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  • Maximize Your Happiness by Avoiding These Pitfalls

    11/28/16 8:15 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Employers | Leave a Comment
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    It’s “the most wonderful time of the year.”

    So why aren’t you happier?

    Sure, the rush of the season makes it harder to unwind and enjoy the here-and-now. But are external factors like holiday stress making you unhappy – or are you your own worst enemy?

    Twin research has proven that about 50 percent of your happiness is genetically determined, and that “life circumstances” (e.g., money, marital status, appearance) account for just 10 percent. So what’s the remaining 40 percent of your happiness level due to?

    You guessed it: YOU.

    If you want to be happier, take charge with a two-pronged approach: actively develop habits that promote happiness, while avoiding these pitfalls that limit it:

    Falling Victim to “Energy Vampires”

    You may not be able to completely avoid people who are perpetually negative, resentful or hostile (especially if you’re forced to work with or manage them). You can, however, insulate yourself from their behavior – so they upset and drain you less:

    • Allow them to vent without taking their comments personally.
    • Resist the urge to react emotionally. Avoiding knee-jerk, defensive responses takes practice, but it is possible.
    • Listen with intent. Often, negative people simply need someone to empathize with them. Showing that you understand what they’re experiencing can quickly neutralize their toxic behavior.
    • Limit your contact. If the energy vampire is a teammate or employee, keep communications focused on work-related issues. If the individual is a friend or family member, try to associate in groups (and spend less time one-on-one).

    Repressing Your Feelings

    Continually holding in your feelings is like putting handcuffs on your happiness. While you certainly don’t want to erupt on impulse every time you’re upset (see above), you should find acceptable ways to express your emotions. Only by honoring your true feelings can you experience the catharsis they bring.

    Trying to Buy Happiness

    New cars. Expensive watches. Designer clothes. If you listen to media messages (especially during the holidays), you’d think that acquiring these things is the “magic bullet” to guarantee your happiness.

    Buying stuff may produce a short-term “rush,” but it’s typically short-lived. And once that good feeling is gone, it’s replaced by disappointment – and a desire to buy more. A better option to maximize your contentment? Stop pursuing things, and start pursuing the relationships and experiences that will truly sustain your happiness.

    Spending Too Much Time on Technology

    According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly one in 10 Americans suffers from some form of depression. One of the biggest contributors?  Too much screen time.

    Technology can certainly make you feel more connected to the outside world – but if you’re habitually using it to distract yourself, or you focus too much on social comparisons, your smartphone could actually be making you miserable. Pay attention to how, when and why you use technology – and how happy or unhappy it really makes you.

    Related Post: Prevent Negativity from Creeping Into Your Workplace

    Want to make your organization a happier place to work?

    Exact Staff’s experts can refer talented, experienced people with the personality traits and soft skills to help you build a more positive workplace. Get happier in 2017. Contact our national employment agency today.

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