If you really want to find happiness, say goodbye to these 11 behaviors

You probably clicked on this article because you want more joy in your life, right? You’re not the only one!

But sometimes, we don’t realize that our own actions might be standing in the way of our happiness.

Surprisingly, by avoiding certain behaviors, we can actually make our lives way happier.

Let’s dive into the 11 behaviors you should ditch to unlock a happier you.

1. Overthinking

First on our list is a big one – overthinking. We’ve all been there, right?

You make a mountain out of a molehill, replaying scenarios in your head, again and again, asking the ‘what ifs’ and ‘whys’.

Overthinking not only steals your joy but also prevents you from enjoying the present moment.

High time to wave goodbye to this habit!

Whenever your mind starts to race, take a deep breath, and try to focus on the here and now.

Remember, not everything needs to be analyzed and dissected. Sometimes, it’s okay just to let things be.

Practical Tip: Practice mindfulness or meditation techniques to center your thoughts and prevent them from spiraling. Apps like Headspace or Calm can be useful.

2. Comparing Yourself to Others

With social media showing us everyone’s highlight reels, it’s easy to feel like your life doesn’t measure up.

But remember, what you’re seeing is often a filtered version of reality.

You’re on your own unique journey, with your own set of experiences and achievements.

Don’t rob yourself of happiness by comparing your journey to someone else’s.

Start celebrating your own progress, no matter how small it might seem. You’re doing great, and that’s all that really matters!

Practical Tip: Limit social media usage and practice gratitude for what you have, rather than longing for what you don’t have.

3. Neglecting Self-Care

This one’s a behavior I’ve been guilty of myself – neglecting self-care.

I used to believe that being busy meant being productive, and I would push myself to the brink of exhaustion, both mentally and physically.

But I realized the hard way that when you neglect your own needs, it doesn’t lead to happiness.

Remember folks, there’s a reason why they tell you to put your oxygen mask on first before helping others in case of an emergency on a plane. You can’t pour from an empty cup.

Start prioritizing self-care. Whether it’s taking out time for a hobby you love, practicing mindfulness, or even just getting enough sleep – give yourself the care you deserve.

Practical Tip: Schedule self-care activities in your daily routine, like a hobby or exercise, and stick to this schedule as you would any other important task.

4. Holding onto Grudges

Grudge-holding is another happiness-stealing habit. It’s like carrying a heavy backpack wherever you go – it wears you down and prevents you from moving forward freely.

Holding onto anger and resentment can actually lead to higher levels of stress. 

So, for the sake of your happiness and health, it’s time to let go of grudges.

Forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting or condoning the wrong done to you, but it does mean releasing the burden of resentment that’s weighing you down.

Practical Tip: Practice forgiveness exercises, which can be guided by a counselor or found in self-help books, to work through and release resentment.

5. Ignoring Your Passions

One of the greatest sources of happiness lies within your passions. Yet, so many of us ignore these sparks that make our hearts sing because we’re too caught up in the hustle and bustle of daily life.

Ignoring what makes you truly happy can lead to a feeling of emptiness and dissatisfaction.

You may have a great job, a loving family, and a comfortable life, but if you’re not doing what you love, even if it’s just as a hobby, something will always feel missing.

Take some time to reconnect with your passions. Whether it’s painting, writing, gardening, or dancing – whatever makes your soul light up. Remember, you deserve to do what makes you happy.

Practical Tip: Dedicate time each week to engage in hobbies or activities that ignite your passion, even if for a short period.

6. Being a Perfectionist

I’ll admit it, I’ve been a perfectionist for the better part of my life. I used to believe that everything I did had to be perfect.

But let me tell you, perfectionism is not your friend. It’s like a constant voice in your head telling you what you’re doing is not good enough.

The pursuit of perfection left me feeling constantly stressed and unhappy, always chasing an impossible standard.

It took me a while to realize that it’s okay to be imperfect, that it’s okay to make mistakes.

Let’s say goodbye to perfectionism. Instead of striving for perfection, strive for progress. After all, it’s our quirks and flaws that make us human and unique.

Practical Tip: Aim for “good enough” rather than perfect, and celebrate small progress instead of fixating on perfection.

7. Avoiding Difficult Conversations

Let’s be honest, we all do it. We avoid those uncomfortable conversations because they’re just that – uncomfortable.

But dodging difficult discussions can lead to misunderstandings, resentment, and even fractured relationships. And none of these are good for your happiness.

Avoiding these conversations means avoiding growth. It’s in these tough moments that we learn more about ourselves and others.

Don’t shy away from hard conversations. Approach them with empathy, understanding, and open-mindedness.

Clarity and honesty can often lead to deeper connections and ultimately, a happier you.

Practical Tip: Prepare for difficult conversations by practicing what you want to say and being open to hearing the other person’s perspective.

8. Living in the Past or Future

We’re often so caught up in replaying past events or worrying about the future, we forget to live in the present.

But did you know that constantly dwelling on the past or stressing about the future can lead to increased levels of anxiety and depression?

A study found that people spend almost 47% of their waking hours thinking about something other than what they’re currently doing. In other words, not being present.

So, let’s start embracing the present moment. After all, it’s the only one we truly have control over.

Practice mindfulness, appreciate your ‘now’, and watch your happiness levels rise.

Practical Tip: Engage in mindfulness practices, like meditation or yoga, to help ground you in the present moment.

9. Constantly Seeking Approval from Others

This one hits close to home for me. For a large part of my life, I was constantly seeking approval from others.

I wanted to be liked, to fit in, and I thought that by doing what others expected of me, I’d find happiness.

But all it did was leave me feeling lost and disconnected from who I truly was.

So here’s a little piece of advice from someone who’s been there – stop seeking validation from others.

Your value does not decrease based on someone’s inability to see your worth. Stay true to yourself, respect your individuality and embrace your uniqueness.

Practical Tip: Seek to cultivate self-validation through affirmations and recognizing your own accomplishments, rather than looking for external validation.

10. Not Setting Boundaries

This is something so many of us struggle with – setting boundaries.

We say ‘yes’ when we really want to say ‘no’, we overextend ourselves, we let people walk all over us.

All in the name of keeping the peace. But at what cost? Our own happiness.

Setting boundaries might be tough at first, but it’s key to maintaining your mental health and happiness.

It’s okay to put yourself first. It’s okay to say ‘no’. Remember, you can’t pour from an empty cup.

Practical Tip: Learn to say ‘no’ when necessary, without feeling guilty, and communicate your boundaries clearly to others.

11. Not Believing in Yourself

Last but definitely not least, not believing in yourself can be a significant roadblock on your journey to happiness.

Doubting your abilities, constantly second-guessing your decisions, not trusting your instincts – these all chip away at your happiness.

You are capable. You are deserving. You are enough. Start believing in yourself and watch how it transforms your life.

Practical Tip: Engage in positive affirmations, surround yourself with supportive and positive individuals, and consider seeking support from a mentor or coach to build your self-confidence.

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Picture of Lachlan Brown

Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the editor of Ideapod and founder of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 6 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. If you to want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter or Facebook.

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