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11 Things You Don’t Need to Give Up to be Extraordinarily Happy

11 Things You Don’t Need to Give Up to be Extraordinarily Happy

Feeling depressed or less-than-happy in life for extended periods of time often makes us think that we need to make a change. And that’s true.

You probably do need to change one or more things about your current outlook or perspective on life to be happier. But you don’t need to give up every part of your routine in order to be happy.

Here are 11 things you can cross off your things-to-give-up-to-be-happier list:

1. Your job

yourjob

    While you may think that storming out of your office with a big “F you!” to your boss is a blissful dream that will surely lead to a happier life, you’d be mistaken. Try changing your perspective about your job instead.

    There are so many people out there right now who are desperate for work, without the opportunities to put their skills to use. Be grateful that you have a way to earn income and, if you really hate your job, look for a new one like the super adult you are.

    2. Your bills

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    Balancing The Account By Hand

      I know you can’t realistically just give up your bills, but I’m putting this in my list anyway because you need to stop wishing you could.

      You can’t really live in the modern world without paying bills, and that’s just the way it is. Come to terms with that and move on. You’ll be happier every day if you stop dwelling on the aspects of life you can’t control.

      3. Video games

      video games

        I am a firm believer in video games as a constructive hobby. Whether you’re playing the latest COD MOD or scoring mad points on Peggle, video gaming is a great way to relieve stress, escape the pressures of reality, and exercise your fine motor skills.

        4. Caffeine

        caffeine

          Unless caffeine gives you the shakes or causes you to break out in hives, don’t stop drinking it although even if you do get hives–what are a couple of bumps, right?). Studies show that drinking caffeine (and, specifically, coffee) can make you less stressed, boost your antioxidant levels, and even help you live longer.

          5. Lazy time

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          lazytime

            Being happy doesn’t mean that you need to give up your time-to-do-whatever time. Having a few hours of unplanned free time each week is a great way to unwind and let yourself go wherever the wind blows. Plus, knowing that you have free time to do whatever you want can make the daily tasks you have to do feel much more manageable.

            6. Netflix

            Netflix

              Some would say that marathoning your way through the first three seasons of Dexter on a weekend is a sure way to leave yourself feeling unproductive, depressed and lonely. I disagree.

              A good Netflix marathon can be a great way to relax and unwind. If you must feel like you’re doing something productive, though, watching one of the many informative documentaries Netflix has to offer is a good compromise.

              7. Sleep

              sleep

                Do not give up your sleep if you want to feel happier. Some people get so caught up in making time for hobbies, work, and their families that they routinely sacrifice their 8 hours a night. Don’t do that!

                Studies show that people who get less than 8 hours of sleep regularly are more prone to mood disorders like depression, have worse cardiovascular health, and are more stressed and anxious than people who consistently get a regular amount of sleep.

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                8. Your friends

                yourfriends

                  You certainly don’t need to give up time with your friends to be happier. Quite the opposite. The people close to you are those who truly make life worth living, so don’t neglect them.

                  You might not be able to hang out with your girls (or guys) every weekend, but a couple dinner dates or game nights a month should be enough to keep good friends close by and to keep your happiness levels at their max.

                  9. Your spouse

                  yourspouse

                    Assuming you and your spouse are in a healthy relationship, there’s no reason why giving up your romantic time together should make you happier. Neglecting “us time” in favor of work or a busy schedule is no excuse.

                    If you really care about the person you are seeing/dating/married to, you need to learn how to make time for them. You’ll both be a lot happier for it.

                    10. Your planner

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                    yourplanner

                      You don’t need to become a flower-child who lives in the woods in order live a stress-free and happy life. Of course, if you think that’s the best option for you I’d encourage you to try it out anyway. You can be a modern, functioning adult with your planner, calendar and phone alarms without being miserably overwhelmed by it all.

                      If you need to write something down to feel less stressed about it, fine. But let it go after that.

                      11. Your inner child

                      innerchild

                        Take some time to reconnect with who you are at heart. Make cheesy jokes, eat cake now and then, and stop caring so much about what other people think of you. What would your 10-year-old self say if he or she saw you now? Would you think you’re no fun and boring?

                        Doing things that your younger self would approve of is almost always a surefire way to feel happier, more alive, and just more like you. So act like a kid from time to time!

                        I hope you’re already feeling happier after reading this post! I’d love to hear what other things you don’t think you need to give up in order to be happy, so tell me in the comments section below!

                        Featured photo credit: charlie’s angels – Stranger #7/Terence S. Jones via flickr.com

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                        Kayla Matthews

                        Productivity and self-improvement blogger

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                        Last Updated on September 28, 2020

                        How To Study Effectively: 7 Simple Tips

                        How To Study Effectively: 7 Simple Tips

                        The brain is a tangled web of information. We don’t remember single facts, but instead we interlink everything by association. Anytime we experience a new event, our brains tie the sights, smells, sounds and our own impressions together into a new relationship.

                        Our brain remembers things by repetition, association, visual imagery, and all five senses. By knowing a bit about how the brain works, we can become better learners, absorbing new information faster than ever.

                        Here are some study tips to help get you started:

                        1. Use Flashcards

                        Our brains create engrained memories through repetition. The more times we hear, see, or repeat something to ourselves, the more likely we are to remember it.

                        Flashcards can help you learn new subjects quickly and efficiently. Flashcards allow you to study anywhere at any time. Their portable nature lends them to quick study sessions on the bus, in traffic, at lunch, or in the doctor’s office. You can always whip out your flashcards for a quick 2 to 3 minute study session.

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                        To create effective flashcards, you need to put one point on each flashcard. Don’t load up the entire card with information. That’s just overload. Instead, you should dedicate one concept to each card.

                        One of the best ways to make flashcards is to put 1 question on the front and one answer on the back. This way, you can repeatedly quiz yourself into you have mastered any topic of your choice.

                        Commit to reading through your flash cards at least 3 times a day and you will be amazed at how quickly you pick up new information.

                        As Tony Robbins says,

                        “Repetition is the mother of skill”.

                        2. Create the Right Environment

                        Often times, where you study can be just as important as how you study. For an optimum learning environment, you’ll want to find a nice spot that is fairly peaceful. Some people can’t stand a deafening silence, but you certainly don’t want to study near constant distractions.

                        Find a spot that you can call your own, with plenty of room to spread out your stuff. Go there each time you study and you will find yourself adapting to a productive study schedule. When you study in the same place each time, you become more productive in that spot because you associate it with studying.

                        3. Use Acronyms to Remember Information

                        In your quest for knowledge, you may have once heard of an odd term called “mnemonics”. However, even if you haven’t heard of this word, you have certainly heard of its many applications. One of the most popular mnemonic examples is “Every Good Boy Does Fine”. This is an acronym used to help musicians and students to remember the notes on a treble clef stave.

                        An acronym is simply an abbreviation formed using the intial letters of a word. These types of memory aids can help you to learn large quantities of information in a short period of time.

                        4. Listen to Music

                        Research has long shown that certain types of music help you to recall information. Information learned while listening to a particular song can often be remembered simply by “playing” the songs mentally in your head.

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                        5. Rewrite Your Notes

                        This can be done by hand or on the computer. However, you should keep in mind that writing by hand can often stimulate more neural activity than when writing on the computer.

                        Everyone should study their notes at home but often times, simply re-reading them is too passive. Re-reading your notes can cause you to become disengaged and distracted.

                        To get the most out of your study time, make sure that it is active. Rewriting your notes turns a passive study time into an active and engaging learning tool. You can begin using this technique by buying two notebooks for each of your classes. Dedicate one of the notebooks for making notes during each class. Dedicate the other notebook to rewriting your notes outside of class.

                        6. Engage Your Emotions

                        Emotions play a very important part in your memory. Think about it. The last time you went to a party, which people did you remember? The lady who made you laugh, the man who hurt your feelings, and the kid who went screaming through the halls are the ones you will remember. They are the ones who had an emotional impact.

                        Fortunately, you can use the power of emotion in your own study sessions. Enhance your memory by using your five senses. Don’t just memorize facts. Don’t just see and hear the words in your mind. Create a vivid visual picture of what you are trying to learn.

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                        For example, if you are trying to learn the many parts of a human cell, begin physically rotating the cell in your minds eye. Imagine what each part might feel like. Begin to take the cell apart piece by piece and then reconstruct it. Paint the human cell with vivid colors. Enlarge the cell in your mind’s eye so that it is now six feet tall and putting on your own personal comedy show. This visual and emotional mind play will help deeply encode information into your memory.

                        7. Make Associations

                        One of the best ways to learn new things is to relate what you want to learn with something you already know. This is known as association, and it is the mental glue that drives your brain.

                        Have you ever listened to a song and been flooded by memories that were connected to it? Have you ever seen an old friend that triggered memories from childhood? This is the power of association.

                        To maximize our mental powers, we must constantly be looking for ways to relate new information with old ideas and concepts that we are already familiar with.

                        You can do this with the use of mindmapping. A mind map is used to diagram words, pictures, thoughts, and ideas into a an interconnected web of information. This simple practice will help you to connect everything you learn into a global network of knowledge that can be pulled from at any moment.

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                        Learn more about mindmapping here: How to Mind Map to Visualize Your Thoughts (With Mind Map Examples)

                        Featured photo credit: Alissa De Leva via unsplash.com

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