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Last Updated on January 18, 2021

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

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                                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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                                Published on May 18, 2021

                                How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

                                How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

                                We have two ears and one mouth for a reason—effective communication is dependent on using them in proportion, and this involves having good listening skills.

                                The workplace of the 21st century may not look the same as it did before COVID-19 spread throughout the world like wildfire, but that doesn’t mean you can relax your standards at work. If anything, Zoom meetings, conference calls, and the continuous time spent behind a screen have created a higher level of expectations for meeting etiquette and communication. And this goes further than simply muting your microphone during a meeting.

                                Effective workplace communication has been a topic of discussion for decades, yet, it is rarely addressed or implemented due to a lack of awareness and personal ownership by all parties.

                                Effective communication isn’t just about speaking clearly or finding the appropriate choice of words. It starts with intentional listening and being present. Here’s how to improve your listening skills for effective workplace communication.

                                Listen to Understand, Not to Speak

                                There are stark differences between listening and hearing. Listening involves intention, focused effort, and concentration, whereas hearing simply involves low-level awareness that someone else is speaking. Listening is a voluntary activity that allows one to be present and in the moment while hearing is passive and effortless.[1]

                                Which one would you prefer your colleagues to implement during your company-wide presentation? It’s a no-brainer.

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                                Listening can be one of the most powerful tools in your communication arsenal because one must listen to understand the message being told to them. As a result of this deeper understanding, communication can be streamlined because there is a higher level of comprehension that will facilitate practical follow-up questions, conversations, and problem-solving. And just because you heard something doesn’t mean you actually understood it.

                                We take this for granted daily, but that doesn’t mean we can use that as an excuse.

                                Your brain is constantly scanning your environment for threats, opportunities, and situations to advance your ability to promote your survival. And yet, while we are long past the days of worrying about being eaten by wildlife, the neurocircuitry responsible for these mechanisms is still hard-wired into our psychology and neural processing.

                                A classic example of this is the formation of memories. Case in point: where were you on June 3rd, 2014? For most of you reading this article, your mind will go completely blank, which isn’t necessarily bad.

                                The brain is far too efficient to retain every detail about every event that happens in your life, mainly because many events that occur aren’t always that important. The brain doesn’t—and shouldn’t—care what you ate for lunch three weeks ago or what color shirt you wore golfing last month. But for those of you who remember where you were on June 3rd, 2014, this date probably holds some sort of significance to you. Maybe it was a birthday or an anniversary. Perhaps it was the day your child was born. It could have even been a day where you lost someone special in your life.

                                Regardless of the circumstance, the brain is highly stimulated through emotion and engagement, which is why memories are usually stored in these situations. When the brain’s emotional centers become activated, the brain is far more likely to remember an event.[2] And this is also true when intention and focus are applied to listening to a conversation.

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                                Utilizing these hard-wired primitive pathways of survival to optimize your communication in the workplace is a no-brainer—literally and figuratively.

                                Intentional focus and concentrated efforts will pay off in the long run because you will retain more information and have an easier time recalling it down the road, making you look like a superstar in front of your colleagues and co-workers. Time to kiss those note-taking days away!

                                Effective Communication Isn’t Always Through Words

                                While we typically associate communication with words and verbal affirmations, communication can come in all shapes and forms. In the Zoom meeting era we live in, it has become far more challenging to utilize and understand these other forms of language. And this is because they are typically easier to see when we are sitting face to face with the person we speak to.[3]

                                Body language can play a significant role in how our words and communication are interpreted, especially when there is a disconnection involved.[4] When someone tells you one thing, yet their body language screams something completely different, it’s challenging to let that go. Our brain immediately starts to search for more information and inevitably prompts us to follow up with questions that will provide greater clarity to the situation at hand. And in all reality, not saying something might be just as important as actually saying something.

                                These commonly overlooked non-verbal communication choices can provide a plethora of information about the intentions, emotions, and motivations. We do this unconsciously, and it happens with every confrontation, conversation, and interaction we engage in. The magic lies in the utilization and active interpretation of these signals to improve your listening skills and your communication skills.

                                Our brains were designed for interpreting our world, which is why we are so good at recognizing subtle nuances and underlying disconnect within our casual encounters. So, when we begin to notice conflicting messages between verbal and non-verbal communication, our brain takes us down a path of troubleshooting.

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                                Which messages are consistent with this theme over time? Which statements aren’t aligning with what they’re really trying to tell me? How should I interpret their words and body language?

                                Suppose we want to break things down even further. In that case, one must understand that body language is usually a subconscious event, meaning that we rarely think about our body language. This happens because our brain’s primary focus is to string together words and phrases for verbal communication, which usually requires a higher level of processing. This doesn’t mean that body language will always tell the truth, but it does provide clues to help us weigh information, which can be pretty beneficial in the long run.

                                Actively interpreting body language can provide you with an edge in your communication skills. It can also be used as a tool to connect with the individual you are speaking to. This process is deeply ingrained into our human fabric and utilizes similar methods babies use while learning new skills from their parents’ traits during the early years of development.

                                Mirroring a person’s posture or stance can create a subtle bond, facilitating a sense of feeling like one another. This process is triggered via the activation of specific brain regions through the stimulation of specialized neurons called mirror neurons.[5] These particular neurons become activated while watching an individual engage in an activity or task, facilitating learning, queuing, and understanding. They also allow the person watching an action to become more efficient at physically executing the action, creating changes in the brain, and altering the overall structure of the brain to enhance output for that chosen activity.

                                Listening with intention can make you understand your colleague, and when paired together with mirroring body language, you can make your colleague feel like you two are alike. This simple trick can facilitate a greater bond of understanding and communication within all aspects of the conversation.

                                Eliminate All Distractions, Once and for All

                                As Jim Rohn says, “What is easy to do is also easy not to do.” And this is an underlying principle that will carry through in all aspects of communication. Distractions are a surefire way to ensure a lack of understanding or interpretation of a conversation, which in turn, will create inefficiencies and a poor foundation for communication.

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                                This should come as no surprise, especially in this day in age where people are constantly distracted by social media, text messaging, and endlessly checking their emails. We’re stuck in a cultural norm that has hijacked our love for the addictive dopamine rush and altered our ability to truly focus our efforts on the task at hand. And these distractions aren’t just distractions for the time they’re being used. They use up coveted brainpower and central processes that secondarily delay our ability to get back on track.

                                Gloria Mark, a researcher at UC Irvine, discovered that it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds for our brains to reach their peak state of focus after an interruption.[6] Yes, you read that correctly—distractions are costly, error-prone, and yield little to no benefit outside of a bump to the ego when receiving a new like on your social media profile.

                                Meetings should implement a no-phone policy, video conference calls should be set on their own browser with no other tabs open, and all updates, notifications, and email prompt should be immediately turned off, if possible, to eliminate all distractions during a meeting.

                                These are just a few examples of how we can optimize our environment to facilitate the highest levels of communication within the workplace.

                                Actions Speak Louder Than Words

                                Effective communication in the workplace doesn’t have to be challenging, but it does have to be intentional. Knowledge can only take us so far, but once again, knowing something is very different than putting it into action.

                                Just like riding a bike, the more often you do it, the easier it becomes. Master communicators are phenomenal listeners, which allows them to be effective communicators in the workplace and in life. If you genuinely want to own your communication, you must implement this information today and learn how to improve your listening skills.

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                                Choose your words carefully, listen intently, and most of all, be present in the moment—because that’s what master communicators do, and you can do it, too!

                                More Tips Improving Listening Skills

                                Featured photo credit: Mailchimp via unsplash.com

                                Reference

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