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If You Want Happiness, Then Purge Your Discontent

Let’s start by making broad statement and say, most people would like to be happier with some aspect of their life regardless of their current circumstances. The assertion that we have the right to pursue our happiness is shared by many individuals around the world. As such, there are thousands of sponsored books, blogs and seminars promising to deliver the secret to happiness, and most derive from to two basic ideas. They are, do more of the things that make you happy and the other is, seek happiness in the things you do. However, there is a third option. It’s slightly harder to do, which is why it’s mentioned far less often. That is, purge it and don’t engage in the things that make you unhappy.

The first step is to identify what makes you unhappy. Sometimes it’s obvious, like whenever you spend time with a particular person you feel stressed and miserable. Other times it may not be as easy to identify. The process can be like testing for allergies, where you need to try cutting out different activities one at a time to see what makes a difference.

When you believe that you know the cause, it’s important to be specific when identifying what drives your misery. You may feel like your job is the cause of your unhappiness. However, it’s important to evaluate your stress levels to specifically determine what portion of your job makes you unhappy. It’s possibly the hours you work, or a strained relationship with your boss. It could come from the interworking relationship with your coworkers, or lack the of opportunity for a deserved promotion. Each one of these challenges may require a different solution, so just getting a different job may not address the issue and you could remain unhappy even with a different employer.

Think about a typical day and when you experience your most negative feelings. Is it getting up in the morning, commuting to work, prior to going to bed? What are the flashpoints for the negative feelings you experience? Try to correlate what those feelings are related to. If you often feel unhappy without there being an obvious cause, that could be a sign of depression and you should seek professional help. However, if you can identify a specific person, place or event that invokes negative emotions, then look into the possibility of changing these negative feeling triggers.

Be mindful, despite our best efforts we can’t always remove unhappiness from your life. Unfortunately, there may be circumstances that will consistently cause stress in our lives, but that doesn’t mean you can’t minimize your exposure. For instance, if you know that a particular coworker annoys you, figure out how you can spend less time with them. Would your boss be supportive if you suggested modifications to your work arrangement? Many employers understand that a happier workforce is a more productive workforce, so it may be worth a discussion.

If there can facets of your personal relationship that are making you miserable, then try talking to your partner. If they insist on not adjusting their behavior, you could contemplate taking a break from them and see if that helps.

Also consider the thoughts that preoccupy mind when you’re having a quiet moment to yourself. What do you worry about? Who do you dread talking to? Which situation do you lie awake thinking about? Any one of these or multiple issues can be contributors to your unhappiness.

Of course you can’t always control your thoughts, but if you lie awake worrying about what’s occurring in the world, perhaps you shouldn’t spend hours looking at breaking news alerts before going to bed. If you feel sadder when you don’t get many likes on your social media posts, maybe you should unplug and take a break.

Unless you’ve achieved some advanced state of spiritual enlightenment, you’re going to experience occasions of unhappiness. Your focus should be on those reoccurring issues that have an effect on your daily living.

People must first take inventory of their lives, then pinpoint the matters which make them unhappy and look to purge, then implement a solution for happiness. That action more than anything else is your key to happiness

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