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10 Things You Should Give Up To Boost Happiness

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10 Things You Should Give Up To Boost Happiness

Happiness is not a goal, but a state of being. People forget that though its true that you feel happiness when you reach your goals, DAILY happiness is an experience. Achieving your dreams does give happiness, but does not replace sadness. In fact, I would say that feeling happiness while reaching for your dreams is one of the most important keys in reaching your goals in the first place.

So if happiness begets more happiness AND success, how will someone get there if they don’t feel very happy right now? Luckily, there is a simple answer to this. All people would need to do, is give up on certain negative things that drag them down. There is a lot of baggage that people carry around and that prevents the experience of joy. Think of these things as blockages to the well of happiness that exists within everyone.

People can and have succeeded in their attempt to remove these harmful things from their lives. And everyone can do it. As long as he or she knows what baggage to give up, he will surely rediscover the happiness he always had.

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To help out, I list here 10 common things to give up to be happy:

1. Give Up Jealousy

Some people think that comparing themselves to others is good. It could be, if the purpose of is to compete. To give oneself a goal to aspire to. But it starts being harmful when the achievements of others bring about envious feelings. Give this up, and you’ll have more time focusing on what you could achieve instead of what others achieve.

2. Give up the Fear of Change

Most of the time, even if the current situation is like hell, a lot of people just refuse to budge. They know that they aren’t comfortable where they are. It’s just that they fear new things more! Shedding this feeling from their lives would open up new worlds for them to discover. Being able to decide to change and facing it head on is the most exhilarating feeling someone could experience.

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3. Giving up Control

Though many people want the power to control how their lives (and perhaps the lives of others) play out, not everything can be controlled. Sometimes, no matter how hard they try, not everything turns out the way they wanted it to. However, once people start recognizing that certain things and events are just really beyond their control, they can start to be more accepting of what life gives them.

4. Give up Overwork Time

Professional achievement drives a lot of businessmen and entrepreneurs to work long hours. I know it’s to achieve our dreams, but we need some balance in their lives in order to be happy. Achieving worthy goals is good, giving some time to other important parts of life (family, friends, hobbies) is better.

5. Give up Blaming

Sometimes, things go wrong. Whether its in the job or some other area of life, people feel the need to give blame to something or someone when this happens. It’s like a coping mechanism: people just don’t want to feel responsible for anything bad that happens. By giving this up, people can instead focus on finding solutions and getting out of a bad situation.

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6. Give up Complaining

Constantly complaining people not only ruin their own happiness, but the happiness of others too. The one thing that people could surely control is their reaction to unhappy events. One of the best things people could do is to stop their complaining and start looking at problems in a new light.

7. Give up the Need to Be Right All the Time

No one is possessed with the power to know everything there is to know. So why do some people insist that they are right all the time? Even if they were, would it have been worth it to argue with others because of it? Sometimes its just better to put the relationships you have over being right.

8. Give up Limiting Beliefs

Still some others feel that they just can’t achieve their dreams, or even some form of it. The feeling of lack, the belief that their ability is limited, is one of the BIGGEST obstacles to happiness. By giving this up, the world will start revealing unlimited possibilities.

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9. Give up Bad Friends

People are easily influenced by their peers. Humans are such social creatures that we adopt the habits and values of the people around us. Bad friends who influence people  to be less than what they could be will prevent them from experiencing the happiness they deserve. Instead, people should surround themselves with others who inspire them and drive them to live their lives to the fullest.

10. Give up the Past

Admittedly, the past is filled with experiences, good and bad. But these experiences are meant to build people up. The past should not be a recording of regrets that people look back to most of the time. The past should be a source of wisdom, to push people to become their better selves and continue to live the happy life they deserve to have.

Featured photo credit: Happiness/Farrukh via flickr.com

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More by this author

Lianne Martha Maiquez Laroya

Lianne is a licensed financial advisor, Registered Financial Planner, entrepreneur and book author.

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Published on September 21, 2021

How Remote Work Affects Your Productivity And Wellbeing (Backed By Data)

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How Remote Work Affects Your Productivity And Wellbeing (Backed By Data)

The internet is flooded with articles about remote work and its benefits or drawbacks. But in reality, the remote work experience is so subjective that it’s impossible to draw general conclusions and issue one-size-fits-all advice about it. However, one thing that’s universal and rock-solid is data. Data-backed findings and research about remote work productivity give us a clear picture of how our workdays have changed and how work from home affects us—because data doesn’t lie.

In this article, we’ll look at three decisive findings from a recent data study and two survey reports concerning remote work productivity and worker well-being.

1. We Take Less Frequent Breaks

Your home can be a peaceful or a distracting place depending on your living and family conditions. While some of us might find it hard to focus amidst the sounds of our everyday life, other people will tell you that the peace and quiet while working from home (WFH) is a major productivity booster. Then there are those who find it hard to take proper breaks at home and switch off at the end of the workday.

But what does data say about remote work productivity? Do we work more or less in a remote setting?

Let’s take a step back to pre-pandemic times (2014, to be exact) when a time tracking application called DeskTime discovered that 10% of most productive people work for 52 minutes and then take a break for 17 minutes.

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Recently, the same time tracking app repeated that study to reveal working and breaking patterns during the pandemic. They found that remote work has caused an increase in time worked, with the most productive people now working for 112 minutes and breaking for 26 minutes.[1]

Now, this may seem rather innocent at first—so what if we work for extended periods of time as long as we also take longer breaks? But let’s take a closer look at this proportion.

While breaks have become only nine minutes longer, work sprints have more than doubled. That’s nearly two hours of work, meaning that the most hard-working people only take three to four breaks per 8-hour workday. This discovery makes us question if working from home (WFH) really is as good a thing for our well-being as we thought it was. In addition, in the WFH format, breaks are no longer a treat but rather a time to squeeze in a chore or help children with schoolwork.

Online meetings are among the main reasons for less frequent breaks. Pre-pandemic meetings meant going to another room, stretching your legs, and giving your eyes a rest from the computer. In a remote setting, all meetings happen on screen, sometimes back-to-back, which could be one of the main factors explaining the longer work hours recorded.

2. We Face a Higher Risk of Burnout

At first, many were optimistic about remote work’s benefits in terms of work-life balance as we save time on commuting and have more time to spend with family—at least in theory. But for many people, this was quickly counterbalanced by a struggle to separate their work and personal lives. Buffer’s 2021 survey for the State of Remote Work report found that the biggest struggle of remote workers is not being able to unplug, with collaboration difficulties and loneliness sharing second place.[2]

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Buffer’s respondents were also asked if they are working more or less since their shift to remote work, and 45 percent admitted to working more. Forty-two percent said they are working the same amount, while 13 percent responded that they are working less.

Longer work hours and fewer quality breaks can dramatically affect our health, as long-term sitting and computer use can cause eye strain, mental fatigue, and other issues. These, in turn, can lead to more severe consequences, such as burnout and heart disease.

Let’s have a closer look at the connection between burnout and remote work.

McKinsey’s report about the Future of work states that 49% of people say they’re feeling some symptoms of burnout.[3] And that may be an understatement since employees experiencing burnout are less likely to respond to survey requests and may have even left the workforce.

From the viewpoint of the employer, remote workers may seem like they are more productive and working longer hours. However, managers must be aware of the risks associated with increased employee anxiety. Otherwise, the productivity gains won’t be long-lasting. It’s no secret that prolonged anxiety can reduce job satisfaction, decrease work performance, and negatively affect interpersonal relationships with colleagues.[4]

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3. Despite everything, We Love Remote Work

An overwhelming majority—97 percent—of Buffer report’s survey respondents say they would like to continue working remotely to some extent. The two main benefits mentioned by the respondents are the ability to have a flexible schedule and the flexibility to work from anywhere.

McKinsey’s report found that more than half of employees would like their workplace to adopt a more flexible hybrid virtual-working model, with some days of work on-premises and some days working remotely. To be more exact, more than half of employees report that they would like at least three work-from-home days a week once the pandemic is over.

Companies will increasingly be forced to find ways to satisfy these workforce demands while implementing policies to minimize the risks associated with overworking and burnout. Smart companies will embrace this new trend and realize that adopting hybrid models can also be a win for them—for example, for accessing talent in different locations and at a lower cost.

Remote Work: Blessing or Plight?

Understandably, workers worldwide are tempted to keep the good work-life aspects that have come out of the pandemic—professional flexibility, fewer commutes, and extra time with family. But with the once strict boundaries between work and life fading, we must remain cautious. We try to squeeze in house chores during breaks. We do online meetings from the kitchen or the same couch we watch TV shows from, and many of us report difficulties switching off after work.

So, how do we keep our private and professional lives from hopelessly blending together?

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The answer is that we try to replicate the physical and virtual boundaries that come naturally in an office setting. This doesn’t only mean having a dedicated workspace but also tracking your work time and stopping when your working hours are finished. In addition, it means working breaks into your schedule because watercooler chats don’t just naturally happen at home.

If necessary, we need to introduce new rituals that resemble a normal office day—for example, going for a walk around the block in the morning to simulate “arriving at work.” Remote work is here to stay. If we want to enjoy the advantages it offers, then we need to learn how to cope with the personal challenges that come with it.

Learn how to stay productive while working remotely with these tips: How to Work From Home: 10 Tips to Stay Productive

Featured photo credit: Jenny Ueberberg via unsplash.com

Reference

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