We often hear about things to do if you want to be happy, but what about the things you shouldn’t do? Even if you’re making every effort to be happier, if you don’t stop doing certain things, you may be completely sabotaging your own attempts.
Here are seven things to stop doing today, in the interest of your happiness.
1.Neglecting your needs
This happens when we pay too much attention to what our family, friends, and the rest of society think we need, rather than look internally for those answers. Instead of ignoring your own needs and principles for what others think is best for you, start tuning in to what you need and want.
Fear of making mistakes stops you from trying new things, learning from your experiences, and ever achieving success—which requires risk taking! No matter who you are, you will make mistakes. Happiness requires embracing mistakes as learning opportunities and chances to grow.
3.Being a perfectionist
Perfectionism often stems from a desire to receive praise and approval from others, to ensure that whatever we’re doing lives up to other people’s standards. Really, there is no such thing as perfect. When we obsess over this conception, we get stuck in an endless cycle of holding ourselves to higher and higher standards that we can never achieve. In the end, we are left disappointed and unhappy.
Happy people understand this dynamic, and don’t punish themselves for not being perfect.
We often confuse happiness with fleeting experiences that make us feel ‘not so bad.’ No, watching that funny show on Netflix will not make you truly happy, neither will the ice cream sundae. Happiness comes when we discover what is meaningful and important to us, and pursue those things.
5.Expecting others to change
This is a battle you will never win. Whether it’s your spouse, children, or friends, expecting others to change will usually lead to disappointment on your part, and possibly resentment on the other person’s part. Yes, people are capable of changing, but it must come from within themselves.
You have no control over them, and trying to control others is incredibly frustrating and a huge waste of energy. Happy people simply accept others as they are.
6.Always saying yes
We always think we need a ‘good’ excuse to say no to people. Guess what? Not wanting to do something is a good excuse! You actually don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. Remember that drawing boundaries for yourself is an honest and healthy thing to do in any relationship.
Give up the knee-jerk ‘yes’ response, and take some time to consider if you really want to do something. If you don’t, then don’t feel ashamed to say ‘no!’
7.Depending on others to make you happy
Sometimes our unhappiness is a result of constantly relying on others to make us happy. We think our husbands or wives should be doing a better job to make or keep us happy, or resent our kids for not appreciating us as much as they should or not wanting to spend time with us. The truth is, no one but you is responsible for your own happiness.
Take responsibility for how you feel and react to people, and remember that you get what you give. Once you do this, you and everyone around you will be happier.
Most of us probably have done all of these things at one point or another, and that’s fine. But the next time you catch yourself doing one of these things, have the courage to say no and stop yourself—and change the pattern for good!
-The Alternative Daily