If your goal is to be a happier person, say goodbye to these 8 behaviors

We sometimes include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate disclosure.

Happiness. We all want it, yet it can often feel elusive. As someone who’s spent years studying mindfulness and Buddhism, I can tell you that being happier often involves letting go, not adding more.

There are certain behaviors that, even though we don’t realize it, can be sabotaging our happiness. Letting go of these behaviors is a crucial step towards a more fulfilled life.

In this article, I’m going to share eight behaviors you may need to say goodbye to, if your goal is to be a happier person. These aren’t just theories – they’re based on mindfulness principles I’ve studied and practiced for years.

Let’s dive in and start making some positive changes. Remember, happiness isn’t just about what you do – it’s also about what you stop doing.

1) Chasing after happiness

One of the biggest ironies in life is that often, the more we chase after happiness, the more it seems to elude us.

This is a trap that many of us fall into. We think that if we can just achieve that next goal, buy that new gadget, or find the perfect partner, then we’ll be happy. But this is an illusion.

In my study and practice of mindfulness and Buddhism, I’ve learned the importance of being present and content with where we are right now. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t strive for improvement or have goals, but rather, that we shouldn’t attach our happiness to these external things.

The constant pursuit of happiness can end up causing more stress and discontent. Instead, try to cultivate an attitude of gratitude for what you already have.

Happiness is a state of being, not a destination. If you’re always chasing after it, you’re missing out on the opportunity to experience it right now.

2) Holding onto grudges

We’ve all been hurt before. It’s part of life. But holding onto grudges and not forgiving others is one of the biggest roadblocks to happiness.

I’ve seen it in my own life, how holding onto a grudge can eat away at you. It’s like carrying a heavy backpack wherever you go. It’s exhausting and it prevents you from moving forward freely.

When we hold onto grudges, we’re not hurting the person who wronged us; we’re hurting ourselves. We’re filling our minds with negativity and blocking out the opportunity for happiness and peace.

It’s not always easy to forgive, I know. But letting go of grudges isn’t about saying that what the other person did was okay. It’s about choosing to free yourself from the burden of resentment.

This doesn’t mean you forget what happened or allow yourself to be hurt again. But by letting go of the anger and resentment, you free up space in your heart for more positive emotions.

Saying goodbye to holding onto grudges can be a powerful step towards becoming happier. It allows us to focus on the present and future, rather than being stuck in the past.

3) Clinging onto impermanent things

One of the core teachings of Buddhism is the understanding of impermanence. Everything in life is subject to change and nothing lasts forever.

Yet, many of us cling to things as if they’re going to last. We hold onto relationships, possessions, and even our own identities, as if they’re fixed and unchanging. But this only leads to suffering.

Because when things inevitably change or end, as they always do, we suffer. We grieve for the loss, we resist the change, and we struggle to adapt.

But here’s the raw and honest truth: clinging onto impermanent things is a surefire way to make ourselves unhappy. It’s like trying to hold water in our hands – no matter how tightly we grip, it will eventually slip through our fingers.

Instead, we can find peace and happiness by accepting the nature of impermanence. By letting go of our attachment to things and understanding that change is a natural part of life.

This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t care about anything or anyone. It simply means we should appreciate what we have while we have it, without expecting it to last forever.

4) Neglecting the present moment

We live in a world that’s constantly moving, constantly changing. And with our minds often racing to keep up, it’s easy to forget about the present moment.

We dwell on the past, worry about the future, and often miss what’s happening right in front of us. This is a surefire way to miss out on happiness.

Mindfulness teaches us to focus on the now, to engage fully with the present moment. It’s not about ignoring the past or future, but rather, about not letting them dominate our thoughts and emotions.

But here’s the raw and honest truth: neglecting the present moment robs us of our ability to truly live. We miss out on life’s little pleasures and ignore the opportunities for joy that are right in front of us.

Saying goodbye to neglecting the present moment can open up a new world of happiness. It allows us to appreciate what we have right now and to find joy in the simplest things.

After all, life isn’t a series of past memories or future projections. It’s a series of present moments. And by fully embracing each one, we can find a deeper, more lasting happiness.

5) Letting ego control your actions

We all have an ego. It’s that little voice in our head that tells us we’re better than others, or that we need to protect our image at all costs. It’s the part of us that seeks validation and fears criticism.

I’ve noticed in my own life how the ego can lead to unhappiness. It creates a constant need for approval and a fear of being judged. It prevents us from being authentic and true to ourselves.

In my book, Hidden Secrets of Buddhism: How To Live With Maximum Impact and Minimum Ego, I delve deeper into the concept of ego from a Buddhist perspective.

The ego isn’t inherently bad, but when it’s in control, it can lead us down a path of selfishness and dissatisfaction.

Saying goodbye to letting ego control your actions can dramatically boost your happiness. It can help you live more authentically, with less fear of judgement, and with a greater sense of peace.

You are not your ego. You’re so much more than that. And when you learn to manage your ego rather than letting it manage you, you’ll find a whole new level of happiness.

6) Resisting change

Change is a natural part of life. Seasons change, people change, and yes, we change too. Yet, many of us resist change as if it’s our enemy.

We try to keep things the same, to maintain the status quo, because it feels comfortable and safe. But this resistance to change is a major source of unhappiness.

Here’s the raw and honest reality: life is constantly changing whether we like it or not. Resisting change is like trying to swim against a powerful current – it’s exhausting and ultimately futile.

Buddhism and mindfulness teach us the wisdom of accepting change. They remind us that just like the seasons, change is natural and inevitable.

When we stop resisting change and start embracing it, we open ourselves up to new experiences, growth, and ultimately, happiness.

7) Comparing yourself to others

In this age of social media, it’s easier than ever to compare ourselves to others. We see their highlight reels and start to feel inadequate, as if we’re somehow falling behind.

But here’s the raw and honest truth: comparing yourself to others is a recipe for unhappiness. It leads to envy, self-doubt, and dissatisfaction.

As the famous mindfulness teacher Jon Kabat-Zinn said, “Until you stop breathing, there’s more right with you than wrong with you.”

When we compare ourselves to others, we’re often focusing on what we think we lack. But this only leads to a sense of inadequacy and dissatisfaction.

You’re unique. Your path won’t look like anyone else’s – and that’s something to celebrate, not compare.

8) Overthinking everything

It might seem counterintuitive, but the more we think, the more we can sabotage our own happiness.

Overthinking often leads to anxiety, stress, and unhappiness. We analyze every detail, imagine every possible outcome, and often create problems that don’t even exist.

Mindfulness teaches us to quiet our minds, to focus on the present moment instead of getting lost in our thoughts. It’s about acknowledging thoughts without getting caught up in them.

Saying goodbye to overthinking doesn’t mean ignoring problems or avoiding difficult decisions. It’s about learning to trust your instincts and not letting your mind run wild with worries and fears.

Not everything needs to be analyzed and dissected. Sometimes, it’s okay to just let things be.

Let go of overthinking. Embrace the present moment. You might be surprised at how much happier you become.

Conclusion

Happiness isn’t just about adding positive habits to our lives; it’s also about saying goodbye to behaviors that hold us back.

By letting go of these eight behaviors, we can create space for more joy, peace, and contentment in our lives. But remember, change takes time and it’s okay to take small steps.

If you’re interested in diving deeper into the teachings of Buddhism and mindfulness and how they can help you live a happier life with maximum impact and minimum ego, I invite you to check out my book, Hidden Secrets of Buddhism: How To Live With Maximum Impact and Minimum Ego.

Remember, happiness is a journey, not a destination. So be gentle with yourself as you embark on this path of self-improvement. You’re already taking the first step by being here, reading this article.

Here’s to your happiness!

Did you like my article? Like me on Facebook to see more articles like this in your feed.

Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

9 behaviors that instantly make people respect you when you first meet them

People who are emotionally wounded but won’t talk about it usually display these 9 subtle behaviors