All of us want to feel happiness in life. However, most of us seem to be rather unhappy with ourselves and the way we live. Although it’s normal to feel low from time to time, for some of us the feeling of unhappiness may linger longer than it should. But why do you feel so unhappy in life? Is it something that you’re doing without even knowing it?
In no particular order, Danny Baker lists 12 relatively simple—and relatively easily correctable—things that could be preventing you from living your happiest life.
Here Are 12 Simple Reasons Why You’re Unhappy
1. You’re Surrounded By Toxic People.
To varying extents, we’re all influenced by the people around us. If the people surrounding us are positive, inspiring, and uplifting, then we tend to feel positive, inspired and elevated. On the other hand, if the people around us are negative and downbeat, then we tend to feel just that.
2. You Constantly Compare Yourself To Others.
“We are sometimes dragged into a pit of unhappiness by someone else’s opinion that we do not look happy.” – Mokokoma Mokhonoana
Constantly comparing ourselves to other people has the potential to make us feel inadequate, worthless, and depressed. But life is not a race. As such, there’s no need to worry about what everyone else is doing – because what everyone else is doing isn’t relevant to us. Instead, it’s better to just go through life at our own pace, and focus on living the best existence we can.
3. You’re A People-Pleaser.
“The unhappiest people in this world, are those who care the most about what other people think.” – C. JoyBell C.
Pleasing everybody is an impossible task, and until you acknowledge that you can’t achieve it and stop trying to do so, you’re going to experience a lot of unnecessary worry and frustration.
4. You Don’t Make A Point Of Doing All The Little Things That Make You Happy.
Do you love playing a sport, but never play? Do you love going to the movies, but never find the time? Do you love traveling, but haven’t taken a trip in months or even years? If you don’t make a point of peppering your life with all the little things you enjoy, you’re placing a low glass ceiling on how happy you can be.
Related: 9 Signs You’re A People Pleaser
5. You’re Working So Hard To Make A Living That You’re Forgetting To Make A Life.
“The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it.” – Eckhart Tolle
Making money is important, but neglecting your relationships, your interests, and your health just to make some extra bucks is a recipe for unhappiness – particularly if you’re not even passionate about your job, to begin with.
6. You Don’t Spend Enough Time In The Sun.
This might sound really pie in the sky, but studies suggest that being out in the sun increases your brain’s serotonin levels – AKA your “happy chemicals”.
7. You Focus On What You Haven’t Got Instead Of What You Have Got.
“Your unhappiness is a way of speaking to you, it’s telling you something isn’t right.” – Robert Greene
You can always have more than what you have, so if you’re constantly pining over what you haven’t got, then you’re making it very hard for yourself to be happy. Instead, focus on everything you have got, and be grateful for it.
8. You Sweat The Small Stuff.
“Unhappiness is really an incorrect way of seeing. When we are unhappy we don’t see life as it really is. We are in a condition of veiled light, of shadows.” – Frederick Lenz
Traffic jams, parking fines, forgetting things at home – yes, these things and a whole lot more can definitely be frustrating, but it’s not worth letting it get you down. Ask yourself, is what I’m angry about or stressing over going to matter in one year’s time? Most of the time the answer is “no”, so if what you’re angry or worried about doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, then is it really worth getting hot and bothered about it now?
9. You’re Holding A Grudge.
As the saying goes, holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting someone else to die – the only person it hurts is you. So if someone else has wronged you, choose to forgive them – not because they necessarily deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace.
10. You Don’t Live A Healthy Lifestyle.
“Unhappiness indicates wrong thinking, just as ill health indicates a bad regimen.” Paul Bourget
You’ll meet a few happy people who don’t eat well, exercise frequently or make it their business to get a good night’s sleep. It’s almost a law of nature.
11. You Abuse Drugs Or Alcohol.
“Unhappiness is not knowing what we want, and killing ourselves to get it.” – Don Herold
Alcohol is a depressant, and taking drugs to make you happy is the human equivalent of a dog chasing its tail.
12. You Don’t Learn From Your Mistakes.
If you don’t learn from your mistakes at work, in your personal life, and with regards to your health, then you’re going to keep repeating them – which of course is another recipe for unhappiness. So if something in your life didn’t turn out the way you’d have liked it to, take the time to analyze where you went wrong and work out what you can do differently next time so that the outcome isn’t the same as before.
If you found yourself ticking a number of boxes on this list, then the good news is that while the presence of any of these circumstances or behaviors is sure to stifle your happiness, they’re all relatively simple situations or habits to change. So take responsibility for your happiness and make that change now.
As the saying goes, there’s no better time than the present.
Here’s an interesting video that you may find helpful:
Written by Danny Baker
Originally appeared in The Goodmen Project