Five Things to Stop Doing if You Want to Be Happier

To create a life you love means looking at your existing habits and routines and deciding if they add quality to your life or are just time wasters. Letting go of things don’t serve you is the first step in creating a life that you love. Here are five things that I've let go of (more or less) in to create a life that I love. 

Facebook

I thought it was just me. Every time I scrolled through Facebook I got really irritated. Instead of making me feel more connected with my friends and family, I felt more isolated - like everyone was at a party without me. Turns out, I'm not alone.

Recent studies show a correlation between increased social media usage and depression, especially among 18-30 year old.  For busy working moms, Facebook can increase fear of missing out (FOMO) and lead to unhealthy comparisons and feeling like the life you lead doesn’t measure up to those of Facebook friends.

Along with FOMO, Facebook (and other social media)  can turn into a major time suck. According to some, Facebook is designed to be addictive. It works best if you check it often. And because you do it often, it becomes a habit and you stop thinking about it.  So it should come as no surprise that the average adult spends 5 years and four months of their life on social media. What awesome and fun things could you be doing with those five years, instead?

Of course Facebook does provide a lot of value for people - it is a good way to stay in touch with friends and family you don’t see on a regular basis. So, if you don’t want to give up The Book completely, try taking it off your phone.  Or if that is too much too soon, try moving the app away from your phone’s home screen, to make it harder to check it everytime you look at your phone.

Reading. All. The. News.

Following the dumpster fire of 2017, I decided to take a break from the news, for the sake of my mental health. I wasn’t a news junkie, but I did spend a fair amount of my lunch hour or breaks scrolling through Google News or Flipboard. Usually this would leave me in one of two states: Righteous indignation or hopeless despair.  Neither of which added value to my daily life.

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You don’t have to ignore the news completely and have no clue what is happening in the world (though there are days when that sounds ideal). Recall the pre-internet, pre-cable news network days when people got their news from two sources: the local newspaper and the six o’clock evening news. 

Checking the news once a day, for a set amount of time can keep you informed, without being overloaded.  After all, will reading or listening to every breaking story from CNN or Fox News really add value and meaning to your day? Or is it a way to procrastinate or check out from your own life?

Netflix Bingeing

Raise your hand if one episode of Stranger Things has ever turned into a entire Saturday afternoon. And! Does anyone else get slightly huffy when the notice from Netflix pops up “Are you still watching?” Um, yeah? Do you have a problem with that, Netflix? Judge much?

Did you know that Netflix bingeing might actually be harmful for your health? Not only does bingeing your favorite shows cut into sleep time, research shows binge-watchers report higher levels of loneliness and depression.

I’ve decided that when the “Are you still watching?” message appears, it’s time to turn off the TV and go outside or go to bed.

Over-complicating Your Diet

Raise your hand if you’ve ever cut any of the following from your diet: carbs, fat, sugar, gluten, beans, apples, cake, dairy, etc… In the time I’ve spent finagling my diet to try and lose weight as quickly and painlessly as possible, I could have written that book I keep talking about.

I’ve spent weeks researching diet fads, concocting elaborate menus that require trips to specialty stores to find things like goji berries and arrowroot flour, and had multiple kitchen fails making copycat recipes for everything from coconut flour pancakes to cauliflower pizza crust.

The end result? I may lose a few pounds (which always find their way back), but most often I just spend most of the time thinking about all the foods I can’t have. I once did a diet plan in which pork rinds was considered a healthier choice than beans, so naturally all I wanted to do was eat baked beans.

Deep down most of us know that a well balanced diet, one with plenty of vegetables and fruits and less fats and sugar, is best. As is keeping portion sizes in check. And not eating just because we are bored/stressed/unhappy. But despite this, we continue to look for the shortest route between us and a smaller dress size. Following simple guidelines like these can help you cultivate healthier food habits with less stress.

Sitting All Day

Did you know that sitting is the new smoking? Yep. Sedentary lifestyles - those defined by little to no physical activity - are considered by many to as harmful, if not more harmful than smoking.

According to a study from the Annals of Internal Medicine, people who sat for more than 6 hours a day had a greater risk of early death. If your job involves a lot of computer work, it’s important to get up and move around periodically throughout the day.  

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Taking time to stretch not only helps prevent workplace injuries like carpal tunnel, it actually increases productivity.  If you are desk jockey, you should get up and move every 30 minutes also need to get moving at least 30 minutes a day. Walking at lunch or after work will help get your blood pumping and lighten your mood.

If it’s hard to fit in a 30 minute walk or other physical activity., consider clearing out schedule and making it a priority. Seriously. Treat your health like you would anything else that is important. You take time for sleeping and eating - exercise is just as important.

And it doesn’t have to be scary HIIT workout or intense Pilates program that will leave you unable to walk for a week. A simple walk, a 30 minute gentle yoga session can do wonders for your body and spirit. I like to do Yoga with Adrienne a couple time a week, after dinner.

 

Can you think of other habits you should stop doing, to be happier, healthier and create a life that you love? Share them on Facebook in The BOM group.


Want more resources for creating a life you love? Check out my free workbook to learn how to set the right goals for yourself and take inspired action for a happier, healthier life.

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