Happiness can be elusive for most people. It is rare to find a person that will claim to have attained real happiness. Maybe at some point, they may have declared that they have already attained real happiness but they retract their declaration when disheartening obstacles come along.
Happiness is not determined by what happens to a person. Happiness is a product of how a person reacts to the events that happen in life. Happiness is attained when a person steers life towards its direction. There is no single map for happiness that everyone should follow. It is a path discovered through individual experience.
Even though each one has a different path cut out for happiness, there are a few common causes that cause unhappiness. People’s individual reasons for unhappiness are personal but they share general themes more often than not.
Negativism is pervasive in many unhappy people. Both happy and unhappy individuals have had to weather many storms in life but it is their mindset that sets them apart. Happiness is drawn from positivity in the faces of adversity. It is positivity that keeps them going and gets them to a sound solution. Negative people think of the worst and as a result, the worst usually happens. Even though the proper mindset will not get a person the
exact desired result, it motivates the person to get past challenges and obstacles. Negative thoughts are created out of habit but they eventually become a long-term mindset if the person does not keep tabs of it. When a person gets used to thinking negatively, it becomes hard to get rid of such thoughts. Unhappiness is hard to attain because of destructive, negative thoughts that are difficult to eliminate because they have become ingrained already.
Unhappiness is also caused by the negativity expressed towards other people. It is hard to get along with other people when the worst is assumed of them. It is normal for a person to be defensive and realistic when dealing with people but when it gets out of hand, the negativity becomes hurtful and offensive. It pays to give people the benefit of the doubt. There are a handful of unhappy people that easily judge and mistreat others. This negativity, although expressed towards other people, can rub on oneself. It is very important to be aware of how negativity creeps into one’s system because it becomes the root of all other terrible things that lead to unhappiness.
Greediness brings people several steps closer to unhappiness. It should not be confused with ambitiousness. A healthy amount of ambitiousness should be good for a person because it motivates a person to improve and progress.
Greed, on the other hand, is an extreme thirst for things in life to the point of obtaining it in unjust and unethical ways. Greed is a primary cause of suffering and unhappiness in many people. People become greedy because of the blinding charm of possessions and power.
Greed motivates them to seek more things that they need just so the people around them will not have as much they have. These things bring one euphoric pleasure but not long-term happiness. Insatiable greed causes a person to confuse pleasure with happiness.
People pursue pleasure hoping to find permanent happiness only to go on an empty search with no end. This constant search for pleasure generates more greed, until such time that the unhappiness and discontent of a person becomes so difficult to contain already. Greedy
people refuse to accept the fact that they cannot have everything that they want in life in one pursued.
Envy and jealousy
Greed is related to envy and jealousy. Envy and jealousy are the green monsters that are catalysts to greed. When a person is envious of another person’s achievements and belongings, he or she wants to get ahead of that person. Envy will consume the person so much that it can even develop hatred for the object of envy. Soon, the person will derive pleasure in seeing a person suffer.
Envious and jealous people also feel terrible when others gain in life. That’s why they have the urge to pull people down so that they can feel better about themselves. Envy and jealousy are undeniably negatives states. For many people, they can only go away when a person is happy. However, envy and jealousy are hindrances to happiness themselves.
Envy and jealousy occur when one starts comparing himself and what he has with others. A healthy competition never really hurt anyone. However, getting overzealous with competition may spark envy. Envy and jealousy have already brought down nations, sparked wars, hurt friendships, and destroyed relationships. Envy, without a doubt, can cause a great deal of misery and unhappiness in any community.
Pride also causes a lot of problems with happiness. The danger of pride stems from the fact that it hinders people in doing the right thing, even if they are completely aware that they are doing the wrong thing. They refuse to budge and change what they have to change simply because they do not want to be proven wrong. People with a false sense of pride cannot be proven wrong, causing them to justify their wrong actions.
Pride is also a characteristic of highly insecure people. Proud people are unhappy people because they cannot handle criticism well. They need a constant stream of praises to keep their self-esteem in check. Pride is a blindfold that covers one’s vision from reality. It provides temporary relief (particularly if someone feeds that pride) but it only create a false sense of happiness. In
the long run, proud people cannot be happy because they are not at peace with themselves. It is also difficult for proud people to attain happiness under any situation their pride makes them inflexible and unable to adapt to various things life throws at them.
It is natural for a person to feel angry when agitated or hurt. It is part of every being’s nature. It is but a defensive mechanism for every animal to protect themselves. A bitch will naturally get angry and fight any being that threatens to harm or take away her puppies.
However, lingering anger does not count as a protective defense mechanism because it hinders the person from attaining real happiness. Anger has to be managed well so that it does not escalate to something worse, like hatred. It is almost impossible to stop anger, since it is a natural response of any animal. However, changing the mindset will help control anger.
As mentioned earlier, happiness is a response to certain situations. Anger is a reaction to certain situations as well. By changing the mindset, you can minimize the anger that you feel. For instance, you get really annoyed whenever the colleague you closely work with is always late. It really gets to your nerves because his tardiness is already affecting your overall productivity. He has not changed even after you have already talked to him about this.
You can change your mindset instead and still retain your productivity. While waiting for him, you can accomplish other tasks that do not require his efforts. When he arrives, you have fewer tasks to finish. That way, you can channel your anger to something else. Anger can be sparked by petty things but these little things can build up and cloud your perspective. Awareness to situations that cause anger is a key to controlling the raging emotion.
When you feel like you have done something wrong, chances are you will be bothered by it unless you do something to make it right. The same feeling goes for someone that thinks that he or she should have done something more than what has been done. It is difficult to attain happiness with guilt
being an impediment. Guilt can really be an obstacle in the journey to happiness. It holds down a person, much like quicksand. Guilt can cause internal turmoil that will disrupt peace of mind. No one can be truly happy without being at peace with oneself.
The best way to deal with guilt is to address the specific cause. If you have sinned against anyone, muster the courage to apologize to that person. Face the consequences of any of your wrongdoings. Stop running away from problems because this will only heighten any guilt that you feel. The solution to guilt is really simple – face the real reason. It is gathering enough courage that is difficult but once you get past this, you will feel a lot better.
Finally, stress can become a real barrier in achieving happiness. Activities, hobbies, relationships, and work keep a human being’s life meaningful and productive. But sometimes, people do not know when to take it easy. Having too many activities and priorities will make you forget the purpose of them all. You will fail to enjoy the fruits of your labor, letting you lead a directionless life.
The sad thing about it is that you waste energy on something with no purpose. Stress also brings down one’s resistance and energy, increasing the vulnerability to negative emotions (i.e. anger). That is why it pays to organize one’s life and set priorities straight.
In this day and age, multi-tasking is essential. Many people will make your believe that you will get more done if you do more things at the same time. But there are also dangers in multi-tasking. It is one of the top reasons that stress people out.
Moreover, it prevents the person from relishing the essence of what he or she is doing. People focus too much on finishing as many things as possible that they forget to do things properly. This leads to inefficiency and stress. People should learn to separate busyness from stress. Happy people need to be busy with something but if they over do it, they will burn themselves out with stress.
Negativity, greed, pride, envy, anger, guilt, and stress are the most common general reasons that lead to unhappiness. People have individual and personal reasons that are stopping them from achieving happiness but more often than not, they can be traced to the reasons listed above.