7 Things to Let Go of for a Happier Life

Suzanne Marlatt Stewart

With the new year approaching, you may be considering making some changes in your life. Usually, when it comes to living a happier life, there is the belief we need more. That might include more money, driving a newer car, or more vacations. While some of those things could contribute to your happiness in some cases, subtracting things has the tendency to make you happier than constantly trying to add more.

Courtney Carver is an American author and podcaster. As of now, Carver works as the host of the Soul and Wit podcast. She created Be More with Less.

1. Comparing yourself to others. As the saying goes, comparison is the thief of joy. There will always be a better circumstance (or a worse one) to compare to, yet rarely does either change your situation. Comparing only changes how you feel about your situation.

2. Trying to change what’s already happened. Regret is fueled by reliving and trying to change the past. The pain of the past can help us make decisions about moving forward but not spending our time wondering what things would have been like if we’d done things differently. You will constantly miss out on the potential joys of the present moment by looking back.

3. Wanting something for someone else. It is normal that you want the best for people you love, but when you start wanting something for someone more than they want it, it gets in the way of your happiness. When you let go of this need, your relationships improve, including the one you have with yourself.

4. Worrying about things out of your control. This may be the hardest one of all and when you let it go, it will bring you an abundance of happiness. That stress you are carrying when you worry about things you can’t change, things you have no control over, could be weighing you down. It means paying attention to the worry and before you start getting upset, asking yourself, “Is this within my control?” Also, “What healthy action can I do to remove myself from this worry?” Let it go.

5. Clutter. Removing clutter from your home, your calendar, and your mind has great potential to increase your happiness. By slowing down, removing distraction, and calming your mind, you make space and time for what makes you feel good.

6. Staying up late in the name of doing “one more thing.” Many people stay up in the name of doing “one more thing.” When you stop compromising your sleep and staying up trying to get more done, you can create a happier life. Not to mention, you can get things done with more ease when you are well-rested.

7. Feeling guilty. Feeling guilt implies that you’ve done something wrong but often, when feeling guilty, you haven’t done anything wrong. For example, when you have to say no or set a boundary with someone, putting yourself first. Let go of this vicious circle and question your guilt. When that feeling pops up, ask yourself, “Is this guilt, or is this discomfort?” You deserve to take care of yourself.

Which item will you let go of first?

Which one of these seven things resonated with you the most? Be gentle with yourself as you let go of things you might not even recognize make you feel less worthy. Slowly, you can make room to feel a little lighter, happier, and more at ease in your own life.

My motto: Stay in the present moment. You are enough … let go of the rest.

Rev. Suzanne, a resident of SaddleBrooke, is an independent writer and speaker. She was ordained nondenominational, representing all faiths, and her focus is inclusivity. Email her at [email protected].