Life is too short - and too much of a blessing - to be spent unhappily. Each of us faces hardships and difficult times; yet dwelling in unhappiness only brings more difficulty.

Here are five things we do on a regular basis that ensure unhappiness:

Comparing ourselves to others

How much better would this world be if we spent more time being genuinely happy for one another's accomplishments rather than being jealous of them? Comparing ourselves to others - whether it be their looks, something they have, the way they act, etc. - is a surefire way to make ourselves feel not "good enough." This dangerous thinking never leads to happiness. We have each been given special talents and blessings. When we come to realize this fact and become truly grateful for what we have, that's what brings true happiness.

Living in the past

Everyone has a past...but it doesn't mean you have to dwell there. The things that happened in the past are meant to be learned from and improved upon. We can use our histories to help us be better people today and in the future. Constantly living in the past, however, does not allow us to grow and change for the better. Holding onto things that need to be let go of does not allow room for positive growth.

Holding grudges

Holding onto hatred and hard feelings never brings true happiness. In fact, it only brings anger, heartache and sorrow. Forgiveness does the opposite, allowing peace and happiness into our lives. Yes, others will wrong us; it is a part of life. We will likely make mistakes and hurt others as well, whether unintentionally or not. Forgiveness is always appreciated, no matter the circumstances. Holding grudges keeps us from being able to move on in a healthy way toward happiness.

Having a negative attitude

Life is not easy. And it isn't always easy to see the positive in difficult situations. When we try, however, to look for the positive instead of the negative, we will find a little bit more hope and happiness through our trials. Complaining will undoubtedly always make a bad situation worse, and keeps you from seeing the good hiding in every circumstance.

Not taking care of yourself

There is a noticeable difference in the way we feel when we take the time to keep ourselves healthy. Practicing good hygiene, exercising - even simply taking a nice walk - getting adequate sleep, eating well, etc. are all ways to increase happiness in our lives. Finding a healthy balance between all of the things that demand our time and attention will allow us to feel more in control of our lives and less stressed. Prioritizing and realizing which things are the most important in our lives allows us to be more focused on those important things.

Adopting positive habits will introduce more happiness in your life, but it is a process that will take time. But if we are constantly working toward becoming better at these things, we will surely find happiness along the way.

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