Everyone desires happiness in their life, but unfortunately, not everyone is happy. And while happiness is different for everyone, there are steps you can start taking now to achieve this seemingly unreachable (not true) goal.

Similar to how beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so is happiness. But true happiness doesn’t come from extravagant things- it comes from the simplicity of living happily moment by moment. If you are unhappy, you may likely be holding on to parts of yourself and parts of your life that are holding you back. And by letting them go, you open yourself up to true happiness.

Here are 12 things you need to let go of now to be happy.

1. Comparing yourself to others.

Stop comparing yourself to others. It’s completely unfair to compare your life to others because you only see what they want you to see. if you truly saw all of their struggles and their darkest moments, you would likely see that your life is better than you thought. So stop comparing yourself to others- your journey is unique to you and their journey is unique to you. Enjoy the life you have and work to make it better.

2. The past.

I once heard someone say “you can not move forward if you are looking back.” And it stuck with me. Think about it: if you were trying to run to a finish line and you kept looking backward, you would likely fall. At the very least, it would slow you down. Continuing to focus on the past is quite similar to this.

3. Your mistakes.

Mistakes aren’t meant to be burdens we carry around with us for the rest of our lives. Our mistakes are simply lessons for us to learn from so we can do better next time. Learn from your mistakes, set out to do things differently moving forward, and let go of them.

4. Grudges

It’s completely normal to not want to be a part of a bad situation, but if you let go of a bad situation or a person who did you wrong, you must let go of the negative feelings you have about them as well. Grudges will harm you far more than they harm the person you are angry at.

5. Fake friends.

Who has time to cling to people that don’t care about you? Instead, prioritize the people that matter most to you, and use the rest of your time to focus on doing things that make you happy.

6. The wrong priorities.

You will waste your life doing things that have no meaning or use in your life or for your path. And wasted time on the wrong priorities takes time away from the ones that bring meaning and happiness to your life.

7. Hating your body.

If you are waiting to be a certain size, or look a certain way to be happy- you will never be happy. Stop hating your body, and love it enough to do
what is healthy and productive for it to thrive.

8. Caring about what others think of you.

There are a lot of things you can control in your life- and what people think of you is not one of them. Let go of worrying about what others think and focus on what you can do to make yourself happy.

9. Social media addiction.

In a national study carried out by the Journal of Social Science and Medicine, they discovered that 44% of people aged 19-32 believed they had a bad relationship with social media. Most of them believed they had an addiction. And the ones that considered themselves to have an addiction had lower moods, higher anxiety, and lower self-esteem.

10. Drinking too much.

Many people drink frequently and too much because deep down they believe that alcohol makes them happy. In all actuality, drinking too much and too often does the opposite, as alcohol is a depressant that increases cortisol (the stress hormone) in the body. So, if you know deep down you are drinking too much, perhaps it’s time to let go of that bad habit or at least cut back.

11. The idea of a perfect partner.

Perfection doesn’t exist, not in us and not in anyone else. You have to meet people where they are at and have to accept that we don’t have control over anyone but ourselves. Find someone that you love, someone that you work well with, and someone who loves you. And accept them, flaws and all.

12. The idea that money will make you happy.

The best things in life truly are free. Money is not going to make you happy. Stop equating money with happiness, and find happiness where you are now.

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