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Last Updated on January 30, 2019

3 Things To Give Up If You Want To Take Control Of Your Life

3 Things To Give Up If You Want To Take Control Of Your Life

One of the great joys in life is the unexpected. Sometimes people and opportunities come our way and it’s up to us to make the most of them. However, to really get the most from life and live on your own terms, it’s important to consciously take control of your destiny. There is no feeling so satisfying as knowing that you have chosen your own path in life and are living in accordance with your values.

How, exactly, should you start learning to steer your own course? Here are 3 things you need to give up immediately if you want to regain control:

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1. Give Up Relying On Someone Else’s Love

When you rely on other people to love and approve of you in order to feel good, you are handing over your power. In effect, you are telling yourself that your own love and self-validation isn’t sufficient, and you need the affection of others to feel ‘OK.’ This is not living from a position of self-control. When you stop depending on someone else’s approval, you are taking back your personal autonomy and giving yourself the ability to dictate whether or not you are an ‘OK’ person. (Hint: You are totally okay, regardless of whatever anyone else thinks.)

When you let go of your dependency on someone else, it empowers you to think about what you want from life and from your relationships. When you know that you are just fine on your own, you are firmly in control. You put yourself in the position to choose who and what you add to your life, secure in the knowledge that you always have your self-love to sustain you.

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2. Give Up Your Unrealistic Expectations

Are you a workaholic who holds yourself to impossibly high standards? Perhaps you strive to be the very best at everything you do? Do you have daydreams or fantasies in which you magically succeed at everything you attempt? There’s nothing wrong with wanting to improve your skills and learn new things. Challenging yourself can add a great deal of excitement and enjoyment to your life. However, holding yourself to unhealthily high standards is an example of rigid, out-of-control thinking. You start telling yourself things like, “If I cannot be the best at this, there’s no point in trying,” and, “If I don’t pick up this skill quickly, I shouldn’t even bother.”

These kinds of thoughts are not going to help you feel in control of your life. Instead, you will feel at the mercy of your perfectionist nature. Try to appreciate the experience of trying new activities and skills regardless of whether you excel at them or not.

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3. Give Up Blaming Yourself For What You’ve Done Wrong

Everyone makes mistakes. It’s a simple fact. Even the people you admire most have screwed up many times over the course of their lives. In order to make progress in life, you must take risks, and with risk comes the possibility of failure. Unfortunately, it’s easy to ruminate on what went wrong, and what you should or could have done differently. If you want to regain control over your life and be able to look forward to the future with a positive outlook, you must stop beating yourself up for past mistakes. Ask yourself what you can learn from the past, and then make a conscious effort to look to the future.

Conclusion

It’s not easy to take control of your life, that’s why so many of us are stuck in the same old patterns of co-dependency, unrealistic self-expectations, and pointless regret. However, making a conscious decision to live in a new way is the first step to regaining a sense of self-value and self-mastery.

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Jay Hill

Jay writes about communication and happiness on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

14 Things That Make You Happy And Enjoy Life More

14 Things That Make You Happy And Enjoy Life More

Do you ever come across people who are always upbeat and no matter what life throws at them, they just seem to roll with the punches?

It’s quite possible they’re following a formula for happiness.

The good news? You can increase your own happiness quotient too by doing these 14 things that make you happy:

1. Start with a Good Dose of Gratitude

Being consciously aware of what you’re thankful for can actually change your level of happiness.

When you wake up each morning, spend time time recalling all the things for which you feel grateful.

Start with simple things: Do you have a roof over your head? Enough to eat? It might be helpful to start a gratitude journal.

2. Make Sure You’re Giving Back

Do you give 10% of your income to your favorite charity or church?

There’s something about giving that allows you to receive more in return besides just the awesome act of giving to help others. When you give, you’re sending a message to the Universe that you know everything’s going to be all right.

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By giving, you’ll be taken care of, too. You see it from those with very little to those who have millions: you have to give to get and by doing that, your happiness increases.

3. Laugh Every Day (It’s Better than Money)

Do you spend time each day laughing? Do you purposefully find something to laugh about?

When you laugh, you release a happy hormone called oxytocin. It’s a hormone that uplifts us as we share experiences with others. Even just making yourself smile will put you in a better place.

4. Foster Good Relationships with Family and Friends

Happy people don’t spend large amounts of time alone. By spending time with people you like, you forge supportive relationships that help you in times of stress.

You also bond with others through common experiences, such as life’s ups and downs. They become your support network.

People who don’t spend as much time with family or friends are more prone to loneliness and depression.

5. Take Some Alone Time

In contrast to spending time with family and friends, it’s important to step back and take some time for yourself, by yourself.

You can recharge your spirit and find a little peace in a little bit of silence. Taking some time away and being alone can do wonders for your mood and outlook.

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6. Do What You Love

Have you ever heard the phrase, “Do what you love, because the money will follow?” Doing things that you love to do–and even better, getting paid for it–are good ways to boost your levels of happiness.

When work feels like play, you’re more likely to enjoy other aspects of your life better, too.

7. Volunteer Your Time

When you give off yourself, either by time or talent, your focus shifts from your life to that of others.

This can help you realize that your own problems may not be that bad. You invariably forge new relationships and experience an uplift in your spirit.

8. Get Enough Exercise

When you take time out for exercise, you’re doing your body good in more ways than one.

First, you’re doing what it was designed to do: physical exertion. Humans were made to move around and the body works best when it does what it was meant to do.

Second, as you exercise, you release those same feel-good hormones as mentioned above.

Third, when you take some time to exert yourself, you reduce your stress levels.

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All around, you need exercise to function optimally.

9. Avoid Regrets

We all make mistakes in life–that’s part of the human condition. But with a little forethought, you can try to avoid making big mistakes.

Even then, they still happen. That’s when it’s best to learn to forgive–yourself and others–because everyone else just trying to get through life the best they can, too. They’ll make mistakes, but the trick is, moving on from them.

10. Take Time to Meditate

Sitting down, lighting a candle and doing some deep breathing for 10 minutes are all it takes to relax your mind and body.

In doing so, you get in touch with your inner-self, and invariably, you’ll get to know yourself a little better. That’s definitely a booster on the happiness scale.

11. Deal With Clutter

Are you overrun with books and papers piled everywhere? Too much mail sitting on the hall table? Why not tackle a small task each day for a month in an effort to de-clutter your life?

When you’re not running around looking for items you can’t find, when everything has its place, you’ll automatically be less stressed and in a better mental state.

That’s a great place to be on Monday morning when you’re trying to get out the door and you already know where the lunchboxes are, and the bills you have to mail.

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12. Get Enough Rest

Ever notice how cranky you are the afternoon when you’ve only had 5 or 6 hours of sleep? Many of us are suffering from sleep deprivation which can lead to higher levels of stress and edginess.

After a good night of sleep, you can tackle your daily tasks in a more calm, alert way. It’s so much better than experiencing that awful sluggish feeling in that oh-so-important meeting with your boss. Your body will thank you, too.

13. Eat Healthier Foods

You’ve heard the phrase, “You are what you eat.” It’s true.

If you spend your time eating package after package of boxed noodles, canned dinners or fast food, your body is going to let you know by gaining weight, feeling sluggish, and quite possibly having a host of health problems. How can you look and feel your best if the foods you eat are not good for you?

By eating better you’re not only taking care of yourself, but you’ll also feel more vibrant and energetic. You’ll literally be healthier from the inside out.

14. Don’t Compare Yourself To Others

This is definitely easier said than done, but if you can condition your mind to focus on the good that you are doing and the good things in your life, you’re not going to be tempted to focus on how others are doing.

Here’re some tips to help you stop comparing yourself to others: The More We Compare, the More We Lose Ourselves

Final Thoughts

Happiness comes from all the small things and habits you do every day. If you want to start living a happy life, practice these 14 things and fit them into your daily routine!

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Featured photo credit: Matheus Ferrero via unsplash.com

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