If you want to live a happier, healthier life, you might think huge changes are needed. In fact, building a better life often starts with small, everyday tweaks. Over time, those changes will add up to larger, more impactful lifestyle evolution. Cutting out negative habits in your day-to-day life is a good place to start. Here are some common culprits to nix from your lifestyle going forward if you want to enhance your quality of life.

Stop leaving your happiness to chance

The first step in taking control of your happiness is understanding that it isn’t a game of luck. Tracking your behaviors and how they correlate with your moods will allow you to identify which actions make you feel good and which ones don’t. Technology can help. McGraw Systems allows for improved communication between patients and behavioral healthcare providers. Via the bStable app, people can monitor habits that impact emotional wellness, allowing for long-term trend tracking that can shape future behaviors.

Stop ignoring self-care

Self-care isn’t just a buzzword. Investing time and energy in yourself is important for your well-being. Start by addressing your diet. Food can impact your mood, so you should make sure to eat a balanced diet full of proteins, whole grains, and fruits and vegetables. Exercise is also a proven mood booster and can help reduce the risk of mental health ailments like anxiety and depression. If you have trouble getting motivated, try working out with a friend. They’ll be your personal cheerleader and hold you accountable.

Stop saying “yes” to everything

 Constantly saying yes to every work request or social invitation in your life is a surefire way to burn out. Make sure you are leaving time for yourself. PsychCentral provides tips on when to say “no” and how to say it. They recommend being crystal clear and not using “maybe” phrases. If you’re feeling guilty, express gratitude for the invitation or request—but stick to your firm “no.” You can also try offering alternatives to their request when declining, although you aren’t obligated to.

 Stop comparing yourself to others

Comparing yourself to others can leave you feeling disheartened like you aren’t where you’re “supposed” to be in life. Plus, comparing yourself to other people can create negative thoughts, and increase your risk of anxiety and depression. To avoid this trap, practice gratitude, tap into moments of everyday contentment and focus on your unique strengths. Instead of competing with others, compete with yourself. It’s also wise to limit social media, which serves as a constant basis of comparison.

Stop working a job you hate

Job burnout can seriously impede your everyday wellbeing. Keep an eye out for signs that you should change jobs, like feelings of apathy and complacency. If you’re ready for a change, you might consider starting your own freelancing business. In the long term, this could become a full-time gig. ZenBusiness recommends starting by using a work-for-hire platform like Fiverr Pro. You can offer your expert services, set rates, and connect with top companies. 

Stop indulging in negativity

Negative thoughts can be difficult to battle. However, if you don’t proactively combat them, they can bring down your mood in a big way. VeryWellMind explains the toxic impact of negative self-talk and provides pointers for overcoming it. For example, it can help to give your inner critic a name. When you hear that negative voice start talking, remind yourself that it’s not really you—it’s Sarah (or whatever name you choose). Then, tell Sarah to be quiet and move on with your day!

Everybody wants to live a happy, content life. That said, sometimes being happy takes some effort. Follow the tips above to enhance your overall quality of life and feeling of well-being.

For more mental health tips, visit the McGraw Systems blog.

By: Dorothy Watson (information@mentalwellnesscenter.info)