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“Life is a b*tch.”
Recently, I found myself thinking this all too often.
Have you been there? (I think we all have.)
It’s this pesky feeling where we partially wrap our heads around the fact that, yes, life can be rough, but we’re not actually dealing with it.
Maybe we’re overwhelmed by work. Maybe our anxiety-ridden dog just had surgery and is even more clingy, and “I just need some f*cking space to think!”
Those are just the little details, though, right? We’re usually not immediately sucked into an emotional sh*tstorm by these tiny moments if we’re balanced and happy and taking care of ourselves. It’s water off our duck-feather-like back. We say, “Wow, that’s annoying,” and go on about our day.
So, why do we let ourselves get to this point of woe is me? What are we doing (or not doing) that’s making us so unhappy?
Here are three habits that I’m guilty of:
1. We ignore what our hearts and bodies are telling us.
When we’re stressed, we tend to want to shut everything out. (Well, at least, I do.) We don’t want to “slow down and take a break,” even though we might need it.
We push ourselves harder and harder—slam our proverbial heads into the wall of unhappiness. Or maybe we refuse to let go of a friend, lover, or job because we think we can power through it. “Everything will be fine.”
So, on we go, cursing our lives—too bull-headed to acknowledge what our gut has been trying to tell us is so damn wrong with that foul sense of discontent we feel.
2. We try to control everything.
Here is my cycle: I’m stressed, so everything must be just so! I’m stressed because I care too damn much about everything being just so!
So, everything sucks, and I’m annoyed and unhappy.
3. We seek validation from outside sources.
In the great words of Brené Brown:
“The important thing to know about worthiness is that it doesn’t have prerequisites. Most of us, on the other hand, have a long list of worthiness prerequisites—qualifiers that we’ve inherited, learned, and unknowingly picked up along the way. Most of these prerequisites fall in the categories of accomplishments, acquisitions, and external acceptance. It’s the if/when problem (‘I’ll be worthy when…’ or ‘I’ll be worthy if…’).”
Perfectionism also falls into this category: we think we need to be “the best” to be loved (and therefore happy).
It’s obviously healthy to feel our ups and downs. This isn’t meant to dissuade anyone from letting the hurts in.
We aren’t here to fart rainbows and eat sprinkled cupcakes every day while we pretend to be “fine.” It’s about being aware of how we might be sabotaging ourselves.
What other habits do you think contribute to this?