Suppose you look at the self-help section of any bookstore. In that case, you’re likely to come across all sorts of different titles that focus specifically on certain actions you should take or methodologies you should use to achieve your goals and live your best life.
Some of these will be based on elaborate task and project management systems, such as David Allen’s corporate-focused “Getting Things Done” method. Others will have to do with particular fitness routines, household decluttering, and much more besides.
Just as important as having specific methodologies at hand that you can use to structure your life, however, is understanding certain common behaviors that may negatively impact your sense of well-being and that you should therefore avoid.
Here are a few of those common behaviors that you should be mindful of and should seek to minimize in your life if you want to experience the highest possible level of well-being and fulfillment.
Spending too much time online and interacting with the world through a screen
These days, more and more of us are spending most of our waking hours in front of one type of screen or another, both for work and as a means of decompressing and relaxing during our downtime.
All too often, this ends up taking the form of spending hours and hours online, absorbing often distorted information presented to us through a format that’s very different from how we naturally interact with the world face-to-face.
But if you allow yourself to get caught up in online arguments, trying to digest the different perspectives on the world that are regularly offered to you through condensed text-based and often anonymous means, or are constantly looking at people’s highly curated social media feeds, your sense of well-being is virtually bound to be negatively impacted.
Although the Internet and various digital devices can be highly beneficial in many different ways, real issues develop when you end up primarily experiencing the world in this tech-mediated fashion.
By spending more time away from the screens and doing other things, in person, in the world at large, you’re likely to find that your stress, anger, anxiety, and frustration levels end up decreasing significantly.
Trying to work everything out perfectly in the abstract before taking action
For people prone to overthinking, it can seem virtually impossible – or at least, extremely risky – to take action on anything without first getting every detail perfectly calculated, organized, understood, and planned in the abstract beforehand.
While giving enough thought to your decisions and actions is essential, it can be profoundly detrimental to take that too far and to slip into habitual overthinking.
The thing about our thoughts is that they can go on forever and create a self-referential loop that never actually gets us to the point of taking action. It becomes necessary for us to decide that we have done enough planning and analysis and now need to get started.
Taking action can reveal and unfold all sorts of different experiences and insights that we would never have come by if we had kept trying to reason things through endlessly. And, at the same time, taking action is frequently one of the best ways of challenging our mental models and assumptions about something – which are often quite flawed and can end up radically limiting our sense of scope and possibility in life.
Letting your personal appearance slide
As a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns, many people have been working from home in recent times – meaning that they need to stay on top of things like personal presentation, or for that matter, the production of the house may seem less obvious.
Even if you are barely seeing anyone else face-to-face, however, letting your presentation or the presentation of your home slide can be highly detrimental – because these things are not just a matter of how other people perceive you, but also of how you perceive yourself, and of how you relate to yourself.
You don’t need to be a supermodel to look into things like Aloe Vera For Skin: Benefits, Uses, And Expert Tips, or to put on a well-fitting outfit in the morning instead of staying in your pajamas until midday. Likewise, you don’t need to have guests coming over to keep your home relatively clean, organized, and clutter-free.
Generally speaking, paying attention to your presentation and the presentation of your home, and taking pride in those things, will elevate your sense of personal confidence and will help to reinforce that you care about yourself and believe you’re worth the effort.
Having a sedentary lifestyle
Regular physical activity is essential for good overall health, but it’s just as crucial for maintaining a good level of personal well-being, positivity, and optimism as well.
As the psychologist Kelly McGonigal has described, there seems to be a direct connection between physical inactivity and low mood. In contrast, regular physical exercise – even relatively light exercise such as brisk walking – appears to enhance hope and personal well-being and make it easier for us to experience these positive emotional states in the future.
If you have a sedentary lifestyle where you spend most of your time sitting down, regularly looking for ways to get more physically active can be extremely helpful.
Making too many assumptions, instead of staying open to the opportunities and mysteries that each day holds
As we go through day-to-day life, we naturally tend to make certain assumptions about things and make all sorts of extrapolations about the present based on our past experiences.
When you believe you know everything, you automatically limit your ability to perceive the mystery and adventure that each day holds.
Always leave a bit of room for the fact that each day contains its unique opportunities and mysteries, and not only will your life likely seem significantly more interesting, but your sense of well-being will likely be significantly higher as well.