Why Am I So Unhappy?

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We can’t always be bursting with rays of happiness and sunshine.

However, there are people who are constantly drowning in unhappiness and can’t really realize why.

When you’re predominantly experiencing one emotion, even in the face of other possible emotions, it’s time to start question yourself. Whether it’s positive or negative, only experiencing one emotion isn’t natural.

Even people that always seem to be cheerful are either living with fake happiness or you only see them during their best days.

Unless you’re experiencing a unique situation, emotions are supposed to come in varied intensities, without discrimination.

So if you’ve ever asked yourself any of these questions, this article is for you:

  • Why am I so unhappy?
  • Why do I feel so empty?
  • Why is my life miserable?
  • Why am I feeling so sad?
  • Why do I feel like I want to cry?

Let’s look at possible reasons for constant unhappiness.

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1. You’re Keeping Bad Company

You have probably heard the saying, “show me your friends and I’ll tell you who you are.”

Energy, positive or negative, is contagious. If you are always in the company of unhappy people, their negative energy is probably rubbing off on you.

Check your friends and evaluate your hangout sessions. Are your conversations filled with them complaining about their jobs, marriages, schoolwork or just generally their life?

Well, it goes without saying that you too will always look for something to complain about, and that is bound to make you unhappy.

Surround yourself with people of high quality. People who add value to your life and provide a positive influence on your life, and you will notice the difference. Your friends should add to your life and happiness, not take away from it.

The more positivity you surround yourself with, the better. Positive people always offer constructive criticism, and in no time, you’ll be able to see your life improving. You’ll definitely have more reasons to be happy.

Your conversations will change from complaining about how things are, to talking about the positive things you’re doing and your future aspirations.

2. You Are Trying to Keep Up With The Kardashians

One very unhealthy human habit is the urge to compare oneself with others. And while this may provide good motivation to reach for better things in life, it can be quite damaging if not handled properly.

So, your neighbor just got a promotion at work and was finally able to buy the latest car model that you have been eyeing. How does that make you feel?

As much as you are both in different career fields, you feel the urge to have the same car, if not a better one.

Comparing your achievements, possession and life to those of others can be frustrating.

You need to remember that you can’t all climb the ladders of success at the same pace.

The stoics had it all figured out. In case you’re unfamiliar, stoicism is a branch of philosophy that dates back to 3rd century B.C.

Stoicism is grounded in the belief that there are things in life that you simply cannot control. And instead of focusing on those things, you should place your energy on what you can control, such as your perspective on life and decisions.

One of the key principles of stoicism is to not concern yourself with the lifestyles of others. What another person has or buys has no bearing on your life, so it’s not worth stressing over. And it’s definitely not worth getting unhappy about.

So, take a chill pill, and get comfortable with your pace albeit slower than you would have wished.

3. You Tend To See The Glass As Half Empty Rather Than Half Full

A huge difference between people who are happy and those who aren’t comes in the way they view unfavorable situations.

When life hands you lemons, are you the kind who will immediately think of how to make lemonade? Or will you keep complaining that you really wanted oranges and now you can’t make some orange juice?

I am yet to hear of any successful person who didn’t have to face challenges. If you are often unhappy, chances are you spend a great deal of time thinking of how things would have turned out better had everything gone according to your plans.

Embrace challenges, not as setbacks, but as stepping stones to something better. There’s always something positive in every setback, so don’t be a pessimist.

Look harder at the glass and past its emptiness, and acknowledge that there’s some water in it.

4. You Often Seek Validation From Others

Trying to be on everyone’s good side will definitely leave you unhappy.

The people around you probably expect something from you. Your parents, your sibling, your boss, your friends, your children and everyone in between.

If you are always unhappy, then chances are that you are trying to keep them all happy, and while at it, you forget your own happiness.

You can’t please everyone, and while something may work for your boss, the same thing could get your spouse angry. The frustration and stress that comes with seeking other peoples’ validation is just too much.

Be selfish.

And while I don’t mean you should step on their toes, it just wouldn’t hurt to think of yourself and what you really want to do before you listen to their “advice.”

Listen to yourself once in a while. What do you want to do?

5. You Are Being Too Hard On Yourself

Everyone makes mistakes in life. Some huge with adverse effects, and some just small with hardly any impact.

Unhappy people are often the kind of people who will still be admonishing themselves for a mistake they made five years ago.

Try to look past your mistakes and keep them in the past. Learn something from it and move on to be a better person.

Dwelling on a past mistake will get you living on edge as you will always be trying to avoid making the same mistake.

Striving to be a perfectionist is extremely stressful.

The anxiety is probably the reason you do not find any pleasure in the things that once interested you.

Try living in the present.

Focusing on the now will enable you to deal with your current situation like changing your unhappy state. Rather than focusing on your mistakes, learn from them and move on.

6. You Are Never Satisfied

Human beings are always trying to make their lives a little bit better.

A better job, a better house, a better everything.

“I finally moved into the suburban area I always wanted, but I could really do with a new car.”

In the rush to acquire all these better things, you probably forget to appreciate what you already have. Being unsatisfied certainly leads to unhappiness. Learn to be satisfied with what you already have.

7. You Always Settle For Less

While this may seem a bit contradictory to the last point, settling for less than you actually deserve could be the reason you are often unhappy.

By settling, I mean that you get comfortable with things that don’t make you happy because of society’s beliefs or because you are just afraid to find out about better opportunities.

For example, because you have heard that it is hard to get a man willing to settle down, you happily settle into that abusive relationship.

Or just because it is hard to get a job, you settle for the one you were offered regardless of the fact that you have no interest whatsoever in that field.

Do not conform to the urge to settle. Strive to go for what you want.

Venturing out of your comfort zone could be a bit scary, but once you get to your desired place, you will be much happier.

8. It Might Be Depression

The persistent feeling of sadness can also be a sign of depression.

When your unhappiness becomes overwhelming, coupled with some more symptoms, you might want to seek help.

You could start by going to your regular doctor or start seeing a therapist.

Depression isn’t something to be taken lightly, as its severity comes with suicidal thoughts, anxiety, stress and a wide range of other health issues.

There are available means of managing depression. The earlier you get checked, the less likely the situation will spiral out of control.

Find Your Happiness

It goes without saying, happiness comes from within you.

As you probably noticed, most of the reasons we’ve looked at for your constant unhappiness are things that you can change.

  • Audit the five people you spend the most time with. If they’re negative, start looking for more positive people to hang out with.
  • Be patient with reaching your goals and don’t worry about what other people have.
  • Change your perspective. Look at the glass as half full instead of half empty.
  • Think about what you want from life, and don’t seek validation from others.
  • Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Use setbacks as stepping stones for future success.
  • Learn how to be content and appreciative of what you have.
  • Don’t settle for the bare minimum and a life of unhappiness.
  • Realize when your unhappiness is a sign of a larger issue such as depression, and don’t be afraid to seek help.

Begin by being your friend and accepting yourself.

There are several ways you can change that frown to a smile. You just have to open up yourself to the possibility.

You only have one life to live, why not make the best of it? If you’re always asking yourself why you’re so unhappy, make today the day you make a change.

Additional Resources

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About the author

I'm an avid reader and love anything to do with mindfulness and mental health!

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