Nope!" If you have reached a point of stress or distraction that your body has to physically remind you to nourish yourself, you may want to re-evaluate your priorities.
Sleeping Too Much
We always hear about the problem being sleeping too little, but sleeping too much is just as much of an issue! Evidence is beginning to show that before that 9-to-5 life, humans slept in shifts, waking in the middle of the night for a few hours to have "times of peace," or to have sex. It appears we're going against our natural rhythms if anything (and this could explain why your sleep patterns feel so erratic). Point is: you may be trying to get too much sleep at once, and are throwing yourself off.
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