Happiness is a choice; there is no doubt about that. You can either remain stuck to people and things that bring you down, or you can give them up and make progress towards living a merry and content life.

Below you will find a short list of things you need to give up to stand any chance of being happy. I am guilty of everything on the list and I still find myself doing these things, however I am aware when I do it and am slowly changing my habits.

It’s said that it takes 21 days to form any habit, but reprogramming your way of thinking is a completely different story: You are undoing years of behavioural patterns that you, until now, believed were right. The good news is, it is possible with persistence and repetition. Over time you will change your habits and, as a result, feel much happier. Take an honest look at yourself to see whether you are guilty of these traits:

1. Give up caring about others opinions of you

It really should not matter to you what others think about you. You can’t change their minds, so just let it be.

2. Give up caring about making everyone happy

There is no way that you can make every person around you happy. The more you try, the more unhappy you will end up. Remain true to yourself and try not to hurt people in the process; keeping a balance between these two things is the perfect mix for making sure that you are happy.

3. Give up being a part of the gossip group

It stands to reason that people who gossip to you, when given a chance, will most definitely gossip about you.  Gossip is poisonous, plain and simple. Give up that group of rumour-mongers in your life and you will find yourself calmer, happier, and better respected for it. If you cannot give them up, at least don’t gossip back: rise above it, and eventually they will get the message.

4. Give up on blaming somebody

We spend our lives blaming other people for our current situation, whether it be our parents, the government, or our neighbours. You need to stop and take responsibility for your own actions. Instead of wasting time and energy on assigning blame, accept what you can’t change and work on fixing what you can.

5. Give up on your need to be right all the time

So many people lead a frustrated life because of this obsessive need to be right all the time. We spend too much time arguing over our views. You’re not going to change their opinion, they aren’t going to change yours. You will both end up in a poorer mood and your relationship will suffer. Choose to accept other people’s opinions rather than insisting yours is better.

6. Give up thinking inside the box

It’s a cliché but nothing is black and white; there are grey areas in all things. This is why you should always be open to new ideas and beliefs, and why you should not think of things as impossible before at least making an attempt.

7. Give up on resisting change

If there is one thing in life that is constant, it is that things change. You need to understand changes in your life and be ready to adapt to them. If you planned on something happening in one manner, and it ended up happening in another, then do not lose control; it is okay for things to take a detour. It’s also very likely! Be willing to face the unknown.

8. Give up the past

I am not saying you need to forget your past, but you do need to stop living in it. Stop blaming it for your current situation, and don’t paralyse yourself by thinking the past will repeat itself. I believed my past gave me so many excuses for my current situation, but that was the wrong attitude to have.

9. Give up on taking everything personally

If your best friend is not in the mood to talk, it might not mean they are mad at you, maybe they just had a rough day. Don’t assume the worst in this kind of situation, stop making everything about you, and, if there really is a problem then clear the air and work through it.  If you can’t fix it, then just let it be.

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