Home / Relationships /

Why Am I So Unhappy?

My friend James asked me, “Why am I so unhappy? I feel like I don’t really have any reason to be… But I am. What’s going on with me?” I told him, there’s nothing wrong with you. In fact, knowing that you are unhappy is the first step in figuring out what to do about it!

We have all had those days when we feel utterly distraught or like we can’t make it through the day with a smile. It’s completely normal to feel this way sometimes.

Still, you might have a few underlying issues if you are generally unhappy almost all the time or can’t seem to find joy in life’s simple pleasures when you wish you could be a little more optimistic. These issues might be the reasons that are blocking you from experiencing happiness.

But why do you feel unhappy?

There can be many reasons why someone feels unhappy. We all live different lives and have different goals, dreams, and priorities. General factors contributing to someone’s unhappiness can be family or work-related; it could be your love life or perhaps just a generally pessimistic outlook on life.

Whatever the reasons, there is always hope that you can overcome these feelings and lead a happier life by just changing a few things about your lifestyle or the way you think. But the very first step that will lead you into this journey should be self-awareness.

Recognizing the root cause of your unhappiness is crucial because only then will you be able to formulate different strategies that will allow you to find your way to lead a generally happy life.

However, there are also times when we can’t seem to pinpoint a particular reason why we are sad. Or perhaps there is more than one reason for your unhappiness. If you are going through such a situation in your life right now, this article might be helpful for you in identifying the root of your unhappiness.

Why am I so unhappy? If you're asking this question, IT IS NORMAL!
Why am I so unhappy? If you’re asking this question, IT IS NORMAL!

13 Reasons Why You Might Be Unhappy

You Like Being In Control All The Time

Some people have a superiority complex that makes them believe they control everything around them. This type of distorted thinking might stand in the way of your happiness. But the bitter truth is that you don’t really have control over everything in your life, no matter how much you try to convince yourself.

Controlling people have a way of thinking that since everything is under their control, things will fall into place exactly as they want them to. But sometimes, life takes control of the wheel when you least expect it, and when this happens, your plans are foiled, which might put you in a state of disbelief.

You’re also burdening yourself by carrying the weight of all those responsibilities you think you should control. The only way out of this is to come to terms with the fact that you cannot, in fact, have control over everything in this world. When you finally make peace with this through, you’ll cultivate inner peace within yourself and have the pressure lifted.

You Don’t Like Your Job

In adulthood, we spend a good chunk of our daily lives at our workplace. So if you are unhappy working the job that you currently hold, it is only natural that you feel unhappy going to work every day-making you a miserable person.

One good thing about this factor is that it’s not that hard to turn it around. You can do a deep dive into your passion, find out what you like and your interests are, and ultimately try to land a job that you genuinely want.

If you love your job, you won’t dread hearing the alarm ring in the morning or commuting to work and hanging with your work buddies. Your quality of life will automatically come up when you love what you do daily.

Happiness is a choice, not a decision or a thing that can be done to you..
Happiness is a choice, not a decision or a thing that can be done to you…

You Tend To Compare Yourself To Other People

With social media being such an integral part of our lives nowadays, it’s almost impossible to think about a life where you don’t go straight to your phone the moment you open your eyes in the morning.

We can all agree that social media has obviously been a great help making us connect with people and making our lives much more accessible and convenient. However, the downside to this constant exposure to screens is that we always compare ourselves to others.

If you see a beautiful model wearing the most beautiful dress, you want that dress and think about how good it looks on her but not on you. Then we might see people who are always traveling from one city to the next every other week, and we look at our plight on a Monday morning, barely awake and already late for work. How can we not compare our lives with someone else’s whose life seems much more fun?

But many people seem to forget that everyone has their own problems. Perhaps the model you saw is struggling with a health condition that you don’t know about. Or the person traveling to Paris was getting over a heartbreak. We never know the real stories behind the screen, so it’s never a good idea to just look at things and perceive them from the surface level.

There’s really no meaning in comparing yourself to someone else when all of us are unique and special in our own ways. If anything, we should only compare ourselves to ourselves and strive to be a better version of ourselves daily.

Your choice to be happy is about you making a change... Plain and simple!
Your choice to be happy is about you making a change… Plain and simple!

You Don’t Have A Purpose In Life

Many people don’t know the importance of having a purpose in life. Without a goal or target you’re constantly working towards, life seems directionless, and you’re always unsure which choice to make and which turn to take. Living a life like this is both stressful as well as unfulfilling.

Have you ever set a goal, worked towards it, and when you achieved it, you felt such satisfaction with yourself? This is what a purpose in your life will get you. Your life will become more organized, and you’ll always have the drive to be doing seeming meaningful with your time on earth.

You Don’t Have A Healthy Physical Body

We’ve all been there. You aren’t happy when you’re sick or feeling a little under the weather. Research has shown us time and again that the physical body and your mental health are strongly correlated. When you have a healthy and able body, you are more likely to have a healthy mindset as well. This means you have more positive emotions like joy and happiness than stress or sadness.

The state of your physical health can impact how you think, so you should start taking care of your health.

Related: Important values in life

You Are Someone Who Holds Grudges

Everyone has experienced some type of hurt or betrayal in their lifetime. Likewise, you might also have a few instances you can think about where you felt wronged or treated with disrespect. These situations are typical for some people, and they can get over it quickly. On the other hand, some find it very difficult to let go of these kinds of situations.

Granted, the instance you are thinking about might have been life-altering, but it does not mean that you should let that dictate the rest of your life. Of course, you might feel like you did not deserve any of that, which is true.

No one deserves to be treated unkindly without reason. But suppose this situation is something you constantly think about, and it seems to bother you repeatedly, even after years. In that case, you’re holding a grudge or holding on to past anger that is hampering your present happiness.

You Don’t Have An Optimistic Outlook On Life

People can have different perspectives on life. Some choose to view everything from an optimistic point of view, while others prefer the opposite. When you’re pessimistic about life, you always see the negative side of everything first.

You also tend to view the glass as half empty, which in turn gives you stress from all the worrying you do, fearing for the worst outcome in every scenario. Instead of this, why not choose to view the world as a place that is full of opportunities?

When you focus on the positive side of things, your mindset automatically becomes brighter, and you also start appreciating the little things in life, which can bring you immense joy.

Why am I so unhappy? Decide what's causing you to feel this way.
Why am I so unhappy? Decide what’s causing you to feel this way.

Your Priorities Are Not In The Right Place

There is no denying that sometimes we all tend to miss out on important appointments. Getting distracted and sidetracked is easy when we don’t have our priorities straight. You’ll find yourself dwelling on things and people who are not worth your spending time, which eventually catches up with you.

We are so focused on the other aspects of our lives that we lose focus and miss our priorities. This is why having a concrete priorities list is vital to know precisely how to divide and manage your time throughout the day.

See also: Important life lessons

You Seem To Be Stuck In Your Past

You can never slip into the next page of your book and focus on it if you’re still stuck on the previous one. And you need to learn to let things go. The past is in the past. Perhaps you can learn from it and take your lessons to apply in the next chapters of your life. But living in the past will not allow you to see the bright future ahead.

You can never change your past, so why dwell on it? It’s better to push yourself forward by living in the present and experiencing life as it comes.

You Are Stuck In A Toxic Or Bad Relationship

It’s very easy for people in toxic relationships to become unhappy. Even though you might think you love the person or that your significant other is the only one for you in this world, you might be bad for each other. Perhaps you’re just not compatible at all, and you end up arguing or fighting about everything.

You might even feel suffocated in the relationship, but you’re holding on just for the sake of it or because you don’t want to break each other’s heart. If this is the case with your relationship, it is not doing either of you any good, so consider sitting down with your partner and discussing your issues.

Maybe you’ll both see what is best for you and part ways or decide to mutually start working on the problems so you can be happy together.

You Are Always Around Unhappy People

Emotions are indeed so infectious. The sad part about this is that negative emotions are also very contagious. We are all the products of the environments we put ourselves in, so if you’re always around unhappy people, you cannot help but be unhappy as well.

When you are with unhappy people, all your conversations are directed towards general dissatisfaction in life and the following unhappy thoughts. Try to spend some time alone and reflect upon the people in your life right now. If you can identify the unhappy people in your life and spend less time with them, you might start to see some changes in your mood.

You Have A Lot Of Debt

This is one of the most common reasons why someone might seem unhappy. Even though you can probably still live normally while paying off your debts, the thought of owing money to someone might haunt you when you go to bed at night.

But once you start paying off your debts, even if it’s in small amounts every month or every two months or so, you’ll be able to feel a little bit lighter about your money burdens.

See also: How dating a narcissist changes you

You Have A Crippling Fear Of Failure

Some people have all the potential in the world but are so afraid of failure that they never try. Some even give up on their dreams because they fear they will fail. These self-sabotaging thoughts can make you deeply unhappy with yourself.

While it is completely normal to have self-doubts occasionally, if your fear of failure keeps you from doing what you want to achieve in your life, it’s time to change that mindset. Embrace the belief that you’ll never know unless you try and give it a go. Regardless of the results, learn to forgive yourself and give yourself a chance to try again.

Fact checked:
Board reviewed by Marianne Tomlinson, LCSW (Couples and Family Therapy). Content is rigorously reviewed by a team of qualified and experienced fact checkers. Learn more.

About the author

Ryan Sanderson (LCSW) Ryan is a game and relationship enthusiast who enjoys all things quizzes, games, fun, love, relationships, and family. He's a licensed social worker and helps families, couples, and children in need. He's spoken about love and relationships on Salon.com, Forbes, and Mirror, to name a few.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.