There are two ways to increase your happiness.  One, do more of certain activities.  Two, do less of certain activities.  Today, I’m going to look at the things we can do less of that will increase happiness.

1.    Avoid comparison 

There will always be someone else out there who is smarter than you, has more than you and has accomplished more than you have.  Don’t compare yourself to them.  That will only diminish your value.  Life is about using your strengths and talents in a way that works for you.  “The world needs that special gift that only you have.” – Marie Forleo

2.    Aiming for perfection

I think most people have this desire to be perfect.  Have the perfect life/family, the perfect appearance and say the perfect words.  With the use of social media, this desire has increased because now it’s so easy to only show the best side of things.  But trying to be perfect also has routes in fear.  The fear of not being perfect can be so strong that we stop trying at all.  To help overcome this need for perfection, repeat these words by Gretchen Rubin, “The things that go wrong often make the best memories.”

3.    Challenge negative thoughts

It’s easy to get stuck in a never-ending loop of negative thoughts.  Challenge these thoughts.  Are they really true?  Nope, they aren’t.  Ask yourself, “What can I learn from this experience?”.  Even a bad situation can teach us something, if only we are willing to learn.

4.    It doesn’t align with your priorities

It’s easy to get caught up in a world of being busy.  “Busy” is often seen as a badge of honour.  But does it actually align with your priorities?  What is most important to you and are you making time for that?  When you make time for your priorities, your happiness and satisfaction with your life will increase.

5.    Limit time sucks

Limit your time on things that suck up your time and leave you feeling unsatisfied.  Examples of time sucks are social media, video games.  The key here is when you are done, take note of how you feel.  Do you feel refreshed?  Then it wasn’t a waste of time. 

6.    Buying more stuff to fill a void

Do you really need more stuff?  Or are you buying it to fill a void?  Advertisements do a good job of showing you that if you buy their product, then you will be happy.  But when you buy stuff to fill a void, that happiness boost you get when shopping will quickly disappear.  Instead, fill the void by doing something that actually makes you happy – like a nature walk or having coffee with a friend.

7.    It doesn’t align with your personal values

Personal values are the characteristics and behaviours that guide our decisions.  Our values are a fundamental part of our identity.  Therefore, it’s important that our actions and values are aligned.  If not, you’ll end up having a little war in your mind.  You’ll feel conflicted.  It’s important that you don’t ignore this conflict.  Instead, analyze it to see how you can bring your actions back into alignment.

8.    Being overscheduled

Overscheduling is a huge problem for introverts.  Overscheduling leads to introvert hangovers, or even worse, burnout.  Learn to simplify your life, so that you can show up as your best self.  My personal favourite tip: use a calendar.  Whether it is digital or paper, a calendar helps you to easily see what you have on your “plate”.  Your “plate” is your social engagements, appointments and even your alone time.  Maintaining a good balance of all these things is essential to your well-being and happiness.

9.    Eliminate distractions

Does it seem like every time you start something, there is something else that calls for your attention?  They are called “distractions”.  Sometimes, we really do want to do more of the things that make us happy.  Start by eliminating distractions with three simple strategies: 1) Turn off notifications, 2) Set out blocks of time for what’s important to you, and 3) Take frequent breaks.  Try it for one month and see if you notice any differences.  At the end of the month, evaluate what worked and what didn’t.

What will you say “NO” to today in order to increase your happiness?

Until my next blog post, here’s wishing you lots of joy and happiness!
With love,


Hi! I'm Joanne. I’m a Canadian Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CMA). Money management is a life skill that I passionately believe all people need to learn. As an accountant, I love helping people understand numbers and money. At BuildingJoyAndHappiness, I share my tips to money management and make understanding finances simple.

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