Do you regularly feel under pressure to smile all the time? Let’s be honest, sometimes it’s hard to raise a smile. Really, all you want to do is sit and stare at your phone. We all have days like this, but if you find that the thought, why am I so unhappy, is at the back of your mind, it’s time to think about why.
We’re all trying to reach for the stars, attain our dreams, and be the very best version we can be. That equals pressure. Sometimes it’s far better to simply ‘be’.
[Read: What to do when you’re emotionally exhausted and just can’t deal]
Why am I so unhappy? 8 potential reasons
If you’re regularly sitting there and wondering why am I so unhappy, it’s time to dig a little deeper and unearth the reason. Let’s check out some of the most common reasons for unhappiness in this day and age.
#1 You have unrealistic expectations. One of the most common reasons for unhappiness is trying to reach targets that are simply unattainable. Sure, it’s good to aim high but not to Kilimanjaro levels! If you set goals which are too high, you’re going to fail every time. How are you supposed to be happy in that situation? It’s impossible.
If you’re wondering ‘why am I so unhappy,’ question whether the reason is because you’re reaching for goals which even the most intelligent and determined person on the planet couldn’t reach. Adjust your goals to more realistic levels and build up your confidence. You’ll quickly see how that directly affects your happiness levels. [Read: How to really get to know yourself and reveal your life’s true passions]
#2 You regularly compare yourself to others. This is a huge one and something we’re all guilty of from time to time. Never compare yourself to someone else. Everyone’s journey in life is different and moves at a different speed. When you compare yourself to another person, you’ll always come up short because you automatically focus on the negative.
For instance, a friend of yours might be off traveling the world. You’re stuck at home without much money. Does that mean you’ll never get to travel? Of course not. Does that mean you’ll always be short on cash? Of course not. Life twists and turns. We all move at our own pace.
You can also never be completely sure that the picture you’re seeing of someone, or the tale they’re telling you is entirely true. People embellish the truth to make themselves look good. In that case, you’re comparing yourself against something that isn’t even real. [Read: How to respect yourself: 14 secrets of self-worth and self-belief]
#3 You’re spending too much time on social media. I have such a love/hate relationship with social media. I think it’s a great thing for keeping in touch with people and for passing five minutes when you’re bored. But I also think it stops you from living in the moment.
Think about it, you’re so taken up with checking in or sharing where you are or what you’re having for dinner that you’re not actually looking at the location or tasting the food! This is bound to erode away at your happiness levels over time. It could be the answer to ‘why am I so unhappy’ in your case. [Read: Need a social media detox? 13 ways to help you wean yourself off social media]
#4 You have a generally negative outlook. Do you see the glass as half full or half empty? It’s not easy to be positive all the time, but it’s a good idea to at least try and develop a more positive than negative outlook. When you have a positive mindset, you are happier and healthier naturally. You also notice opportunities around you far easier. As a result, you’ll have experiences and meet new people that would never have come your way previously.
Try positive affirmations, mantras, and mindfulness to boost your positivity levels. You could also try reframing, which means you should be aware of every negative thought you have, and then reframe it into something positive, repeating it until it becomes second nature.
#5 You’re unkind to yourself. There is no such thing as perfect. We place so much pressure on ourselves to reach that unattainable standard that it’s easy to cause the ‘why am I so unhappy’ question to arise. Start talking to yourself with as much kindness and respect as you use when speaking to your friends and family members!
Why do they deserve kindness and you don’t? Notice how you speak to yourself and the things you tell yourself when something goes wrong. This will give you an idea of whether negative self-talk is something you need to address. [Read: I’m not good enough! How to bring yourself up when you feel low]
#6 You’re not taking time out for yourself. Are you someone who gives, gives, and gives some more, without really taking time for yourself? You can’t be happy and healthy if you’re running on empty! Place priority on self care and your own health.
Nourish your mind, body and soul. Then, learn to say ‘no’ to things you haven’t got the time for, or simply the things you really don’t want to do.
[Read: Learn how to say no and stop pleasing people… feel awesome instead!]
We assume that sitting and doing nothing is a waste of time, or that doing something for ourselves is selfish, but the truth is that self-care is a priority in life. If you’re always asking ‘why am I so unhappy,’ it’s probably because you simply don’t give yourself the care and time you deserve.
#7 You dwell on the past or constantly worry about the future. Is it any wonder that you’re unhappy if you’re always thinking backwards or forwards? What about the moment you’re in? Live it! Thinking back over the past is pointless. It’s been and gone and you can’t change it. Similarly, worrying about the future isn’t worth it either. What will be, will be.
Mindfulness is a great tactic you can use here. This helps you to live in the moment, handle stress, and simply be more appreciative of the small things in life. [Read: 14 mantras to live by and will help you transform your life]
#8 You’re watching the news too much. Of course, you should keep up to date with the world’s events but don’t dwell on them if they cause you to feel down or upset all the time. There is a fine line between empathy with the world’s suffering and allowing it to consume you. If you find that the news affects you negatively, limit the amount you read about.
Many people who question ‘why am I so unhappy’ are often guilty of binging on the world news and failing to see the many positives that are often less reported.
We live in a pretty constant world. We’re always switched on and connected. It’s hard to let go and simply ‘be.’ The development of technology and the fact we can contact anyone, at any time, is a good thing on some levels, but a bad thing on others.
If you’re constantly feeling low and upset, it’s worth questioning the reasons why and exploring what you can do to change the way you feel for the better. The ideas above should give you some food for thought to begin.
[Read: How to hone and increase your positive emotions in a negative world]
Do you constantly wonder ‘why am I so unhappy?’ It might be a cliche, but true, life is too short. The past is gone, the future is yet to be, so live in the moment and make it beautiful.
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