We all want to lead happier lives. But, when it comes to actually making that happen, we can also have the tendency to get in our own ways. There are certain bad habits we fall victim to that only sabotage our own happiness and send us tumbling down a rabbit hole of negativity.

Want to change that so that you can start to feel happier, every day? Stop doing these five far too common things.

1. Lose Perspective

Happy people never lose sight of the big picture, which means it's that much easier for them not to sweat the small stuff that crops up along the way.

Rather than getting wrapped up in minor problems and details, they always keep their eye on the prize. They don't obsess over the things that ultimately have little to no impact on the end game.

That amount of oil in their feathers helps them to feel much less distracted -- and, thus, happier -- each and every day.

2. Play the Comparison Game

Comparison is an easy trap to fall into. But, happy people know better than to constantly match themselves up against everyone else around them.

My favorite example to use here is a marathon runner. Do marathoners set out with the expectation of winning each and every race? Absolutely not. Instead, they aim to beat their own personal best -- and celebrate the accomplishments of others in the process.

Happy people employ this very same technique. Instead of constantly seeing how they measure up, they're much more internally focused and simply aim to be the very best versions of themselves -- regardless of what everybody else is doing.

3. Forget About Balance

Even if you love your work, some time away is still important. And, happy people recognize that they can enjoy what they do for a living, without letting it completely consume them.

People are at their most content when they feel balanced -- which means leaving adequate time for the personal things that you enjoy and that make you feel fulfilled.

Whether that means reading a book, traveling, volunteering, or something else entirely, people who are happiest know that all work and no play is no way to live.

4. Hold Grudges

It can be challenging not to harbor resentment toward the people who have wronged us in some way, shape, or form. But, if you're eager to lead a happier life, it's important that you acknowledge that holding on to that negativity will only hurt you in the end.

There's no point in letting old wrongdoings continue to eat away at you. So, take a cue from the happiest of people, take a deep breath, and let those grievances go.

No, you don't have to turn a blind eye and forget. However, at least make your best effort to move on and forgive.

5. Seek Out Negativity

Misery loves company, but happy people know that it's better to surround themselves with optimistic and upbeat friends and colleagues.

Happy people also avoid starting conversations with complaints. While those whiny statements might seem like an effective way to develop some rapport (nothing unites people like a shared dislike, right?), these sorts of remarks usually only spiral into entirely negative conversations.

Resist the urge to begin a discussion with a complaint about the weather or your impending deadline, and instead focus on something a little less gloomy. Surrounding yourself with positivity is sure to make you that much happier.

Happiness is the goal for all of us. But, far too often, we can sabotage ourselves. Stay away from these five common things that happy people don't do, and you're sure to take steps in the right direction.

Published on: Apr 20, 2017
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.