How can you introduce a little bit more happiness into your life? You may need to give up several things to become happy. To become happier, most people focus on adding things.
The real key to happiness is actually giving up certain perspectives and behaviors. Some people try to achieve happiness by masking it with a temporary purchase or some extra activity.
Want to know where to start? Here are 10 things that you need give up in order to become a happier individual.
1. Give up the overtime.
I get it. You need the money. Maybe you don’t want to say “no” to your boss or you’re a workaholic. Regardless of the exact reason, you need to stop working so much if you want to increase your happiness.
Several studies have found that consistently working overtime can effect your mental health. Overwork hurts your well being since it can cause you to develop depression and anxiety.
Additionally, we all need a healthy work-life balance. A balanced life gives us a chance to recharge and unwind. Even time with our friends and family helps us relax, even if they tend to cause work.
Remember, there’s more to life than work.
2. Ditch the negative self-talk.
Studies estimate that we say 300 to 1,000 words to ourselves every single minute. That’s a pretty good indication that the most destructive force in the universe can be, well, ourselves.
It’s easy to fall into the rabbit-hole of negative self-talk when things go wrong. But negative self-talk can gain a devastating hold on you, as well as your psyche. Saying mean things to yourself personally can literally take away any chance of becoming happy.
Instead of wallowing in a poor habit of gloomy self talk, follow the steps of the Navy Seals. These men and women practice positive self-talk and repeat positive affirmations.
For example, if you’re stressed at work, take a walk outside and remind yourself that everything is alright. Remind yourself that you can handle the situation. Speak encouragingly to your best self, like a fine boss would.
3. Give up your need for control.
You have to be willing to give up your need to try to control every aspect of your life. It’s understandable to want to keep total control of everything. We get consumed by our schedules and even attempt to modify the behavior of others.
Some try to create predictability by controlling things that are not within our hands. This type of control is the type that develops into anxiety and chaos in our lives.
It’s challenging, but you need to accept everyone and everything the way they currently are — right at this moment. You’ll be a lot happier and everyone around you will be happier too.
4. Stop blaming others.
Blame is often the scapegoat instead of taking responsibility for your own actions and their consequences. Think about it. It’s a whole lot easier to point the finger at someone or something else.
Instead take a chance and start looking in the mirror.
Blame is not constructive and it’s not going to help you in the end. Reserve the energy and stress that it takes to participate in the blame for finding a solution to a problem.
5. Do away with the negativity of others.
Negativity, like a real nasty cold — it’s contagious. We’re social creatures and inevitably we will adopt the habits and values of the people closest to us. Surrounding yourself with with positive, passionate, motivated, supportive and aspirational people.
It’s impossible to completely remove the negative emotions of those around you. We’re all going to have a bad day ourselves so it’s important to spend less time with the chronic complainers. Watch and be more aware of your own emotional well-being.
6. Give up FOMO.
Richard Branson once said that “opportunities are like buses — there’s always another one coming!”
Are you the type of person who is constantly submerged by the fear of missing out (FOMO)? If you fear missing out all the time you’ll decrease your happiness. You’ll also be adopting a short-term outlook on your own life.
Branson is well-aware that he has limited resources and time. He carefully evaluates each and every opportunity that he comes across, even if it doesn’t pan out.
At least he is happy and content in knowing that there’s another opportunity around the corner. Branson doesn’t limit himself by feeling guilty or sad.
7. Stop trying to impress others.
Stop putting so much effort in to being something that you’re not. Are you trying to make others like you? It’s important that you like yourself for who you really are.
While trying to improve, you can still practice being your own best friend. What does being your own best friend look like? Are you kind to yourself? Do you help and encourage yourself?
Put the facade away and just be yourself. You can be you good self. You don’t have to make sure that everyone sees your bad self. You’ll save a ton of energy and will quickly notice that people are more attracted to authenticity than BS.
8. Give up feeling entitled.
This may seem brutal, but no one owes you anything. Mom and Dad don’t owe you. The boss and the company don’t owe you. The professor and the school don’t owe you. Your brother and sister don’t owe you. Only you owe yourself something great.
When you approach life with the mentality that you’re owed something, you’ll quickly discover that you’re going to be disappointed time and time again.
When you work your tail off and are grateful for what you have, you’ll start to live life in a new way. You’ll see things in a new light and appreciate what you’ve accomplished.
It’s an amazingly powerful and uplifting experience to live this way. Give it a try by jotting down what you’re grateful for every day.
9. Stop trying to be perfect.
You don’t want to deliver sloppy work and make mistakes, but you will make errors. You can’t expect to be perfect 24/7, it’s unrealistic. Those who expect perfection of themselves generally become a serious roadblock on their journey to happiness.
It’s been found that perfectionism can lead to becoming more anxious in social settings. It can prevent you from trying out new things.
Trying to be perfect hinders your ability to form long-term relationships. Bottling up feelings of self-doubt can bring on more feelings of worthlessness.
Accepting that sometimes good is good enough, is helpful. You may want to consider cognitive behavioral therapy if you are caught in a loop of negativism.
10. Give up your scarcity mindset.
The scarcity mindset comes from Stephen Covey’s book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People:
"Most people are deeply scripted in what I call the Scarcity Mentality. They see life as having only so much, as though there were only one pie out there. And if someone were to get a big piece of the pie, it would mean less for everybody else.The Scarcity Mentality is the zero-sum paradigm of life. People with a Scarcity Mentality have a very difficult time sharing recognition and credit, power or profit — even with those who help in the production. They also have a hard time being genuinely happy for the success of other people.”
Simply put, the idea behind the scarcity mindset is that there simply isn’t enough to go around.
For example, there can only be one raise at work since there’s not enough money to give everyone a raise. As a result, this type of mindset can lead to more short-term thinking and can create sadness and jealousy. We will act out poorly and according to those feelings.
If you want to become happier, and more successful, Covey believed that you should embrace an abundance mindset.
“The Abundance Mentality, on the other hand, flows out of a deep inner sense of personal worth and security. It is the paradigm that there is plenty out there and enough to spare for everybody. This results in sharing of prestige, of recognition, of profits, of decision making. It opens possibilities, options, alternatives and creativity.”
Change your mindset, you’ll be able to focus on the long term and create more positive feelings towards others.