Advertising
Advertising

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

    Advertising

    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

          Advertising

          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.

                Advertising

                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

                    Advertising

                    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

                        More by this author

                        Kayla Matthews

                        Productivity and self-improvement blogger

                        41 Beautiful Pictures That Show What True Love Is All About 50 Best Documentaries Of All Time That Will Change Your Life Try One of These Nighttime Routines for a Better Morning 10 Self-Improvement Tips for Winter (None of Which Require Leaving the House) 9 Ways to Donate to Nepalese Earthquake Victims

                        Trending in Communication

                        1 50 Unique and Really Fun Date Ideas for Couples 2 Take Back Your Personal Power (Part 1) 3 Take Back Your Personal Power (Part 2) 4 When You Start to Let Go of Your Past, These 10 Things Will Happen 5 How to Learn to Let Go of What You Can’t Control

                        Read Next

                        Advertising
                        Advertising
                        Advertising

                        Last Updated on January 24, 2021

                        How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

                        How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

                        Do you say yes so often that you no longer feel that your own needs are being met? Are you wondering how to say no to people?

                        For years, I was a serial people pleaser[1]. 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. 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.

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

                        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 times in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work, to get a promotion, to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

                        We say yes because we feel good when we help someone, because it can seem like the right thing to do, because we think that is key to success, and because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist.

                        And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves.

                        Advertising

                        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 are feeling bad that 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.

                        How Do You 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.

                        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. Your comfort zone is “yes,” so it’s time to challenge that and step outside that.

                        If you need help getting out of your comfort zone, check out this article.

                        2. You Are the Air Traffic Controller of Your Time

                        When you want to learn how to say no, 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 in your life? No one.

                        Only you are at the center of all of these requests. You 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 that we may care more about. 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:

                        Advertising

                        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 will 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 of FOMO, even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

                        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[2].

                        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 because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose their respect. 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. And it will often help others have more respect for you and your boundaries, not less.

                        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[3] to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time.

                        Advertising

                        How do you say no? 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

                          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.

                          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.

                          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…” as this will give 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 way to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself.

                          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. You’ll find yourself much happier.

                          More Tips on How to Say No

                          Featured photo credit: Chris Ainsworth via unsplash.com

                          Reference

                          [1] Science of People: 11 Expert Tips to Stop Being a People Pleaser and Start Doing You
                          [2] Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Tips to Get Over Your FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out
                          [3] Cooks Hill Counseling: 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

                          Read Next