With every cliché that has been said about happiness, as well as the handful of films and literary pieces that it inspired into creation, it is clearly one of the things people yearn for and go great lengths to achieve. Some take one day at a time, while others take on full-blown transformations synonymous to their definition of happiness.

However, there are many who view happiness as some form of finish line that not everyone is lucky enough to reach. What they don’t realize is that happiness isn’t always about the destination. More often than not, it is in the trip itself where you find what you’re looking for and that anyone can make it there.

But here’s the thing. Sometimes, before we get to the first step of our quest for bliss, we are confronted with major building blocks that we can mistake for happiness. For instance, having a job may make you feel content, but if it’s a job that you don’t exactly like doing, is it really worth calling a source of happiness? The harder part is that it’s difficult to call futile things as they are, much less let go of them completely especially if they have become an integral part of your comfort zone. But hey, don’t they also say that life begins right outside it?

So to get you started on your road trip to happiness, here are five reasons you should let go of the things that don’t make you happy now, because guess what? They probably won’t make you happy in the future either.

 1. A healthier you.

If you think that your unhappiness doesn’t have an impact on your well-being, think again. In a study conducted by Harvard University’s School of Public Health, it is stated that constant exposure to stress, especially as early as childhood, can inflict harmful effects on a person’s brain and other systems of the body. This can cause a person’s stress hormones to jump faster than normal. Even worse, he or she might develop heart-related ailments. Stress caused by negative emotions can affect bodily functions and aggravate diseases that a person already has, even a common cold.

On the other hand, stress is almost always inevitable, but it pays to channel it to constructive ways. You can start by simply being enthusiastic and positive about a stressful situation. You should also seek support from family and friends so that you don’t carry the whole weight of your burden. However, if you’d rather spend time alone, you can channel your stress through relaxing activities like meditation, yoga, or even painting.

2. Better relationships.

More often than not, it is those who are close to us that can sense if we are upset or if we are in a good mood. However, there are some who would rather deal with their issues alone that they tend to push people away. While isolating yourself for a while can be helpful, deliberately refusing comfort or help from, say, your partner or a close sibling can cause strain on your relationships.

Instead of figuring out the solution by yourself, consider reaching out to a loved one or a trusted family member. You don’t necessarily have to ask for advice; if it’s only a sympathetic ear you need, the people who truly know you and care about you will respect your choice. However, if you find your relationship going through the adverse effects of negative emotions, you can always seek professional help such as marriage counselling.

3. A thriving career.

One of the most common but downplayed symptoms of unhappiness at work is mentally holding on to the weekend for dear life and wishing you could delay Monday’s arrival.  Such a scenario might be easy for some to shrug off and just get along with work, but if you have a serious case of procrastination, it’s time you do something about it.

Being stressed at work is all right as long as you still get the satisfaction of doing your job the way you did when you started. Whether it’s the corporate ladder you chose to climb, or started your own enterprise, or pursued your calling in the arts, it’s important that you are genuinely happy about your work. Otherwise, you risk doing half-baked tasks and recording a poor performance–all of which can severely affect your career.

Find ways to rearrange your work routine that will help you accomplish more tasks faster and smarter. If all else fails, you might want to consider quitting, because there is no point in staying in a job that you don’t look forward to doing.

4. A strong bond with your kids.

If your partner is on the front line of your domestic stress absorption committee, your kids come in as close second. For instance, you had a long day at work and you’re welcomed by your son badgering you to play with him. While it’s possible that you’ll give in the first few times, it’s also possible that you won’t when you become more and more tired in the office. On the other hand, if you have any inkling that your unhappiness affects your relationship with your children, take some time to look into the situation and see what you can do to avert a potential crisis.

Exposing kids to stress can influence them to develop anxieties at an early age and have a conflicted relationship with you. What’s worse is if they develop an unhealthy point of view with having kids of their own in the future. So before you put your kids at risk of such behavior, take it upon yourself to foster between you and them the kind of bond that overlooks stress—a loving one.

5. Life is short.

Not everyone gets a chance, let alone a second one, at things, such as literally and figuratively having a life. If you take into account the reasons listed above and your future, you have more than enough reasons to let go of the things that make you unhappy and pursue what your heart is telling you to. Besides, sticking up for something that doesn’t make you happy only prolongs your agony.

But here’s a fact–you never know how much time you’ve got on your hands. The question is, are you really going to let whatever you have slip by just because you’re too busy griping over things that don’t even make living worthwhile?

Letting go of things that you’ve become used to can be really tough. However,  if you want to be truly happy, you need to let go of the good things to make room for the better ones. Just think—if you don’t see yourself doing something in the next five years, why do it at all? But if you’re searching for happiness and you have your loved ones in tow, don’t settle for things you know are holding you back.

Featured photo credit: surfer via megahdwall.com

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