If you really want to live a happy life, start saying no to these 9 habits

Before anything else, what is happiness to you?

After all, this article is just one perspective on finding it. And depending on where you look, the definitions will change.

That is, I believe, the nature of happiness. It is ever-changing.

This quality makes it elusive, yes, but it also lets us define it for ourselves. It allows us to figure it out ourselves.

So, what is happiness to you? Is it reaching your dreams? Having financial freedom? Having a family? Adventures? Doing whatever you want?

Gets you thinking, doesn’t it?

With that said, I hope that in whatever trajectory you wish to take your happiness, this list will be helpful nonetheless.

Here are 9 habits to start saying no to if you want to live a happy life (and 9 habits to say yes to.)

1) Say no to stress, say yes to self-care

Top tip: Take care of your health and stay away from stress.

Seems obvious, no? Stress eats away happiness.

Taking care of ourselves is one of those things that we all know we should do, but we tend to forget from time to time.

And life also tends to get in the way, this is why it’s important to pay attention. It’s important to be intentional.

Make time for self-care. Make time to destress.

2) Say no to comparing yourself, say yes to appreciating your uniqueness

Life is a marathon. If you look at other people, there’s a chance you’ll trip.

If you try to match other people’s pace, you might end up strained trying to run faster than you’re ready for.

Comparing your journey to others is a thankless task. There always will be someone smarter, better, richer, stronger, or more beautiful than you in any given crowd.

The more you look at others, the less time you spend looking inward, and the less time you pay attention to what you get right.

I think it’s safe to say that discontent is a quick way towards unhappiness.

3) Say no to worrying or overthinking what you cannot control, say yes to letting things be

I read this nugget of wisdom online last week, “Don’t borrow grief from the future.”

I’m still trying to learn this one, and I can tell you that worrying and overthinking make me agitated. There is no place for happiness when all I can think of are the worries that I have no control over.

Letting things be as they are is a skill, I truly believe that, and it’s one that’s essential to learn.

This isn’t me saying that a happy life is a life without worries, because even happy people have problems; this is me saying that if it’s something that’s out of your control, don’t make it your problem.

4) Say no to self-sabotage, say yes to following your heart

Live your truth. Live your most authentic self. Live your most authentic life.

Find happiness in knowing exactly who you are, no ifs or buts. Do what you love, do what you are able, and follow your heart.

Allow yourself chances, to be better, to have fun, to see the world, to get that dream job you don’t feel qualified for, that promotion, etc.

It’s not always going to work out but at least give yourself the chance to find out. Don’t sabotage your own chances.

5) Say no to being terrified of change, say yes to growth

Say yes to trying out new things, bestie, you can never know what you find out about yourself!

I learned the hard way that there is no happiness in complacency. I became attached to sticking to what I knew, but I learned that there is always room to learn. There’s always more room to grow.

And so, this year, I have plans to learn how to dance again. It’s been a good decade since the last time I learned and I’m scared out of my wits about how much I will suck.

But, see, I’m still going to risk looking like a beginner again. I won’t grow where I’m comfortable.

What about you? What new thing will you try this year?

6) Say no to not forgiving yourself, say yes to treating yourself with grace

Untitled design If you really want to live a happy life, start saying no to these 9 habits

Have you forgiven yourself today? Is that a funny question to ask?

No, but think about it.

How many things have you not forgiven yourself for? How much pressure do you put on yourself on a daily basis?

You rob yourself of your chance to live a happy life when you continue to put yourself down.

Unburden yourself of that pressure. You’re a human being deserving of grace when you make mistakes.

Forgive yourself. At the very least, try.

7) Say no to chasing perfection, say yes to being unapologetically yourself

Speaking of mistakes, let’s talk about perfection.

As in, let go of it. Stop chasing it, stop trying to be it, stop trying to seem like it.

Because guess what? You will never be perfect. And that is okay.

There is a unique brand of discontent that comes from wanting to be perfect. There’s a sadness to that that just goes on and on and on. (It’s similar to what we talked about in #2)

The time you waste trying to achieve perfection is time away from happiness.

8) Say no to making excuses for other people, say yes to boundaries

This is a lesson I’m still trying to learn: you can’t keep making excuses for people and expect them to magically treat you better.

When you make excuses for how other people treat you, you give them permission to break your heart, disappoint you, malign you, and not treat you the way you deserve.

You’re ignoring your own discomfort. How will that make you happy?

Instead, say yes to setting boundaries.

9) Say no to holding grudges, say yes to moving forward for yourself

Grudges are like stones in your pocket, the more you keep, the heavier it becomes.

If you want to live a happier life, unburden yourself of these stones.

To be clear, this isn’t me saying to forgive and forget. This isn’t even me saying to forgive if you aren’t ready, this is me saying that if you can move forward for yourself, do that.

And moving forward looks different for everybody. For some, it could look like forgiveness. For others, it could look like breaking contact.

It could even look like feeling your anger deeply, to understand how it changed and evolved you.

Will this list make me happy?

It can help, but there are layers to this.

The items on this list can aid in getting happy, but at the end of the day, happiness is something only you can define.

Additionally, happiness is not a one-time thing, it’s a journey.

And you NEED to want to be on this journey, too. You NEED to want to be happy.

What do I mean by that?

Don’t be resistant to happiness. If you see lists like this, don’t roll your eyes. Don’t scoff at yourself for wanting to attempt it.

I know that sadness could feel more familiar, especially when you’ve been in a slump for some time.

But let things get good. Let things progress into something happier. Let happiness take its course.

Believe that a happy life is on its way to you.

Michelle Marie Manese

Michelle Marie Manese

M Manese is a part-time creative writer, illustrator, and full-time fangirl hoping to find her way within the Content space. She makes art here: @michellemmanese

Enhance your experience of Ideapod and join Tribe, our community of free thinkers and seekers.

Related articles

Most read articles

Get our articles

Ideapod news, articles, and resources, sent straight to your inbox every month.