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12 Things That Are Stopping You From Being Happy

Are we rewarded for our good deeds in the hereafter only, or also in this life? The answer is in the Quran.

Whosoever does right, whether male or female, and is a believer, we shall make them live a good life (in this world), and We shall pay them a recompense in proportion to the best of what they used to do. (Quran 16: 97)

There’s a reward in this world and it’s called the “good life”. But what is this “good life?” The good life includes feeling tranquility in all aspects of life:

Ali ibn Abi Talib interpreted it as contentment. This was also the opinion of Ibn Abbas, Ikrimah and Wahb bin Munabbih. Ali bin Abi Talhah recorded from Ibn Abbas that it meant happiness. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir)

Do you feel unhappiness more often than you feel joy? More important, do you know why you feel like this? Let’s take a look at the 12 things you need to release from your life if you want to feel happy.

12 Things To Let Go If You Want To Be Happy!

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1.      Let Go of Wanting to be in Control

Do you try to always bend things or people to your way, trying to control the situation and getting upset if it doesn’t seem to work? Truly trusting your affairs to Allah Al-Wakeel means you do your bit and trust He will give you the best result.

By letting it go it all gets done”, said Lao Tzu.

This will give you the most amazing serenity inside and it is an act of worship!


(He is) Lord of the East and the West. There is no god but He. Take Him therefore as Disposer of your Affairs. (Quran, 73: 9)

2.      Let Go of Complaining

The shopping was too expensive. The weather too hot. The children too tiring. When did complaining ever help? Does complaining to others— or to yourself— make you feel honorable? A situation can only make you sad if you allow it to.

Positive thinking is extremely powerful! You can complain because roses have thorns, or you can rejoice because thorns have roses. (Ziggy)


Look at those who stand at a lower level than you but don’t look at those who stand at a higher level than you, for this would make the favors (conferred upon you by Allah) insignificant (in your eyes). (Muslim)

3.      Let Go of Always Wanting to be Right

Do you always want to be right, even if it ends up in an argument? This is your nafs (ego) speaking. What is more important, being right, or being kind?


I guarantee a house in Jannah for one who gives up arguing, even if he is in the right… (part of the hadith). (Sunan Abu Dawud)

4.      Let Go of Criticizing Others

What is your true intention when you criticize someone? Is it for the sake of Allah or is it for your own image or reputation?


Make things easy for the people, and do not make it difficult for them, and make them calm (with glad tidings) and do not repel them (i.e. make them hate good deeds and run away from Islam). (Al Bukhari)

5.      Let Go of Low Self-esteem

A low self-image can really stand in the way of you taking action and better the world and yourself with the skills Allah gave you. Belief and good deeds make you the best of creatures. So get rid of the self-defeating mindset, you really are better than that. Why? Because Allah says so!


Verily, those who believe [in the Oneness of Allah, and in His Messenger Muhammad (Peace be upon him) including all obligations ordered by Islam] and do righteous good deeds, they are the best of creatures. (Quran, 98:7)

6.      Let Go of Blaming Others

“His fault. Her fault. Not me.” Do you notice that you are always blaming others for what you don’t like in your life?

Stop putting your moods and happiness in the hands of others and take responsibility yourself!


Whosoever does righteous good deed it is for (the benefit of) his ownself, and whosoever does evil, it is against his ownself, and your Lord is not at all unjust to (His) slaves. (41: 46)

7.      Let Go of Impressing Others

Don’t be someone you are not. Impressing others brings stress, impressing Allah makes you happy and safe in the next life!


The Prophet said: Whoever seeks knowledge in order to compete with the scholars, or to debate with the foolish, or to draw people’s attention, Allah will put him into the Fire. (Narrated from At-Tirmidhi as taken from Mishkat)

8.      Let Go of Attachment

Attachment often comes from a place of fear. Love and attachment are two different things.  You can love a person or even an object but you should not attach yourself to it, being left completely empty when you lose it. Without realizing it we attach our self to this world too much, to its people, to its belongings and to its places.

O Men, if you have been worshiping Muhammad, then know that Muhammad is dead. But if you have been worshiping Allah, then know that Allah is living and never dies. (Abu Bakr)

9.Let Go of Your Excuses

Most people who fail are the one who have a habit of making excuses.

“I’m too old to learn Quran!” “I’m too young to practice Islam.”

Your excuses are standing in the way of your own happiness!


The Prophet said:

Mankind will not perish till they make excuses for their conduct to themselves. (Mishkat)

10.  Let Go of the Past

Tell yourself that the time to be happy is now. Everything happened for a reason. Live in the present.


No amount of guilt can change the past and no amount of worrying can change the future. Go easy on yourself for the outcome of all affairs is determined by Allah’s Decree. (Umar ibn al-Khattab)

11.  Let Go of Your Fears

“What if I become poor, what if I become ill, what if my spouse leaves me?”

Fear is just an illusion. When you let go of your fears and only fear Allah, you will feel much more happy!


It is only Satan that suggests to you the fear of his allies. So, do not fear them, and fear Me if you are believers. (Quran, 3: 175)

12.  Let Go of Living up to Others’ Expectations

Fearing other people’s opinions is something that truly stands in the way of our happiness. Do you constantly worry about what people might think of you? Pleasing Allah is easy, pleasing people is hard, subhan Allah!


The Prophet said:

If anyone seeks Allah’s satisfaction at the expense of people’s anger, Allah will be pleased with him and will cause people to be pleased with him. However, if anyone seeks people’s satisfaction at the expense of Allah’s anger, Allah will be angry with him and will cause people to be angry with him. (Ibn Hibban)

Source: Understand Quran.


About Khawlah bint Yahya
Khawlah b. Yahya founded SISTERS' PROJECT in 2008, a United Kingdom women's support organization and is a writer for different Islamic organizations and academies. She authored the renown How to Live by the Names of Allah Series, published by the Understand Qur'an Academy, as well as the internationally shared Revive a Sunnah Series. She focuses most of her work on how to translate classic Islamic Knowledge to daily life action. She recently released Personal Lessons from the Qur'an, in which daily life action points are based on Qur’anic ayaat in a way that’s never seen before. You can now purchase the E-book on: