photo-24-225x322Can you sometimes be your own fun killer? Do you ever sabotage your potential to be happy? Read these 10 common ways people can unknowingly do this.

1. Focus on the bitch.
This is what I call the process whereby one is able to find the negative in any situation. And believe me, you can find the negative with anyone, anywhere, at anytime. That is easy. The challenge is to find the positive to focus your attention on.

2. Judge/criticize others.
Why is so-and-so so _____? What is his/her problem? Isn’t it obvious that he/she shouldn’t be ________.

This is a fun killer and will steal positive energy from you. Say this anytime you have a judgmental or critical thought about someone/something else. “And the world is a beautiful place.” It changes the energy quickly. Reminds your critical self  to cut it out!

3. Treat yourself terribly.
It is amazing how mean people can be to themselves. Eating poorly, not speaking kindly to one’s self, not encouraging yourself, going to bed too late. How are you going to have a good time if you aren’t nourishing yourself and treating yourself like your best, best friend? Try this today. See how much enjoyment you get from this.

4. Don’t do anything kind, loving, or nice for anyone else.
No getting the mail for your elderly neighbor? No smiling at a stranger when they walk by? If you stay to yourself and not give or provide service to humanity, that will shrink opportunities for some of the most powerful positive opportunities there are. This is an easy way to give yourself a glow. Help others.

5. Tell yourself it’s not okay to have fun.
I find this to be prevalent with people who grew up in angry, hostile, or difficult environments. Sometimes, this lack of fun seeking is because one may constantly feel hyper vigilant (always on edge), and it is hard to see that everything is okay, and that they can and do deserve to relax, laugh, and just be.

Or, for those who grew up in environments where work, productivity, or accomplishments were the identified goal in life, this joy seeking can just feel wrong. Therefore, they just don’t know how to have fun or can’t give themselves permission. It is never too late to learn. I recommend hanging out with people or watching others who you think know how to relax and enjoy. Practice a little and see what happens.

6. Don’t be grateful.
My friends tease me because I can share the most horrible story or bad thing that has happened to me, and I always end it with, “But the good news is ….” I have to find the positive, learning, or upside to things. It is what keeps me going! I make that positive index move.

7. Feel like you always have to be “on”. That means working, cleaning up, or doing something productive.
That is not all of what life is about. We do live in a country, thank goodness, that values hard work, diligence, productivity and accomplishments. However, it is easy to get caught up with that to an extreme. How would you feel if you knew your life would end at the end of the day? Maybe calling a friend from high school and laughing about some stupid stories would be a memory you would want to take with you? Anything else?

8. Don’t schedule fun or joy  opportunities into your week.
You need to make sure you have built in times to do things you enjoy: going for a bike ride, listening to awesome music, playing your guitar. A lot of people think that this just isn’t possible in their schedule. I always recommend a Sunday schedule planner where you build in incremental time for you to do things that you love.

9. Don’t laugh or smile.
Regular smiling, even when you don’t feel like it, will boost your mood. Practice making yourself smile with strangers. It is amazing the mood boost it can give you. If they don’t smile back, I always just put a mental blessing around them and wish them a better day. That helps boost my mood!

10. Don’t spend any time with adorable pets, admiring nature, or watching things that make you laugh on TV.
The pic I have shared is of my friend’s new kitty, Rusty. She is having so much fun with him! She refers to Rusty as “a little meatloaf” when we are on Skype and the kitty is just curled up. My friend cuddles with him. She laughs at him and is taking tons of cute pictures. Rusty has brought so much fun and happiness into her home.

Can anyone not laugh when watching Modern Family on TV? Impossible.

These last few suggestions may not be your thing. Find your opportunities for joy. Make it happen.