Happy people don’t try for happiness. They don’t look for it. Happy people become happy as a sidenote to living their life the best way they can. Chronically unhappy people seem to want to fix their unhappiness and in doing so miss the mark altogether. Happiness can’t be chased. It can’t be found. It can’t be grasped. It happens, when everything else falls into place.
You can’t fix unhappiness unless you fix your inner dormant self. Wake up inside and make some changes. Happiness is grossly related to our actions, our choices and ultimately our thoughts. You can feel happy only as much as your mind will allow you. Fix your thoughts. Stretch your mind. Stretch your capacity to feel better.
Here are 10 common things chronically unhappy people do and how they can heal their life.
They subscribe to fatalistic views of life
Unhappy people quickly conclude the finality of something being impossible before giving it a chance for hope. “People can’t change.” “That is not fixable.” “You are finished.” These types of belief systems are self-limiting. They all happen to be fear driven. They keep you from trying alternatives, testing new ways, finding workarounds, solving problems. This kind of thinking holds people back from their actual potential.
“The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.” – Marcus Aurelius
A closed mind cannot problem solve effectively. So to be happy throw aboard all you fatalistic beliefs and start being open-minded instead, thinking positive.
They stay stuck. They’re averse to change.
I get it. People need a break from the hustle of life, they throw the towel in, and e.g. eat more, exercise less. This is the time in their life when they become a spectator instead of a participant in life. The change means work, it means pain. It means getting out of the comfort zone. It means losing control a little bit.
Still, it’s important to practice change, feeling fear and overcoming it – because that’s where happiness starts shining through. It happens when you aren’t focused on finding happiness, but focused instead on overcoming a fear. The evolution and growth of a person are where personal satisfaction and accomplishment breeds happiness. Without personal development, we are expecting happiness to come without having done the work. Unhappiness is a symptom of arrested development. So get active and take your life into your own hands.
“Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don’t.” – Steve Maraboli
They don’t try enough
Being unhappy is the same as giving up. It’s a choice you make every day to not try at something. We need to try new habits, try new relationships, try new activities, try new foods, try new knowledge. We need to keep trying to find ourselves at every stage of our lives. We need to try to be our best person. We need to try to serve.
Happiness is finding your passion. Your passion is the thing that you love so much that it causes you pain. Unhappy people quit too early. They don’t give themselves credit and quit before the glory. When we know what we’re made of, it gives us the confidence to try more often.
“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.” – Mary Anne Radmacher
They’re quick to quip, “I am such an idiot.” Or “I am a terrible person.” You’ve got to be good to yourself and it starts by quitting the self-inflicted verbal abuse. Happiness is derived from confidence and that inner belief in ourselves. You can’t be happy if you don’t love yourself. If you don’t love yourself, people can sense it and won’t want to love you either. Project outwards what you want projecting inwards.
“You’re braver than you believe and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” – A.A. Milne
Your disposition is a product of your thoughts, how you treat yourself and how you nourish yourself. Treat yourself the way you would treat someone you love.
They read, watch, hear dark and depressing things
Something as simple as the news is inherently depressing. It’s easy to get to a place where you want to hear the doom and gloom about the world and other people. We program ourselves to believe that our lives are better compared to the horror stories we hear. The problem is that we’re polluting our mind to attract those very things in our lives. Sad love songs are nice but do the songs you listen to correlate with the state of your relationships? What would happen if we exposed ourselves to funny, happy things?
“People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be.” – Abraham Lincoln
Change your mindset. Decide how you want to feel and immerse yourself in a culture happier.
They care about what others think
It’s impossible to be happy if you spend worthless time thinking about outside judgments. Find out what YOU think and care only about that. Not how others stifle you. Feel strong about your own beliefs so that when people judge, you can stand confidently. It takes major introspection to discover your authentic self, so don’t waste time on what others are thinking.
“Be true to yourself and you will never fall.” – Beastie Boys.
They are defensive
Instead of making things happen, things are happening to unhappy people. Living life in the defensive position is no play for happiness. Take nothing personally. Accept truth. Learn to be okay with it.
“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” – Lao Tzu
Be open to taking chances, getting creative and working at something. Little achievements are big offensive moves.
They are passionate and proud (but also stubborn)
Unhappy people want to do things their way. Given suggestions, they rebel even more positive that they are right. Sometimes it’s pride that gets in the way. Pride is just another barrier to happiness. Pride needs to be checked and wrecked. Pride is selfish and happiness is selfless. They have to be open to alternative ideas and solutions. If something is not working, try a new approach.
“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” – Winston Churchill
Being humble is the answer to happiness. Do something different, if you want a different result!
They hold on for too long
Toxic relationships, sad memories, the past, material possessions, unfinished projects, unfinished tasks, clutter, feelings, grudges….the list goes on and on. Whether it’s de-cluttering, detoxing, reprioritizing or clearing the mind, there needs to be a conscious effort to let go of the old, to make room for the new.
All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another– Anatole France
One door must close for another to open! Holding on to the past and looking back, not forward, halts progress and happiness. The best things happen to those that don’t hold on too tightly. Let go of your grasp and watch how things fall into place without your efforts. Have faith in something other than yourself. Let go of control.
They take themselves too seriously
If you can’t find humor in your efforts or circumstances, then you’re taking yourself too seriously. Learn to laugh at yourself and at others. When people take themselves so seriously, they aren’t present. Step back and breathe, look at the big picture. Don’t be that person that tries too hard! Narcissism happens when you believe so strongly that only your own attributes can produce gratification. That’s a lot of pressure to put on oneself. Learn to be humble, accept help from others. Life is too short to be so serious.
This piece was first published in Life Hack.