We’ve had moments when we feel unhappy. No one can be completely happy 100 per cent of the time; getting ups-and-downs in life is perfectly natural. Optimally, we should try to reduce those low points and try as much as possible to feel good. It helps things go more smoothly in our lives. We do well at work, sleep better, eat better, and the healthier we feel, the better relationships we have.
However, specific individuals tend to have a disproportionate amount of miserable days. We all know someone who looks and behaves like they’ve been down for so many days a week. Or we may be the ones who fall into that group.
Such individuals appear to have many traits in common. Much of these characteristics are actually poor habits that they have established and were unable to break over the years. They may not even know they have these problems, or that it is even possible to break them because they have never done it.
Below is a compilation of 10 bad habits, along with a remedy for overcoming each of them, shared by so many unhappy people. If you discover that any or all of these relate to you, i strongly encourage you to focus on them, one at a time. Initially, it may not be simple, but it is by no means impossible. Also, the benefits that you get will be numerous.
Seeing the downside in almost any circumstance
Many unhappy individuals are pessimists. Instead of trying to look for a situation’s positive side, they still find the bad and concentrate on it. They are always anticipating the worst possible result in any given scenario. They prefer to overlook the advantage and expect that their good fortune will not last, even though something good does occur.
To overcome this habit, try to capture yourself when you begin to have negative emotions. One thing about meditation is that emotions cause actions, and thoughts drive feelings. If you can become aware of your feelings before they begin to influence your emotions, you can try to alter them.
Make a deliberate effort to look for the positive in it the next time you get some news or something surprising occurs. This will take a little time, but the more you practice getting happy thoughts and a positive mindset, the simpler it will become for you.
It is natural to complain now and then. It’s just a typical way to relieve stress when something doesn’t go the way we planned. Yet unhappy people seem to complain most of the time. They do not only see the downside, but they want to talk about it, focus upon it and make it the core of the discussion.
They choose to drag people into it and make it go for longer than it ought to, instead of discovering how to let go of the scenario and move forward from there. You have to become conscious of what you are doing in order to overcome this behaviour. Learn to observe and note your feelings when you have a pessimistic one. Stop yourself before you let the negativity get the best of you.
Think about whether complaining would offer any advantage. Problems can be corrected by complaining respectfully. However, if you simply whine just for the sake of, try not to. It just disgusts those around you who have to hear your complaint and does little to make the situation better.
Feeling envy or jealous
Unhappy people would be jealous or envious of the victories of individuals around them instead of celebrating their accomplishments. Usually, they would ask, “Why not me?” When they see that everyone has an advantage or a benefit that they don’t have. They’re going to talk about how that person didn’t deserve it or maybe even performed unfairly to get it.
To overcome this pattern, make an effort to be satisfied with the good fortune of someone else. Realize that it just hurts you to feel jealous or envious, and nothing changes. Reflect on what you can do better in your life to get some of the advantages that people around you have gained.
Congratulate them on their achievements and ask politely for guidance if the situation allows. Maybe you’re going to discover something that one day might help you achieve the same accomplishments.
Playing the victim
Together with feeling jealous of others, unhappy people appear to feel like life doesn’t treat them equally. They believe that their error is not any tragedy that takes place in their lives and is never the outcome of any decision or action they have made. They feel that other individuals are out to get them and have trouble trusting others. Also, they doubt the intentions of someone who offers to support them.
They have an attitude of “woe is me” and do not hesitate to express their thoughts with someone willing to listen. You have to become conscious of what you are doing in order to overcome this habit. Most of these behaviours evolve because rather than making an effort to control them, we encourage our thoughts to run wild.
Note, you’re the one who has these ideas, so you can adjust them whenever you want. Start by deciding what makes you think this way, then try to alter whatever causes these victimizing thoughts.
Assume responsibility for the activities that are occurring in your life. Search for something you might have handled wrong that would have resulted in a different outcome. And if there really is something out of your reach, know that bad things happen to everybody, not just you. I am sure you’ll find someone who has more losses than you if you look closely.
Believing that they do not have control
Unhappy People tend to feel that they do not have control over what happens to them. They may not see the opportunities available for them to make changes in their life, feeling powerless and lost in the process. They don’t understand the ability to make meaningful improvements for themselves.
Think of the areas in your life that you have full power to overcome this habit. Know that both of everyone else face situations and circumstances beyond their control and that it is natural. Learn to recognize and distinguish areas where you can have some control from others where you can’t.
You can begin to feel more powerful and optimistic when you concentrate on what you are capable of controlling and improving. Start by making small adjustments that will yield positive outcomes, and soon you will see how much power you have over your life.
Holding on to anger or resentments
Unhappy people have a great deal of difficulty forgiving. Not only do they feel belittled or harmed by events that could easily be shrugged off by many people, they often build long and needless grudges against individuals. These grudges can affect their relationships as well as their emotional well-being. Unhappy people do not know that they are harming themselves even more than they are hurting the other individual whom they fail to forgive.
To break this habit, understand that the main reason people find it hard to forgive is that they’re still upset. Find out why something that happened in the past always makes you feel frustrated. Then reflect on how much better you would feel if all of that rage could be released.
Think that the person who upset you is human and he/she just made a mistake. Try to be merciful and distinguish the person from the act, and you don’t have to justify the action to forgive the perpetrator. If you learn to differentiate the two, letting go of the frustration and anger becomes much easier for you.
Overreacting to small issues
Every little bad thing that occurs in their lives can become a huge event for unhappy people. Something that would be a temporary inconvenience to most of us might be a huge problem for them.
Learn to add some insight to the activities in your life to overcome this habit. “Whenever anything happens, ask yourself, “Is this just a temporary set back? What are the true implications of this event? Analyze it equally rather than just overreacting to something that doesn’t deserve that much attention. Change your answer accordingly.
Ignoring actual problems
Although a small issue can become a major one, unhappy people tend to neglect the actual problem. If a situation seems too big for them to handle, they will choose to sweep it under the rug and pretend it didn’t happen.
This is especially true for any issue that emerges from them and their attitude, choices, or behaviour. Accepting responsibility and seeking a solution to a real problem that they have created or continue to perpetuate is more than they want to deal with.
Try to take an honest look at yourself to overcome this habit. We all make mistakes, and there is no excuse for judging yourself too harshly. However, when you pretend that you are not the source of a specific issue, you are also not doing yourself any favours. It will enable you to feel more capable and motivated by taking responsibility for your decisions and actions.
Take the time to analyze it carefully when you are faced with a question that seems too overwhelming. Try to break down the issue into smaller elements that you can handle one at a time. That way, the problem won’t seem so hard to deal with, and while you focus on it, you will be able to make measurable progress.
Associating with other unhappy people
As the phrase goes, birds of a feather flock together. Unhappy people appreciate the presence of other unhappy individuals because their thoughts are affirmed. Some unhappy people will see life in the same manner, and they will support each other rather than providing a better way.
Identify the individuals who appear to be sad, pessimistic, or whiners in order to overcome this habit. Determine the reason why you spend time with them. Is it that your negative behaviours and practices are encouraged by them?
If so, make a deliberate effort to start minimizing how much time you spend with them or at least not allowing them to influence your attitude or actions. Seek out more constructive, happy and ambitious people from the group. You will see that you can eventually begin to think and behave more like them by spending more time around people whose actions you want to imitate.
Living either in the future or the past
Unhappy people are likely to spend more time worrying about either the past or the future than enjoying the moment. Either they remember a happier time and past glories, or they hope for a brighter future. If they are genuinely cynical, they keep replaying all their previous mishaps and injustices in their minds.
They are worried about what potential misfortunes await them and prefer to believe either of two things:
- Either that one day without any effort on their part, everything will somehow get improved
- Or that things will remain bad or perhaps even get worse.
Become more conscious and aware of your feelings to overcome this habit. Understand that your feelings can impact your emotions directly. The easiest way to become more mindful is via meditation.
Starting the practise of meditation would significantly enhance the ability to concentrate on the moment and not to be concerned with the future or the past. Meditation will show that now is all that you have. The past is the past, and the future is beyond our control. So enjoy this moment and all it has to offer until it is forever gone.