In the recent days, I have been feeling particularly down and unmotivated to maintain a positive outlook on life. I chose the easy path of letting myself be sad for no obvious reason instead of fighting the sadness away and keeping with my goals. I am proud to announce that I am done with that and yet it is important to find the reasons behind this obsessive sadness that threatens my successes.
Furthermore, being miserable and not knowing why is the worst kind of misery — because you cannot do anything about it. If you look deeper and be (really) honest with yourself, you will eventually find the roots of your depression and will be able to design a way to cope with your sorrows. For instance, your state of unhappiness can derive from physical fatigue or unfinished psychological business, or a repressed guilt about past behavior. It can come from avoiding a certain thought about previous or present events, or the contrary — overthinking a situation and making it seem more complex or hopeless than it actually is.
Whatever the cause for your unhappiness is, it is important to recognize and accept it in order to seek solutions and get back on the right track — to the Land of Happiness.
Leading a valueless way of life
Analyzing my previous moments of sadness, I have come to the conclusion that they originate from not feeling valuable, or not achieving anything that I consider useful or beneficial. I need to do stuff, to cross things out of my list with tasks — no matter how insignificant those can be, and to know that I contribute in a way to the achievement of a greater goal. My perceived productivity is a source of happiness that I have neglected and turned into an unhappiness cause.
Staying too much at home
With temperatures at 15-20 degrees below the 0, staying at home is the best ad most desired thing to do. However, I do recognize it as a pattern related to the previous cause of sadness, for increasing the chances of me getting into an unhappy mood. I enjoy spending days without going out but obviously, having too many of them is having the opposite effect on my emotions. It is the boring routine of my daily life, the same things every day and being at the same place, that brings the negativity into my thoughts.
Having family (attitude) issues
There is a saying that ‘the problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem.’. Keeping this in mind, I would point out as a source of unhappiness not the issues that have been bothering me in the past days but my attitude towards them, which has been passive and negative. Instead of seeking ways to improve and solve the problems, I would become a slave of my own emotions and would be trapped in the endless circle of misery and negativity.
Furthermore, I need to remember that in this case it is not ‘me’ that is important but all the other affected members, and rather than standing there thinking about who said what and who did what, it is much more useful to invest my efforts and thoughts into finding a reasonable and real-life solution that will bring positive results.
More sources of unhappiness…
The above-described have been identified as the sources of unhappiness that have been currently affecting my state of mind. I was scared of coming home from a place where I felt safe and independent, happy and positive about my life. Therefore, in a subconscious way I did convince myself that I would be miserable spending time here, that it would be a wasted time full of procrastination and non-value-adding activities. It was a mistake because our subconsciousness is truly amazing and powerful. The world is the way we perceive it — the world’s beauty can be all around us and we will be incapable of noticing it because we are being focused on its ugliness. Instead of choosing to believe in and concentrate on the good things in my life, I did the absolute opposite — and ended up caught in a trap of emotions, memories and negativeness.
I will just mention some more common unhappiness causes which have been observed as a pattern in my previous ‘sadness’ experiences. I believe that many of you will relate and will find their own unhappiness-causing issues in my list. Keep an open mind and be able to admit your mistakes or your fears because this is the only way to find a cure and let them go.
- Procrastination: doing nothing without gaining any satisfaction out of it.
- My solution: Get a piece of paper and create a small list of tasks, then start with the easiest ones. Exercise. Tidy my room, etc.
- Irrational fears: overthinking instead of living.
- My solution: Get distracted from the bothering issue by meeting up with people, reading a book, etc. Remind myself that I cannot do anything to prove my fears right or wrong, or to control the situation, therefore, worrying about it is simply a waste of time.
- Loneliness: feeling alone in this big, big world.
- My solution: Get back to my memories, think about all the times my friends and family have shown me that they care about me. Be grateful for having them in my life. Focus on my personal goals.
- Comparison: wishing to live someone else’s life.
- My solution: Think of all the beautiful things of my days. Remember that dreaming about living somebody’s life is not living my own. Identify how to achieve the status that I desire, whether it is something achievable and whether it is actually worth it.
- Unhealthiness: living an unhealthy way of life.
- My solution: Either stop focusing and feeling bad about my health and eating habits, or seek a way to improve them by exercising more and being more careful about what going in my shopping cart.
- Validation-seeking: letting other determine my worth.
- My solution: Remind myself that it is my responsibility to determine my happiness and value. Make a list with all my ‘good’ points and qualities. Choose to believe in myself by remembering my achievements.
- Others’ opinions: caring too much what other people would say about me
- My solution: It is impossible to please everyone and in fact, it is completely unnecessary. Trying to live in accordance to other people’s opinion about me is the worst way to live my life because it brings me no real value. Moreover, instead of focusing on what makes me happy and on fulfilling my dreams and goals, I get distracted resulting into a powerful source of unhappy thoughts and negativity. The solution is to choose a handful of people whose views really matter and draw a line — to what extend I should take their opinions into consideration.
- Vision about happiness: not letting myself be happy because I have not achieved my dreams yet, or I do not think I deserve to be happy.
- My solution: Everyone deserves to be happy, no matter what! Remind myself that ‘the search of happiness is one of chief sources of unhappiness.’. Be grateful for what I have and design a better vision about my future goals that will bring me more happiness. Breathe new life into my vision by seeking exciting opportunities instead of sticking with the unrealized ones.
Where there is an issue, there is also a solution. Take the courage to identify your own sources of unhappiness, and be brave enough to find the cure. The very first step is to alter your attitude and to embrace the idea that you are a unique human creation capable of being happy and remaining positive in any situation.
The mind is a source of both happiness and unhappiness — what will you choose?
PS. Feel welcomed to analyze your Unique sources of unhappiness in the comment box so that we can discuss them and seek solutions together!