by Alexa Erickson
Are you happy? It’s a loaded question that makes you think. We all want to assume that on a fundamental level, yes, we most certainly are happy. But when we begin to nitpick, we soon discover there are some things that certainly don’t attribute to our overall happiness. The question brings up so many emotions that we often find ourselves shrugging it off. But the problem with that is, we are simply avoiding dealing with things that don’t serve us.
A part of being happy is living in the light, which means we are not in denial. We face our problems head on, and we work to weed them out of our lives for a happier self. So, are there any things in your life you’re ready to let go of? Here are 11 things that, if you give up all of them entirely, will help see yourself liberated from their negative weight and instead living a much happier life.
1. Let go of your desire to be right all the time.
So many of us NEED to always be right, and we may not even know it. If you find yourself in any type of conversation and become threatened by the idea of an alternative opinion, uncomfortable with someone interjecting, or downright angry if your facts are questioned (and even more so if they’re proven wrong), then you likely fall into this category. Don’t let your ego get in the way of a good conversation, of learning something new, or of allowing others to have a voice. Kindness matters most, and your need to be right only creates negative energy both for yourself and for those around you.
2. Let go of wanting to be in control.
Little will you grow if you try to control your life and the people and events in it. While it may seem easier said than done to give up telling someone they shouldn’t be doing something, ultimately, you’re wasting your time and energy. Focus on the natural flow of just living, not stirring up roadblocks for both you and everyone around you to constantly work to overcome. Things are going to happen whether you like it or not. It’s how you react that makes all the difference.
3. Let go of your need to put blame on something or someone.
When things aren’t going the way you want them to, you may seek for sources to blame. Whether it be a person or a circumstance, you are simply avoiding taking responsibility for your own life. It is easier to assume you are not capable of confronting and overcoming situations and reaching your goals because of people and things stopping you than it is to take action for your own role and push forward. Don’t let your beliefs of what you are capable of be halted by putting blame where it does not belong.
4. Let go of negative self-talk.
“I’m just not pretty enough,” “I’m not smart enough,” and “I’m not strong enough” are all self-defeating statements that will only set you back in life. You ARE pretty, smart, and strong enough, among many other things. The power of positive thinking can lead to incredible success and happiness.
5. Let go of complaining.
It’s a waste of your breath to fret about things that make you unhappy. Complaining tends to have a domino effect, where once you start doing it, you can’t stop, and those around you fall into the trap as well. Complaining about something gets you nowhere. If something makes you unhappy, ask yourself why, and then take action. You are the beholder of your own happiness, so if you choose to look at the situation differently, you’ll be amazed at how much lighter you instantly feel.
6. Let go of taking everything personally.
Sometimes people fail to meet your expectations, and you take it to heart. But the reality of the situation is that sometimes people need to be a little selfish, and it has nothing to do with you. Just because they cancel plans, go on a trip without you, or forget to call doesn’t mean you’re not worthy of their time, or that they don’t love you. When you give up taking everything personally, you let go of expectations, and things don’t feel so personal.
7. Let go of trying to impress people.
Being anything other than who you are is a waste of your precious time and everyone else’s. People want to be around you because of your unique attributes that draw them in, not because you’re trying to make them see how calm, cool, and collected you can be. The more you try to be someone you’re not, the more meaningless your friendships will become.
8. Let go of your fears.
“Love is what we are born with. Fear is what we learn,” says spiritual teacher Marianne Williamson. So if fear is a mere illusion that you create, you have the ability to relinquish it as well.
9. Let go of your opposition to change.
If everything stayed the same, we would learn nothing new. We need change in order to grow, in order to make improvements toward a happier and healthier life. Embrace change, because without it, you would never be able to truly appreciate the beauty of life.
10. Let go of looking over your shoulder.
What happened in the past has likely shaped you, but it certainly doesn’t define you. Dwelling on what could have been, or what went wrong, is wasted energy. The Buddhist philosophy of living in the present is a meditative experience, because by doing so, you are able to enjoy life, and not fret about things you can no longer control.
11. Stop trying to be happy.
It seems counterintuitive, but it’s true. When you TRY to be happy, you focus too much on the negatives. Happiness is already within us — it’s the negatives that we have created. Let go and live. Happiness is all around you and within.
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