Let Go of Problems to Feel Happy

Do you ever feel like your problems are taking over your life? It’s not uncommon for most of us to have a handful of problems or challenges that keep detracting from our happiness.

Maybe for you it’s financial struggles, a persistent weight problem, trouble in your relationships, or work-related stress. Even if most of the other areas of your life are fine, you feel like your problems take over your whole focus at times so it seems like your life in general is dissatisfying.

Is it possible to still be happy despite persistent problems like these?


Believe it or not, the happiest people on the planet are NOT those who have no problems. Problems and challenges will always exist, for every one of us. Things will go wrong. People will let us down. We’ll experience stressful moments, upsetting moments, disappointing moments, and frightening moments. That’s just life.

In a perfect world maybe we could live problem-free, but I don’t see that happening any time soon.

So, how do you feel happy even though you have problems that keep dragging you down?

The key is perspective, which in basic terms, means the angle from which you view a situation. I’m not going to say that your problems aren’t real, that they aren’t scary, that they aren’t frustrating. Of course, they are. But when you allow them to become so prominent that they are all you can see when you look at your life, you are living from a very skewed perspective!

Try a little experiment right now:

Make a list of your problems; anything that’s not the way you want it to be. Then make a list of everything that’s working well for you or is already fine the way it is. When you really start delving into this exercise, you realize that you have FAR MORE “non-problems” than problems!

However, I know that insight alone isn’t necessarily enough to make you feel happy. I just wanted to show you that the potential for happiness is stacked in your favor, despite the fact that you have some challenges.

So, now for the big question: what can you do to feel happier, despite these problems?

Here are some good techniques to get you started:

Set Them Aside

Problems become magnified the more you focus on them, and the negative feelings associated with them get stronger too. If a challenge makes you feel angry, you’ll get more and more angry the more you think about it. Needless to say, you aren’t thinking productively when you’re in the grip of anger, depression, or fear!

It helps immensely to set aside a few periods of time where you separate yourself from your problems. Find a quiet place to be alone, then bring your problem(s) to mind, and then deliberately SET THEM ASIDE.

Imagine placing them in a box, closing the lid and locking it. Imagine putting them in a basket, tying a balloon to it and watching them float away. Imagine dropping them down a deep, dark hole in the ground. It doesn’t matter how you do it, but mentally make the intention to set the problems aside and give yourself a little breathing room.

Then allow your mind to rest for a few minutes. Focus on silence, or listen to some soothing music or nature sounds. If the problems try jumping back into your mind again, gently but firmly set them aside again.

You may have to do this repeatedly at first, but eventually you gain better control over your focus and you create a little pocket of mental peace where you can go to escape stressful thoughts and feelings.

Focus More on Non-Problems

Another good technique is to deliberately spend time focusing on things that don’t drag you down. Rather than stewing about your problems while you’re commuting or doing mundane chores, purposely direct your mind to focus on things that make you feel happy. You might recall some funny memories that make you laugh, or think about one of your favorite hobbies, or even imagine something wonderful that you would like to happen in the future.

Over time, you can train your mind to naturally gravitate toward more pleasant thoughts, which will definitely help you feel better than focusing exclusively on problems.

These techniques won’t make your problems disappear, but they can definitely help you feel happier, stronger, more resilient, and better able to cope with challenges. That alone is a great gift if you have spent any length of time feeling powerless and defeated.

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