Want to be happy?

Happiness, to some extent, is a choice and not a condition. We decide what we do and the outlook we have on the world every single day. If something actively makes us unhappy, we have the self-control to break our detrimental habits and replace them with things that make us feel good about ourselves. Here are three of the habits you need to change.

1. Let yourself be bored

Don't complain about your state in life and do nothing to fix it. If you find yourself doing things that leave you feeling soulless, stop. We can't sit mindlessly for hours in front of the TV, wondering how we wasted so much of our time feeling only mildly entertained.

Fulfilled people do invigorating things consistently. There's no reason you can't do the same. You are the only one who can take the first step towards happiness. So, don't sit and let life go by. Start living.

2. Project your negative emotions

Inadvertently acting out toward others leaves them feeling poorly about themselves, and subsequently, your company. Humans are inherently social creatures. We need other beings to make us feel good about ourselves.

When we lash out at those who are in our company, we turn away the very people we should be holding close. Find healthier methods of relieving your stress, sadness, and anger. Alienating people with whom we need to build lasting relationships can only initiate a cycle that is ultimately detrimental to our long-term happiness.

3. Live in the past

As great as the "good old days" might have been, there is no way we can ever find joy now if we're stuck in a time that no longer exists. How can we make new friends, create relevant goals, or find a fresh start if we're only looking backwards?

There's no use in ruminating on what's already gone. Be here, now. How else can you make the most of every moment? Reliving our so-called glory days is useful for a quick boost of good feeling, but lingering in the past for too long only leaves us wishing for a lost time back.

Don't forget that every day is a new day. And they all have the potential to be just as beautiful as the ones we love to remember.

Published on: Jul 24, 2015
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.