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“Indeed, man wishes to be happy even when he so lives as to make happiness impossible.”

– St. Augustine

There are certain things that we do in life that make our life that little bit less happy, and yet we continue to do them nevertheless. This is what St Augustine’s quote means, and when written out in its simplest form, it does seem strange that we would continue to make ourselves unhappy when the power to be happy is in our hands.

This is especially true when we are parents who have children looking up to us as role models. Being happy and enjoying all the benefits that happiness brings is a great way to show our little ones what life is all about.

If you find that you want to be happier than you are, you might be accidentally self-sabotaging, and here are some of the things you should try to give up if you want to be happy.

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Striving For Perfection

Striving for perfection may seem like an admirable goal, but it could be leaving you feeling miserable. Of course, it’s important always to do your best, but if you are looking for perfection and constantly feeling as though you are under-achieving, or not matching up to what other people are doing (social media has to shoulder a lot of the blame for this!), then you will never be genuinely happy with what you have, right now.

No one is perfect, not even those who seem to have the most wonderfully put together lives on Facebook or Instagram. Underneath it all, they are probably just as worried about finding perfection as everyone else.

Being as good as you can be is important. Being perfect is not.

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How many times a day do you complain about something? Whether it’s a big thing or a small one, every time you complain, you are placing yourself in a negative frame of mind, and that will reduce your happiness and make the rest of the day feel more negative too.

Rather than complaining, look at the positive things that are happening instead. If it is raining and you can’t take the children to the park like you promised, play games inside instead and enjoy them and the time you have together and simply take them another day. Complaining won’t change the outcome, but it will change how you feel, and not in a good way.

Blaming Others

Sometimes things go wrong, and sometimes it’s someone else’s fault. Sometimes those things that go wrong are our fault. It’s important for the sake of your happiness to realise when this is the case and own up to the problem, or, if you have no one to own up to other than yourself, simply try to put things right. Blaming others for no reason is definitely something to give up if you want to be happy as if you can’t ever take responsibility for what has gone wrong, you will never stop making those mistakes that led to the action in the first place.

However, on some occasions, finding out who was responsible and seeking a solution can drastically improve your happiness. If you suffer negligence at the hands of a medical professional, for example, turning to knowledgeable professionals such as can help you seek compensation to begin to move on with your life in the best way.

Living In The Past

There are always going to be times when we look back at the past and wish things were still the same. We might want dead loved ones to be alive again, or to go back to a simpler time. This is natural, and it’s good to remember things we have been through. What we must not do if we want to be happy is to live in the past, constantly dwelling on how it was – good or bad.

If you want to be completely happy, you need to live in the present and use the past as lessons learned or fond memories to enjoy.

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