Things to Stop Doing for More Happiness

If you could use more happiness in your life, this post is for you.  I put together 9 Things to Stop Doing for More Happiness is Your Life.

9 Things to stop doing for more life happiness.

I know you've probably heard that in order to be happy, you need to do more self care.  And that may be true.  But there are probably a bunch of things that you are already doing that create the opposite of happiness and that's what I want to talk about today. 

We all have bad habits that cause us difficulty.  But the good news is that it is our bad habits so we have the power to change them!

9 Things to Stop Doing for More Happiness in Your Life

Boundaries quote.

Over Committing.  How many times have you been asked to do something and you said yes even though you were already too busy?  I am raising my hand because this describes me too.  The reason I have a tendency to do this (and you probably do too) is because I actually do like to help other people and do the things.  But if we constantly do them to the detriment of ourselves, well that helps no one.  It can lead to frustration, anger, illness, contempt and all sorts of emotions that are not great for happiness!  

How to Stop:  When asked, make sure you like your reasons for saying yes.  If you are saying yes so people will like you - not a good reason.  If you are saying yes because someone needs help - that's probably a good reason.  But you will have to evaluate your reasons and hold tight to them!

Skipping Meals and Forgetting Water.  Your body needs fuel and hydration.  We all know this, but it is easy to forget to drink and eat (or forget to eat well) when you are busy.  

How to Stop:  Feeding your body nutritious meals will help you to feel better, which will lead to your increased happiness.  And of course, drinking water is such an easy action so we all forget to do it!  BTW- while I was writing this, I realized I hadn't eaten a decent meal today so I stopped to go get food.  haha.  

Overthinking quote.

Over Thinking.  I found this quote by Ordinary and Happy and I think it just sums up.  When we over think, we apply meaning to things that may/may not be true.  We assume what the intent was, how they feel about us and what it means about us.  Then we react accordingly.  

How to Stop:  When you catch yourself ruminating and overthinking, do something to distract yourself. Read a book, listen to a podcast, talk to a friend, do a craft project, bake cookies or anything to get your brain thinking about something else.

Not Being Grateful.  Life is hard, but there is always something to be grateful for.  Our brains will always find what we are looking for.  So if we are constantly thinking about things we don't have, we absolutely will not be happy.  The way to remedy this is to constantly look for things to be grateful for.  

How to Stop:  I have talked about gratitude many times, but recently applied this theory even more intensely in my life and it has made such a difference.   Every day for 2 weeks I wrote down 25 things I was grateful for- half of them were things I was struggling with.  It trained my brain to look for things that were right instead of what was wrong!

Comparison quote.

Comparing.  I love this quote by Jessica Hottle.  When we compare, it's usually putting our messiness against someone else's public persona, or highlight reel.  They are messy too, because all humans are.  According to Psychology Today - While comparisons can be informative, they’re almost always discouraging, because someone’s always going to end up on the bottom. A better way to figure out "How am I doing?” might be to compare ourselves today to where we were in the past, or to where we want to be in the future.

How to Stop:  Rather than compare ourselves to other people, we should compare how we are doing today to how we were in the past!  We've almost always grown and bettered ourselves in one way or another.  

Blaming.  According to Private TherapyBlame is defined as assigning responsibility for a fault or wrong. We blame others for a number of events: so and so made us late, she made me feel guilty, they pressured me to make a decision, he made me explode with rage. Blaming others leads to several unhelpful emotions, such as resentment, anger, and hatred. We blame others for our behaviors, our thoughts, and our feelings that are negative. I have yet to meet anyone who blames people for the good things that happen in our lives.  

So why do we blame others?  The reason why people usually blame others is that it’s a quick escape from guilt. Blame is an incredibly easy and effortless tactic to use when we feel defensive. If you don’t hold yourself accountable for the consequences of your behaviors, thoughts, and feelings, you get to continue living life thinking that you don’t have any flaws or areas needing improvement. Blame is often used by those of us who have a desire or need to be perfect. 

I have found that blaming others for problems, makes us a victim and then we don't have to take responsibility for our life.  We can just be mad that we have been mistreated.  To work on this, accept yourself and accept others as flawed human beings.  If we realize that most people are concerned with themselves and what they have going on, we don't take things personally and blame.

How to Stop:  Accept that we are all flawed human beings with different brains, different life experiences, and different priorities.  Anther helpful thing to accept is that  you will probably be disappointed by someone close to you.  Grant them grace.

Screenshot of on June 22, 2022.

Obsessing About the State of the World.  We live in a time of the 24 hour news cycle, which can lead some to believe that the world is in a awful state.  It's probably no worse now that it has always been, yet we have constant access to everything that's wrong.  And negative content is click bait, which means negativity sells.  

How to Stop:  Turn off the news- whether that is tv, digital or social media.  You don't need to know everything all of the time.  Yes of course we should be informed in general, but not 24/7.  Take a breather and put things in perspective.

Screen shot of Instagram explore page on June 22, 2022.

Constantly Scrolling.  Being on social media stimulates our brain and can give us a hit of  feel good chemicals.   It helps us stay in touch with our friends and family.  We find ways others use their talents and it inspires us to do something similar.  But it also has a downside.  Like I said above, we compare - and we are constantly reading about the state of the world and it becomes habitual.  An article on Bustle says, A study published in 2021 in Neuron found another explanation for why you can’t stop doomscrolling once you start. When you face the choice between learning more about bad news or clicking away, parts of your brain that encourage you to continue learning light up. Even if the new info is making you feel bad, your brain’s preference is to know more instead of turning off your phone.  

How to Stop:  Give yourself limits by setting an alarm for how long you'll be on social media.  Then go and do something else.  Go visit a person in real life, go outside, play with your kids or your dog, clean your house... anything to use your brain in a different way.

Graphic showing what we are responsible for.

Putting Yourself in Charge of Other People's Happiness.  This one is hard for me.  I have been a mom for 21 years and feel like it's my job to make my kids happy.  And of course my husband, and my neighbors, and the people that go to my church, and the rest of my family, and the people that live in my town, etc.  But actually I am not ultimately responsible for anyone but myself.  

How to Stop:  Keep in mind that the only person you can control is you.  You can control your effort, your words, how you show up, your reasons for doing things.  Let others be responsible for themselves.  

Happiness is an inside job.  No one can make you happy and no one can make you unhappy.  You are ultimately responsible and the creator of your happiness.  Use these 9 Ideas to Help You Stop doing Things for More Happiness.