10 Things You’re Prioritizing Over Your Own Happiness (That You Really Shouldn’t)

10 Things You’re Prioritizing Over Your Own Happiness (That You Really Shouldn’t)

Modern life is extremely hectic, so it’s easy to put everything else first and stop prioritizing happiness altogether. But sometimes, you need to stop and take stock of what you’re prioritizing over your well-being. Often, without even realizing it, you might be placing too much importance on things that drain your joy instead of filling your cup. Let’s explore some common things you might be putting before your happiness and how to shift your focus to where it truly belongs.

1. Pleasing Everyone

Trying to make everyone else happy can be an exhausting task, and it often comes at the expense of your own happiness. You might find yourself saying yes when you really want to say no, just to avoid disappointing someone. Remember, it’s not your job to fulfill everyone’s expectations. Start setting boundaries and be okay with the fact that sometimes, people might not agree with you. Your own peace of mind is more important than trying to be everyone’s favorite.

2. Chasing Perfection

Perfection is an impossible standard, yet you might find yourself striving for it in work, relationships, or personal projects. This pursuit can create a lot of stress and never-ending dissatisfaction. Embrace the fact that making mistakes is part of being human and that imperfections can lead to growth and learning. Aim for progress, not perfection, and you’ll find a lot more contentment in your daily life.

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4. Overworking

Being a hard worker is admirable, but not when it leads to burnout. If you’re constantly prioritizing work over relaxation and time with loved ones, you’re likely sacrificing happiness for productivity. It’s important to find a balance. Make time for breaks and hobbies that refresh you. Your career is just one facet of your life, not the whole picture. Plus, you’ll often return to work with more to offer after you’ve given yourself time to recharge.

5. Holding Grudges

Holding onto anger or resentment towards others can take a heavy toll on your emotional well-being. It’s like carrying around a weight that only gets heavier with time. Learning to forgive isn’t about letting someone else off the hook; it’s about setting yourself free. Letting go of grudges doesn’t mean you forget, but it means you choose to not let negative feelings control your happiness.

6. The Need for Control

Trying to control every aspect of your life can be a stressful endeavor because, let’s face it, life is unpredictable. When you insist on controlling everything, you set yourself up for frustration and disappointment. Instead, focus on what you can influence and learn to roll with the punches for everything else. Embracing some degree of uncertainty can actually be liberating and lead to a happier, more spontaneous life.

7. Valuing Possessions Over Experiences

In a consumer-driven society, it’s easy to think that the next purchase will make you happy. But often, the joy of a new possession is fleeting. Instead, invest in experiences that will create memories and foster personal connections. The happiness that comes from doing things, especially with friends and family, tends to be more enduring than that which comes from material things.

8. Living in the Past or Future

If you’re constantly dwelling on what was or what could be, you’re not fully experiencing the present. While learning from the past and planning for the future are important, they shouldn’t overshadow the now. Try to find joy in the current moment—the smell of your morning coffee, the laughter of a friend, the warmth of the sun. These moments are what life is made of, and when you appreciate them, your happiness can flourish.

9. Social Media Comparison

Scrolling through social media can lead to comparing your behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel, which can make you feel inadequate. Remember that social media is a curated view of life. Focus on your own journey and celebrate your unique achievements. Disconnecting now and then can also remind you of the joys of life off-screen.

10. Not Practicing Self-Care

Self-care isn’t selfish; it’s necessary. If you’re not taking care of your health and emotional needs, it’s hard to be happy. Make self-care a priority—whether that means regular exercise, a hobby you love, or just quiet time to decompress. When you feel good physically and mentally, you’re better equipped to find happiness in all areas of your life.

11. Fear of Change

Change can be scary, but it’s also inevitable and often leads to growth. If you’re avoiding change because you’re comfortable with the status quo, you might be missing out on opportunities that could lead to greater happiness, so it’s worth prioritizing. Embrace change as a chance to experience something new and exciting. Sometimes, the best things in life come from the unexpected twists and turns.

Gail is Bolde's social media and partnership manager, as well as an all-around behind-the-scenes renaissance woman. She worked for more than 25 years in her city's local government before making the switch to women's lifestyle and relationship sites, initially at HelloGiggles before making the switch to Bolde.