Letting go of these 11 things will instantly boost your happiness

You know how we all want to be happy, right? But it sometimes feels a bit tricky.

What if I told you that the secret to happiness might not be where you’re looking?

Believe it or not, getting rid of certain things from our lives can sometimes make us a whole lot happier.

Let’s dive into seven things you might consider letting go of to boost your happiness levels.

1. Worrying about the past

Ah, the past – it’s a tricky thing, isn’t it? It’s filled with memories, some good and some not so good.

We’ve all had moments we wish we could change or decisions we’d love to redo.

However, constantly worrying about the past can act as a happiness roadblock.

Here’s the thing: no matter how much we fret, we can’t change what’s already happened. Worrying about it only steals our present joy and future peace.

So, one of the best things you can do for your happiness is to let go of past worries.

Remember, we learn from our past; we don’t live in it. Use your past experiences as lessons to guide your future actions, not as baggage to weigh you down.

Letting go doesn’t mean forgetting or ignoring your past; it means accepting what happened, learning from it, and then moving on.

It might be easier said than done, but trust me, once you start to practice this, you’ll feel a lot lighter—and happier.

2. Comparison with Others

Hey, have you ever looked at someone else’s life and thought, “Wow, they really have it all together!”?

We all do it, right? With social media showcasing the highlight reels of everyone’s life, it’s easy to fall into the comparison trap.

But let’s be real, this habit can be a real happiness killer.

The truth is, everyone is on their own unique journey. Comparing our behind-the-scenes to someone else’s highlights isn’t fair to us. It’s like comparing apples and oranges – they’re both fruits but totally different.

When we constantly compare ourselves to others, we’re setting ourselves up for disappointment. We start to focus on what we don’t have instead of appreciating what we do have.

So here’s an idea: Let’s ditch the comparisons! Instead, celebrate your own achievements, no matter how small they may seem. Appreciate the progress you’ve made in your own life.

The only person you should compare yourself to is the person you were yesterday.

3. Holding Grudges

It’s something we’ve all done at some point, including yours truly.

A few years back, I had a falling out with a close friend. Misunderstandings led to harsh words, and before we knew it, our friendship was strained. I was deeply hurt and held onto that grudge for a long time.

Here’s the thing I realized: the grudge wasn’t hurting my friend; it was hurting me. I was carrying around this heavy emotional baggage that was draining me and making me unhappy.

One day, I decided to let go of the grudge. It wasn’t easy, but it was necessary for my happiness.

I reached out to my friend, we talked it out, and though things weren’t instantly back to normal, it felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders.

The lesson here? Holding onto grudges is like holding onto a hot coal with the intention of throwing it at someone else; you’re the one who gets burned.

So if you’re holding onto any grudges, consider letting them go. It doesn’t mean you’re forgetting what happened or that you’re okay with it; it just means you’re choosing your own peace and happiness over resentment.

4. Perfectionism

Perfectionism can actually make us less productive and, believe it or not, less successful.

Perfectionists often set unrealistically high standards for themselves, and when they don’t meet these impossible goals, they end up feeling disappointed and unhappy.

This constant pursuit of ‘perfect’ can lead to procrastination, stress, and even health problems.

Let’s face it – nobody’s perfect, and that’s perfectly okay! The beauty of life lies in its imperfections.

The mistakes we make, the lessons we learn from them, the growth we experience – that’s what life is all about.

Instead of striving for perfection, why not strive for progress? Focus on improving a little bit each day. Celebrate your small victories and learn from your failures.

5. Fear of Change

Change is a part of life. And yet, it’s something that many of us fear. We get comfortable in our routines, our habits, our ways of thinking, and any disruption can feel scary.

But clutching onto the familiar and resisting change can keep us stuck in the same place, hindering our growth and happiness.

Here’s a heartfelt truth: change is inevitable, but growth is optional. Life will change around us whether we like it or not, but it’s up to us to adapt and grow with it.

Imagine if a caterpillar resisted change because it was afraid. It would never discover its potential to transform into a beautiful butterfly.

Similarly, if we let go of our fear of change, we open ourselves up to new opportunities, experiences, and levels of happiness we never thought possible.

So, dare to embrace change! It might feel uncomfortable at first, but remember, growth often requires stepping out of your comfort zone.

Letting go of your fear of change doesn’t just boost your happiness – it can also set you on the path to becoming the best version of yourself.

6. Trying to Please Everyone

For a long time, I was a chronic people-pleaser. I would bend over backwards to keep everyone around me happy, often at the expense of my own needs and happiness.

If you can relate, let me share something I learned the hard way: Trying to please everyone is an impossible task.

Not only that, but it can also leave you feeling drained, unappreciated, and downright unhappy.

One day, I decided enough was enough. I realized that it was time to start prioritizing my own happiness. I began setting boundaries, saying ‘no’ when necessary, and taking care of my own needs.

And guess what? The world didn’t end. People didn’t stop liking me. In fact, I noticed that the more I respected my own needs, the more others did too.

The takeaway here? It’s important to care about others and be kind, but not at the cost of your own well-being.

You have every right to prioritize your happiness. Remember, you can’t pour from an empty cup.

7. Negative Self-Talk

We all have that inner voice, right? The one that likes to point out our flaws, dwell on our mistakes, and tell us we’re not good enough. That voice can be our own worst enemy.

Negative self-talk can be brutal. It chips away at our confidence, magnifies our insecurities, and robs us of our happiness. And the worst part? We often don’t even realize we’re doing it.

But here’s the truth: you wouldn’t talk to your best friend the way you talk to yourself sometimes, would you? So why do it to yourself?

It’s high time we stopped being so hard on ourselves. Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone has flaws. That’s what makes us human.

Instead of beating ourselves up with negative self-talk, let’s start treating ourselves with kindness and compassion.

Let’s celebrate our strengths, learn from our mistakes, and most importantly, let’s talk to ourselves like we would to someone we care about.

Trust me, once you start replacing negative self-talk with positive affirmations, you’ll notice a huge shift in your mood and overall happiness.

8. Living in the Future

Did you know that research has shown that people who practice mindfulness – that is, focusing on the present moment – are generally happier than those who don’t? It’s true!

Many of us have a tendency to constantly think about the future. We worry about what’s to come, we plan for all possible outcomes, and in doing so, we miss out on the joy of living in the present.

Constantly living in the future means we’re not truly living in the now. And let’s be honest, the future is not guaranteed. All we truly have is this moment, right here, right now.

So why spend your precious time worrying about something that hasn’t happened yet? Instead, try to focus on the present moment. Enjoy it, live it, cherish it.

Living in the now doesn’t mean you shouldn’t plan for your future at all. It just means you shouldn’t let your future plans steal your present happiness.

Let’s try to let go of constantly living in the future and start embracing the present. You’ll be amazed by how it can boost your happiness! Trust me, the present moment is a gift – that’s why they call it the ‘present’.

9. Overthinking

I’ll admit it. I’m a self-confessed overthinker. I used to get caught up in my thoughts, analyzing and reanalyzing everything until I was stuck in a loop of worry and stress.

Here’s the thing about overthinking – it doesn’t solve problems or change outcomes. All it does is create anxiety and steal our happiness.

One day, I realized that all this overthinking was doing me more harm than good.

So, I decided to try something new. Instead of letting my thoughts spiral out of control, I started to practice mindfulness. I focused on the present moment, accepted my thoughts as they came, and then let them go without judgment.

The result? A significant reduction in anxiety and a big boost in happiness!

So, if you’re an overthinker like me, try to let go of this habit. It might take some time and practice, but the impact it can have on your happiness is truly amazing.

Most of the things we spend time worrying about never even happen. So let’s stop overthinking and start living. 

10. Unhealthy Relationships

Toxic or unhealthy relationships are draining. They suck the energy and happiness right out of us.

We’ve all had relationships where we give more than we get, where we’re constantly stressed, or where we just don’t feel valued.

Hanging onto these relationships out of fear, guilt, or habit doesn’t do us any favors. It’s like clinging to a cactus – the longer you hold on, the more it hurts.

The truth is, we deserve relationships that uplift us, not bring us down.

We deserve to be around people who appreciate us, who respect us, and who contribute to our happiness.

Let go of those unhealthy relationships. It’s not selfish; it’s self-care. It might be painful in the short term, but in the long run, your happiness will thank you.

11. Your Comfort Zone

Last but definitely not least is your comfort zone. Now, there’s nothing inherently wrong with being comfortable.

But when our comfort zone starts to become a cage that restricts us from growing and experiencing new things, it becomes a problem.

Stepping outside our comfort zone can be scary—I know. But it’s also where the magic happens. It’s where we learn new things about ourselves and the world around us. It’s where we grow and evolve.

Letting go of your comfort zone and embracing the unknown can be one of the most liberating experiences ever.

Yes, it might be uncomfortable at first, but once you take that leap of faith, you’ll find a level of happiness you never knew existed.

So there you have it—letting go of these things can instantly boost your happiness.

Remember, letting go isn’t about losing; it’s about making space for something better.

So take a deep breath, let go, and get ready to embrace a happier you!

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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.

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