Why Do So Many People End Up Trapped In Unhappiness?

the unhappiness trap

Are You Trapped In Unhappiness?

“In this life, we have to make many choices. Some are very important choices. Some are not. Many of our choices are between good and evil. The choices we make, however, determine to a large extent our happiness or our unhappiness, because we have to live with the consequences of our choices.”
James E. Faust

In a Harris Poll of Americans ages 18 and older in May 2017, it was found that only 1 in 3 could actually say they were happy. This poll determined that those who were the happiest were men and women from high-income households and those with at least high school diploma or less.

According to John Gerzema, the CEO of  the Harris Poll, “To me, it feels like a cultural lack of presence, We are so caught up in our texting, multitasking, jobs and commutes that we seem to have less and less free time. Older people age 65+ are the happiest.”

This shines a light on what is happening to people all over the world. It’s not just about politics, the threat of war or what color our skin is but a lack of closeness between people of all ages and ethnicities. People are just not as emotionally attached as they used to be. Finding real happiness is beyond the reach of most people.

The idea that we feel trapped is echoed in the fact so many people don’t enjoy the jobs they are at or  feel they get enough quality time with their family. Their energy level is reflected in lack of good health and they feel they don’t have the time to do anything about it.

Why is this such a major problem in the world and what can be done to combat the unhappiness to which a majority of people sadly find themselves falling into?

The Trap Of Being Unhappy

“There are seeds of self-destruction in all of us that will bear only unhappiness if allowed to grow.”
Dorothea Brande

being unhappy

Essentially, it all comes down to living in some of a trap. We fall into this trap, not recognizing our fall until it’s way too late to do anything about it.

The trap innocently begins after high school and quietly manifests itself as a maze of quests and searches that forces us to make decisions based on emotions and not logic.

Decision #1 – Either you leave high school and go into college, take on an apprenticeship or get stuck with a low entry job with no benefits and low salary. You have to fight your way up the ladder or get stuck working more than one low-paying job to make ends meet.

Decision #2 – Live with your parents until you can afford to move out or give up your freedom and feel bound by your parents rules and regulations. Even though they love and care about you, being a twenty-something living in your parents home puts undue pressure to “Make it” in the real world.

We all know, this is the age when communication is at its lowest between family members and teenage angst gives way to realities of the real world.

Decision #3 – If you took on the apprenticeship, then you work hard to stand on your own two feet and become a working member of society. If you went to college, you must spend four years or more pushing yourself to the limit to graduate and get that “Great job” that will allow you to move out on your own and begin the life you dreamed about when you started college in the first place.

You enjoy the freedom and the means that work offers you as well as the feeling of success, so you climb the ladder. You intend to find work that is fulfilling and rewarding at some point in the future but that future never seems to come.

Decision #4 – You meet someone and maybe get married and have children. Either way, you now have too many responsibilities and commitments to people other than yourself thrust upon your shoulders at such a young age. You obviously need that job to make ends meet but it isn’t the life you imagined.

Decision # 5 – You start to accumulate expensive items like cars and televisions while working longer hours with more responsibility. The trappings of life box you in and it feels like a prison. You come home in the evenings exhausted and with no energy to pursue other interests or things that quench the thirst in your heart. Stress and a lack of exercise and or passion leaves you tired and unhealthy. You feel like you’re too old to begin a new career or to change your life.

Does all of this sound familiar? It’s a trap that befalls many of us but it doesn’t have to be if you don’t want it to be. Awareness of the problem puts you one step ahead of everyone else. It’s one step closer to breaking out of the unhappiness trap!

Download The “Why Do So Many People End Up Trapped In Unhappiness?” Cheatsheet Here

Spiritual Happiness Versus Economic Happiness

“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, or worn. It is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace & gratitude.”
Denis Waitley

“We need to look at why we are unhappy,” says Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of the Art of Living spiritual movement. ”Usually, it’s lack of energy in body and mind.”  Living in a consumer-driven culture doesn’t help with being a happier person. He goes on to say “When people are fed up with their routine, and life seems to have no aim and meaning, then people do get depressed, despite having so many physical comforts.”

According to Time’s Special Edition entitled “The Science Of Happiness” it was determined that “Scientists have found, again and again, that those with a spiritual practice or who follow religious beliefs tend to be happier than those who don’t. Study after study has found that religious people tend to be less depressed and less anxious than nonbelievers, better able to handle the vicissitudes of life than nonbelievers. “

They goes on to state, “A 2015 survey by researchers at the London School of Economics and the Erasmus University Medical Center in the Netherlands found that participating in a religious organization was the only social activity associated with sustained happiness—even more than volunteering for a charity, taking educational courses or participating in a political or community organization. It’s as if a sense of spirituality and an active, social religious practice were an effective vaccine against the virus of unhappiness.”

It seems that all the studies about spiritual versus economic happiness realize that the higher the standard of living the happier people tend to be but on the other side of the spectrum, the higher the inequality between economic divisions in society, the higher people tend to fall into the unhappy spectrum.

This no more apparent than in the September 3, 2015 paper in Psychological Science entitled, “Income Inequality Explains Why Economic Growth Does Not Always Translate to an Increase in Happiness” from Shigehiro Oishi at the University of Virginia and Selin Kesebir at the London Business School.

“Every single time income inequality decreased between two time points, the percentage of ‘very happy’ responses went up,” the researchers write. “And every time income inequality increased, the percentage of ‘very happy’ responses went down. In other words, although economic growth was steady and strong during this period, the evenness of the income distribution was fluctuating, and happiness was inversely related to income inequality.”

This is echoed by John Robbins, son of the co-founder of Baskin-Robbins Ice cream franchise when he said, “I believe there is truth in both camps. Up to a certain point, money is vital to happiness for almost everyone. It can buy food, clothing, and housing and provide for other basic needs. Once a person’s basic needs are met, though, money takes on a different meaning.”

That’s where the spiritual side is missing from today’s society. We are either in rapid pursuit of financial gain or jealous of others who are rich. It’s an either or situation which leaves out the spiritual side of things that can bring on true happiness.

On the Action For Happiness website they talk about getting in touch with your spiritual side. They explain this by stating: “Living happily depends on how we are in our inner lives – our thoughts, emotions, beliefs and desires. Having a spiritual dimension means finding a sense of inner peace – both peace of mind and peace in the heart. It also means allowing our inner values to guide how we interact with the world around us – our concern for others, our connection with the natural world and our interest in making a positive contribution to society.”

This is something most of us miss. We end up trying to balance both the spiritual side and the financial side but lose out to the trappings of society. If we pursue a more traditional approach of satisfying the inner soul then we will be better equipped and able to handle the economic portion of our lives.

Of course, that’s easier said than done. Tell that to someone who doesn’t have enough to eat or someone who can’t afford a place to live. Happiness is relative to how we live… from our values and how we were brought up to the influences of society and our peers both from growing up to going to school to our working lives.

Ending the Unhappiness Trap

“So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservation, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality, nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit.”
Christopher McCandless

feeling trapped

One of the byproducts of unhappiness in society is an increase in medications. According to the Market Watch article, “7 Reasons Americans Are Unhappy”  from August 30, 2016, “The rate of antidepressant use has surged 400% over the last decade, according to the CDC, though that may also be due to the heavy marketing of drugs like Zoloft, Lexapro and Paxil. The percentage of workers testing positive for illicit drugs such as cocaine, amphetamines and methamphetamines has increased for the second consecutive year in the general U.S. workforce, according to a 2015 workplace urine drug test of more than 6.6 million tests by Quest Diagnostics, a company that provides clinical laboratory tests on potential and/or current employees for companies. Some 4.7% of the general U.S. workforce tested positive for illegal drugs in 2014, compared with 4.3% in 2013.”

People are drowning their sorrows in drugs to offset the unhappiness they feel in everyday life. It doesn’t help that doctors and drug companies are pushing these drugs on people who most of the time, really don’t need them.

Unhappiness has become an epidemic more than the drugs themselves and the drugs are just a way to mask the sadness people feel.

Scott Mautz, the author of “Find the Fire: Ignite Your Inspiration and Make Work Exciting Again” has an interesting take on the unhappiness trap. In an interview with Dr. Annie McKee (University of Pennsylvania) she states The helplessness trap is the most dangerous of all. When you feel disempowered, like a victim of your circumstances, it’s a dangerous place to be as it’s hard to take bold steps.”

This type of trap sneaks up on us over time and forces us to make bad decisions which we regret having to deal with.

But sometimes, we’re our worst enemies.

Here Are 5 Ways You Can End The Unhappiness Trap Without Going Crazy Or Falling Into Depression

1- STOP COMPLAINING

If you notice, most people who are unhappy seem to complain about everything all the time. They put so much emphasis on their complaints but do nothing to make their lives better. It’s as if they need to complain to feel important  in some kind of weird way. They keep their minds and hearts focus on life’s negative aspects instead of feeling all the positivity going on around. they end up blind to life… just their own pain and heartache.

When you stop complaining you take the emphasis off of your complaints and back on to your own responsibility. Responsible people are happier because they are dealing with life the best they can and live with their decisions whether good or bad.

Ken Wert, the founder of Meant 2 Be Happy Blog states, “The habit of complaint is a self-inflicted wound. It darkens horizons and amplifies the ugly. Never ignore warning signs or hide from reality, of course. Just don’t dwell so exclusively on it.”

2- STOP BLAMING OTHERS

Don’t you hate it when people refuse to blame themselves for all the things happening in their life?  They look at life as a garden filled with weeds which they planted but don’t want the responsibility of pruning away the bad . It’s always someone else’s fault, someone else’s responsibility and we keep the focus on who, what and where instead looking inward and see where we went wrong and more importantly, how we can fix the situation.

Blame is a trap that is self-inflicted and a band aid does not heal the wound. It is forever left to fester and infect others..

3- STOP COMPARING

Those who are unhappy use comparison to make themselves feel better. They compare their situation to others, themselves to others and see things in a distorted type of funhouse mirror where everything is not as it appears to be.

Some people go their entire lives dissatisfied with how they look, how they feel because they can’t live up to what others appear to be. They copy the outward appearance of others but don’t know or understand what that person feels on the inside. We’ve all become clones of one another while distancing ourselves from  the emotional part that makes us who we are.

It’s time to embrace your uniqueness and love who you are. God made you this way for a reason and He loves you just the way you are. Why try to be something you’re not just to please people who don’t appreciate the real you.

4- STOP WORRYING SO MUCH

Stop being a worry-wart! If you are plagued with various fears, middling doubt and overwhelming anxiety you’ll find that life will send very few things you can find joy in.

Worry doesn’t solve any problem. Instead, be cognizant of what you are going through but work at solving your problems in a healthy way.

Everyone has problems but those who take them to the next step with worry rob themselves of a peaceful existence clouded with doubts and causes both mental and physical harm.

Learn to trust God that things will work out. Hand your problems, doubts and fears to God and let things work out according to His will. Trust that things will work out alright. Ken Wert goes on to say, “Let go of the need to control. Take reasonable precautions, of course, but not out of fear that something terrible will otherwise happen, but out of respect for your health and well-being.”

5- LEARN TO LIVE WITH GRATITUDE

If there is one thing most people lack it is the idea of being grateful for what they have. Being jealous of others and what they have, the lives they lead or what they do is a recipe for true unhappiness.

The happiest people on earth know that being grateful brings inner peace and counting your blessings makes you a more positive person.

Here Are 3 Ways Gratitude Can Help You To Be A Happier Person

  • It reminds you of what’s important in life
  • It reminds you to thank others and put others first
  • It reminds you of the positive things in your life

Once you understand what makes you unhappy you can change those things and turn your unhappiness into a life of gratitude and thankfulness. That is where happiness exists. Each one of us has the chance to be happy but it’s up to each person to work at being happy. It’s your decision. Make the best of it!

avoiding unhappiness

How To Find Lasting Happiness

how to find lasting happiness

How To Find Lasting Happiness

“A lasting happiness cannot be attained by seeking temporary happiness.” 
E.A. Bucchianeri

Every day we have a chance to find happiness. What are you doing to elicit love and happiness to a world that is devoid of personal contact?

We spend far too much time on Facebook and Twitter and not enough time bringing happiness to the world.

What can you do to find your own brand of happiness?

What must you do to walk through the valley of joy?

Are you getting the most fun out of life? It might seem like an easy question to answer but most of us need to be brutally honest with ourselves. It’s all about finding lasting happiness.

No one with any brain whatsoever can deny that being happy is good advice, but unfortunately for many of us, it can be a difficult request to follow. It shouldn’t be, but the quest has become a burden to many and has led them down a deep and narrow path filled with both decadence and sin.

We reach out in all sorts of strange and unusual ways to find real happiness and still it escapes us but God wants us to be truly happy. We just need to surrender ourselves to His will and happiness will ultimately follow. This may sound like a fantasy to many but God has promised us new life in the spirit as found in 2 Corinthians 5:17:

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new
creature; the old things passed away; behold, new
things have come.”

If you find yourself looking in from the outside and wonder why so many other people seem to have every advantage in life while you are mired in the depths of despair, remember this; Everyone’s situation in life is different.

We can choose to become the masters of our own destiny by overcoming our emotions and make smart lifestyle and social choices. Positive choices can ensure we find ourselves happy at the end of the day. No matter what we face, we have the final choice in what we do. Or we can do the exact opposite and live apart from God’s love.

Finding Lasting Happiness In Life

happy-family

“Moment by moment the Holy Spirit will work with your beliefs, taking you step by step as you unwind your mind from the many false concepts that you believe keep you safe and make you happy. Only the release from these false beliefs can bring you true happiness and lasting peace.” 
David Hoffmeister

Here’s a simple fact: you can’t truly be happy unless you choose to be happy. When you choose to be happy, you are making a conscious decision about how you look at the world. You are taking personal responsibility over your outlook, rather than blaming outside forces for the way you feel.

Life is filled with all kinds of opportunities to experience happiness but too many of us spoil it by giving excuses as to why we can’t be happy.

Why is this?

What can I do to make happiness a reality?

Put quite simply, the happier you are, the healthier you will be. We know this is true because a wonderful connection between wellness and joy has been discovered. In March of 2013, doctors, psychiatrists and experts from the Mayo Clinic, Harvard University and National Institutes of Health all jumped on Twitter to hold a one-hour discussion about happiness.

According to Dr Friedman, a well-known psychiatrist with the Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Hospital in New York,he states, Happiness is hard to measure, but easy to recognize.” And that is so very true.

You can spot a happy person in an instant. They have a glow about them and give off a radiance of peacefulness and satisfaction. That may be due to the fact that happiness has now finally been officially linked to better health. This affects entire communities as well as individuals. Happiness can even lower the number of stress causing hormones in your body, and improve your immune function.

Just ask Laura Kubzansky, an associate professor at the Harvard School of Public Health who is a leader in studying the effects of those people who choose to have a positive outlook on life. She participated in a study whose results were released in 2007, which included over 6,000 women and men. It tracked 25 to 74-year-old individuals for two decades.

Those participants who were engaged in life and chose to face life’s troubles with enthusiasm and hopefulness actually had a lower risk of coronary heart disease. It seems that emotional vitality can actually make you healthier. This in turn causes you to feel better about yourself and your surroundings, which continues to make you happier about the world. When you choose to be happy, a wonderful cycle of health and joy begins.

Finding Lasting Happiness In God’s Love

God is love

“God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.”
Augustine

Choosing God’s Love To Experience Real Joy A funny thing happens when we involve God in our lives. We see things from a different point of view. God’s love strengthens the bonds of friendship, love, and families in a way that we can never do on our own.

7 Ways God Loves Us

From Visually.

God calls us to seek happiness in him. We see this in bible verses such as:“Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”  Psalm 37:4, and “In your presence is fullness of joy, and at your right hand are pleasures forevermore,”  Psalm 16:11.

God loves us so much that He wants us to experience the joy that comes from His unconditional love. According to author Jon Bloom, “Pleasure is the measure of your treasure.”  There are many promises that God makes and they include being joyful and knowing His peace which are not temporary.

Jesus said, Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the
world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” John 14:27.

Humans crave happiness but finding pleasure is not the same. Too many try to find it in sinful practices such as drugs, alcohol, and sex and get lost along the way. Your job is to seek God and you will see what real happiness is all about.

Finding lasting happiness is not about a quick fix but those things that bring joy to our hearts and pleasure to the world. Without God’s happiness, love and happiness would be a much bitter pill to swallow.

How do you go about finding lasting happiness?

You can find it in my #1 bestselling book on Amazon.com entitled “Summoned To Love – A Spiritual Blueprint For Rediscovering Inner Peace, Unconditional Love, And True Happiness.”

Summoned To Love

Why Happiness Is A Choice You Make

happiness is a choice you make

Happiness Is A Choice You Make

“Too often in life, something happens and we blame other people for us not being happy or satisfied or fulfilled. So the point is, we all have choices, and we make the choice to accept people or situations or to not accept situations.”
Tom Brady

If you feel you are lacking in the happiness department my friend, that is a choice you have decided to make.  You have full and complete control over your life and the decisions you make so don’t let anyone tell you different.  Whatever you do in life choosing to be happy is a choice you make and you make alone. You may feel like the fun has gone out of your life but there are many   factors which people measure their own happiness.  Some people think money is the ultimate happiness but they soon realize money doesn’t bring happiness only misery if all you do is work all the time to pay for your pleasures.

You might look at others who are blessed with so much but beware, you don’t know their situation. They may be in serious debt even though it looks like they have  everything.  Don’t strive to be like them. Instead, carve out your own happiness niche in this world by following your passions and your ideals. Being a slave to wealth, possessions, status, or even an exalted position you hold at work. don’t create happiness.  Happiness is a choice that comes from deep inside.

How is Happiness Measured?

measure of happiness

“Happiness, true happiness, is an inner quality. It is a state of mind. If your mind is at peace, you are happy. If your mind is at peace, but you have nothing else, you can be happy. If you have everything the world can give – pleasure, possessions, power – but lack peace of mind, you can never be happy.”
Dada Vaswani

There are many things in life that can make you happy.  They are mainly subjective because happiness comes differently for everyone. The way you find joy and happiness is measured differently by everyone. Everyone seeks happiness in their own way. What makes you happy is a natural high that you deserve to find.  There is nothing wrong with the things that you find joy in. Respect others for what they enjoy.  Seek out your own enjoyment and never feel guilty for your own pleasure.  It;s something they can;t take away from you.

While some people appear to be naturally happy looks can be deceiving.  Although studies suggest there is a genetic disposition linked to being happy it doesn’t mean you were born to be miserable if you are not a naturally happy person.  Your happiness is influenced by your environment and the people you come in contact with.

How To Find Happiness In Everyday Life

Sleep

Sleep is a big factor in being a happy person.  Sleep is needed for the body to function properly.  When you don’t get enough sleep you you end up being very moody, have an inability to think clearly, and your reactions to events is slow.. Lack of sleep can cause problems with your health as well.  Ensuring total well being requires a good night sleep.  Change your daily schedule so you can get to bed earlier.  You also might need to encourage other people in your household to help you a little bit more if you are working too hard.

Exercise

Exercise is very good for the body and floods the brain with endorphins which are responsible for making you happy.  Exercise is important for total health. When you exercise, focus not only a toned body but on a firm mind.  Build self confidence which is a precursor for finding happiness.  Exercise is not just about feeling or looking good but a way to avoid sickness.  When people are sick they tend to lose gratitude they had for life.  Always be grateful for who you are, what you have been given and work hard to be the best person you can be.

Meditation

Practicing meditation is another great way to find happiness in your life.  Combined with exercise, it can relax both your body and mind.  Mediation is a form of prayer and calms the spirit.  A calm spirit can focus on way to become the person you’ve always wanted to be.  If you are a goal-oriented person this is a great way to pursue the visions and dreams you have.

Meditation is one of the most effective ways to change your well being.  Doctors have proven that meditation generates brain activity on the left side, which produces positive emotions in the body. Meditation offers a world of good for the practitioner which in turn, creates a sense of well being in the person.  Those that a happy people have a good sense of well being about themselves and radiate it out into the world. Inner peace is the ultimate form of happiness and feeling you are one with God goes along way in keeping you happy.

Prayer

Prayer is the highest form of happiness.  When we pray to God, we bask in his unconditional love. Prayers of gratitude and thanksgiving show our happiness and love for GOd.  It is a well known fact that those who pray are much happier than those who don’t.  Knowing that there is a loving and caring God that has our back gives comfort in time of trouble and stress and helps us avoid become victims of depression.  Once again, praying changes our brains and causes us to feel at peace. Peace is just another word for happiness in its most basic form.

The Quest For Happiness

“Perfect happiness is a beautiful sunset, the giggle of a grandchild, the first snowfall. It’s the little things that make happy moments, not the grand events. Joy comes in sips, not gulps.”
Sharon Draper

Some people search their whole lives for happiness and never find it.  They are too busy with their own feelings they never stop to understand what others may be doing or feeling.  One of the best ways to find happiness is to serve others.  We find comfort is serving others and studies have shown that it changes our heart when we help others.

Research - What makes us happy?

From Visually.

Being part of a community is another way to bring happiness into your life.  Those who share our passions are more apt to treat us with respect and dignity and their friendship is a great way to enjoy a happy existence.  The more good and trusted friends you have, the more happy you will apt to be.

If you are an unhappy person, use these tips to be happy to change your life for good.  No one wants to be unhappy but there are ways to avoid unhappiness and learn to enjoy what life has to offer.

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