We all have our hard days. There’s no denying that. But when it becomes a constant struggle and affects our ability to function, it’s time to take action. To do this, we need to understand where we place the blame for our unhappiness. It comes down to two choices.
#1. We allow outside influences to determine our feelings. Do you become unhappy because of current events around the world or because of how someone treats you? This gives up all your power and limits our ability to control our own feelings.
#2 We choose how we feel by our own thoughts and choices. A perfect example is from the life of Viktor Frankl. He was an inmate at the Auschwitz concentration camp in Germany during World War II. He found meaning in the midst of constant suffering. Wondering if his family was alive, nearly starving to death, and being pushed to the limit physically and emotionally, he realized he had power over how he felt. In his book, Man’s Search for Meaning, Frankl taught that no matter the outside influences we can choose love and find positivity in anything. I believe in his mindset of empowerment. We can take heed in his priceless guidance or we can ignore it and continue to live in our unhappiness.
Here’s 8 reasons you might be unhappy.
1. You don’t enjoy the present
Learning from the past or looking forward to the future by setting goals are helpful, but focusing on the past or future can be harmful. Uncle Rico, from the film “Napoleon Dynamite,” spent much of his time reminiscing about the past. Back in ’82, I used to be able to throw a pigskin a quarter mile. He spent his time talking about how good he used to be; he even recorded video of himself throwing a football. This affected his relationship with his two nephews and became his identity..
On the other hand, there are people who always look to the future, preventing them from enjoying the journey. I can’t wait til I graduate. I’m so done with this job. I can’t wait til my kids move out. These are all limiting phrases that prevent us from finding happiness today. How is life enjoyable if we simply want to fast forward to the end?
2. You’re selfish
Someone who is selfish doesn’t serve or focus on others. You’re so occupied on yourself and on your circumstances that you don’t look outward. Selfishness puts the blinders on your eyes and takes away joy.
Selfishness is one of the more common faces of pride. ‘How everything affects me’ is the center of all that matters – self-conceit, self-pity, worldly self-fulfillment, self-gratification, and self-seeking.Ezra Taft Benson
3. You value money more than anything else
You’ve heard that “money is the root of all evil.” But money is not inherently a bad thing. It allows us to live in a safe home, eat healthy, and go where we need to go. It becomes evil when it moves up on our list of priorities. Do we work 70 hours a week because we want more money to buy that yacht? Do we spend less time with family in order to become rich? Do we sacrifice time with our spouses for that fattened paycheck?
4. You disregard your health
Ask anyone who has a preventable disease if their condition has caused them unhappiness in the long run. They may not even have a disease but a lifestyle that impacts their health. Obesity, smoking, and drinking alcohol will affect the mind just as much as the body. If you want to remain unhappy, continue smoking and eating out 4 times a week.
5. You associate with unhappy people
You become who you spend time with. I can attest to this. My wife has influenced me to love animals, to enjoy writing, and to be kind. If you associate with people who devalue God over time, you will likely devalue God to some extent as well. You can’t be around a fire and not smell like smoke.
6. You waste time
Regretting time wasted will assuredly cause you to feel miserable. Time is linear. Once it has passed, we cannot get it back. Watching movies, playing video games, sleeping longer than needed, wasting precious time on the internet. What else could you have been doing with that time?
7. You focus on the negative
This is something I have worked hard on overcoming. I worked hard for over 2 years to qualify for and apply for a nursing program I wanted to get into. The whole time I told myself I wouldn’t get it. I told myself I wasn’t good enough. When I did get in, I told myself that this would be too hard and It would cause me even worse back pain. These were some of the most miserable times of my life, because no matter how successful I was and how blessed I was, I was never satisfied.
8. You forget to spend time with God
You are a son or a daughter of God whether you know it or not. He loves you and waits for you to speak to him. He wants you to be happy, but cannot force it upon you. Like a Father, he waits patiently, allowing you to make your own choices and make mistakes. However, one of the greatest mistakes you can make in this life is to turn your back on God and forget Him. That will cause you to forget who you are and when you don’t know who you are, I guarantee that you won’t be truly happy.