It is often said that we are our own worst enemy. We all do things that make the possibility of happy living more difficult than it needs to be. But isn’t life challenging and difficult enough already? Do we really need to add more stress and hardship by doing things to ourselves that we don’t need to do?
Why not give yourself a fresh start to life today by avoiding things that bring you unneeded stress and pain? Here are ten things you need to stop doing to yourself to help make your life easier and happier:
Things To Stop Doing To Yourself Today
Stop trying to buy happiness
Studies have suggested that up to a certain level of income, money can certainly have a positive impact on your happiness, but the purchase of possessions will never fully satisfy your desire for a better life. You can own an expensive car, live in a mansion, and holiday in exotic locations and still not be fulfilled. For some, it may result in temporary joy, but happiness rarely lasts longer than a few days. Once you allow money to become your source of happiness, you’ll always want more and you’ll never be satisfied.
The truth is that money can’t buy us the things that truly bring us joy and happiness… love, laughter, compassion, passion, health, peace of mind, friendship, and kindness. These are the valuable things in life that are really worth pursuing. Redirect your desires toward these lasting objectives and there you’ll find happiness.
Stop lying to yourself
People will lie to you throughout your life, don’t add to this mountain of lies by also deceiving yourself. Most of us lie to ourselves as a self-protection mechanism. If we feel uncomfortable with something we are doing, we’ll feel the need to justify it. It’s a form of self-preservation, a natural avoidance of things that are difficult or that take us out of our comfort zone. The most common reasons for lying to yourself are:
Peace of mind – you feel more comfortable deceiving yourself than facing the truth.
Self-esteem – it makes you feel better about yourself.
Culpability – you can avoid responsibility for your actions.
Convenience – you can keep repeating past actions without having to change anything.
Everyone deceives themselves to some level, but that doesn’t make it harmless. This self-deception robs us of the clarity we need to make progress and achieve personal growth in our lives. Our lives improve by taking risks, and the very first risk we must take is to always be truthful with ourselves.
Stop thinking you’re not ready
It is extremely rare to feel 100% ready for a new challenge or experience. Few people are ever completely ready to do anything. And if you do feel ready, you’ve probably waited too long to start. In fact, I’d say being ready is a myth. Always waiting until you feel ready means you are probably just preventing yourself from experiencing the possibility of failure. If you consistently wait until you are ready, you might never take a chance, you may never move forward. And the truth is, if you don’t take the leap, you miss out on life. The key is to be prepared. Ready is abstract. Being prepared is real. Prepare yourself the best you can and take the first step. The time will never be just right so prepare as best you can and then take the leap.
Stop spending time with negative people
Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the joy out of life. Spending time with negative people can sap our happiness, self-esteem, motivation, productivity, and well-being. This will leave you in a bad mood, feeling cynical and drained of energy. Basically, spending time with negative people can really suck the happiness out of you by feeding on every ounce of positivity you have. Surround yourself only with positive people who will support you, uplift you, and bring you happiness.
Stop trying to make things perfect
Perfectionism can seep into every area of our lives. It is often seen as a positive trait but it can lead to self-defeating thoughts that make it much harder to achieve your goals. We live in a world where we are bombarded with images of perfection. Some of us are immune, but for most of us, the constant yearning for our life to be perfect leads us to create unrealistic expectations of ourselves. This can leave us feeling drained, exhausted, and ultimately defeated. Studies have shown that perfectionists tend to achieve less than non-perfectionists. Letting go of perfectionist behaviors is one of the most empowering things you can do.
Stop worrying so much
A quote I often refer to when I find myself worrying is: ‘Worrying does not take away tomorrow’s troubles, it takes away today’s peace.’ Everyone gets worried from time to time, but too much worry can make it difficult to enjoy life and negatively impact your health, weighing negatively on your relationships, self-esteem, and other aspects of your life. Try not to stress over things that don’t matter or worry about things you can’t control. Worrying will never change the outcome. Instead of worrying about what you cannot control, shift your energy to what you can do, and live in the present moment.
Stop explaining yourself to others
There’ll always be people who disagree with your decisions or your actions. But most often you cannot change someone’s mind or beliefs by trying to force them to see it your way. And anyway, you don’t owe anyone a reason. You don’t have to explain yourself or your choices to anyone. You don’t have to justify your actions to anyone. Your choices are yours alone and are no one else’s business. Let people think what they will. At the end of the day, if you did your best to treat people well and with kindness and compassion, then you’re doing ok.
Stop running from your problems.
What’s your initial response when faced with a problem? For many, it’s avoid it at all costs. And while that’s a natural reaction, it’s not the best response. Problems don’t go away on their own. You can either confront them and make them go away or live with them. Avoidance isn’t sustainable in the long term. Running away may work initially, but avoidance has three main consequences:
The problem will still exist, it may get worse, and might be even harder to overcome in the future.
Being aware of the problem and not dealing with it will likely Increase negative feelings like stress, anxiety, and fear.
You will lose confidence in your abilities to tackle future problems.
Facing problems head-on won’t be easy, but dealing with them as they arise will make you stronger. It will increase your self-confidence and resilience and help you grow into a more positive person. Remember that avoidance is not a solution. It’s just delaying a solution.
Stop living in the past
Many people find themselves stuck in the past, unable to let go of their memories, whether their past experiences were happy or upsetting. Even though we live in the present, living in the past can be a strong temptation to overcome. Maybe you had a traumatic experience that still requires healing, or maybe you yearn for the nostalgia and happy memories of your youth.
Living in the past is not a healthy state, yet many people find it hard to put the past behind them and start living in the now. Ultimately though, living in the past prevents you from fully enjoying your present life, holding you back from achieving your goals, and finding happiness. Try to change how you perceive the past. Work on forgiving yourself or others for past experiences. And most importantly, try to do something you love doing every day. This will help you focus on the now and help you let go of your past.
Stop being ungrateful
Stopping being ungrateful is a great way to enhance your life. Gratitude shifts our mindset and is a tonic for the heart and soul, bringing well-being and happiness into your life. When you’re ungrateful, you’re concentrating on what’s missing from your life. The choices you make will be based on what is lacking rather than what you already have to work with. The practice of gratitude allows you to take a step back from negative emotions such as anger, fear, or pain. Concentrating on the aspects of your life you are thankful for gives your mind the chance to be fuelled by inspiring positive energy.
The road to happiness and a stress-free life does not always require adding new things to your life. Just getting rid of certain habits may well be the key to solving your problems. Try practicing a few of the suggestions above and I’m sure your life will begin to improve in ways you never thought possible.
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