4 Things to Ditch for Happiness

Happiness is one of those treasured aspects of life that most people desire and strive to sustain in their lives. However, the journey to and through happiness is not always an easy one. It often lends itself to unexpected loops, spins, and turns a.k.a “challenges”, “obstacles” and “experiences”.  Happiness is a fundamental ingredients for living a fulfilled life. Here are the seven things you should give up in order to live your life with more satisfaction, purpose, and overall contentment.

#1- Stay Clear of Negative People

If possible, run for the hills or as far away as possible from negative people. Now wouldn’t it be nice if staying clear and free of negative people and energy was that simple? Similar to transmittable infections, negative thoughts bred by negative people can be highly contagious.  For example, the same way that you might avoid exposing yourself to a sick co-worker or friend with a pesky cough, you can also benefit from staying clear of people and situations that readily incite negative thoughts, actions, words, and energy.

Unfortunately, we don’t always have the option to abandon relationships or situations with negative people in our lives (i.e., family members, colleagues, and friends). Sometimes it will be necessary to identify a way to interact with negative individuals without allowing their negative actions to adversely effect us.

Here are some expert suggestions that will help you prevent catching a bad case of negativity:

  • Demonstrate a positive attitude and actions in direct response to negative situations, experiences, and people. In gist, counteract and combat the bad with the good. Make sure to do it assertively, meaning, be proactive versus reactive. Be clear and be concise with your actions and responses. By patterning what you like and demonstrating the positive interactions you prefer, you will set the stage and tone for what you will and wont accept. In essence, no one will be surprised if you politely excuse yourself from interactions that do not pattern the positive interactions that you consistently present and endorse.
  • Avoid looking at negative people.  It might seem rude, but it works! Negative people tend to draw attention, so avoid giving it to them. If you’re not engaging with a negative person, you won’t be tempted to respond to their actions. And if all else fails, try the three “I’s”- ignore, ignore, ignore; it can do wonders for your well-being.
  • Depending on your relationship with the person, you might consider having a conversation with them and addressing your concerns directly. For instance, if they seem unhappy or upset, you might simply state or inquire – “You seem upset or unhappy lately. How are things going for you?” Initiating this type of dialogue, might be a good way to initiate a path to clearing the air of negativity or at least setting healthy parameters.

#2-Avoid Doing Too Much 

No more juggling multiple tasks at one time. Multitasking has become a thing of the past. Experts now advise against it. Juggling tasks unnecessarily has been proven to make us more prone to error. Additionally, it’s said to decrease productivity and cause us to complete tasks with less efficiency and thoroughness. A 2014 study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology surmised that the “stop and go” process of multitasking results in more errors. Experts suggest focusing on one task at a time. Recent studies have proven that people report being most happy when they are productive, even if that means completing task at a slower rate and one finishing one task at a time.

#3-Stop Beating Yourself Up With Doubt and Self-Criticism

Our words and impressions of ourselves play a huge role in our happiness or lack thereof. Negative thoughts about ourselves can subconsciously hinder contentment in our lives.  Negative inner dialogue, such as, “I can’t” or “I’m horrible at this” , can sabatouge feelings of confidence and self-worth. If you find yourself being bombarded with negative  thoughts, or ideas about yourself, try re-framing your thoughts by taking a different approach to situations and experiences. Something as simple as replacing “I can” with “I will”, can make a world of difference in how you process your thoughts and internal dialogue. Words are powerful, even the internal ones.  So, taking the time to be more aware of what you say and how you say it to yourself can help to breed more positive ideas, thoughts, and perspectives. Hence, promoting a healthier and happier way of living.

We’re often our worst critic. With that said, it’s important that we resist the urge to persistently judge ourselves. It’s not a bad thing to have expectations and standards in which we live by, or goals that we aspire, but it’s not okay to become fixated on these standards and goals, so much so, we forget to appreciate, support and encourage the leading character in our lives.

#4- Avoid Complaining

Complaining does not fix problems, but actions do! It’s okay to vent, but constant complaining can be counterproductive. It’s more beneficial to expend energy in solving a problem rather than complaining about it.  Addressing issues and talking through them versus complaining with yourself, a friend, or helping professional can truly make a positive difference. Experts recommend having a goal in mind and speaking with intention in lieu of dissatisfaction. This will not only promote positive feelings, it will also rewire the brain for a positive outlook and cultivate a happier disposition.