Let's be real here. Life can be really hard sometimes. Things don't always go according to plan, bad things happen and people don't do what we had hoped they would do. In short, our lives aren't as picture-perfect as we would like them to be.
Unfortunately, these rough patches are unavoidable. That's part of life. However, there are times when your life doesn't need to be as difficult as it seems. In fact, you might be making it harder than it needs to be. Here are six things to stop doing to make your life a lot easier:
1. Holding grudges
We're all familiar with the phrase "staying angry is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die."
It might be easier to preach than to practice, but there's truth to that statement. When you hold grudges, you're making it difficult for yourself to feel completely happy. The more easily you forgive, the more love you'll have to share and the more satisfied you'll be with life.
2. Comparing yourself to what you see on social media
Let me tell you something: Facebook lies. Instagram lies. All of social media lies. People get to pick and choose which aspects of their life they want to share, and they always make sure to do so in the best lighting and with best filter.
Maybe instead of comparing your cooking to every perfect picture on Pinterest, compare your work to Pinterest fails. That's much more realistic, anyway.
3. Overthinking every situation
This is coming from someone with anxiety, so you can believe I'm a total pro at overthinking everything. But when this kind of thinking starts to take over your life, it's important to find ways to calm down or distract you.
Read a book, do yoga, go for a walk. Find some way to calm yourself down. Find a way to be more mindful and focus on the present. You can't control the future or the past, so do what you can to enjoy the present.
4. Setting unrealistic expectations for others (and not communicating)
If you're setting unrealistic expectations for your loved ones, you're going to be disappointed. This isn't to say you should set the bar low - you should still have high standards for yourself and how others treat you, but there's always a line where those high standards become excessive. You shouldn't expect your husband to come home with a dozen roses every single day. But if you insist that's what you want, talk to him about it. Tell him what you want in your relationship. If you don't talk to him about what you're looking for, there's no way for him to know.
When you're stuck in this kind of state of mind, it doesn't matter how great your loved ones are - you're still going to be disappointed.
5. Waiting for a sign
In college, I had a friend who was miserable in her field of study. I once asked her if she had looked into other majors she might be interested in, but she said she was waiting for a "sign" that she should switch majors.
It might seem silly, but how many people wait for a "sign" before they decide to move to a new state or start a new job?
If you make the choice to take your life into your own hands, you'll be much better off for it. If you act, you won't be sitting around in a situation you're unhappy with and you'll be less afraid of the future - you'll know that you have the courage and ability to find a way to make the most out of it.
My mother is an incredibly hard worker. She's the strongest woman I know, and she raised me to work hard and chase my dreams. She taught me how to use my time as wisely as possible - but she also taught me that taking a moment to stop and smell the roses is not wasted time.
Take time in your life to "appreciate the view." Don't be afraid to laugh at yourself and find the joy in life. Not realizing the funny moments in your day will make for a miserable month ... and life.
No matter what, you're going to face some bad days. But the way I see it, all of those bad days come together to make up an overall good life, if you let it. If you can let go of all the things holding you down, you'll be a much happier person.
Emily Brady is a member of the FamilyShare content team. She studied Communication with an emphasis in journalism. She loves photography and finding a good book to read in her hammock on a sunny, breezy day.