Why can’t I be happy?


Happiness is an emotion that we all want to feel. However, just because you want something doesn’t mean that you get to attain it. 

Many people suffer from the inability to be happy. Due to the subjectivity of the experience, the reason for being unhappy tends to be different. 

At times, the lack of happiness is a consequence of problems like depression, that include sadness as the salient feeling. People then require the help from a psychiatrist to get better. 

However, unhappiness is not always tied to mental health disorders, but it may also be due in part to you as well. 


Understanding happiness

Before getting to the bottom of why you are unhappy, you need to first understand what happiness means for you. For some people, it can be banal things like getting off work early, eating something nice etc. They find contentment in the everyday, and it is therefore easier for them to be happy. 

However, certain people have a more stringent criteria for being happy. It may revolve around acquiring things or wealth, having their ego satiated or their perfectionist soul might not rest till they become the very best. It is naturally harder for such people to be happy. 

Moreover, this type of happiness is not only harder to attain, but just as hard to retain as well, increasing the challenge. 

Hence, it is important to gauge what makes you happy, so that you can understand your state better. 


Reasons for being unhappy 

Having high standards for being happy is just one facet why you might be unhappy all the time. There are other reasons for this condition too, including: 

Blame game 

People who fail to hold themselves accountable to the adverse situations in their lives also tend to be more unhappy. Such people, as they do not realize how they contributed towards the problem, they then are also unable to change their circumstances. 

For example, they constantly blame their colleagues for not delivering but won’t rightly blame their lack of performance, and thus stay unhappy from their lack of promotion. It is also applicable in the case of relationships as well. 


Constant comparison 

One of the most important concepts to internalize is that everyone has their set of challenges. What may appear around a person might not be an honest representation of their hardships. For example, when you see someone getting out of an expensive car, you might envy them for their privilege, but they might have struggles otherwise, like dealing with a loss, that you do not know of. 

Hence, comparing yourself to otherwise, especially those apparently more privileged than you, leads to discontentment, that then paves way for unhappiness. 

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Social media has certainly compounded the condition, as people flaunt how much fun they are having, showcasing their lives, getting praise from others, furthering then the feelings of FOMO –fear of missing out –and thus unhappiness. 

It is important to note that comparison-based unhappiness is a result of upward social comparison, i.e., comparison to those who may seemingly are better than you, rather than comparing yourself to underprivileged people. The latter actually helps in fostering empathy and contentment, and therefore, happiness. 


 Always distracted 

Being in a perpetual state of distraction can also make people unhappy. Rather than finding the good in the present, they become distracted with the future. 

They think they will become happy when they attain certain elements, and those alone, and thus they fail to recognize the good in the present moment. This lack of presence also causes people to miss out on important events in their lives, especially when they are not able to attain their goals. 

Ironically, the attainment of goals can also be anti-climactic. When they get the thing that they wanted and find themselves yet unhappy, it perpetuates their anxiety, meriting then a visit to your Psychiatrist in Islamabad

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