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15 Things To Stop Doing If You Want To Be Truly Happy

15 Things To Stop Doing If You Want To Be Truly Happy

Life seemed so much simpler when we were kids. Don’t you think?

There were much less things to worry about, and more things that could make us truly happy.

It was amazing how some simple things used to put a big smile on our face. I still remember how happy I was when I got my first hula hoop. So much happiness because of one simple toy!

The thing is, as we grow older and our world gets bigger and we gain new experiences, we get overwhelmed and see happiness as something that is hard to achieve, and fail to see it’s been here all along.

Why is it so harder to be happy when you get older? Well, when we were kids, we were completely focused on ourselves, everything we did, we did to make us feel good. As adults, we let the society define the notion of happiness, but we are we in that story? We need to look for happiness inside and stop doing things that aren’t helping us.

What You should stop doing and What You Should Do Instead?

1. Stop ignoring your own needs

Why? Trying to please everybody is a mission impossible. You will never be able to do that. And while you are taking care about everybody else’s needs, who is taking care of yours? No one. If you don’t think about yourself and what you can do to be happy, nobody else will. That’s the hard truth. The sooner you realize this, the better.

What you should do instead? Everyone is different, and nobody knows better than you what you really want and need. So, sit down and take a moment to think about your desires. Tune out outside voices, follow your emotions and they will tell you what you need.

    Source: Pinterest


    2. Stop comparing yourself to others

    Why? There are no two same people. And that is a wonderful thing. Being unique as we are, there’s no point in comparing ourselves to other people. We just end up being miserable and envious of the things we don’t have. We should have faith in our life journey and that everything we want will find its way to us in the right moment.

    What you should do instead? Stop spending hours and hours looking at perfect lives of other people on social media. Their lives might not be so perfect after all, they surely have their share of struggles. Instead, focus on your life and how to make it better. Start making some real changes instead of just staring at computer screen. Don’t just complain how some people have it all, and start working on achieving your goals. Praise yourself for the little achievements and from time to time, stop to think how far you’ve come.

      Source: Pinterest

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      3. Stop resisting your fear

      Why? Being afraid stops us from experiencing many great things. It limits us and prevents us from feeling happy. If you are constantly afraid of everything, you will isolate yourself from everything. But if you push yourself into overcoming your fears, you will see there are no limits as to what you can do, and you will realize your life is in your hands.

      What you should do instead? Approach every situation you fear as a step closer on your way of becoming a better person. I used to be afraid of saying “no” to people when I couldn’t or didn’t want to do something. I was so afraid people won’t like me anymore. But, I learned that not everyone can and should like me, and being afraid of saying “no” was doing no good to me – I was wasting my valuable time and energy on something I didn’t want to do. Now, I say “no” and feel so much better.

        Source: Pinterest


        4. Stop feeling bad for making a mistake

        Why? If you don’t make mistakes, there are no challenges and no chances for personal growth. Not wanting to make mistakes means you don’t get to try new things and learn new things. Mistakes are also valuable lessons that will stick with us forever and make us better.

        What you should do instead? Don’t look at mistakes as something bad and embarrassing. When I had my first translation job, I was so embarrassed because of the mistakes I made. But I learned so much, and those mistakes made me more experienced and much confident in my translation skills. Every time you make a mistake, just remember it will be really helpful in the future, and that at some point you will be grateful for it.

          Source: Pinterest


          5. Stop putting your happiness into other’s hands

          Why? If you don’t love yourself and know how to be happy on your own, nobody else can do it for you. Happiness is inside you, not outside. And no one can fill the void if you are not happy. Besides, nobody is in your skin and knows what’s best for you.

          What you should do instead? Take a few days and be on your own, just you and your thoughts. Do something relaxing, and figure out what makes you happy and what you can do to seek happiness without anybody else in the picture. Nobody can make the right decisions for you, because it’s something you live with, not other people.

            Source: Pinterest


            6. Stop trying to take control of all aspect of your life

            Why? Life is unpredictable, and that’s the beauty of it. Trying to control everything in your life is like trying to control the weather – simply not possible. Yes, there is rain and storm, but there is also sun and rainbows. There is no point in stressing out about something you simply cannot change. The trick is to go with the flow and look forward to the unknown. Life would be so boring if everything was planned in advance.

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            What you should do instead? Try to not have every step of every day planned. I learned from my experience there are always unpredictable situations, and I just get frustrated if things aren’t going the way I planned. So, I don’t make detailed plans and always have room for improvisation.

              Source: Pinterest


              7. Stop living to others’ expectations or social standards

              Why? We are all a part of a society, and every society will always have standards people should live by. But trying to achieve those standards will not make you happy. Why do you need to get married before 30? Why do you even need to get married if that’s not something you want?

              What you should do instead? You will never be able to please everyone, so just follow your heart and do what feels right to you. Forget what other people expect, and create your own goals.

                Source: Pinterest


                8. Stop aiming for perfection

                Why? There’s no such thing as perfection. You will just waste valuable time and energy and drive yourself crazy if you want everything to be perfect.

                What you should do instead? Put that energy into something more creative. Aiming for perfection is a never-ending battle, so stop trying so hard and do something more fun, like reading a book, or meeting your friends for coffee.

                  Source: Pinterest


                  9. Stop trying to make others happy and forget about yourself

                  Why? You must put yourself first. If you constantly put yourself last, you will be miserable as you will never have time for yourself. Being a little selfish is not always bad. If you are happy and fulfilled, people around you will also feel better.

                  What you should do instead? Every morning when you get up, do something nice for yourself. Forget about everybody else, and do something you like. Treat yourself with something nice every time you finish a demanding task. Spoil yourself, because nobody else will.

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                    Source: Pinterest


                    10. Stop putting off your dream

                    Why? It’s never a perfect time to pursue your dream. The conditions will never be perfect, and the longer you wait, the more difficult it will be for you to start.

                    What you should do instead? If you have a passion that drives you, start pursuing it immediately, don’t wait. When you do something you love, all the pieces will come together. If you want to change your job or quit it to start your own business, don’t be afraid to start now. Even if you fail, you will learn so much.

                      Source: Pinterest


                      11. Stop thinking what makes others happy makes you happy

                      Why? Every person on this planet is unique, and there is no universal recipe for happiness. Someone might feel happy while hiking in nature, but that doesn’t mean you will feel happy doing it.

                      What you should do instead? Forget about other people, and explore what you enjoy doing. Don’t be afraid to try out new things and find what fulfills you.

                        Source: Pinterest


                        12. Stop feeling bad to be alone

                        Why? It is always better to be alone than in a miserable relationship. It is wrong to stay in a relationship only because you are afraid of being alone.

                        What you should do instead? If you are truly looking for a meaningful relationship, you first need to have a meaningful relationship with yourself. So, if you are single, use the time to rediscover yourself and what you really want. Then you will know what you want from your next relationship instead of relying on your partner to make you happy.

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                          Source: Pinterest


                          13. Stop working too hard for the future and forget about the present

                          Why? Nobody knows what future holds and planning too much will only make you anxious. You can never relive the present and you will miss out on many great things if you just live in the future.

                          What you should do instead? Focus on what is around you and what you are doing now. When drinking your morning coffee, don’t think about things you need to do, just breathe in and enjoy your coffee. By focusing on now, you will feel more energized and concentrated.

                            Source: Pinterest


                            14. Stop neglecting small things in your life

                            Why? We often believe that only big things can make us happy, such as buying an expensive car. But everyday small things are the key to happiness, as they can make us feel better at any moment of every day, while big things don’t come so often.

                            What you should do instead? Find at least one small thing that will make you happier every single day, such as eating an ice-cream, watching your favorite TV show, or just sitting in the park in the sun. Cherish and practice those things constantly.

                              Source: Pinterest


                              15. Stop focusing on what hurts you

                              Why? Being hurt is inevitable part of our lives, but it is a passing thing. Focusing on things that make you feel bad will unnecessarily prolong negative emotions.

                              What you should do instead? You need to eliminate the cause of your pain. If a person is constantly hurting you, they probably shouldn’t be a part of your life. Work out why you are getting hurt and try to change something instead of just thinking how bad you feel.

                                Source: Pinterest

                                Featured photo credit: https://pixabay.com/ via pixabay.com

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                                Ana Erkic

                                Social Media Consultant, Online Marketing Strategist, Copywriter, CEO and Co-Founder of Growato

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                                Last Updated on July 8, 2020

                                How to Say No When You Say Yes Too Often

                                How to Say No When You Say Yes Too Often

                                Do you say yes so often that you realize you aren’t really happy about this, wondering how to say no to people?

                                For years, I was a serial people pleaser. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.

                                But somewhere along the way, I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

                                It took a long while but I learned the art of saying no. Saying ‘no’ meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. I started to manage my time more around my own needs and interests. When that happened, I became a lot happier. And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.

                                The Importance of Saying No

                                When you learn the art of saying ‘no,’ you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing), you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.

                                In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.

                                Successful people aren’t afraid to say no. Oprah Winfrey considered one of the most successful women in the world confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous, she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything. It was only when she realized that after years of struggling with saying no, I finally got to this question: “What do I want?”

                                Being able to say no also helps you manage your time better.

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                                Warren Buffett views no as essential to his success. He said,

                                “The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

                                When I made ‘no’ a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success focusing on fewer things and doing them well.

                                How We Are Pressured to Say Yes

                                It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say ‘no.’

                                From an early age, we are conditioned to say ‘yes.’ We said yes probably hundreds of time in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work. We said yes get a promotion. We said yes to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

                                We say yes because it feels better to help someone. We say yes because it can seem like the right thing to do. We say yes because we think that is key to success. And we say yes because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist like the boss.

                                And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves. At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we feel guilty we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.

                                The message no matter where we turn is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.

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                                How to Say No Without Feeling Guilty

                                Deciding to add the word ‘no’ to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say ‘no’ but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of ‘no’ that you could finally create more time for things you care about. But let’s be honest, using the word ‘no’ doesn’t come easily for many people.

                                The 3 Rules of Thumbs for Saying No

                                1. You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

                                Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time especially you haven’t done it much in the past will feel awkward.

                                2. You Are the Air Traffic Controller of Your Time

                                Remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it, who else knows about all of the demands on your time? No one. Only you are at the center of all of these requests. are the only one that understands what time you really have.

                                3. Saying ‘No’ Means Saying ‘Yes’ to Something That Matters

                                When we decide not to do something, it means we can say yes to something else. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.

                                6 Ways to Start Saying No

                                Incorporating that little word ‘no’ into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no:

                                1. Check in With Your Obligation Meter

                                One of the biggest challenges to saying ‘no’ is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no reflect poorly on you?

                                Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.

                                2. Resist the Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

                                Do you have a fear of missing out (FOMO)? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because FOMO even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

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                                Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better.

                                3. Check Your Assumptions About What It Means to Say ‘No’

                                Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say ‘yes’ because we worry about how others will respond or the consequences of saying no or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose respect from others. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.

                                Keep in mind that saying ‘no’ can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In the tips below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way. You might disappoint someone initially but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to.

                                4. When the Request Comes In, Sit on It

                                Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past.

                                Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time, or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say ‘no.’ There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.

                                5. Communicate Your ‘No’ with Transparency and Kindness

                                When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time.

                                Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no.

                                A clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.

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                                6. Consider How to Use a Modified ‘No’

                                If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” giving you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you.

                                Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.

                                Final Thoughts

                                Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes.

                                Use the request as a fresh request to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself. If you are the one placing the demand on yourself, try to evaluate the demand as if it were coming from somewhere else.

                                Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project but not by working all weekend. Or, tell someone in your family you can’t loan them money again because they never paid you back the last time. You’ll find yourself much happier.

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                                Featured photo credit: Chris Ainsworth via unsplash.com

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