Change is an inevitable part of life. We may often feel like our lives are largely on repeat day after day, but when we step back and look at the bigger picture to things, most of us are quick to realize that we are drastically different people than we were 5, 10, or 15 years ago.
As someone who for the most part has always openly embraced change, I’ve gone through my fair share of alterations, some of which I’ve adopted long-term, and others which came and went quite quickly.
While we are all certainly wired differently, I’ve put together this list of 5 common things I’m grateful to have largely cut out of my life. My hope is not to encourage you to cut out these same 5 items, but to instead inspire you to reflect on the habits within your life, to identify if any of them may be holding you back from a happier state of being.
Here are 5 common things I cut out for a happier life in both video and written form:
1. Scary Movies
Let me start by setting the record straight. I am NOT suggesting that scary movies as a whole are a bad thing that we would all be better off without. I am simply sharing my own experience with them.
Because so many scary movies have become so effective at creating the fear they intend to instill, I often found myself affected by them long after my time in the theater. Things like walking to my car at night, doing work in my basement, and even hopping into bed in the dark suddenly would become concerning to me despite not triggering anything pre-movie.
While this experience has always gradually dissipated over time, I identified the seeming mental torment as completely unnecessary, especially since I never particularly enjoyed the film genre in the first place. I’ll still occasionally watch a scary movie that comes highly recommended, but for the most part I’m glad to have cut them out and have been happier since.
2. Social Media Free-For-All
By “social media free-for-all”, I’m referring to giving myself permission to go on social media at any given time, whether it be in response to a notification or simply out of habit.
This became apparent to me as an unhealthy behaviour when I one day accidentally left my phone at home before heading out for a 12 hour work shift. At first, I was scarily amazed by how frequently I found myself looking for my phone only to remember that I didn’t have it with me. Once that reality settled in, I was then amazed by how much more productive my day ended up being.
Since then, I’ve made a point of regulating my phone use as often as possible. When I’m at work, you’ll often see my phone on silent and upside down on my desk until I complete what I’m currently working on, and while at home you’ll regularly see me nowhere near my phone to give myself a complete break from technology. The end result? A more productive, less addicted and happier me.
3. Macho Man/ Woman Mentality
In hopes of seeming mature and tough, I spent the vast majority of my teenage years far too concerned with how others perceived me. Suppressing not only emotions but also passions was a regular part of my life, and I was internally quite unhappy as a result.
While many would consider this a normal part of the maturation process, I’m beyond grateful to have recognized just how unhealthy this was at the age that I did. Since then, I’ve not only made a point of openly pursuing my passions with little to no concern of what others may or may not think of it, but I also express and process my emotions as they arise.
Just as I did with scary movies, I will once again start by clarifying that I am not condemning pornography as a whole and am instead sharing my own personal experience with it.
As appealing and stimulating as many elements within pornography may be, I personally did not like the impact it was having on how I viewed women and sexuality as a whole. In the moment of watching it I enjoyed the experience for obvious reasons, but I did not like what I was allowing it to do to my thoughts and perspectives.
Admittedly, the road hasn’t always been easy to stay on, but I am grateful to have done so and more than appreciate the impact this decision has had on my relationships since.
I’ll assume that like me, you live in a reality where there is seemingly so much to do and so little time to do it in. One of the more obvious answers to helping with this reality is to multitask, something that I once considered myself quite proficient in.
It wasn’t until I came across the work of Kevin Trudeau and Neil Pasricha in Your Wish is Your Command and The Happiness Equation respectively, that I realized that efficiency in multitasking is a complete illusion.
We believe that we are accomplishing several things simultaneously, but unless all tasks involved are things that we can successfully do unconsciously, we are instead ineffectively splitting our attention. (READ MORE ON THIS) Since this discovery, I’ve made a point of avoiding multitasking and instead focusing all of my attention on one task at a time, a decision that has without a doubt impacted my happiness.
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