6 Common Destructive Habits of Unhappy People

Here you are, and I’m guessing you’ve come to terms with some pesky, unhappy habits that you’ve been harbouring. 

Recognising these destructive habits is your first step towards a brighter, more blissful life.

Admittedly, these habits aren’t your passport to joy, but for reasons only you can fathom, you’ve been clutching onto them like cherished souvenirs.

But it’s time to let go.

Your Daily Choice: Embrace Joy or Hold onto Unhappiness

Consider this: It’s a beautiful morning and you’re rifling through your wardrobe, about to make a choice.

On one side, there’s your favourite dress – the one that always makes you feel like you’re on top of the world.

On the flip side, a pair of battered jeans and a shabby t-shirt that have long overstayed their welcome.

And the best part?

You have an entire day ahead to wander freely around your dream city, no strings attached.

Which ensemble would you pick?

It’s a pretty clear-cut decision, right?

Interestingly, our day unfurls similarly – it all starts with a choice.

Yet, it’s disconcerting how some people, ensnared in a cycle of unhappiness, consistently pick those dowdy clothes that do nothing but pull them down, even when the chance to don that fabulous dress is just an arm’s length away.

Perhaps you’ve grown so accustomed to these unhappy habits that you’ve lost sight of the fact that you’re opting for them, day after day.

Let’s delve into some of these insidious, unhappy habits that might be lurking in the shadows. 

If any of them sound familiar, it’s time to stop making choices that breed misery. Instead, why not choose to bask in the radiant sunshine of happiness? 

Believe me, you’re worth it.

Identifying and Overcoming Unhappy Habits

The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.


Unhappy Habit #1: The “I’ll Be Happy When…” Syndrome

Jim Carrey once quipped,

I wish every person on Earth could be rich once so they could understand it won’t make them happy.

How often have you found yourself saying something like:

  • “I’ll be happy when I snag that promotion.”
  • “I’ll be on cloud nine when I get a raise.”
  • “I’ll be over the moon when I land a new job.”

I used to be in that same boat, thinking, “If only I had more money, I’d be happier.” 

Sounds familiar, right?

But here’s the rub: if you can’t find joy in the here and now, no amount of wishful thinking will bring it to you later.

“No way, that’s not true!” you might want to argue.

Consider this little anecdote: You finally get that pay raise you’ve been dreaming of. You’re ecstatic!

But then, after about half an hour, you start thinking it could have been a little more. 

And don’t think you’re alone in this. 

John D. Rockefeller, an early 20th-century billionaire, was once asked, “How much money is enough?” 

His answer? 

“Just a little bit more.”

So, if you don’t learn to find contentment in the present moment and appreciate what you’ve already got, no amount of money will ever feel enough. 

You’ll always be hankering after the next big thing. 

Choose your favourite dress; savour the blessings you already have.

Remember, many folks out there would jump at the chance to be in your shoes, earning what you earn, or having the skills you’ve got.

Unhappy Habit #2: The “I’m Too This or Too That” Trap

Ever caught yourself saying negative things about yourself like:

  • “I’m too young (or too old) to start this.”
  • “I’m too inexperienced to apply for this job.”
  • “I’m too shy to socialise and meet new people.”

In this age of the Internet, people are breaking out of their shells like never before.

They’re starting new businesses at a young age (or in their golden years), taking sharp career turns, or setting off on solo adventures to explore the world. 

Yet, here you are, talking yourself out of the golden opportunities right under your nose because you believe you’re too this or too that.

Instead, why not opt for that favourite dress of yours? 

Tell yourself, “I’m a quick learner,” gather up the info you need, and commit to mastering a new skill. 

Search for successful folks who’ve walked in your shoes, achieved what you aspire to, and are living the life you dream of. 

Soak up all the knowledge you can from them, and surround yourself with the right resources and the right crowd.

Unhappy Habit #3: Fear of Judgement and Criticism from Friends and Family

Remember when you were a kid, and you were either praised for your good deeds or scolded for your slip-ups? 

You learned pretty quickly how to keep others pleased and how to seek their approval and validation. 

You’ve been bending over backward to keep your loved ones content and to steer clear of their judgement or criticism. 

But as you grow up, you start to realise that your happiness doesn’t always align with others’ expectations

You understand that, ultimately, you’re the one in charge of your own joy.

That’s all well and good to know, but taking a different path from the one others want for you? 

That’s a whole different ball game, and it can be tough. You find yourself making excuses, justifying your inaction and your unhappiness. 

So why not choose that favourite dress of yours? 

Believe in yourself, and as cheesy as it may sound, if you truly yearn for happiness, you’ve got to listen to your heart and follow its lead.

Unhappy Habit #4: The “I’ll Never Be as Good as Sarah” Mindset

You were over the moon with your recent raise until you happened upon your friend Sarah’s latest Facebook post. 

Spotting her brand-new car, you instantly fell into a funk because you still couldn’t swing the kind of wheels Sarah had. 

You’re forever sizing yourself up against your friends, neighbours, or even random folks on social media. 

It’s like an open invitation for negativity to make itself at home in your heart.

Here’s the thing, though: there will always be someone out there with a fatter bank account, a posher upbringing, a superior intelligence, and so on. 

If you’re constantly stuck in comparison mode, happiness will always be just out of reach.

So why not choose your favourite dress? 

Compare your current self to your past self. Reflect on how far you’ve come, what you’ve achieved. 

Find genuine joy in each milestone you reach on your journey of self-improvement.

Unhappy Habit #5: The “My Glass is Always Half-Empty” Tendency

You’ve got a knack for viewing everything through a pessimistic lens.

Before you even step foot into an interview, you’ve convinced yourself that the job’s out of your league.

And sure enough, your performance reflects your gloomy outlook. You come across as unsure, lacking in confidence.

You don’t land the job. 

And there you go: “See, I knew it!”

But here’s the kicker: your self-defeating beliefs had sealed your fate long before you walked into that interview room.

So how about choosing that favourite dress of yours? Look at your glass as half-full. 

When you see the world through rose-tinted glasses, you expect good things. You act positively, and as a result, you draw positivity into your life

Trust me, things turn out way better with a glass half-full than with one half-empty.

Unhappy Habit #6: The “I Can Never Get Over My Past” Belief

If you’re convinced that your past is a weight you’ll never be able to shake off, it’ll inevitably become an anchor keeping you from moving forward. 

Take a moment and ask yourself honestly: “what good ever comes from clinging to the past?” 

If your heart is brimming with sorrow, pain, guilt, or regret, then dwelling on past events will only add fuel to these negative emotions. 

Accept what has happened and use it as a catalyst to make wiser choices in the future.

Know that you truly can put the past in its place: behind you, by choosing your favourite dress: Embrace the present moment

Every time you find your mind wandering back to days gone by, reel it back into the here and now.

Make a conscious effort to stay rooted in the present. 

Keep choosing your favourite dress over and over. Before you know it, those old, scruffy clothes will be a distant memory.

Final Thoughts on Overcoming Unhappy Habits for a Happier Life

Every tick of the clock, every minute that passes, every hour that rolls by, we’re faced with choices. 

And isn’t it empowering to know that we have the power to shape these choices, including how we respond to life’s curveballs? 

Regardless of the hurdles life throws our way, we can always choose to weave happiness into our lives and steer clear of the pitfalls that unhappy people often stumble into.

Remember, your favourite dress is always there, waiting for you to slip it on. 

So be mindful about whether you’re reaching for those scruffy clothes instead.

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