Today we’re going to talk about 6 ways of ruining your happiness and make your life very miserable. Oftentimes, these things are so subtle that they go unnoticed.
We may not even realize we’re doing them, yet we can’t seem to understand why we’re experiencing feelings of unhappiness.
Unlike the “normal” feelings of disappointment, anger, and frustration that we all experience, resentment is when we hold on to those emotions.
While it can be caused by a variety of different reasons, what it often stems from is the belief that we’ve been wronged by a person. We fail to forgive and to let go. Now, several studies show that anger and resentment can lead to a variety of health problems, both mental and physical.
But it’s also the whole chicken and egg situation, as it may be that a person's health problems were what contributed to or led to feelings of anger and resentment.
Either way, by letting resentment go unnoticed, unaddressed, and unresolved, it’ll inevitably lead to feelings of unhappiness. And if you want to indulge in resentment, make sure you frequently remind yourself of those who wronged you.
That person who always left you out, the person who laughed at you, the person who didn’t help you when you needed them, the person who lied to you, that person who accidentally walked into you. And, I mean, it’s not like they will know, and even if they did, what’s to say they'd even care?
The only one suffering here is you. Perhaps more than they ever made you suffer.
Rumination: a focusing of one's attention on negative or distressing thoughts or feelings that when excessive or prolonged may lead to or exacerbate an episode of depression.
So, instead of just making a list of all the ways others have wronged you, to ruminate would be to go over those events, thoughts, and experiences in your mind, in detail. Again, and again, and again. Until you become upset, and well, obsessed.
Better yet, invite your friends to obsess over it too.
Now, when we do this, we may tell ourselves that we’re being productive; that we’re trying to solve a problem. That we’re doing it because we need to make sense of what happened, to learn, and to grow.
How else are we supposed to move on?
Even though we know, deep down, that the things we ruminate on done and over with: it’s in the past.
Yet, for a moment, it may give us a false sense of control.
That somehow, there are hidden leads and answers to be found if we only seek them hard enough. And maybe, just maybe, we’ll be able to change what happened.
But even if we don’t, we may find comfort in holding on to this thing from the past that we can’t seem to accept. But unlike productive reflection or introspection, at the end of a rumination session, we don’t feel like we’ve processed anything.
We don’t feel closer to a solution, closure, answers, or whatever it is that we’re looking for, even if we may tell ourselves that we do.
Instead, we often feel even more frustrated, confused, and hurt. I guess that’s what happens when you try to solve the unsolvable.
“Be selective with your battles. Sometimes peace is better than being right.”
I came across that quote years ago.
I have no idea who said it no one does since I couldn’t find it. You know how some people seem like they’re almost looking for a reason to get upset or to snap at someone?
It’s like they’re hoping someone will accidentally bump into them or say or do something that doesn’t sit right with them, just so they can have any reason at all to get into battle.
They don’t stop to smell the roses; they stop to look around and find the next thing they can get mad at. Sometimes, we are that person. Sometimes, we know that person. And sometimes, we encounter that person. But other people are not the only battles we face.
Sometimes, life throws us other curveballs; things don’t go as planned and we face inconveniences. And if you want to drain yourself, emotionally, physically, and mentally - engage in every single battle coming your way. Or better yet, seek them out.
Did someone look at you strangely? Wrote you a nasty comment? Was mean or disrespectful to you?
You can’t simply let it pass! You must take part in every debate and confrontation that comes your way, no matter how small or insignificant it may be. That is unless you seek misery.
Picking your battles, aka choosing wisely what to participate in, is for people who seek to protect their peace. It’s for people who’d rather be happy than being right.
So if you want the opposite, choose the opposite. Have self-limiting beliefs. In other words, underestimating what you’re capable of A bullet-proof way of remaining stuck in life which then often leads to feelings of unhappiness is believing that you can’t; that you can’t start a business, rock that outfit, get a raise, or any other venture you’re wanting to pursue, but that you aren’t pursuing.
And look, sometimes we are limited by things like resources and time or even psychological factors or other health concerns. But more often than not, we’re limited by the negative self-perception we have of ourselves.
Sometimes, these beliefs are rooted so deeply in our mind; perhaps as a result of our childhood; a parent who didn’t take us seriously; classmates who laughed at our ideas, that they became our truth.
It’s all we know. But while others might’ve created the monsters in your head, you’re the one who keeps feeding them, by believing things like “I can’t”, “I’m not good enough”, “I’m too much x, and too little y”. Ask yourself, how long are you going to keep feeding those monsters? I bet the larger they get the harder they’ll be to starve, which leads me to my next point: Falling victim to the sunk cost fallacy, typically used when discussing business and economics, but can also be used when talking about our personal life.
Continuing to do something that no longer serves our purposes simply because we've invested time, money, or some other resource in it is called commitment. And sometimes it doesn't just stop serving us; it actually makes us unhappy or unhealthy in other ways.
It’s when we buy tickets for a show that we no longer want to go to, but we’ll rather go and be miserable than stay at home and live with the fact that we’ve “wasted” money.
It’s when we stay in a relationship or a job or a friendship for way longer than we would’ve liked to because so much has been invested in it.
It’s when we finish a movie that sucks because we’ve already watched an hour of it. Logically, we often know that it’s irrational. The concert ticket money is already gone, regardless of if you attend or not.
And so is the time and effort you’ve invested into your relationship, regardless of if you stay or not. And so, we keep “wasting” even more time and money on things we’ve already “wasted” time and money on because we’re already invested.
We fall victim to the sunk cost fallacy, and we let it dictate our decisions. Sometimes, we do this because we tell ourselves that
MAYBE things will be worth it later on.
MAYBE things will turn around.
MAYBE this movie will make sense and get better towards the end.
MAYBE the concert will be fun.
And sure, sometimes, that happens. But oftentimes, it doesn’t.
So yes, there might be a treasure hidden in that hole that you’re digging. But how deep are you willing to dig to find out?
You'll get to the end of it and feel as if you never went. Slowing down, noticing, and appreciating life's little pleasures have done wonders for my happiness. That includes bigger things as well. The pleasures and pleasures; the accomplishments.
I take note of them, no matter how small they are, and I do that every day. You can also take the opposite approach, rushing through the days as if you're running late for something, as if you're running late to the future, but then the future becomes the present, and the future is once more distant.
When we don't take enough breaks, that's how life can feel. This is also a surefire way to misery, in my opinion.
You know I’m going to challenge myself right now, right here, to find things that bring me a sense of joy.