We all strive for some control in our lives. Most of us like knowing that some things are predictable. In fact, studies show people who feel like they have some control in their lives are more motivated, feel a greater sense of well-being and set more ambitious goals than those who feel like they have no say over what happens. But how much control is too much? At some point, trying to control every aspect of your life can make you unhappy, stressed out and depressed. Here are 5 things you can stop doing today to find balance in your life.

Holding onto anger and resentment

Too often we hang onto feelings of anger or resentment, talking about other people and what they did to us. The key to happiness is to forgive and forget, the move forward. Don’t dwell on what happened in the past. Drop your anger and enjoy the present.

Needing approval from others

Social media is a perfect example of how much we rely on approval from others to validate our happiness. We portray our best selves in order to earn likes from our friends and followers, but it’s never enough. Stop trying to impress others. Don’t let your self-esteem be determined by external opinions. Don’t try to be someone else, just be yourself and happiness will follow.

Trying to do too much

Lately, most of us are in a constant time crunch -- running to work, picking up kids, doing errands. We don’t have time to enjoy the things we love. Let go of at least some of the things that make you feel pressure and you’ll have time to enjoy more free time and happiness.

Making excuses

Excuses are obstacles that keep you from doing what you want. It’s time to banish them from your life. If you want to work out but you keep saying you don’t have time, get up early and go to the gym. If you want to spend more time with family but you have too much work, delegate some of your job and go visit your loved ones. Don’t spend excess energy coming up with excuses, get out there and do what makes you happy.

Being hard on yourself

You look in the mirror and focus on your faults, or you kick yourself for saying the wrong thing at work or a party. Too many of us are too hard on ourselves. Happiness starts with focusing on the best parts of you. Look closely and you’ll see there’s a lot to celebrate. Be sure to allow mistakes to roll off your back. Don’t keep looking back or you’ll miss what’s ahead.

The more you can let go of the negative thoughts and patterns, the more room you make for happiness in your life. Take control of your priorities and choose the things that make a difference to you. You’ll be happy you did.