How to Stop Getting in Your Own Way of Happiness
I've never seen the 1998 comedy fantasy film, Practical Magic. However, I have read all three books that inspired the script. The prequel tells the story of Maria Owens, the founder of the Salem Owens line and the witch that cast the infamous Owens curse: any man who falls in love with an Owens woman will be doomed to an early death.
Maria casts the curse because the father of her child turns out to be a married a-hole. Soon after she casts it, she falls in love with another man who is kind, funny, and completely head-over-heels for her. Instead of trying to break the curse or pursuing a relationship anyway, Maria pushes the kind man away and spends the rest of the book totally bummed out about it. In other words, she CHOOSES to be unhappy. And, frankly, that made it really hard for me to feel bad for her or care about her story.
It's sort of like in Bridgerton when the Duke of Hastings refuses to be happy with Daphne because of some bullshit promise he made his dying father. So annoying! I’m like, “Guys. Let’s either be proactive about our happiness or stop complaining about how your choices have made you unhappy.”
Why is this such a common theme?
Maybe because it happens a lot….
How often do we get in our own way when it comes to our happiness?
According to mental health experts, the most frequent reason why people aren’t able to experience happiness fully is that they are holding themselves back.
Take a look at these common behaviors you might doing to get in your own way and do a little self-reflection:
You’re Not Being Yourself
Trying to be like everyone else, whether it’s the models on Insta or your friends IRL, is super draining. Stifling your authentic self is a surefire way to stop happiness in its tracks.
You Jump to Negativity
Who hasn’t been burned in the past? The trouble starts when you assume that every person, goal, or activity in your life is going to have a negative outcome.
You Hold onto the Bad
That rude comment your coworker made? The gross look that dude on the subway gave you? The way that ex broke your heart two years ago? Be like Elsa and “let it go,” because holding onto the bad will only make you unhappy.
You Don’t Practice Gratitude
Happiness doesn’t just come from big events. Take note of and be grateful for the little moments of joy, because those are what make a happy life.
You Don’t Take Care of Yourself
Your mind and soul can’t be healthy if your body isn’t. Eat right, exercise, see your doctor for regular checkups, and, for goodness sake, get some sleep!
If you see yourself in some of these examples, it might be time for you to get out of your own way and find happiness. If you don’t do it for yourself, then at least do it for me. I really don’t want to add you to my Annoying List along with Maria Owens and the Duke of Hastings.