17 Things You Should Avoid Doing If You Want To Be Happy

by Ashley Fern

Achieving true happiness isn't a one-step process. It's an alteration of a current lifestyle; it's trimming the fat and removing what is bringing negativity in your life. It's realizing the difference between what should remain in yours and what shouldn't.

The feat is not easy, but once the process begins, you will ask yourself why you didn't make any of these changes sooner. Despite what many believe, it's not too late to bring happiness into your life.

1. Involving yourself in drama

Why adults still engage in petty behavior is beyond me. At this age, we should bypass the bullsh*t and focus on ourselves and what's going on in our personal lives.

There's no reason to butt yourself in someone else's business as you would be pretty pissed off if someone did the same to you.

Don't involve yourself in things that are irrelevant to your own life. Instead focus on yourself and how to improve your own life.

2. Having unrealistic expectations

Expectation is the root of all disappointment. You set yourself up for failure by putting too much pressure on a person or a situation.

Things rarely live up to the picture in your mind, which is why so many experience disappointment.

3. Settling

Whether this is in your relationships, your career or your friendships, settling never propelled anyone to greatness.

Accepting the bare minimum from any of these aspects will surely put you on the fast track to boredom and complacency, which will only lead to unhappiness.

4. Always saying yes

Learning to say no is one of the most freeing and powerful things you can learn in your lifetime. Rarely do people say no to someone if they don't have an excuse.

You need to realize that not wanting to do something is excuse enough. You only have so much time, you need to spend it doing things you actually enjoy.

5. Doing things in excess

Doing things in excess may be fun while you're doing them, but afterwards these moments can seem regrettable.

Eating, drinking, drug use -- you name it. People overindulge all the time and then they wonder why they aren't happy. Moderation is key and the sooner it's realized, the better off you will be.

6. Listening to public opinion

Just because the majority of people believe something to be right or true does not mean it is. Most people do not have the courage to express their own beliefs and, as a result, simply follow the steps of others, regardless if they agree with them or not.

7. Living in the past

The past is over, there's nothing to do but to accept it for what it was and move on. Sure the past will teach you lessons to take into your future, but there is no need to dwell on it constantly.

The sooner you make peace with your past, the better your present will be. It doesn't matter who you were before as long as you are happy with the person you are in the present moment.

8. Going back to your exes

These people are in your past and should be left there for good. There is a reason things didn't work out with them in the first place.

Most breakups will leave you with a ton of unanswered questions, but it's up to you to find your own closure. You don't get closure from another person, you get it from yourself.

9. Taking on more than you can handle

Life is one huge balancing act and if you bury yourself under too many tasks, you may never emerge again. Learning how to prioritize is an essential skill in life and one that will render a lifetime of happiness.

Stress is the quickest way to lose sight of what's important in life. By managing your tasks in the right way, you have a greater chance of avoiding this stress.

10. Comparing yourself to others

You are not someone else and no matter how hard you may try, you will never be. It may sound clichéd, but the only person you can be better than is the person you were yesterday.

You will only set back your own personal progress if you remain fixated on the progress of another person.

11. Gossiping

There is absolutely no reason to concern yourself with someone else's behavior if it has absolutely nothing to do with you.

All this will do is stress you out and distract you from focusing on yourself and your own personal needs. Why do you even care what's going on in someone else's life if it has no bearing on your well-being?

12. Dating someone completely wrong for you

Why would anyone who wants to be happy waste his or her precious and valuable time dating someone who is so clearly wrong for him or her?

Too many people get complacent and comfortable in their relationships and see no reason to end them, even though their partners aren't making them happy.

13. Having pessimistic tendencies

Always seeing the glass half empty is a terrible way to go about life. By focusing on all the negatives in your life, you are ignoring how fortunate you are in other aspects.

The saying, "If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back," exists for a reason.

14. Over-criticizing yourself

Self-reflection is a great tool in life, but it takes a whole different meaning when you constantly put yourself down.

Spending your time nitpicking pointless details about yourself is not a good way to encourage yourself to be better. Think positively, open your mind and focus on improving yourself rather than hating on yourself.

15. Isolating yourself

Spending time alone can be a nice breath of fresh air, but that is vastly different from living life in a state of isolation.

Happy people like to surround themselves with others because they can learn from their experiences. Sure, some things may be fun to do on your own, but most things are much more enjoyable with the company of others.

16. Overlooking experiences for material possessions

Just because something isn't tangible does not mean it isn't worthwhile. You can get a greater deal of fulfillment by spending your time experiencing life instead of investing in material possessions.

Sure, having nice things is great, but what does that have to show for your life? Traveling and immersing yourself in another culture can garner a much greater reward and sense of purpose.

17. Passing judgments

Why judge someone else? You don't know anything about other people's lives or what they've been through.

There's no reason to hold someone to a "standard" you created in your mind when you know you've gone against that standard at some point in your life. Let people behave the way they wish to and continue living your own life.

Photo Credit: Amanda Shadforth