Digging A Deeper Hole: 5 Ways You're Contributing To Your Own Unhappiness

by Kerstin Morales

There have been many articles circulating about happiness, what it means and how to attain it. For example, I remember reading a list of 15 things you should do to get happy. I did almost everything on the list, but I still didn't feel so happy.

Two years have since passed and I have continued following the list. I now consider myself a very happy person — not because of what I followed , but because of what I stopped doing.

So, I don’t aim to come up with a list of things to do that will ensure a happy life because who isn't tired of that list. Rather, my experience has taught me that happiness is much more about internal matters than external ones.

Consider the phrase “You are not depressed, you are distracted.” This is similar to happiness; happiness is already in you — it is your human nature. But, your current habits and actions are the ones that are likely blocking your happiness.

Internal changes are the most difficult to make because most of the time, we can't even identify the problems. Obviously, it’s impossible to change something you're unaware exists.

The internal shifts target habits that have been part of us for a long time and sometimes, are even part of our personalities. But, we create all of these bad habits in our minds.

Here are some examples of bad habits that you need to stop doing because they are barring you from happiness:

1. Stop comparing yourself with the rest.

This is not new — I’m pretty sure you have heard about this many times, but I’m also sure you’re still doing it.

Comparing yourself with the rest only distracts you from your own plans and dreams, as you are trying to copy others. This also makes you feel miserable because you won’t have what they have.

It’s OK if you want to follow the good example of someone you admire, but this doesn’t mean you must follow the same path and achieve the same things in the same moments.

Remember that we are each unique and that we should find our own ways to achieve our dreams. The most successful and creative people have decided to find their own paths to get what they want. So, you must find your own identity and method.

Once you realize you are acting in your own way and in your own time, you will feel more comfortable with your life and  what you do. Enjoy the flavor of confidence and learn to respect yourself.

2. Stop thinking you are not special and that you are not enough.

We are born with the same resources and potential as other human beings. The difference is that some people just decide to exploit their potential, both mental and physical, and they persevere and work toward their dreams until they achieve them. Decide what you want and work on it.

“Practice makes the master.” This well known quote by Patrick Rothfuss is totally true. No matter what you want, if you really make an effort, you will achieve it.

Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t — you are right.”

3. Stop trying to convince everyone else that you are a good person.

This is not necessary; you don’t have to convince the rest of the world that you are a good person. Doing so is a waste of your time and energy because people will always find reasons to criticize your actions.

The most important opinion should be the one you have of yourself. If you are not happy with your actions, you won’t have respect for yourself. As long as your intentions are noble, keep doing what you think is best.

4. Stop getting attached.

This is the hardest one and there is no set recipe for being able to achieve it. Everyone must find his or her own way, but getting it is amazing because life becomes lighter and worries simply vanish.

If you understand that you are the one who is solely responsible for your own happiness, it will be easier for you to be free of attachments. Remember that attachment only makes you vulnerable and weak.

Attachments can be specific to a job position, money, couple or any material thing. Attachments make you worry about losing something specific and worry leads to making mistakes.

The consequence of attachment is that your happiness depends on something external and if you lose it for any reason, your happiness will go as well.

5. You write it.

I leave this as a blank for you to fill in because what I have learned about happiness through experience is that it depends on the respect you have for yourself.

Only you can figure out what will ultimately lead you to value yourself and make yourself happy.