“When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” – John Lennon
Often in life we feel that success comes at the price of happiness. However, this is not how life should be. If one has to compromise on happiness for success, it is time to sit back and reevaluate the definition of success.
Happiness and success can, and does go hand in hand in life, if you know the right things to give up to be happy.
If there is one food you need to give up immediately, it is sugar. Not only does sugar expose you to the risk of several diseases, it also leads to obesity and lethargy. If you are feeling tired and lacking enthusiasm in life, sugar maybe one of the things to blame.
2. Processed foods
Processed food, such as canned fruits and vegetables, pre-cooked food, processed meat products and meat replacements, is one of the biggest causes of ill health and obesity. These contain artificial ingredients such as colors, flavoring agents, additives, preservatives and other harmful chemicals, which can cause several illnesses, fatigue and lack of energy.
Replace your processed and artificial food with fresh and locally grown food.
3. Junk food
Regular consumption of junk food deprives your body of the necessary micro and macro nutrients which are essential for the healthy functioning of your body.
The lack of these nutrients leads to not only illnesses and obesity, but can also affect the hormones, impact mental health, increase depression and mood swings and lethargy, leading to a loss of productivity.
4. Not drinking enough water
It is important to stay hydrated. Dehydration causes fatigue and muscle pain, and makes you susceptible to illnesses. An adequately hydrated body has the proper balance of dopamine, oxytocin and serotonin which keeps you feeling happier and more content.
5. Staying up late
Listen to your body and quit staying up late. During sleep, your body repair and restores itself so you can wake up feeling refreshed and full of energy. Lack of sleep not only leaves you fatigued; it also affects your memory, problem solving and reasoning skills.
So make it a point to go to bed early and wake up early to maximize your productivity.
6. No regards towards mental health
Your mental health is of utmost importance as a poor mental health not only affects your productivity, it also affects your memory and brain functions, slowing you down, and drowning you in lethargy.
Pay attention to your mental health. Practice yoga, meditation and mindfulness to become more conscious of your mind, thoughts and emotions.
7. No exercise
Exercise is necessary for everyone. Not only does it help you stay in shape, it improves mobility of the joints, tones the body and builds strength. It also regulates the flow of hormones which improve your mood. Try to get at least 20 to 30 minutes of exercise every day.
Make simple lifestyle changes such as walking or cycling instead of driving (whenever possible) and taking the stairs instead of using the elevator.
Don’t keep putting off things which you need to do. It simply delays you from your work and makes you go through unnecessary stress and anxiety as the deadline approaches. If you need to do something, do it now so that you can meet your goals at a comfortable pace. Even when it comes to other aspects of life, be it learning a new skill, starting a healthy lifestyle or anything you want to do, don’t keep procrastinating because right now is as good a time as ever.
9. Pushing yourself too much
One of the worst things you can do is to push yourself too hard. Instead of pushing yourself to a far fetched long term goal, set yourself realistic short term goals, which you can achieve.
Once you start fulfilling them, you will be motivated to take it forward. You will find yourself working harder and succeeding without making yourself miserable. Take a step back and relax, you will achieve everything you want.
10. Comparing yourself with others
Everyone has a different pace and a unique way of working and talents. Stop comparing yourself to others and believe in yourself first. Understand and respect the fact that every individual is different and their aims are never the same, and hence, what might not seem like a big success, might actually be a major step towards your goal.
You will achieve your success at your own pace and comparing it with anyone else will not do much good. Trust yourself and be true to your intent.
11. Fear of judgment
Don’t let the fear of judgement stop you from trying someone new. More often than not, it is usually your own mental blockage which holds you back, so this time let go of that and live life to its fullest. You might end up discovering a new talent or a fun hobby you can cherish. Once you give up on the fear of judgment you will essentially learn to care less about what other people think of you.
12. The inability to say no
Learn to say no. You do not have to please everyone and agree to everything. Do not let people walk all over you or take you for granted, simply because you cannot say no. This can be terrible for your mental health. Muster up the confidence and learn to respectfully decline or disagree with someone.
13. Negative thoughts
Negative thoughts can be a major hindrance in your path of success as negativity bogs you down with unhappiness, discontent, lack of confidence and doubt. Let go of your negative thoughts and emotions.
Every time you feel a negative thought, drive it away with positive reinforcement and you can banish away negativity from your life. Positive attitude will help you navigate through life and achieve your dreams faster.
Doubting yourself is the worst thing you can do to your confidence. The more you drown in self-doubt, the more you will question every single decision and choice you make. This will pull you away from success. Believe in yourself and it will make a world of difference to your self confidence and strength.
15. Delaying happiness
Don’t be stingy towards bringing yourself happiness. Often in life, we tend to battle with unrealistic expectations from our own selves, failing which we end up punishing the self. Instead of that, appreciate what you have done and achieved. Don’t starve yourself of happiness and instead do things, which you want to do. Reward yourself for every small goal that you achieve. Take some time out for pampering and self care.
16. Giving in to impulses
While every move in life cannot be a calculated choice, it is important to learn to control your impulses.
Every time you want to take a really impulsive decision, step back and ponder if you should really do it and what impact your choice has. This will help you gain perspective, take better decisions and be a stronger person.
Anger is an extremely negative emotion, which not only affects your life and relationships, but also has immense harmful effects on your health. Every time you get angry, isolate yourself from the situation, and take some time out to cool down. Regular Pranayama and meditation has significant impact in improving temper issues and better anger management.
Let go of your ego. Accept yourself with your shortcomings, and learn to be humble. Humility is an important trait, and it will help you reach your dreams, build better bonds with your dear ones and win their love.
19. Holding on to Grudges
Holding on to grudges is not worth it. If someone has treated you badly, forgive and move on. Maybe take it as a lesson to avoid the circumstances or person behind it, but do not hold on to the negativity of grudges.
A bad thing does not deserve that much of time and attention, which you could otherwise focus on better things. Be the bigger person and you will enjoy immense satisfaction in life.
20. Toxic relationships
Letting go of toxic people in your life is utterly important. These are the ones who pull you back from your happiness and success. Be it family, friends, partner or anyone else, try to identify the toxic patterns and isolate yourself from that immediately. It is not wrong to cut people off for your well being.
Summing it Up
Letting go of some things can be the most liberating and enriching experience. It could be just the push you need in the direction of happiness, success and a better life.
This is a guest post by Om Singh. Om Singh is a blogger at Retreat Kula, a website that offers best yoga and Ayurveda retreats around the world. He is always on the lookout for interesting places to visit. It took him 25 years of his life to realize where his true calling lies, but once that was done, there’s been no looking back.