From the Mindset Monday Series

Starting your day on the right foot isn’t going to change everything; here are the top three destructive habits that can steal your happiness.


Now you know how powerful the spoken word is to your life. So, you can work on morning affirmations, but what about all the complaining you do each day? Do you even realize how much you complain? Do you ever say any of these things?

•I can’t stand the people I work with at my job.

•My boss plays favorites, and I am not one of them.

•My children don’t do anything around this house, and it’s trashed.

•Why can’t I have the kind of life my sister does?

• I’m not too fond of this car. It’s nothing but a piece of junk.

Does any of these things sound familiar? When you speak negativity, you forget about all the items you’ve been blessed with within your life. While you may not have the car you want, you do have transportation.

Many people don’t have anything to drive and rely on the bus. While you may not have the best people at your job, at least you have employment. The average unemployment rate in this country is 6.9 percent, but you have a steady paycheck.

Your children may be a bit lazy, but most children don’t like to clean. Another thing you can be thankful for is that you have a roof over your head. Stop complaining about all the things that are so wrong, and you need to count your blessings. Your robbing your own joy by being so pessimistic.

Sadly, your children hear what you say, and they will learn these bad habits. No one likes to be around a negative person, so watch the complaining and think on the sunny side.


Forgiveness is a difficult thing for many people. If someone has wronged you, it’s easy to let bitterness and grudges form into the inner fibers of your being. If you want to be forgiven for your wrongdoings in life, you must also learn how to forgive others.

Now, it’s understandable that some things are easier to forgive than others. For instance, you can easily make amends with your child that put a scratch on your car long before you can have a spouse that is guilty of infidelity. So, there are degrees of offenses that will take longer to process and come to terms with.

Even if you can’t forget about what the person has done to you, you can still forgive them. Think of unforgiveness as a sore that festers and becomes infected. Soon it starts to affect the tissue around it.

When you don’t forgive someone that has done you wrong, then you are hurting you, not them. You’re trying to protect yourself from pain, but it’s just hurting you even more as it steals your happiness. A feud with a relative will be an ever-present reminder at the holidays and other family gatherings.

What’s even more concerning is that unforgiveness doesn’t just affect you but also those around you. When you let go of grudges you’ve been harboring, then you are releasing the negativity from your mind, body, and spirit. You will clear the pathway for both peace and improved health.

Some say that the only way you can truly get over something, like infidelity, is by utilizing forgiveness. Do you have any grudges that are robbing you of your joy in life?


Somebody once observed that the past is an excellent place to visit but not to live. Do you often find yourself speaking in the past tense or constantly ruminating on old memories? Yes, you learn valuable lessons from the past only when you can apply them to the present.

If part of anxiety disorders stems from worrying about the future, trying to live in the past can lead to depression. Maybe you’re caught in the delusion of playing “what if” or “if only.” Not only are these unrealistic thought patterns unhelpful, but they can boost feelings of guilt and resentment.

It may be useful to remember that the past is finished and only exists in your mind. There’s no way you can alter to make you or anybody else feel better. Even though the future is yet to come, you have power in the present to do things to make it benefit you.

When you are shackled to the past, you can’t appreciate the things you have now. Traumatic events and regrets create blinders that prevent you from living your best life. Rumination is as futile as trying to dip the ocean dry with a teacup.

Positive energy is only available in the present form. Do you often feel sluggish and cope with unexplainable aches and pains? Negative thought patterns zap your energy and can eventually destroy you physically, mentally, and spiritually. If you hold on to negative experiences from your past, these patterns will repeat themselves in your present and future life.


Though these are the top three things that keep you from being happy, many other things can also inhibit it. One thing that will rob your joy is stress. While you can’t avoid stress, you can stop taking on more than you can handle.

Learn to say no and set healthy boundaries for yourself and your family. It would be best to have adequate time for your job, spouse, children, and household responsibilities. Remember, an empty cup can’t pour into others, so you need time for yourself too.

When you are already overwhelmed by life, don’t take on anything else. Learn to stand up for yourself. Whether it’s at your job or with your family, learn how to say “no.”

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