You just want to be happy and don’t understand why you’re not. Life really isn’t all that bad, but it’s still somehow not enough. It’s always missing something.
You think that once you reach the goals you’re working toward you’ll finally be happy. Your mind is always in the future, and you wear the present moment as a shroud of endurance.
At night, you self-medicate with drugs or alcohol to “relax,” yet you never feel rested because you stay up into the wee hours of the morning making yourself feel better. You need to escape for a while.
No matter how much you achieve or medicate, you’re never happy.
Why? Is it you? Depression? Or the way you live your life? The reason why you can’t just be happy may be a combination of the above. Your very thought process, a habit ingrained in each second of your life, may be working against you.
Here are five reasons you can’t allow yourself to be happy:
1. You’re mean to yourself.
You are your own worst critic. No matter what task is at hand, you judge your work more harshly than others and beat yourself up when you don’t meet either your own or other’s expectations of you. Flaws are amplified in negative self-talk. The problem lies in how often and harshly you do so. Imagine spending all your time with an emotionally abusive spouse or parent. Now, multiply that inevitable pain by 1,000 when you constantly beat yourself up. You are the only person constantly in your head, so you know the weakest buttons to press, the deepest insecurities and weaknesses to unearth, and you can really use your past against yourself. Don’t you want to spend your life with someone that builds you up instead, someone that remembers the importance of kindness? Be that person for yourself.
2. You overthink and worry constantly.
Each time you allow yourself to overthink a problem or situation, no matter how important, you build up negative emotions surrounding it. The longer you allow your mind to obsess, the more negativity grows. Stress like this can have some pretty nasty long-term effects on your health, from high blood pressure and heart disease to wrinkles and unhappiness. They say overthinking is a symptom of under-doing, so stop thinking and act.
3. You wear your pain like a badge of honor.
Bragging about your hardships may gain others’ attention and pity but won’t gain their affection. (Perhaps only annoyance.) In time, no one will really even want to be around you, and why should they? People like to be around people who inspire them, celebrate their achievements, and enjoy good times with them. No one wants to focus on negatives in life too much. There’s already enough misery in the world.
4. You don’t speak your truth.
Once you understand and accept this fact, the challenge becomes what you should and should not say. Sometimes you say too much, sometimes too little. It’s during these times that you repress your emotions and thoughts, which leaves any negativity locked in your mind to fester in the black, cold pit in the back of your mind.
5. You rely on “someday.”
Similar to beating yourself up with your negative thoughts, overworking yourself will lead to burnout. Burnout leads to unhappiness. Soon you think thoughts like you’re not good enough at X. And if Y (raise, job change, etc.), you would be perfectly happy. But someday never comes, and you just end up more and more miserable at your goals, yourself, your surroundings, and your entire life.