How To Be Miserable And Unhappy

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Isn’t that a great title for a bog! How to Be Miserable and Unhappy? I mean after you hear this title surely you must have a burning desire to discover how to achieve these stellar and important states of being, right? Probably not… Interestingly whatever state of mind you find yourself in, whether positive or negative, the cause is the same. How you think. Unless you have a chemical imbalance in your brain, (which can most likely be treated) you and I are responsible for the thoughts we are experiencing. It IS a choice, (and for further reading just grab a copy of Dan Greenburg’s book “How to Make Yourself Miserable” if ya like).

You mean to say that my misery isn’t my dad’s fault? Or my mom, brother, sister, boss, husband or wife’s fault? No. It’s not their fault how you choose to think. It’s called the 100% rule. You and I are a hundred percent responsible for how we THINK, FEEL, and ACT. Do people impact our lives by what they say or don’t say, do or don’t do? Absolutely. The key is after an initial reaction to what others do or say we can still choose how to respond to them.

When I was younger I was consumed with the idea that my lack of success, happiness, poor self esteem and unresolved anger were someone else’s fault. “They” did this or that to me I would exclaim!….or think to myself. What I began to learn little by little is I was responsible for my thoughts. I didn’t need to continue to give people power to “make” me happy or unhappy by their actions or inaction’s. I can walk away if someone is being rude or unkind. And if not I can still respond without anger or defensiveness. I can even choose NOT to allow my boss’s comments to define who I am as a person if they’er negative. I can also choose to accept my boss’s positive comments if I want to as well. Same with my spouse or other family member. I can even choose to forgive the people who hurt me. Easy? Nope. And it takes time to get there. Might even mean you need some counseling. Or have to read a book or join a 12 step group. You’ll need to DO SOMETHING that changes what hasn’t been working. Then the day will come when we’re able to stand up for ourselves. Not arrogantly or boastfully but healthfully.

Unfortunately, (and fortunately) most of us ARE shaped by the families we grew up in and the events of our formidable years. Who we are inside was defined and created by the people there to one degree or another. Out of that we end up with self beliefs. Beliefs and attitudes that either help or hinder ourselves. You mix in our DNA, (our natural personality style and coping abilities) and you can see how and why we are where we are.

How are things going? Are you miserable & unhappy? If so I bet you’ve got one or more of the following going on in your thinking.

1- Offendedness. Someone said or did something, (or didn’t do something) that hurt your feelings or got you sad or angry.

2- Ungratefulness. You have forgotten what is good in your life. What blessing you have. What things you should be thankful for.

3- Negative self-talk, (complaining) The words you say and think are in the negative, hopeless, helpless, “poor me “ and blaming category.

4- Unforgiveness. You are remembering some offense(s) you have suffered. You replay the incident re-experiencing the negative and painful emotions again and again.

5- Controlling. You tend to need control over the circumstances, (and people) in your life. When unexpected things happen you get very uncomfortable. and react quickly trying to impose your Will on the situation.

Any of these sound familiar? They sure do to me. I was an expert in them all! Mastered them in fact. During times in my life when I’ve been miserable and unhappy most, if not all of these, were in full operation. I suffered from “Stinkin’ Thinkin’”.

But before I go too far down the road here we do need to remember that we aren’t robots able to just “think right” and everything will get instantly better. However knowing that we are responsible for our thoughts begins the process of moving towards better thinking. And by the way, becoming mad at yourself for not thinking “right” doesn’t help either of course!

You are the exact result of everything that has happened to you AND how you’ve responded to what happened to you. Once you understand this and own it you are now able to choose new and better thoughts. Thoughts of forgiveness, acceptance, responsibility, (your own) and action, (new one’s).

Years ago I had become an expert at being miserable and unhappy. I then learned how to be an expert at being happy and UNmiserable. Now all I need to do to continue in this is to do the opposite of the five points above.
1- Work at NOT becoming easily offended or upset.
2- Everyday remember all the GOOD THINGS going on in my life.
3- Pay attention to how I think and speak to myself AND others using words that empower and lift up not words that limit or condemn.
4- Work at forgiving those people who have caused me harm AND forgiving MYSELF too! (often, sadly we are way to hard on ourselves).
5- I need to continue to learn how to “go with the flow” better. Allow others to direct situations and circumstances in my life.

If you’ve already figured this out, that’s awesome! Just continue to help others learn it by modeling it yourself. If not, then begin, (or continue), the journey towards UNmiserableness and happiness. You CAN do this! I have no doubt…..because it’s all in how you choose to THINK… And that is AWESOME!

- Dave :)

Dave Henderson