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3 warning signs that you are not as happy as you think you are

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Countless experts in science and philosophy have already dealt with the question of what really makes us happy. The problem: Most people measure their life satisfaction by the wrong things.

No one just walks through the world grinning blissfully like a honey cake horse. But if we want to feel happy in the long term, some points in our lives have to be right. Some of these are different than we assume. Because we often attach satisfaction to the wrong things – and thus prevent us from developing further and being happy in our lives in the long term.

These 3 signs will tell you that you are not as happy as you thought you are

1. The inside doesn’t match the outside

Everything is perfect for you on paper: you have a happy partnership and/or an intact family, you live in your dream house, and your job also sounds like winning the lottery. But inside you somehow didn’t get the info that all circumstances on the outside are a one with an asterisk. After all, no money in the world and no outwardly perfect family will make us happy if our psyche doesn’t keep up.

Self-care isn’t just a buzzword, and it’s not just about drinking red wine in the bath. It is much more important that we listen carefully to ourselves and take stock honestly: How do I feel right now? am i really happy And if not, why not? What do I need to feel content? Do I have traumas that have not yet been processed or issues that I need professional help with and that are currently preventing me from developing further?

Simply telling our brain, “I’ve done everything that was on the checklist, please be happy now!”, unfortunately, won’t work. Rather, we have to look inward and find out what we individually need to feel happy. This is the only way we can really enjoy the beautiful external circumstances.

2. Stuck in the comfort zone

Happiness means something different to each person. For some it is fulfilling to have a large family, for others it is pure happiness to be involved in something important at work or as a volunteer. Someone else may find happiness mostly in traveling and discovering new things. However, happiness research agrees that for long-term happiness we need to break out of our comfort zone and try new things. Even if we have the feeling that we are perfectly content in our world as we have set it up for ourselves – we can all benefit from thinking outside the box.

These can be very small things in everyday life: For example, we could try out a new restaurant instead of always going to our favorite store. Or we’ll take a different route to work. If we regularly venture out of our comfort zone with such mini-steps, we may notice that we are also somewhat stuck in larger matters – and get the desire to grow and develop further here as well.

3. Wrong definition of happiness

Do you sometimes find yourself thinking, “If only I could get that promotion” or “If only I were slimmer”? This is usually a fallacy. True happiness does not depend on getting something, achieving a goal, let alone looking a certain way. We often look far too much for satisfaction in the outside world and cling to old beliefs that we may have adopted from our parents and/or the media. Namely that we find our happiness in having a great job and a lot of money or in being flawlessly beautiful (Newsflash: You are beautiful anyway, just the way you are now).

Such externals may make us happy for a brief moment – but in the long term we need other things. This has to do with how our brain works. If we get a new job, a salary increase or even a diet success, our brain releases the reward hormone dopamine, which puts us in a kind of intoxication for a short time. The problem: We need more of these things real quick to get that next dopamine hit. Not only does this not make us happier in the long run, but it can actually make us more dissatisfied if the dopamine rush and flimsy feelings of happiness aren’t there.

Instead, we should strive for meaning, something that corresponds to our personal values. Because if we align our lives and actions according to these values, it can bring us real satisfaction in the long term.

Sources used: psych2go.com, medium.com

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Deborah Acker

I write epic fantasy; self-published via KDP. Devoted dog mom to my 10 yr old GSD, Shadow! DM not a priority; slow response at best #amwriting #author.

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