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Very often we try to do more: “What can I do to be happier? The new science of happiness, for some years now, has validated tools to adequately address this question. It suggests us a list of simple but powerful things to do regularly such as appreciation, gratitude, positivity and many more. Great! But what about doing less to amplify our sense of well-being and happiness in our everyday life?

Here are some suggestions

1 | Give up the need to control everything

Choose to give up the need to control everything that happens around you, including the behavior of others … especially loved ones, situations, the environment, etc… To accept the things the way they are, and that you can’t change them, greatly reduces our anxiety while increasing our inner peace.

2 | Abandon the need to be right

The idea of being wrong or that other people have a different opinion can be very difficult to accept. The need to be right is sadly the cause of many break ups, even if the base of the relationship is good. All these discussions are stressful and are a source of pain for you and for others. In the heat of the moment, why not ask yourself the following question: “Do I prefer to be right or to have a good time with the person/people present?”

3 | Give up the need to criticize (yourself and others)

It often starts with the best of intentions: we want to help, motivate, and inspire others or ourselves to have more, to do more, to be more. But it could all go wrong, especially if one begins to notice and talk only about the problems, aches and pains, and everything that does not work, instead of focusing our attention on what we want and what is going well. Accepting that everybody is different is a real liberation because we are all unique, different and similar at the same time. We all want to be appreciated and loved the way we are.

4 | Abandon the need to complain and to blame

The fact of continually complaining and blaming makes us unhappy. It is important to realize that it is not the circumstances or the others that make us unhappy, but how we choose to interpret and react to what is happening. It’s when we learn to choose interpretations that are good for us that one realizes that we are responsible for our own happiness. We become active rather than passive concerning our well-being. It is not complicated, but it takes practice.

5 | Give up the need to be understood at all costs

We spend a lot of time and energy because we want to be understood and we want others to accept our perspectives. Yet the only person that you need to be in agreement with is yourself. When you put too much effort into trying to convince others, it does not work. On the contrary, if we stay our natural selves, the others are much more likely to be attracted to us.

6 | Give up the resistance to change

Change is everywhere. Change is part of our evolution. Change is positive. Participate, contribute, adapting changes makes us happy. If we try to resist the changes we end up feeling in pain, stressed or attract problems.

7 | Abandon the idea of pleasing everyone

Mission impossible. When we try to please everyone we miss our own lives. We get lost. We are exhausted. We quickly become disappointed and frustrated. Why not learn to say no? By saying no you have more time to say yes to what you would like to be and the things you like to do. We respectfully become more open and empathetic towards others.

8 | Don’t be attached to the past

Not easy to do. The past often seems more attractive than the present. We make it sound amazing by telling good stories. But to stay too attached to the past does not make us happy. All we really have is the present. We have to enjoy it by consciously putting our attention to the world around us with all our senses and to the world inside of us with our insights. A clear vision of the future will support a future that we love.

9 | Abandon our excuses

We often limit ourselves in our lives because we are full of excuses and refrain from doing what we really like. Instead of growing and improving our lives, we turn in circles. Telling stories and finding all kinds of excuses. It is time to stop with the excuses, we don’t need them anymore.

10 | Abandon our fears

The majority of our fears are in our head. We create them. We feed them. They are powerful. They can ruin a life if we do not take charge of them quickly. It is through actions that fear turns into excitement.

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