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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 April 19, 2021

                        How to Deal With Anger (The Ultimate Anger Management Guide)

                        How to Deal With Anger (The Ultimate Anger Management Guide)

                        We all lose our temper from time to time, and expressing anger is actually a healthy thing to do in our relationships with others. Expressing our differences in opinion allows us to have healthy conflict and many times come to an agreement or understanding that works for everyone. However, there are times when anger can become overwhelming or damaging, and during these times, it’s important to learn how to deal with anger.

                        Expressing anger inappropriately can be harmful to relationships, both personal and professional. You may express too much anger, too often, or at times that are only going to make things worse, not better. In this article we will look at anger management techniques that will help you better control your emotions.

                        Let’s take a deeper look at how to deal with anger.

                        Expressing Anger

                        Anger is a natural and normal part of almost any relationship. This includes relationships with your significant other, kids, boss, friends, family, etc. Anger provides us with valuable information if we are willing to listen to it. It clues us in to areas where we disagree with others and things that need to be changed or altered.

                        Unhealthy Ways to Express Anger

                        Here are some common yet unhealthy ways to express anger that you should avoid:

                        Being Passive-Aggressive

                        This is a term many of us are familiar with. Passive-aggressive behavior happens when someone is angry but uses indirect communication to express their anger.

                        Some of the more common passive-aggressive behaviors include the silent treatment, making comments about someone behind their back, being grumpy, moody, or pouting, or simply not doing tasks or assignments that they should.

                        This is a passive-aggressive person’s way of showing their anger. It’s not very productive but extremely common.

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                        Poorly-Timed

                        Some people get overwhelmed and express anger in a situation where it can’t really do any good.

                        An example would be getting angry at one person in front of a crowd of people. All that does is make people uncomfortable and shuts them down. It’s not a healthy way to express anger or disagreement with someone.

                        Ongoing Anger

                        Being angry all the time is most often a symptom of something else. It’s healthy and normal to express anger when you disagree with someone. However, if someone is angry most of the time and always seems to be expressing their anger to everyone around them, this won’t serve them well.

                        Over time, people will start to avoid this person and have as little contact as possible. The reason being is no one likes being around someone who is angry all the time; it’s a no-win situation.

                        Healthy Ways to Express Anger

                        What about the healthy ways[1] to adapt? When learning how to deal with anger, here are some healthy ways to get you started.

                        Being Honest

                        Express your anger or disagreement honestly. Be truthful about what it is that is making you angry. Sometimes this will entail walking away and thinking about it for a bit before you respond.

                        Don’t say you’re mad at something someone did or said when it’s really something else that upset you.

                        Being Direct

                        Similar to being honest, being direct is a healthy way to express anger.

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                        Don’t talk around something that is making you angry. Don’t say that one thing is making you angry when it’s really something else, and don’t stack items on top of each other so you can unload on someone about 10 different things 6 months from now.

                        Be direct and upfront about what is making you angry. Ensure you are expressing your anger to the person who upset you or you are angry at, not to someone else. This is very counterproductive.

                        Being Timely

                        When something makes you angry, it’s much better to express it in a timely manner. Don’t keep it bottled up inside of you, as that’s only going to do more harm than good.

                        Think of the marriages that seem to go up in flames out of nowhere when the reality is someone kept quiet for years until they hit their breaking point.

                        Expressing anger as it occurs is a much healthier way of using anger to help us guide our relationships in the moment.

                        How to Deal With Anger

                        If you feel angry, how should you deal with it right at that moment?

                        1. Slow Down

                        From time to time, I receive an email at work that makes me so angry that steam is probably pouring out of my ears.

                        In my less restrained moments, I have been known to fire off a quick response, and that typically has ended about as well as you might imagine.

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                        When I actually walk away from my computer and go do something else for a while, I am able to calm down and think more rationally. After that happens, I am able to respond in a more appropriate and productive manner. Doing things that helps you learn how to release anger can make an uncomfortable situation more manageable before it gets out of hand.

                        2. Focus on the “I”

                        Remember that you are the one that’s upset. Don’t accuse people of making you upset because, in the end, it’s your response to what someone did that really triggered your anger. You don’t want to place blame by saying something like “Why don’t you ever put away your dishes?” Say something more like “Having dirty dishes laying on the counter upsets me—can you work with me to come to a solution?”

                        When you are accusatory towards someone, all that does is increase the tension. This doesn’t usually do anything except make your anger rise higher.

                        3. Work out

                        When learning how to deal with anger, exercise is a great outlet. If something happens that angers you, see if you have the opportunity to burn off some of the anger.

                        Being able to hit the gym to get a hard workout in is great. If this isn’t an option, see if you can go for a run or a bike ride. If you are at work when you become angry and the weather permits, at least go outside for a brisk walk.

                        Besides working some of your anger out through exercise, this also helps to give your mind a chance to work through some ways to address what it is that upset you.

                        If you’re not sure where to start with an exercise routine, check out Lifehack’s free Simple Cardio Home Workout Plan.

                        4. Seek Help When Needed

                        There are times when we could all use some help. Life can be stressful and overwhelming. It’s perfectly fine to seek some help from a mental health professional if it will help you get back to a healthy balance.If you find that you are angry all the time, it might be a good idea to go talk to an expert about learning to control intense emotions. They can give you some sound advice and ideas on how to get your anger to a more manageable and healthy level.

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                        5. Practice Relaxation

                        We all seem to lead incredibly busy lives, and that’s a good thing if we are loving the life we are living. That being said, it is very beneficial to our physical and mental well-being to take time out for relaxation.

                        That can mean spending time doing things that help us calm down and relax, like being around people we enjoy, practicing deep breathing or listening to music. It could be making time for things that help bring us balance like a healthy diet and physical activity.

                        Many people incorporate techniques such as yoga and meditation to calm their minds and release tension when learning how to deal with anger. Whatever your choice is, ensure you take time out to relax when warning signs of anger start to bubble up.

                        6. Laugh

                        Incorporating humor and laughter on a regular basis will help keep anger in check and help you get over a bad mood and feelings of anger more quickly. This isn’t part of formal anger management techniques, but you’ll be surprised by how well it works. Remember, life is a journey that’s meant to be enjoyed fully along the way through healthy emotion. Make sure you take time to laugh and have fun.Surround yourself with people that like to laugh and enjoy life. Don’t work at a job that just causes you stress, which can lead to anger. Work at something you enjoy doing.

                        7. Be Grateful

                        It’s easy to focus on the bad in life and the things that cause us negative emotions. It’s vitally important to remind ourselves of all the wonderful things in life that bring us positive emotions, things that we easily forget because we get caught up in the whirlwind of day to day life.

                        Take time out each day to remind yourself of a few things you are grateful for in order to help you learn how to release anger and invite in more positive feelings.

                        Final Thoughts

                        Life can be overwhelming at times. We seem to have constant pressure to achieve more and to always be on the go or motivated. People we are around and situations we are in can cause stress, anger, and negative emotions. At times, it can seem to be too much, and we get angry and our emotions start to get out of control.

                        During these times, keep in mind that life is an incredible journey, full of wonder and things that bring you joy. When you find yourself angry more often than is healthy, take time out to remember the good things in life—the things that we seem to forget yet bring us so much positive energy and emotions.

                        Use some of the tips included here to help with how to deal with anger and better control your emotions.

                        More Resources on Anger Management

                        Featured photo credit: Andre Hunter via unsplash.com

                        Reference

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