There are things we do daily – often unconsciously – that make us miserable. And a little change in our mindset and attitude towards life can turn it all around.
It’s always inspiring to read about happy people, to see how positive they are even in the hardest situations, and to get a taste of their optimism.
But it’s also important to analyze what makes us unhappy.
1. They don’t have a direction in life.
A life with no purpose is a sad life. As there won’t be any path to walk, a passion to follow, and a reason to wake up every day and do something that will get us to what we want in life.
Defining your deepest desire is crucial. Not only do you need to know how you want your future to look like, but you also need to be specific and outline all the details – the person you want to be, how you want your days to look like, how much money you want to make, etc.
And that’s how you’ll stay motivated and consistent on your quest to achieve all this.
Having a direction gives your life a sense of purpose, meaning and hope.
2. Miserable people compare themselves to others.
That’s an awful thing to do.
No two people are alike. Everyone’s fighting his own battle, has different dreams, goals and a way of thinking, and you can never know what he’s been through even if he looks happy now.
So don’t compare yourself to others. Don’t want what they have, don’t focus on their lives and become obsessed. This will only make you more unhappy.
Instead, work on improving yourself.
Start appreciating yourself for who you are and know you’ve got potential.
3. They fear failure.
You may say that happy people share that too. And you’ll be right.
But the difference is that pessimists focus on the idea of failure so much, that they don’t even give things a try, don’t have hope, don’t start, and thus never succeed.
I write about how to beat fear of failure here.
4. Miserable people live in the past.
Some people tend to relive past situations, analyze what it would be if they had acted differently, have regrets and wish things could be better.
But what’s the point of all that?
Instead of enjoying life in the present moment, they prefer to go back in time and bring even more suffering and disappointment.
What’s already happened can’t be changed. The best we can do is let the past be, accept it and learn from it, and move on.
5. They are surrounded by other miserable people.
The people you spend time with affect you more than you think.
Positive individuals choose to be in the company of other passionate, ambitious, happy and enthusiastic people that talk about ideas and focus on the good around them. And this makes them even happier.
6. Miserable people have big expectations.
Those that can’t find contentment, peace and joy are the ones that expect too much all the time.
They expect things to turn out in a certain way, people to act the way they imagine them to, and themselves to be perfect.
But life is full of surprises, and people’s reactions can’t be predicted.
And the moment the ideal in our head isn’t happening in reality, the moment we see our fantasies destroyed, we think life’s unfair, stop trusting people, become negative and stop believing in a brighter future.
But the solution is simple – let go of expectations, toss them in the ocean. And let in freedom, peace and going with the flow.
Only then will you find the real meaning of life, will you have stable relationships with those around you, enjoy life and make the best of what it throws at you.
7. They try to please everyone.
Unhappy people care too much about other people’s opinion. They fear being judged, not being approved and liked by society, etc.
But guess what?
You’ll be judged no matter what you do. People are critical, it’s in their nature to judge others when they aren’t satisfied with who they are. But you don’t need to be like them.
You can simply keep doing what feels right, keep following your passion and getting better in what’s interesting for you.
Others have nothing to do with your life. Decide for yourself and never seek approval.
Let people judge and criticize. Maybe that gives them comfort. But it doesn’t need to make you unhappy and stop you from trying new stuff.
8. Miserable people don’t take responsibility for their actions.
Mistakes and failures are a part of every man’s life. And they are good – a sign that you’re doing something.
But when you take them too personally, and instead of admitting these mistakes you start blaming life or other people, then you’re on the way to a pretty miserable life.
Truth is there will always be someone else to blame – parents, teachers, friends, partners, colleagues, neighbors, famous people, media, government, etc.
But what can make you an individual that’s not afraid to get out there and speak up, is admitting everything you do no matter what the result is, and taking full responsibility.
9. They constantly worry about the future.
The future is uncertain. That’s the only certainty there is.
What you have is this moment and you can do whatever you want with it.
But negative people decide to live the present in attempts to plan out tomorrow, to prepare, to know what will happen. They worry, fear, imagine what might go wrong, etc. And even if things go right, they can’t really enjoy them.
All this makes their life stressful, without any joy and excitement.
10. Miserable people don’t appreciate what they have.
Everyone has a lot more than he thinks.
But another thing that separates happy people from unhappy ones, is this choice – whether to focus on the good and thank for it, or to always complain about the bad.
It’s just a decision you need to take. And then you change the way you see things. That affects the rest of your life.
11. They get too attached.
Attached to objects – material stuff, to people – loved ones, to places. And they think they can’t live without it. But they’re wrong.
Actually, attachment itself is what causes suffering. It makes you think you yourself are not enough and need something else to feel complete.
That’s why some people are always looking for a person to be in a relationship with, are addicted to shopping, or worse – to alcohol, drugs, gambling, etc.
That can be changed if you fix your relationship with yourself first. If you start loving and trusting the person you are. Only then will you be happy without the need to have anything else.
12. They hold onto grudges.
Not forgiving yourself for something bad you did in the past, or another person for hurting you or just deciding not to be with you, is a big burden.
It makes both your and the life of the other person much harder.
What you need to do is forgive. This way you’ll be free, will let that go, and will give another chance.
So now you know what’s going on in the head of a negative, unhappy person.
And most people, even if everything’s fine in their life, share a habit or a few of these.
If you too find something familiar, take action upon it today. Become aware of it, admit having it and make it a goal to stop every now and then and remind yourself of it.
Then, it will go away. And you’ll be happier and in peace.
What other habits can you add to these? What else do miserable people have in common and how can it be overcome?
Full-time freelance writer. Lifestyle designer.
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