We all know- or have at least witnessed from a distance- that one person who goes about their day being just oh-so-cheerful and filled with joy. I mean, how do they do that? What’s their secret recipe? Well, there’s more to achieving happiness than just being happy. People who seem effortlessly happy from day to day have most likely gained such admirable self-satisfaction from years of inner reflection and mental healing. Let’s take a look at the few things they steered clear from doing in order to sustain their happiness.
Before we get started, please keep in mind that the following article is purely for educational purposes, and is meant to be used as a general guidance for your mental wellbeing.
1. They Don’t Avoid Their Emotions
Just because happy people are happy… doesn’t actually mean that they can only be happy. Sounds ironic, but it’s true. People who are positive don’t block out their negative emotions. They actually confront them- it’s the only way you can surpass them. If you bottle up and ignore your emotions, they will only serve to explode at the worst times. “Happy” people accept all their emotions, try to understand where they are coming from, sit with them, then give themselves the time and patience to work through their difficult feelings, then take action towards feeling better, so that they can ultimately come out of the situation feeling stronger and ready to march on.
2. They Don’t Avoid Addressing Anything That Bothers Them
Similar to how they don’t ignore their emotions, subjectively happy people don’t avoid addressing something that bothers them. Say you’re at work, and your co-worker makes a snarky remark stereotyping you in some way. If someone does something that bothers you, and you don’t correct them (sometimes with the valid fear of confrontation), you will only waste time and energy in holding resentment towards them. And this resentment will grow to unhealthy levels, causing you to continually suppress your emotions and eventually hold an internal grudge towards someone that has, knowingly or unknowingly, wronged you. Happy people speak up to make sure that they are heard and treated with the respect they deserve.
3. They Don’t Let Others Define Success For Them
If there’s a particular takeaway from the one thing happy people definitely don’tdo, it would be this: happy people don’t let anyone define their success. Happy people set their own goals, chase after their own dreams, follow their own paths, and most importantly, stick to their own lane. Happy people try not to let jealousy get the best of them. They don’t see others’ successes as threats, but rather, as incentives and inspiration to keep them going. Happy people never stop moving, but will pay attention to their needs and slow down if they have to. As Diana Reid, entrepreneur and CEO of The Personal Freedom Project states, “Happy people don’t conform. They are trailblazers who follow their heart, who make their own decisions.” Happy people set their own standards and expectations, and commit to them with all they’ve got.
4. They Don’t Waste Their Time
Happy people make sure to use every minute in every hour productively.
They have a clear idea of their intentions, and don’t waste precious time. Let’s pause for a second for a quick reflection question: what do you think of when you hear the word “productivity”? Do you think, “keeping busy”, or “more work” “staying constantly occupied”? This is what comes to most people’s minds when thinking about being productive. But contrary to popular belief, being productive doesn’t necessarily mean getting more work done, it means to use your time fruitfully, for valuable intentions, and with good purpose. As long as what you are doing at any given moment checks off these key elements of productivity, keep going without a doubt. This includes physical and mental rest too! So the next time you try to finish a task twice as fast to accomplish twice as much, take a moment to think whether it’s really worth the effort.
5. They Don’t Worry About Things That Are Not In Their Control
Happy people don’t dwell on problems and inconveniences that are not in their control. Suzanne Degges-White, Ph.D, a licensed counselor and professor at Northern Illinois University, identifies one of the key psychological abilities of a “happy” person as their ability to debunk negative thoughts. She explains, “You can only control so much: Things like the weather and other people are beyond your reach. So let go of negative thoughts that get in the way of your well-being.” Worrying makes the mind run overtime- it’s just too much work! When happy people are faced with a problem, they adopt a healthier approach to analyze if it’s even worth worrying over. You can almost think of it like conducting an interview with you as the manager, getting to know your problem. Would it even go through the first qualifications to make it count as an actual “problem”? If it does, can you do something about it? No? Well then it may be time to let go of it, my friend. Here’s a helpful visual that represents a healthier approach to problem-solving:
In the famous wise words of Dory, from Finding Nemo, “Just keep swimming”!
We hope you found these tips helpful! Remember, happiness doesn’t necessarily happen overnight, and you can’t exactly expect for “happy” things to occur all the time. However, you do have the ability to choose to be happy. Many of us walk through life carrying wounds from our past struggles and traumas, and need to take the time to heal and rise back up. Positivity takes sincere dedication and patience. You got this!
Davis, T. (2018, January 1). How to Be Happy: 23 Ways to Be Happier. Psychology Today. Retrieved September 20, 2021, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/click-here-happiness/201801/how-be-happy-23-ways-be-happier.
Degges-White, S. (2019, June 21). 7 Things Happy People Do (And What They Don’t Do). Psychology Today. Retrieved September 23, 2021, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/lifetime-connections/201906/7-things-happy-people-do-and-what-they-dont-do.
Parker-Pope, T. (n.d.). How to Be Happy. The New York Times. Retrieved September 20, 2021, from https://www.nytimes.com/guides/well/how-to-be-happy.
Reid, D. (2014, September 23). 15 Things Happy People Don’t Do. Lifehack. Retrieved September 20, 2021, from https://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/15-things-happy-people-dont.html.
Wax, D. (2012, December 19). 10 Productivity Myths That Hold You Back. Lifehack. Retrieved September 20, 2021, from https://www.lifehack.org/articles/featured/10-productivity-myths-that-hold-you-back.html.
YouTube. (2021). How To Be Happy – 12 Things Happy People Don’t Do. YouTube. Retrieved September 20, 2021, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05fEZpDorEA.