I'm sure you've heard that advice about "choosing" happiness. It sounds a little vague, right? But there's definitely truth to it. Not only do our choices influence happiness, but our habits do too.
Happier people have habits, like being optimistic, taking accountability for your actions and focusing on experiences instead of owning materialistic things. On the flip side, there are habits that will keep you feeling down in the dumps all the time too.
Forbes published a list about 10 troubling habits of people who are always unhappy and some of them are pretty surprising. Here are some of the most common habits of unhappy people.
1. You don't get out enough.
Unhappy people tend to make a habit of retreating. Being alone all the time can get lonely, no matter how much you think you're enjoying it. Loneliness is never a happy feeling.
Whether you're an introvert or an extrovert, socializing with people you like being around and care for is a huge mood booster. So is trying new things in a group setting, like fun meetups or fitness classes.
Sure, some days you just have to keep to yourself, maybe not leave your apartment and eat a bowl of cereal in bed. But the more that becomes a pattern for you, the more unhappy you'll feel.
2. You compare yourself to others.
No matter how you slice it, happy people aren't jealous. Envy can take over your whole life outlook if you let it. Unhappy people are very focused on what others have that they don't. Because we're constantly connected on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and every other area of social media, it's easy to get sucked in and take note of all the cool things people are doing.
It's easy to feel a pang of jealousy. I'm not saying happy people don't use social media. But, how much you have in life doesn't equate to happiness. Just because people are showing off on social media doesn't mean they're actually happy either.
3. You're just hoping for something better.
Something unhappy people say all the time is, "I'll be happy if..." They tell themselves they'll be happy if they get a promotion or if they lose 20 pounds. But that type of thinking can make you just feel worse. You can't exactly guarantee what will happen in the future.
Telling yourself you'll be happy if something happens, like getting a raise, is like hoping a million dollars just falls into your lap. As much as we'd like to dream about that, it's very unlikely to happen. You have to make your "I'll be happy if" situations happen. Happy people don't overlook what they have now because they hope for something better in the future.
4. You accumulate meaningless stuff instead of making memories.
One common habit of unhappy people is retail therapy. People who turn to buying stuff to make themselves feel better will only get a temporary rush of happiness. Retail therapy doesn't actually make people feel better in the long run. It just makes people feel worse.
Filling your life and environment with things won't make you happy, which is why so many happy people are minimalists. Instead, it's best to spend money and time on experiences with friends, family and doing what you love.
5. You're waiting for life to happen.
Pessimistic and unhappy people are less proactive than happy people. They tend to wait for things to happen to them instead of making them happen.
The thing is, going after what you want is scary AF. If you pursue something, you could fail. It's always easier to do nothing than to do something. Unhappy people will do the former because, well, doing something means actually trying for once.
Obviously, we all have our unhappy days where we might do a little retail therapy or have a quiet day at home alone. But if you avoid turning these behaviors into habits, you're going to live a happier life. You can read the full list of unhappy habits here.