Monday, 28 April 2014

My top 5 Things You Need to STOP doing to be happy

We've all been there before. We all have moments when we feel down and think or do things that we would not normally do. In my own personal experiences, I tend to think/do some of these things below. I thought I would put a top 10 list of some of these, as these actions and thoughts are neither therapeutic, nor are they helpful for our health and well-being.


1) Trying to be perfect and working yourself to craziness if you aren't.
Face it - no one is perfect. And while it is great to work hard to make goals, it is impossible to be excellent in all aspects of life. It is one thing to do your best, but it is quite a different thing to work excessively and not take breaks because you want to be 'perfect. Research shows that perfectionism leads to anxiety, depression, bad moods, and even a less healthy body. Instead or trying to be perfect, focus on the goals that you have, and see if they are reasonable. If not, make new ones. If they are reasonable, do not try to go overboard. Get the job done as best as you can - but then stop. Do not be extreme and work so hard that you are stressed, angry, sad, or anxious.

2) Trying to please others.
You can't. We are human, and that means we are hard to please. Trying to gain the approval of others is a daunting task. Note that I am not saying that you should not do your job. Nor am I saying that you should be rude and disrespect others. What I AM saying is that you need not pretend to be someone you are not, nor should you change the way you look or act simply to 'fit in'. You do not need to dress a certain way, like a sport, or even talk in some way just to get the approval of others. Why? People are never satisfied. Instead, gain the approval of YOURSELF. Learn to be happy with yourself and your accomplishments.

3) Thinking that if the worst thing can happen to you, it will.
Sure, you may be having a hard time. And yes, it doesn't look so great today. But really, how is thinking the worst going to help you? It won't. Don't waste your time trying to think of all the bad things that can make this day worse. Instead, try your hardest to think of something good in the day. Is this easy? No. But I guarantee that it will make you feel a lot better. Don't always pity yourself and think that you have the worst possible life - this isn't healthy and it likely isn't true. Everyone struggles and has their own worries, and you are not different. But that doesn't mean that life is \out to get you'. or that your life is all horrible and depressing. Take time to appreciate the small good things in your life - you will notice how manageable this makes even the hardest circumstances become. Every day might not be a good day, but there is good in every day.

4) Procrastinating.
Of course it is easier to forget about that assignment that is due in two weeks, than to start on it now. Or what about that file for work that you are supposed to read? Leaving things to the last minute, or procrastinating, is always the EASIER choice. But is it the smartest? No. Leaving things to the  last minute makes us stressed, anxious, and angry. We become so overwhelmed with things to do because we haven't done them in time. Stop this endless cycle! Make a list of things that need to be done, and use a calendar to keep track od due dates. And start your work ahead of time - you will notice how relieved you are when the due date approaches. You will be less stressed, and you may even have time to relax! Learn to organize and prioritize.

5) Forgetting to be kind to yourself.
We get caught up in buying gifts for others, running favours for our friends, and answering calls. But do you take the time to relax and breathe? Time for YOU. This means not answering all those texts, thinking about work, or rushing to get things done. It means taking the time to breathe, listen to nice music, or even buying yourself something nice as a reward for all your hard work. Stop living life in a rush - remember, you only have one life to live. Do you want it to go by without even ENJOYING it? No! Dedicate some time each day or week to yourself. Go out and buy something nice, eat a nice meal, get a massage, or read a funny book. Don't get caught up with others and forget YOURSELF!

For me, the top one seems to be number 1. I often try to do so well in all aspects of life that I forget that I too am human and cannot achieve this! I work myself over and over, trying to finish all my assignments, blog, work, and being a perfect sister and daughter...and nurse! But, reality is, I cannot do this. I am now more aware of this, and I will try my best to remind myself that I cannot be perfect - and that is okay and even normal!

Which one do you fall into the most? Now, look back and read that number again. Think about how often you fall into this little habit: when does it happen? What are you feeling or what is occurring when you think or act this way? This will help you determine how to get over this, as well as how to put an end to it. Being aware of what you do or think when stressed can help you fix it!


  1. Thank you so much for this as I have been waiting for your tips on how to feel happy.


  2. I wish you all the happiness Marina


  3. The lovely pictures making me feel happy .


  4. Marina Believe me I tell myself and my family these things every day before I preach my people and my church gatherings .
    Smile Smile Smile
    Even fake it.
    Be happy as you have many many more blessings in your life and you have lots that many others do not have.
    Smile and be happy as you do not run into many troubles that others run into

    Sunday Priest.


  5. Excellent 5 tips if one really stick to them would be the happiest but the most important one in my opinion is #1 .
    Try to be moderate ,not perfect and not extreme.
    Extremism is bad in every thing even in religion, prayer ,work ,sleep etc.


  6. My take home message from this blog is "I am going to have a goal to be easy on my self, generous to my self and I am going to buy gifts for myself,
    treat my body with care and with softness, look for something good to do and give for my body as nice hair cut, makeup ,massage ,treat ,relaxation ,music .
    I will commit to fill 10% of my day with something add joy and happiness to my day
    I will do this no matter what else I have to do.
    My feelings ,happiness and body rest will take priority.

    Thanks Marina for this reminder


  7. Hi,

    Perfectionism is defiantly my biggest issue, closely followed by procrastinating. My Priest set me a new obedience yesterday which should help with the first and a challenge to help me with the second.

    Though it really helps me to see I am not alone in my struggles, especially with perfectionism I need reminding I am not and cannot be perfect in my own strength.


  8. All of them are important but the one thing that I will work on is moderations in my work and taking time to pamper my self .
    I am from Iraq and people hate extremism and think extremism is bad even in work, sleep and praying


  9. The only one perfect is Almighty. Even angels ,apostles,
    priest and saints all not perfect and made mistakes .
    Perfectionism creates lots of stress and anxiety and limit progress .
    Let's be reasonable .


  10. My enemy is I tend to catastrophe things and think about worst possible scenario ,knowing this may never happen.
    I was taught CBT and DBT at my in and out patient program but I still need to practice my skills


  11. My weakest point that I am working is forgetting myself care and please others. I have a plan to spoil myself and not worried about others opinions.



  12. Now I know why I al always happy!!
    because I do not have any of the above five things.
    I am selfish ,only taking care of things making me feel good !!!


  13. I am suffering a little bit of all the above but it is time to work on my wellbeing and happiness.
    Why I am stressing myself.??


  14. I really appreciate this post .
    I need to use any tools to help me take things easy and not to worry about future.
    Again You are GEM


  15. I do not suffer from any of those but I like how you explain the best way to feel happy and what makes you less happy


  16. My problem is pleasing others at the expense of myself.
    I learnt the lesson.


  17. Thank you for caring about your readers happiness


  18. I admit I was suffering from all of the above ,even for sometime after my recovery ,not any more .
    Think post is a reminder to me .

    Recovered ED

  19. I will not forget my self and my health and happiness no matter what.

    Thanks for this reminder Marina


  20. I am a big procrastinator and I can tell you how this can stress me even though I am able to finish on time I will change this habit.


  21. When I was alcoholic I used to have depression and anxiety and only what I think is worst case scenario and my bad luck .
    Now I am a new man ,thinking positive and hopeful ,laughing and happy.
    Your blog created positivity in me.


  22. those 5 tips to avoid to feel happy making sense


  23. One thing I learnt over my 77 years is to look after my health and care for my self and then my family.
    I do believe I can not help my family if I am not well and I need to set a guide and role model for them.
    Same like you Marina, You are now setting a role model for any person has or had ED.
    Kudos to you.

    Sam Ibrahim

  24. I am as a med student love to work hard and achieve and get things done but never at the expense of my health and well being.
    I learnt this long ago when I was in high school and my advisor always reminder me .

    Med student

  25. What I started doing for the last 2 years and I will continue is making a room for my fun time > I have website for jokes and I watch fun shows and talk to my fun buddies


  26. I made a commitment to my own health by my self since I started reading this blog that I would pamper my self and please my self and make sure I am feeling well before others


  27. I admit I not as good as I like in all those 5 and much more but I am confident in my ability to make my life easier and happier.


  28. Now I outgrown the problem of thinking of the worst case scenario and my mind now thinking positive and optimistic and this making me happier and less stressed.


  29. Dear Marina
    As you know since I got hooked to this blog and helped me find what was wrong with daughter and helped me to seek help for her and she recovered I am following this blog and many times took tips that help me and my daughter avoiding falling into traps of ED or mental health.
    I will add those 5 tips to avoid for my list
    Thanks again

    JP( A very thankful mother)

  30. Very helpful tips to calm any stress


  31. You are right Marina
    I one does not have any of the above 5 things would be the happiest.
    Why do not we try avoid all of them.


  32. Wonderful post


  33. My fear is because I am workaholic and I do not make time for my relaxation and fun.
    This post will change me


  34. I need to take life easier and treat myself like a king .
    Why not ?
    I have no family to support me and so I need to be nice to myself .
    Feeling good and happy make me achieve more.


  35. I always look for the pictures and read them first as I can tell what is your message from them.
    Well and wisely chosen.


  36. As you know ,I am counselling clients who suffer depression and PTSD .
    I can tell you all of them suffer at least one of those 5 things.
    I try to help them get off those things to get some relief and the best way is through CBT

    Kelly W

  37. I am lazy boy I just think for the worst things can happen to me but since I came across your blog, I am now number one man positive ,happy ,smiling .
    You changed me

    Thank you.


  38. What a very expressive pictures and post.


  39. This is a reminder to be to take things easy and be nice to me.
    I will commit to make up time only for my wellbeing.


  40. I will assess my expectation of myself and drop down some courses so that I can manage and balance my life.


  41. I will stop working week ends and spend time with my family.


  42. I am getting tired from the pushing of my GF and I am thinking of breaking up.


  43. I will get more OSAP, borrow money from the back and quit part time job to focus of my study and keep time for fun.


  44. Helpful post and comments


  45. My self I learnt to work smarter ,not HARDER .
    I will make priority to my health and wellbeing.
    I will avoid all those five things as well


  46. After reading this post, I looked at my self and I noted I am delaying my breakfast time till 9 and I would stop delaying as I feel tired and not able to focus on what I am doing till I eat my first meal.
    I will try eat my breakfast soon after I wake up.


  47. I will eat all my meals and snacks on time even when I have busy schedule .
    My health should take priority. This post is a reminder for me(thanks to this blog and Marina)


  48. Very helpful post and comments.


  49. I just love the pictures .
    Excellent Job Marina


  50. I am a procrastinator .
    I will try to stop.


  51. I think I do all of the above and much more and I try to change one at a time. I will start by trying think about and hope for the best possible scenario rather than expecting the worst .
    Second I will work on avoiding procrastination and so one.
    I am sure I can do it.


  52. I am amazed with your blog in general but this one in particular.


  53. I will be joyful in hope,patient in affliction and faithful in prayers.


  54. I would like to stop all neagtive thoughts and never be bothered by any negative comments by jealous peers.


  55. I would stop cancelling my doctor appointment and start making at least 1 hour dialy for fun and relaxation


  56. love this post


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