9 Traps You Fall Into That Limit Your Happiness

Unhappiness can catch you by surprise

The first step is to admit that even the most stable and trusted facets of your life are not completely under your control. People change, businesses go through ebbs and flows, and things simply do not stay the same for long.

Almost every action we take in life is aimed at achieving or maintaining happiness that elusive state where we feel contentment, satisfaction, and even bliss.

Still, happiness can be a bit hard to define. Unhappiness, on the other hand, is easy to identify; you know it when you see it, and you definitely know when its taken hold of you.

Happiness has much less to do with life circumstances than you might think. A University of Illinois study found that people who earn the most (more than $10 million annually) are only a smidgen happier than the average Joes and Janes who work for them.

Life circumstances have little to do with happiness because much happiness is under your control the product of your habits and your outlook on life. Psychologists from the University of California who study happiness found that genetics and life circumstances only account for about 50% of a persons happiness. The rest is up to you.

Unhappiness can catch you by surprise. So much of your happiness is determined by your habits (in thought and deed) that you have to monitor them closely to make certain that bad habits don’t drag you down into the abyss.

Some habits lead to unhappiness more than others do. These traps are easily avoided once you’re aware of them.

1. Holding your feelings in

One of the great misconceptions concerning emotional intelligence (EQ) is that it is about repressing our feelings and holding them in. While it is true there are feelings that high EQ individuals do not allow to erupt on impulse, that does not mean those feelings are not expressed. Emotional intelligence means honoring your feelings and allowing yourself to experience the catharsis that comes from embracing them for what they are. Only then can you express them in a manner that helps rather than hinders your ability to reach your goals.

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