Monday, April 11, 2016 1:34:44 PM Australia/Sydney

4 Habits of Unhappy People

There are certain things that unhappy people have in common. If you think your life isn’t working because of your circumstances, you may be right; but more often than not it isn’t what happens to us that makes us unhappy. Rather, it’s in the way we react to life.

Like it or not there is suffering in life because nothing can be relied upon except impermanence. We’re all dealt a different hand and some people do seem to have it easier than others; life isn’t necessarily fair.

Still, there are certain things that unhappy people do habitually that make them more prone to the inevitable hurts and disappointments in life.

If you’re not happy or if you find it hard to stay positive you can work with your mind to change your habitual behaviour patterns. Below I will discuss a few destructive habits of mind that are guaranteed to put you in the doldrums and keep you there.

ONE: Being a Perfectionist

Habits of people who are unhappy

Expecting yourself or your circumstances to be perfect is just about the best way I know to ruin your life. I’m sure you know that on a conscious level.

So what drives your perfectionism, and ultimately, your misery? Deep subconscious conditioning is likely the culprit, but you can move away from perfectionism if you’re willing to change.

It starts with accepting that your best is always (not sometimes) good enough. After all, what choice do you really have? If you don’t start accepting yourself the way you are, you’ll end up procrastinating or never finishing what you start because you’re so afraid of failure.

The idealism of being perfect is not real, even though it feels very real. The images and concepts projected to you every day by the media and society would have you think otherwise, but you don’t have to pay attention to them.

TWO: Believing The Inner Critic

You know who I’m talking about; that guy in your head that is always on your back about something or other. If you listen to him you’ll erode your confidence and make yourself very unhappy.

It’s perfectly fine to want to improve yourself, but the inner critic does the opposite; he will destroy you if you let him. The good news is you don’t have to be afraid of him and you're not abnormal; everybody has an inner critic.

Unhappy people listen to the inner critic way too much and they pay close attention the story it is telling them as if it were fact. But it isn’t fact, it is fiction. As such you can choose how much energy you choose to give the inner critic.

It starts with baby steps; first just make a commitment to notice when the critic is talking to you. Many people are so used to the voice they almost forget it is there.

Each time you see this part of you and notice it is there you are literally waking up from a negative trance. The more you practise the better you will become at smoking out your inner critic until eventually it won’t influence you so much any more.

THREE: Avoiding The Present Moment

Unhappy people spend most of their time either getting angry about something that happened in the past or panicking about what might happen in the future.

Hard as it is to avoid doing this, you can train your mind through meditation to stay in the present moment. Meditation helps you balance your mind and stop proliferating on the negative thoughts or believing the stories that go with them.

The more you can become aware of your negative thinking without attaching to it, the happier you will become. By practising mindfulness you are training yourself to stop getting caught up in your own mental stories.

This Podcast Will Explain This In Detail:

(This music is by Longzijun)

FOUR: Playing The Comparison Game

It’s human nature to compare; we actually need this ability for our survival. This is why it’s so hard to avoid comparing your life, your looks, your intelligence and your achievements with those of other people.

Yet when you do this you will almost certainly suffer. You may think that comparing another person’s situation unfavourably to yours will make you feel better; and it will in the short term.

But sooner or later you’re going to have to pay the piper. That is, you will inevitably come across someone who is better off than you; and that’s where the suffering begins. A better solution is to catch your mind when it gets caught up in comparing and stop it. Each time you catch yourself, simply break the cycle by saying the word: ‘comparing’.

This brings you back into the present moment and stops the mental proliferation of suffering that feeds off itself each time you get caught up in this behaviour.

The things that most unhappy people have in common are also things that are within your control because they have nothing to do with outside circumstances.

Whatever hand you’ve been dealt in life I promise you can become a happier person by working with your mind and avoiding the mental activities that perpetuate suffering.

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