THRIVE II PREVIEW

9 Things You Need to Stop Doing to Live a Happier, More Self-Compassionate Life

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By Henrik Edberg | The Positivity Blog

“When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.”’
Helen Keller


“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
Mahatma Gandhi

Living a life where you’re happier and kinder towards yourself is not just about what you can do. But also about what you are already doing. And especially those habits that do have a negative and unhappy impact on your life.

So this week I’d like to share 9 such habits. And what have helped me a whole lot to do instead.

1. Stop overthinking.


Overthinking can make any issue seem bigger and scarier than it actually is. It can hold you back in life and from taking action.

What to do instead:

  • Set short time-limits for decisions. For example: For small decisions like if should go and do the laundry, start writing a new article or work out I usually give myself 30 seconds or less to make a decision. For somewhat larger decisions that would have taken me days or weeks to think through in the past I set a deadline for 30 minutes or at least for the end of the workday.
  • Keep a simple reminder where you cannot avoid seeing it every day. A note that said “Keep things extremely simple” on the white board I saw many times each day helped me greatly to – over time – minimize my overthinking.

2. Stop swimming in the sea of the most negative voices.

Our happiness is greatly influenced by the people and the other sources around us.

If you swim around in a sea of negative people and information that drag you down into fear, frustration and feeling powerless then that will limit your life.

What to do instead:

Figure out what the biggest time-wasters and energy-drains are among all those things that influence you.

  • What 1-2 people drag you and your thoughts down the most?
  • What 1-2 other sources like blogs, forums, books, magazines, music and movies have the biggest negative impact?

Write those answers down. Then think about what 1-2 people and 1-2 other sources that lift you up and make you feel happier about yourself and life the most.

Make a decision to spend less time with the 2-4 negative sources and to spend the time you have now freed up with those positive influences you listed.

3. Stop getting stuck in the past or future.

Spending too much time in the past usually leads to going over old mistakes or failures over and over again and to wishing you could go back and do something about them.

And spending too much time thinking about the future usually leads to worries and to building monsters and nightmare scenarios in your mind.

What to do instead:

Spend more of your time in the present moment. You’ll feel lighter, things will feel easier and you’ll be more alert to appreciate the small wonders of everyday life.

Reconnect with what’s happening right now by just sitting down and being still. Then either:

  • Just breathe. Spend a couple of minutes on focusing on just your breaths going in and out.
  • Only focus on what is going on around you right now. Do it with all your senses. Listen, see, smell and feel what is happening in your little part of the world at this moment.

4. Stop setting a too high bar for happiness.

A common mistake I used to make was to set a too high bar for my own happiness.

And so I usually only felt happy when I achieved something big, when I did something perfectly or when something unexpected and wonderful happened.

You don’t have to wait for those rare occasions to feel happy though.

What to do instead:

Tell yourself this as you get out of bed in morning:

Today I will have a low bar for happiness.

To remember to do this, consider writing it down on a note or on your cell phone so your see it first thing in the morning.

By doing so you’ll take fewer things for granted. Your attention will naturally be more on what is happening in your daily life and you’ll be more grateful for the things there. Like the food, the weather, hanging out with a friend or a pet for a while, the small gestures of kindness and the small moments that pass by so quickly.

This has at least been my experience with this habit. And it has not decreased my drive to achieve things or to get to done. Instead it has made daily life lighter to live. And the path to what I want to achieve a happier one to walk on.

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  1. 130919670605199@facebook.com' Justin Brownson says:

    Teresa Prouse

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