Things We Do That Prevent Us From Being Happy
What a mouthful that title is, huh? But it's true - there are many common mistakes those of us who have acne tend to make, which prevent us from being happy, from truly enjoying and thriving in life. Hopefully by bringing these common mistakes to light, we can all begin to work on them in our own lives, and work toward being happier and healthier versions of ourselves.
What many of us acne sufferers fail to realize is that there are choices that we make every day, some of which seem completely unrelated to our health and happiness, that dramatically impact the way we feel mentally and physically. And oftentimes, this is fueled by our skin issues.
1. We believe we are unworthy of happiness and love
Brene Brown once said that the one thing that keeps us out of connection is the fear that we’re not worthy of connection - that's it. The one thing that stands between you and happiness - is you, and your belief that you don't deserve it.
If you want to be able to move past the fear, judgement, and uncertainty of being around people when you have acne, and move into a healthier and happier life, then you have to give yourself permission first. You have to decide that you’re worthy. And nobody can give you your own self-worth, you need that to come from within.
2. We avoid forming relationships with new people, and let old relationships die down.
Humans are social creatures, much like our ape cousins. Although society has placed an emphasis on individuality and solidarity, learning to empower ourselves and view ourselves as important regardless of social structure, we still thrive in social groups.
It's very important to have a strong sense of self, but forming meaningful connections is also very important. It's what brings value to our lives, whether it's with family, or friends, or a loved one. Although we should never allow our happiness to be dependent on someone else, people with strong social ties have been found to be healthier people overall, and who also tend to live longer.
While not everyone wants to be in a relationship and some people find their happiness without being with someone, studies show that people in long-term, caring relationships have a lower risk of depression, suicide and substance abuse. A happy long-term relationship can even lead to increased longevity.
This isn't to say that you cannot be happy without being married, or you cannot be happy without having one "soulmate", it just means we need to be cautious when avoiding forming bonds. When we have acne we tend to avoid social situations that may allow us to meet new people and form new relationships, and it also may push us away from those who we've already formed meaningful relationships with. This is because acne is very debilitating, both mentally and physically.
This stems from the fact that when we have acne we don't believe we are worthy of forming these relationships and experiencing happiness. We resent ourselves, and we become angry and upset, which leads us to take our anger out on those around us. I know that the most trying time in my husband and I's relationship was when I had acne. If he wasn't such an amazing person, I could've easily pushed him away with my behaviour while I had acne. Insecurities ruin relationships. This is especially true for new relationships. It's impossible to reassure someone that they're beautiful, that they're appreciated, that they're loved, if they are incapable of being reassured. We feel like a failure, and we don't want others, especially those close to us, to see us failing. And so we hide, we turn down opportunities to go out and do fun things, and we become a social recluse. And it's these grievous mistakes that can make us lonely, and make us depressed.
The bottom line is that forming meaningful connections and establishing a sense of belonging are important for living a happy, healthy life. Whether it is a friendship, family, or otherwise, we need these connections.
3. We allow our self-worth and happiness to be dependent on others.
If, for any moment, you compare yourself to someone else, or if you look to someone else for acceptance - you're basically handing your happiness over to someone else in a nice, neat package.
Stop it. Your happiness is only contingent on YOU.
They are their own person, you are your own person. We cannot ever be them, we cannot ever be just like them. We can only ever be ourselves. And if we are constantly trying to be like someone else, we'll never be able to be our greatest selves.
4. We stop doing the things we love to do.
We all have our favourite pastimes, whether it is going for a hike, knitting, painting, swimming, writing, or just dancing in our underwear in front of the fridge. These are the things that make our hearts smile.
But when we are down on ourselves, or down on life, as we tend to be when struggling with acne, we may also notice a slow decline in doing the things we once loved. Something we once took pride and joy in doing seems unimportant, because we become so fixated on what we believe is important.
Well, what if I were to tell you, that doing the things we love to do is exponentially more important than worrying about our acne?
Expressing yourself creatively, for one, actually reduces the risk of disease and illness while simultaneously strengthening your health and wellness by reducing stress and anxiety, and increasing positive emotions.
The same goes for doing any activity we truly enjoy doing - it helps us feel better, and when we feel better, we're happier.
5. We stop practicing gratefulness.
Gratefulness and mindfulness tend to go hand-in-hand; they're both things we need to practice daily, and when we have acne we tend to forget about all of the amazing things in our lives that we should be grateful for, because we're too busy focusing on the things we'd like to change about ourselves.
If we could practice mindfulness and gratefulness just a couple of minutes every single day, we could drastically reduce our stress and anxiety.
6. We stop making and chasing our dreams.
Dreams, goals and aspirations are what keep us going. I found that when I was down in the dumps about my skin and my life, I stopped dreaming and thinking about my future plans and goals. I couldn't get un-stuck from the dark thoughts of now, which prevented me from thinking of anything positive in the future.
When I started realizing this, everything else fell into place. Making plans to be happy became my top priority.
Above all else, don't forget about your own happiness and how being happy isn't just some destination you come to and stay there forever; happiness is a long journey with many destinations along the way, and it's up to us to stay on the right path and not veer off into dangerous territory.
For more helpful tips like these, check out my e-book!