10 Toxic habits you must quit today for a happier life

Happy girl after quiting toxic habits

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Toxic habits are something that we never pay attention to, for a better life and self-development, we often pay much attention to building good habits but quitting bad habits is equally important. Some habits you may have built over a time without even realizing can be toxic for your self-growth and these habits you need to quit for a happier life and peaceful mind.

In this post, I am sharing

  • Some of the toxic habits you should definitely consider quitting
  • Simple ways to help you quit them.

I have felt much happier by quitting some of the toxic habits shared in this post and am on the way to quitting more.

Let’s get started to find these toxic habits.

Why you should quit toxic habits?

Many times we do not realize having a toxic habit and unknowingly sabotage our own life.

To learn new things and get better at life unlearning is also important. 

At times rather than building a new good habit, it may be more beneficial to quit a bad habit.

“Half of wisdom is learning what to unlearn.”

Larry Niven

Quitting a toxic habit is not easy and may need more effort than building a new habit but the rewards happier and calm life it brings is totally worth it.

10 toxic habits to quit for a happier life

Here are 10 toxic habits you should immediately quit for a happier life if you are guilty of carrying these bad habits in your life.

10 toxic habits to quite

Toxic habit no. 1: Negative self-talk

A common toxic habit that we are not well aware of is negative self-talk, Negative self-talk is a habit of criticizing yourself or finding yourself incapable and worthy.  

It can be as simple as calling yourself stupid for making a small error or telling yourself “I can’t do this”.  

Negative self-talk affects your subconscious mind and may affect your psychology. It is found through a study on tennis players that players indulging in negative self-talk were more likely to lose.  

Negative self-talk affects your self-confidence, makes you unhappy, and limits your thinking.

A simple way to deal with negative self-talk is to replace negative words with positive words in your conversations and to talk to yourself the way you would talk with others.  We tend to be kind when talking with others but miss on expressing the same kindness to ourselves.

Toxic habit no. 2: Trying to be perfect

The next habit worth quitting is trying to do things with perfection. Being a perfectionist result in frequent burnout adds to your anxiety, and builds additional pressure on yourself to meet the unrealistic mark of keeping things perfect. 

Perfectionism can also make you procrastinate.

P.S. If you find yourself procrastinating you may like to read Understanding Procrastination And Effective Solution To Stop Procrastinating

Studies have found perfectionism to be associated with somatic anxiety and less goal satisfaction. It also affects life satisfaction and happiness.

At times it is important for you to realize getting things done and prioritizing your peace is more important than delivering a perfect report to your boss or having a perfect, clean well-decorated home. 

I will share the best way to deal with this, anytime you are stretching thin to do things a little more better, tell ask yourself what you have done is it sufficient to serve the purpose, and is it more important than your peace? The answer will help.

Toxic habit no. 3: Comparing yourself with others

The journey of life is so unique for everyone still we land comparing ourselves with the life of others only to feel unhappy.

Especially in today’s day and age of social media, the difference between real and reel life is blurred. 

For example, your friend with a fun post on insta may be struggling with issues in life or you may be comparing the success of years of hard work by others with just a few months of your effort.

When you quit comparing yourself with others you feel more satisfied and focus on working on your goals.

A trick to deal with the habit of comparing yourself with other’s life is to count your blessing rather than thinking of the difficulties you have in life. This will make you feel more grateful for your life.

Toxic habit no. 4: Caring about other’s opinion

Giving priority to other opinions rather than your wish and opinion is a toxic habit that hampers your growth and happiness in life. 

Caring about others’ well-being is an act of kindness but caring about the opinions of others is of no good to you. You will end up overthinking and whatever you do someone may be disappointed with your action or choice. 

When you constantly care about others’ opinions you lose your individuality and become unhappy for not making choices that you liked but those that made others feel good. 

So prioritize your choice and opinion rather than others.

Toxic habit no.5: Unhealthy lifestyle

Our happiness in life is not just linked with success and achievements but it is associated with our health and wellness. We often ignore basic things such as drinking water, eating a healthy breakfast, and sleeping well without realizing that this unhealthy lifestyle affects our health, productivity, and most importantly happiness. Studies have shown people with a healthy lifestyle are happier.

You should definitely consider quitting an unhealthy lifestyle and making simple changes to a better life. You will need to identify the unhealthy lifestyle that can be toxic for you. It can be simply the habit of skipping breakfast or lunch every day, spending too much time over the phone, or not sleeping for enough hours. Just find one unhealthy habit at focus on breaking it rather than trying to change everything.

You would believe till you experience that breaking an unhealthy lifestyle habit brings a great change in your life.

Healthy lifestyle habits

Toxic habit no. 6: Seeking validation from others

We all crave validation from others. It’s human nature to feel liked, loved, accepted, and appreciated. The habit of seeking validation from others is unintentional without realizing the negative effect it brings on your personality and well-being. 

It is important to realize validation from others is often temporary and makes you a people pleaser. You start to lose your individuality and opinion and care more about if others would like your decision and choice. It also makes you dependent on others and impairs your decision-making ability in the long run of life.

Hence it is very important to quit the habit of seeking validation from others.

Toxic habit no. 7: Dwelling on past

The next toxic habit is something we are all guilty of and feel is uncontrollable, and that is to dwell in past. It is easy to dwell in the past by thinking about things that had happened a long time or reliving incidents of the past in our head. Wondering what would have happened if you had made a different choice or what would have happened if you had reacted differently to a situation?

Truth be told, it does not bring any benefit but just distracts you from your present and goals and adds to the trouble. You might be reliving old hurts or old triumphs. Or you might be living in a time that never existed but a time that was just created in your own mind.

As Dumbledore said “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live”

A simple trick to deal with this is to identify anytime you are thinking of the past and to immediately distract your mind to something productive or at present. For example, I find myself wandering in the past while doing mundane tasks like cleaning so I listen to a podcast or audiobook while doing such tasks to keep my mind occupied and away from lurking in past.

toxic habit to quit

Toxic habit no. 8: Skipping self-time

With a busy life and constant need to be productive and make the best of time we seldom forget the importance of having a self-time. Many think being productive is about working all the time whereas it is about making the best of the time.  A few minutes of self-time each day helps to keep sanity and prevent burnout. However, we often feel guilty about taking breaks, and self-time is considered an optional privilege. 

Breaking the toxic habit of working all time and ignoring self is much needed for a happy life. You may find 5 step system to help you relax and unwind after a busy day helpful if you find trouble enjoying a me-time at the end of the day.

Toxic habit no. 9: Always complaining

If you’re the type of person who always complains, chances are you’re not very happy. Complaining is a toxic habit that can be very destructive to both yourself and those around you. It’s important to try to break this habit if you want to live a happier, more positive life.

Some simple ways to stop complaining are:

1. Be aware of your complaining. The first step to breaking any habit is to become aware of when you’re doing it. Start paying attention to how often you complain and what you’re complaining about.

2. Challenge your negative thoughts. When you catch yourself complaining, try to challenge the negative thoughts that are causing you to do so. Are they really true? Is there another way to look at the situation?

3. Find something positive to focus on

Anytime you find yourself complaining try to focus on the good and positive things around you. Being grateful will help you to stop complaining, you can also keep a gratitude journal, and read it in times you feel complaining about life.

Toxic habit no. 10: Expecting others to make you happy

A toxic habit that leads to unhappiness and affects many relationships in your life is expecting others to make you happy. If you’re waiting for someone else to make you happy, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Happiness is an inside job. It starts with you. You’re the only one who can control your happiness.

Don’t get me wrong, other people can definitely contribute to your happiness, but they’re not responsible for it. If you’re relying on someone else to make you happy, you’re giving them a lot of power over your life.

It’s not fair to them, and it’s not healthy for you. So take responsibility for your own happiness. Make it a priority. Work on it every day. It’s worth it, I promise.

Some of the ways to stop expecting others to make you happy are by finding things that make you happy, it can be building a hobby or doing fun things that make you happy. Make a habit of spending me-time just with yourself it will help you be more intentional with your life and gradually build the habit of enjoying your own company.


So these are the 10 Toxic habits that I feel we all should quit immediately to be happy and live a better life. I bet some of these will be food for thought to you. But take your time, think and reflect on yourself to find which toxic habits you need to quit. It may not be easy to quit but definitely worth the effort required to make your life happier and more meaningful. 

Quitting even one of the toxic habits shared in this post will bring a very positive change in your life and mindset.

If you like this post here are some more related posts you may find useful.

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