sixtyandme logo
We are community supported and may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Learn more

My Amazing Do-Not-Do List: NOT Doing These 5 Things Is a Recipe for Everyday Happiness

By Linda Ward October 31, 2023 Mindset

Do you have a To Do list or a honey do list? Writing things down that need to be done is a good way to keep them front and center in your thinking. It’s rewarding and gives a sense of accomplishment to check off the things as they are completed.

If you’re a list person, you will love my Do-Not-Do list that frees up bogged down feelings and emotions. You’ll see that not doing some things helps you to feel happier!

  • Do not over-analyze everything.
  • Do not get touchy about what others say or do.
  • Do not think you are better than others.
  • Do not overshare with anyone about anyone.
  • Do not allow jealous feelings.

Let’s have a go at each of these separately.

Do Not Over-Analyze Everything

Are you a victim of this like I am sometimes? If someone doesn’t acknowledge me when I think they need to, or if I’m left off a guest list to an event, or other subtle ways I look for validation… my over-analyzing kicks in. Did I offend them somehow? Did I forget their birthday, special day, holiday, or did I mess up on an appointment I had with them?

It could be that after an event, you over-analyze all the conversations you were involved in during that event. You wonder if you came off intelligent or stupid, then approach this overanalyzing with self-disparaging slant about yourself. This type of thinking can drive you right up the wall.

Quickly scan your memory to see if you did do anything offensive, and if it comes back blank, then let this go. Stop over-analyzing, trying to figure out what other people may not even know they did, or figuring out if you were perfect. When you find yourself in this relentless loop, recognize it and do your best to stop.

Do Not Get Touchy About Everything

If someone says something that could be taken offensively, just don’t. Decide not to be offended easily. Have you ever said something flippant that wasn’t meant to offend? Sometimes we slip up, don’t we? So, catch yourself from being touchy when you hear something that doesn’t sit just right. Maybe it was just a slip.

Mulling this over and over may be a habit that ties into your over-analyzing. Take it the best way possible or try to let it go as if it wasn’t said. If they meant it as an offense, don’t worry you will hear more statements to back it up that validates they are indeed mad, upset with you, or holding some sort of grudge. Then you can go ahead and work that out with them. But, until that time, just stop being so dog-gone touchy. It’s hard on you. You will be happier letting questionable statements or actions go.

Do Not Think You Are Better Than Others

When it comes right down to it, no one is better than anyone else. Sometimes I think of celebrities and their day-to-day activities compared to mine. Do you think they make a grocery list, shop for the food, cook and then clean up the kitchen? I don’t think so. (Can you tell I’m tired of doing these things?) Does this make them better than others? They are human beings, just like we all are.

We are all doing our thing on this planet, and we are all just people. I’m no better than anyone. Friends who struggle with something, someone who is homeless, someone who lives in a drug rehab program, or people who have differing ideas about life… we are all people figuring out our way. When you feel intimidated by others, or if you find yourself intimidating anyone, re-set this in your thinking. Do not think you’re better than anyone. In the same breath, they are not better than you. This level-sets our view on others.

Do Not Overshare with Anyone About Anyone

It takes self-control to hold in stuff you know about someone. My rule of thumb is, do not overshare anything about anyone. When my friend was going through a rough patch, others would ask me about her mental or physical health. Unless I knew it was common knowledge, and she wouldn’t care who knew, I practiced not giving out information.

I wanted to, because it would help the situation make sense to others, but this is on my do not do list! Oversharing can be a shrouded form of gossip, and we know gossip is not helpful. If I ever do overshare, I feel crummy. I hope my friends also have this on their do not do list about me.

Do Not Allow Jealous Feelings

Oh, those nasty sneaky jealous feelings. They like to come in and choke the happiness out of your day. If your husband’s ex is cute, or your weight is not where you want it to be, but your sister’s is perfect, or someone you know has a house in the most beautiful location while you struggle in your studio apartment… jealous thoughts and feelings can come up to choke you.

I’ve found that if I can identify the jealousy right away, it helps to talk to it like this: “Oh no, I refuse to let you get the better of me. I’m killing those thoughts right now!” I imagine myself killing a thought. I’ll let you figure out how that looks because it’s not pretty. (J)

This does wonders for me. I put my foot down and refuse to be jealous. It frees up my emotions and my thoughts to experience real happiness for others and eliminate the nasty feeling of jealousy that robs me of joy.

When I practice this do not do list, I instantly free myself of bad emotions and feel better.I often remind myself of this list because it effectively gives me back a balanced perspective on life. Practicing not doing something can be a recipe for everyday happiness.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

What’s would you put on your do not do list? Does it help you steer clear of negative emotions? Please feel free to share here. We may add your items to our own list.

Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Ciara Roots

Excellent article! This is some of the best advice I’ve seen in ages. And, it was said succinctly. Well done!

Linda Ward

Hi Ciara,
Thanks for the uplifting comment! It made my day. :)

Debi Reuter

Do not try to control other peoples choices.

Barbara Ledbury

This list is a perfect summary of the Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, an excellent book for looking at a more in in-depth explanation of each. Be impeccable with your word; Do not take anything personally; do not make assumptions; and always do your best.


I really like this idea! Thanks for writing!

Karen Jennings

Over-analyzing! I feel that I am slowly improving but there are those times when I just think and think! This past week was an example and I started, went a few “rounds” and decided, no more! It feels good!

Linda Ward

Just catching yourself over-analyzing is the first step! Sometimes that’s all it takes. It’s especially helpful before you are way down the rabbit hole. Trust me, I know!

surati ivey

I think Over – analyzing is fixating on an issue. I meditate and study Buddhism, the mind tends to get in these loops, I try to see this when it is occurring and just drop the fixating.

1 2 3 4

The Author

Linda Ward is a Writer and Life Coach living in Minnesota. She specializes in helping mature women find everyday happiness and a satisfying life. She zeroes in on life after divorce, retirement transitions, and finding courage no matter what the circumstances. Her inspiring new eBook is called, Crazy Simple Steps to Feeling Happier. Linda’s Professional background is Social Work and Counseling.

You Might Also Like