10 needless habits that make us unhappy in life

Some habits that make us unhappy are overthinking and stressing out. Read on to know what else makes our days less joyful.
An unhappy woman
Unhappiness can be linked to many habits such as overthinking, stressing out etc. Image courtesy: Freepik
Anjuri Nayar Singh Published: 23 Jan 2024, 12:00 pm IST
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We might start our day on a super positive note, all set to spring into action, but during the day, we might sense our moods drop. While some of this might be natural, it is also possible that there are some habits that make us unhappy. Things like overthinking, stressing out, having expectations, constantly comparing ourselves to others are just some of the habits that make us unhappy. We might not even realise it, but if we manage to eliminate these habits from our day, we might find ourselves more joyful.

So, if you are wondering how to make your days brighter, identify the reasons that make you unhappy and replace them with everything that makes you happier, suggests psychologist and emotional wellness coach Anisha Jhunjhunwala.

10 habits that make us unhappy

1. Overthinking

Overthinking is one of the biggest habits that make us unhappy. “When we have a problem-centric mindset, we are constantly rethinking our actions. We focus on negative thoughts and overanalyse situations can lead to living in a state of anticipation and worry. To stop this shift from a problem-oriented to a solution-oriented perspective,” says Junjunwala. For instance, if you’re stressing about a work deadline, instead of fixating on potential problems, break down tasks into manageable steps and focus on completing each one efficiently.

A stressed out woman
Stressing over small situations is one of the biggest habits that make us unhappy. Image courtesy: Freepik

2. Stressing over small situations

Another habit that makes us unhappy is stress. Stressing over minor situations can be mitigated by developing the wisdom to discern the significance of different issues. “It is very important to set boundaries and understand which people and situations should we allow to impact our well-being. Consider an example where a friend’s comment affects your mood,” says Jhunjhunwala. Engaging in internal dialogue helps determine the significance of their opinion. By setting a boundary on how much influence external remarks should have, you maintain emotional balance.

3. Holding grudges

Clinging to past grievances limits the ability to live in the present, fostering constant rumination over past events. “Imagine holding a grudge against a friend for a past disagreement. Reflecting on the impact, you decide to let go, freeing yourself from the mental burden. This act of forgiveness creates space for a more positive and fulfilling present,” explains Jhunjhunwala.

4. Procrastination

Procrastination is one of the habits that make us unhappy. Delays in tasks often have underlying reasons, such as a lack of enjoyment or perceived difficulty. Understanding the root cause of procrastination is crucial. “Consider a scenario where you procrastinate a challenging project. Identifying the difficulty, seek assistance or break the task into smaller steps, making it more manageable and easing the procrastination,” says Jhunjhunwala.

5. ⁠Comparing yourself to others

Constantly comparing oneself to others diverts attention from personal growth, akin to driving while focusing on other cars instead of one’s own road. “We all have been in a situation where are scrolling through social media and we end up feeling inadequate. Shifting focus inward, you celebrate your own accomplishments,” says Jhunjhunwala. By concentrating on your unique journey, you avoid unnecessary collisions with the distractions of external comparisons, fostering a sense of contentment.

A woman reading the paper
Reading negative news that also impact out mood and happiness levels. Image courtesy: Freepik

6. Giving up too soon

Building healthy habits requires conscious effort and a commitment to personal well-being. “We need to focus on what causes unhappiness in our lives and how we can change this. By incorporating positive practices into our daily lives, we can create a foundation for lasting contentment and happiness,” says Jhunjhunwala. But we need to be at it, giving up too soon is a habit that will make us unhappy.

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Also Read: Cherophobia, a fear of happiness, can be real! Here’s how to overcome it

7. Not concentrating on getting to know ourselves

In the hustle of our daily routines, it is easy to get lost in the tasks at hand and lose touch with our inner selves. “This disconnect can lead to challenges in understanding our thoughts and feelings, potentially resulting in feelings of unhappiness and the development of unhealthy habits,” says Jhunjhunwala.

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8. Not sleeping enough

A paper published by National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, focuses on how sleep affects our health. It says that sleep helps in relaxing our brain and helps in getting set for the next day. Lack of sleep, especially in kids and teenagers, can lead to mood swings, being impulsive. Lack of sleep can also lead to depression.

9. Not being grateful enough

A study conducted by the University of Montana reveals that when people are more grateful in their thoughts and words, they are also happier than those who do not do this. People also feel more positive about themselves.

10. Exposing ourselves to negativity

A study published in Wiley British Journal of Psychology points out that negative information about the world around us can impact our mood and happiness levels. So try and keep the positivity up by keeping negative information and news at bay.

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About the Author

Anjuri Nayar Singh has over 12 years of experience in writing for various topics including lifestyle, films, television and OTT. She also writes on art and culture, education and human interest stories. ...Read More

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