Everybody on the planet wants to be happy right? Research suggests that around 40% of our happiness is under our control and the rest is determined by outside factors.

I disagree with this number because I still think we can be happy in the majority of circumstances we find ourselves in because it depends on how we respond to such factors.

I think we are in control of probably 90% of our happiness.

So is happiness really a choice? I will let you decide on that one.

But if you would like to be happy more of the time, here are 10 things that joyous, contented folk refuse to do (and what you do have control over).

Hold Grudges

Happy people refuse to hold grudges knowing that hurts others may have caused that are left to fester, clog the mind with unhappy thoughts and can cause deep resentment. This in turn can lead to other ailments and illnesses.

Hang Around With Toxic People

We’ve all come across toxic people in our lives. They are destructive and soul destroying. Happy people simply refuse to have them in their circle of friends. I have known happy people to switch jobs and get out of the orbit of toxicity they were tangled in to remain joyful and contented (And sane). They also do not succumb to the words or actions of haters either.

Say Yes to Everyone

You cannot be all things to all people all of the time. Happy people refuse to say yes to all requests of their time, knowing that they must have time for themselves and their own interests. They know their limits as to what they can take on and what they can do. When things infringe on this, they will not say yes.

Say No to Everything

Happier people seem to instinctively know that sameness can kill the spirit. So when offered to do something different like a watch a film that may not necessarily be in their usual range of viewing, they will not say no. They will be open to new adventures – big or small. Their child-like curiosity never ceasing.

Judge Others

Happy people will judge others less, most of the time or not at all. They know that other people have their struggles, issues and circumstances to get through. Their general attitude is that people are doing the best they can. Instead of judging, where possible they offer kindness or help.


You’ll notice that unhappy people do this a lot. Incessantly complaining about the weather, the service they received at the restaurant, the hand life has dealt them, the traffic. Happy people avoid complaining and instead adopt a deep state of gratitude for everything in their life.


Getting involved in gossip-mongering, saying unkind things to or about others are things that happy people avoid doing at all costs. The happy people are usually the ones you hear defending the person being spoken about or you see them changing the subject or making excuses to leave.

Go to Bed on an Argument

Like they don’t hold grudges, contented people decline to go to sleep on a bad note. They prefer to sort out the issue and go to bed, well, happy.

Be Idle

There is so much research about exercise and the positive endorphins it releases into the brain and all studies show how it can increase happiness levels. Joyful people are going on walks, hitting the gym, taking a run, dancing or some other physical activity on a regular basis.

Be Pessimistic

Life sometimes throws bad things at everyone, including those cheerful people you see. The difference is how they view and respond to these things. Being pessimistic only makes matters worse and quite often becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. Happy people will admit something ‘bad’ has happened, but then look and respond in a more optimistic manner and start working out a solution.

Bringing It All Together

I have given you a different angle on looking at happiness. Somethings you can avoid doing, rather than looking at what you should aim for.

If you have found yourself doing some of the things on this list then refuse to do some of them next time you are in that situation.

You’ll find your happiness levels naturally increasing when you do!

Stay happy!