Misery, as painful as it is, can be comfortable in its familiarity. It’s easy to sink into despair. Picking yourself up and forging onward is a bit more daunting. The problem is, a lot of us play a passive role in our own lives and tend to feel miserable.
We let circumstances and situations dictate who we are and how we feel, and then find solace in the fact that it’s not our fault. In life, we can’t control what happens to us, but we can control how we react to things, and that is oftentimes the difference between feeling free and happy or trapped and miserable.
Happiness doesn’t just happen. It’s not something that shows up at your door one day as a consolation prize for years of pain and suffering. It takes some work, both on the inside and out. Misery is easy because frankly, life is hard. Stress is inevitable, and so is heartbreak, rejection, disappointment, criticism, and feelings of defeat.
Being miserable is a combination of how you live your life and how you process the inevitable things that happen. A lot of us don’t even realize all the ways we’re creating our own misery. And with that, here are six guaranteed ways to be absolutely miserable.
6 Types Of Negative Thinking That Makes You Miserable
1. Play the Victim
As I said, we can’t always control the things that happen to us. The only thing within our control is how we respond. You are the one who gets to decide if you will be the triumphant leading lady or the tragic heroine in the story of your life. Things are going to happen to you. Bad things probably already have happened to you.
When you blame everyone else for your struggles, all you’re really doing is feeding into your own feelings of misery and helplessness. Your emotional well-being is your responsibility, and you get to decide what has the power to destroy you.
Feeling like a victim occurs when you live in a state of reflexive reaction; that is, instantly reacting to things that happen rather than thoughtfully responding. If you reflexively react, then anytime someone speaks harshly or looks at you disapprovingly or criticizes you (even if it’s constructively), or doesn’t interact with you by giving you the level of approval and affection you think they should, you will feel hurt and upset like they have wronged you like everyone is out to get you.
When you take a step back and separate yourself from your initial emotional response, you will see things more clearly. You’ll realize that not everything is about you, and most of the time when someone is being distant or harsh it has to do with something going on in their own life and is not a reflection on you or their feelings toward you in any way.
2. Worry About Everything
Worrying is a tricky animal. It seems like a productive pursuit, yet it doesn’t actually result in anything other than putting you in a negative headspace. A lot of us get caught up in solving problems that haven’t yet happened.
I definitely struggle with this one, and anytime I find myself worrying about some terrible future outcome I tell myself: “Don’t solve a problem until there is a problem to solve.”
Yes, there is a chance that you will lose your job, that you will face financial difficulty, that your boyfriend will leave, that your husband will cheat, that you’ll get the flu–there are a million bad things that could potentially happen, but what’s the point of worrying about them unless they are happening?
Instead, focus on living in the present and have faith that should problems arise down the line, you will be able to handle them.