August 12, 2010

5 Things That Can Make You....Unhappy ?

Why would anyone want to look at a list about being unhappy?  What good could possibly come from looking at this list? Actually, quite a lot. If you think about some of the things that can make people unhappy, maybe you can chose to not do those things, and be happier as a result.

  1. Lose your sense of purpose and passion for living. If you simply settle for how things are, you are not truly living. You are existing. We are created to move froward, change and develop. A life that doesn't have a purpose is stagnant. A life that doesn't have a passion for something is missing an opportunity to grow and ultimately risks being unsatisfied and unhappy.
  2. Don't strengthen relationships that mean the most to you. Make no mistake, building and keeping an important relationship takes work. Whether it is a spouse, good friends, a parent, or child, a loving connection is essential to a happy life. If you are not willing to work at that relationship it will not bring you as much happiness as it could.
  3. Worry about stuff you can't control. It is amazing how much of our life we spend  fretting about things that have already happened and can't be changed, things that may happen but haven't yet, and things that are happening now that may have a negative outcome. Today is the tomorrow we worried about yesterday. Worrying leaves you stressed and accomplishes very little.
  4. Ignore your health. This seems so obvious, yet our culture struggles with bad health habits. Obesity, diabetes, heart problems, high blood pressure, the list of problems that may be caused by poor physical health habits is endless. Why does our health always seems much more valuable after we lose it?  Certainly there are many who can't resolve physical challenges, regardless of all they do. But, for those who could live a healthier lifestyle and choose not to, the risk to your long term contentment is great.
  5. Hang around unhappy people. We tend to become what we think about most. Just as true, we can adopt some of the attitudes of the the people we spend the most time with. If you know someone who is unhappy by choice,  gripes a lot or complains about everything, avoid them, or help them change. Whenever possible, choose to spend your time with people who are supportive and positive in their outlook. It will rub off.

4 comments:

  1. About 5 years ago, I started making the conscious choice to be happy. It's amazing how many people you talk to think you're crazy to be optimistic! They point out hundreds of reasons why you're wrong to just relax and be happy.

    It's funny though. Once I decided to just focus on the positives and be grateful for things I do have, my entire life and all my relationships got better.

    What we think about, we bring about. I think Abraham Lincoln was right when he said people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.

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  2. Joan,

    Your optimism certainly shines through your blog. And, you are right. Project a feeling of being happy and others around you either think you are nuts, or become happy themselves!

    Abe Lincoln had many reasons to not be happy, but as you note, he made another choice.

    Thanks, Joan for finding this 2 month old post and adding your important thoughts!

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  3. It's very important to keep those relationships going. Making new friends and strengthening old ties (Facebook is excellent for the latter) will keep you energized. Travel is another way to stay positive, and it doesn't have to be to an exotic locale. Just stepping out of your comfort zone and finding your way around a new place exercises the brain, and as you see new things and learn about new places, you will rediscover that sense of wonder that little children have.

    That is why we enjoy our grandchildren so much, too. Seeing the world through their young eyes, watching them in amazement as they develop their language and motor skills - all of these are precious experiences for us.

    Being retired allows you to live in the moment. I have found patience that I never knew I had, and a sense of peace as well. If I can't get something done today, I don't beat myself up about it. I can do it tomorrow, because I have that most precious of all gifts: TIME.

    We have sacrificed some income, but we have gained what is priceless in life and cannot be purchased by the even the richest among us, and that is time.

    All of the negatives you mention above can be eliminated if you remember to treasure the gift of time that you have given yourself in this life. Use it wisely and do not wish it away. This is the last quarter, or third,of your life (if you are lucky!).

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  4. Hi JA,

    This is an excellent overview of what I mean by a satisfying retirement. Isn't it interesting how money and possessions begin to pale in comparison to things that really matter: grandkids, relationships, and experiences.

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