23 Things to Quit for an Easier, Happier Life

All based on research-backed psychology and ideas from therapy

Alexander M. Combstrong
Forge
Published in
19 min readDec 8, 2021

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Photo: Stephen Zeigler/Getty Images

How and why do we make ourselves more miserable than we need to be? Why do we make life so difficult without even noticing?

Luckily, psychology can explain what’s going on, and therapy can help and advise. Here’s a list of the things we can quit right now for an easier, happier life:

1. Believing you “should”

The word should feels like a common, harmless word, but it can cut deep into our happiness. Often, when we think in terms of should, we’re not thinking about what is right for us or anyone else at all. Instead, our thoughts are coming from ingrained family or cultural patterns or expectations.

Families and cultures aren’t always right — just look at the horrible things cultures have done across history — but the shoulds we get from our own ingrain deeply into our minds.

CBT classes “should statements” as a form of a cognitive distortion — thought patterns that aren’t helpful or accurate. Just because you think you should do something or feel a certain way doesn’t mean that’s what’s best for you, and believing such thoughts can lead to low self-esteem and anxiety. Freeing yourself from the grasp of should can be one…

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Alexander M. Combstrong
Forge

Research-backed ways to change your life for the better. Out now: The Confident Introvert’s Handbook. Actor/screenwriter. Forge, Better Humans, Mind Cafe.