We all want to be happy – that’s just a fact of life. However, no matter what we do or how much we attain, it always feels like something is missing. Therefore, that poses the question: what brings happiness and fulfillment? The answer lies in “giving up,” as contradictory as that sounds.
These are five things you need to give up for happiness and fulfillment:
1. Unhealthy coping mechanisms
Stress is inevitable, but appropriately reacting to it is an entirely different obstacle. Ask yourself: do your coping mechanisms improve the state of your stress or do they make it worse? Examples of harmful coping mechanisms include emotional eating, gambling, and substance abuse. While these things help your stress at the moment, they have the ability to become habitual. Instead of avoiding stress with unhealthy behaviors, make an effort to be productive with your coping mechanisms: dedicate time to a hobby, invest a moment into self-care, or even go outside and exercise. By doing so, you redirect your energy and emotions into a positive outlet, rather than avoiding a problem and hurting yourself in the process.
2. The need to please other people
It’s understandable that you want to be accepted and well-liked by other people, but that doesn’t mean your choices should be made based on what others want or expect from you. The most important opinion in this world is the one you have of yourself. People-pleasing is ultimately living your life for other people, who may not even care that your main goal is to please them or avoid disappointment.
3. Negative self-talk
Our worst critic is ourselves, but that doesn’t mean it has to be an angry and berating critic. Therefore, challenge your negative self-talk. Put it into perspective: is the negative self-talk realistic? What evidence deduces that you aren’t good enough, etc.? We all make mistakes and are imperfect, but that’s what makes us human and helps us become more emotionally mature and resilient people.
4. Toxic relationships
Toxic relationships do nothing but bring unnecessary stress and anxiety to your life. There’s no reason to be around people who are condescending, morally questionable, or emotionally draining. You should feel valued and like an equal in your relationships. Never settle for people who treat you like an inferior or only care about themselves.
5. An attitude of entitlement
Entitlement breeds laziness and close-mindedness, preventing you from ever growing as a person. Success does not fall into your lap, nor do you simply wake up one day owning everything you want. If you live life with an attitude of entitlement, you never learn to take responsibility for your actions. Happiness demands hard work – but accomplishing a goal is more fulfilling and rewarding than having everything handed to you.
The number one thing every human being has in common is the desire to achieve happiness and fulfillment. While that may be defined differently for each person, the solution is still the same: people must look within themselves to find happiness and fulfillment. Only through introspection, changing our attitude, and committing to the right actions can we truly satisfy our inherent restlessness.
Trevor is a freelance writer and recovering addict & alcoholic who’s been clean and sober for over 5 years. Since his recovery began, he has enjoyed using his talent for words to help spread treatment resources and addiction awareness. In his free time, you can find him working with recovering addicts or outside enjoying almost any type of fitness activity imaginable.
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