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Last Updated on January 12, 2021

Nothing Makes You Happy: Here’s Why and What to Do

Nothing Makes You Happy: Here’s Why and What to Do

If you’re thinking “Nothing makes me happy any more…” I want to ask you a powerful question first:

What do you want at the end of your life?

Picture yourself in this moment and decide how you want to feel, the legacy you want to leave, and the memories you have to look back on.

Are you exhausted – having lived a stressful life?

Putting happiness and joy off for the weekends, vacations, and retirement. You got through each day just to get to the next one. You rushed through life, wishing for the future, forgetting to enjoy the precious moments in the present. You waited for the money to come and in return you worked a job you hated. You would be secure and happy when the right time came. You waited to travel because you couldn’t take the time off.

Life was too busy to create new memories with friends. You forgot that enjoyment was for the present moment and you never took care of your own needs. In each moment you put your happiness off for the future and now, the future is here and you are left tired, regretful, and unfulfilled.

OR

Are you feeling exhilarated, satisfied, excited, and joyful – having lived life on YOUR terms?

You learned the art and mindset of happiness early on and made the decision to enjoy each of your moments and not put this precious time off. You realized that the happiness mindset evokes a spectacular energy which magnetizes positive emotions along with events. Abundance, wealth, happiness, and excitement followed you everywhere you went. You chose to put self-care first to cultivate fulfillment in each of your moments and you stopped putting your health and happiness off.

You got real with yourself, developed clarity, and chose what was in the best interest for you. In return, you lived a satisfying life, having meaningful relationships, you left a mark in this world, and your energy trickles down to the generations that follow.

How Do You Want to Be Remembered?

Each and every one of us are faced with the decision in each moment of our lives. We have to decide in each moment what we want at the end of our life – exhaustion or exhilaration?

We sometimes forget how quickly each moment adds up until too much time has passed and we can’t get it back. Time is a priceless entity and each moment is unique – it will never come again.

You can gain and lose money, friendships, jobs, materials but you can NEVER get a moment back. Each moment comes with a choice – to enjoy, find the lesson, the laughter, the happiness OR to whine, complain, feel frustrated, irritated, and unfulfilled.

We all have the choice of what our life looks like and the choice lies in our reactions to the events and moments in our lives. We can either choose exhaustion or exhilaration.

When we let the negativity take over, then we are left weak and exhausted. However, when we choose the positive reaction then we are left with strength, energy, and knowledge with the best way to proceed.

How Do You Want to Feel at the End of Your Life?

I have asked many people this same question over the years and almost every single person admits that they want to feel excited and exhilarated – everyone wants happiness.

In fact, there is a whole book The Top Five Regrets of the Dying – A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing, published in regards to the top regrets of the dying on how these individuals wished they had followed the happy path.

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However, the majority of the people that I have asked this question to include this vicious word… BUT.

When I hear this word, I wince. As soon as I hear this word, I know that the person that I am talking to has not mastered the mindset of happiness and they need support.

The word “but” is equivalent to an excuse to why this person isn’t enjoying their life and why they can’t choose happiness today. BUT means they are choosing to put their happiness off to the future.

This excuse is their story of where they came from, the bad things that have happened to them, what they don’t have now, and all of the demands that are boggling them down.

We all have a story but we also have a choice.

I have yet to meet someone without a story – someone who has glided through life without a scratch. A story wouldn’t be good without conflicts, right?

Some of the happiest people are the ones with the most horrendous story; however, they decided that they wanted to feel excited and exhilarated at the end of their lives over anything else.

Their end goal is happiness and that’s what they choose in every moment – no matter what the moment might entail.

Decide TODAY what your outcome is – what do you want for your life? What do you want for tomorrow? How are you going to get the results that you crave?

We all have greatness inside of us and we all have the ability to choose happiness over the negativity. The first step to getting happy is recognizing your warning signs – the reactions that you give may be a clue that you aren’t living your happiest life.

Warning Signs That You May Be Unhappy

Are you WOEFUL? This is an acronym for what unhappiness might look and feel like. These are your warning signs – a way that you can quickly identify that something is not right:

  • W– Whiney
  • O– Out of Control
  • E– Expectations
  • F– Fear
  • U– Unfulfilled
  • L– Limitations

Whiney

Do you whine, complain, grumble, criticize? Of course you do! Everybody does this to some degree. However, this shouldn’t be normal for you this should only serve as a warning sign.

Complaints are a great thing if we can use them as a tool to acknowledge that we are heading down the wrong path. However, when complaining becomes a habit for us then unhappiness soon follows.

It means that we are continuing to engage in activities that do not serve us, we continue to surround ourselves with the people who aren’t bringing out the best in us, and we are allowing the negativity to control our reactions. Whatever it is that you are whining about needs to be acknowledged, evaluated, and changed.

Most of the time, we think that the world needs to change for us so that we can be happy – this mindset is unrealistic. We can never change the people, things, and circumstances in our lives. The only thing that we have control over is ourselves. We have the ability to change what we do, when we do it, who we surround ourselves with, and how we react.

If you find that you are complaining about something – how can you change it or how can you alter your reaction? The next time that you complain – be thankful for this warning sign. Identify why you are feeling upset and make a plan to change it. Follow your smile not your complaint.

Out of Control

Do you feel out of control? Are you feeling overwhelmed, anxious, unclear, and/or uncertain? If you have any of these emotions, then this is your warning sign that you need to gain clarity, focus, and alignment.

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We have all had moments in our life that have felt out of control – maybe saying yes one too many times – allowing our obligations to gain control over our focus. When the to do list takes over, we often times lose sight of our end goal which separates us from our outcome.

When you begin feeling these emotions and spiraling out of control, it might be a good time to gain focus and clarity. Ask yourself what your end goal is and realign your focus, habits, and reactions to get you closer to the result you desire.

What are the things you are engaging in that are getting you closer to your goals? What are the things that feel good, right, and get you excited? Who are the people that make you feel the best about yourself?

On the contrary, what are you doing that gives you negative emotions? Are there people in your life who are bringing out the weaker side of you?

It is so important to identify the emotion, acknowledge the warning side, and make a change. Continuing to spiral out of control is a recipe for disaster and unhappiness will accompany you on that journey.

Expectations

Do you let expectations control your happiness? Do you feel as if things are expected of you? Do you let other people’s way of thinking control your own actions? Do you feel like someone else is making the decisions for your life and in return you are unhappy?

First evaluate who is setting the expectations in your life and ask if these expectations are aligned with your end goal. Sometimes, it’s easy to confuse self-aligned expectations with the expectations you think others have for you.

Live up to what you believe in and follow the path that brings you closer to your own aspirations. It’s easy to try and make others happy; however, it can leave us feeling unfulfilled and confused about where we are meant to go.

Become clear on the expectations that are important to you and don’t clutter your mind with others’ views on the world (unless of course they are similar to your own).

Fear

Do you put things off because you are fearful of what might happen? Are you scared of the unknown? Have you let failures hold you back from potential successes? Do you aspire for more but let the comfort of the familiar keep you where you are?

Fear is a natural instinct that is essential to life – keeping us safe from catastrophic events. Our mind and body have an instinctual way of remembering close calls and past traumas and try their best to keep us out of sticky situations.

However, if we are not good evaluators – we might be letting our minds talk us out of opportunities of growth and we might stay in comfort too long because of perceived fear.

When the fear emotions present themselves, when you feel like you are holding back or talking yourself out of something ask yourself why that is. Why am I saying no to this opportunity? Is this just an excuse to keep me in my comfort zone? Is this decision aligned with my desired outcome?

Unfulfilled

Are you bored, uninterested, tired, unfulfilled? At the end of the day, do you feel a void or emptiness inside?

When we have these emotions, we are typically on autopilot and we are not growing. Identify the areas in your life that are no longer exciting. These are the areas that are just going through the motions without any effort involved.

Are you unfulfilled at work, home, in your relationships, and/or with your body? Identify the areas that need some care.

Pay attention to when you feel a spark – that jolt of energy that releases the endorphins that bring you joy. Try and follow that path and pick up that energy as often as possible. Bring it to every area in your life.

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When we follow our spark, a light ignites inside of us and we become inspired and motivated. Who are the people that drain you? Who are the ones that give you energy – who are the people who make you feel like you just drank a cup of coffee? Those are the people you want to surround yourself with.

Pick an area in your life that feels drained and find a way to bring a light and spark to it. Feeling fulfilled in each area of our life is an important aspect to living a happy life.

Limitations

Are you filled with limitations, boundaries, and restrictions? What are your limiting beliefs?

Limitations include assumptions and predictions based off of past failures and events. Are you allowing these limitations to hold you back from what you truly desire? You don’t have enough time, money, or resources?

Start acknowledging where you set boundaries and begin to question why you have built walls in these areas.

Could you start demolishing your old mindset and asking questions to lower your guard? Boundaries are important to protect us but are there any up that no longer need to be there? Can we find support in our limiting areas to overcome our fears and grow in these areas?

How to Use WOEFUL to Become Happy

The whole key to happiness is identifying our emotions and reactions, and aligning them with our end goal. When you become really good at noticing your emotions and reactions, you can quickly change your attitude and circumstances so that you put yourself in a place where happiness lives.

We have to gain control through identification and awareness to choose happiness on a moment to moment basis. We can’t use the excuse of “It just is the way it is.” It truly can be the opposite if we take charge of our own lives.

Life can be what we want it to be if we can start to become aware of our warning signs and take actionable steps to become happy – making decisions based off of our end desire.

HAPPY is an acronym for the steps to take to encourage the happy path – to shed the woes and build a better life for yourself with happiness in the center:

  • H – Hunger
  • A – Aspirations
  • P – Perspective
  • P – Power
  • Y – You

Hunger

First and foremost, what are you hungry for? What lights a spark inside of you – what motivates you? Who inspires you?

When we are excited, motivated, and inspired, we are at our best.

People want to surround themselves with people who make them feel good. Positive energy brings about more positivity. When you begin aligning your actions and reactions with your end goal, then you will be engaging in the habits that will bring you a lifetime of joy.

Too often we give up on our dreams because we fall back into comfort. We need to keep our driving force in the forefront of our focus – what is it that you want at the end of your life? Do you want to be strong, enthusiastic, and happy or do you want to be weak, exhausted, and miserable?

Stop pushing what you’re truly hungry for away. Bring it close to you and you will live a happy-centered life.

Aspirations

When you identify your hunger and your dreams, then begin to set goals that will get you closer to your aspirations. Set goals each day, every hour if you need to.

When you make your list of what needs done, then get out your calendar and carve out time for your goals FIRST.

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Stop letting the to do list run your life – let happiness drive your schedule and then find time for everything else. If you do what is in alignment with your happiness first, then everything else will fall into place and you will be in a better mood completing the rest of your daily tasks.

Too many times we let everything and everyone run our life, putting happiness off for another time. I am sure if you are reading this, then you are familiar with this concept.

Stop putting off your happiness today and begin thinking about how you want to look and feel at the end of your life. That will put your moments into perspective for you.

Perspective

What is your current belief system and how are your thoughts hindering your ability to achieve your goals and aspirations?

Most people are not very good at identifying their WOES and because of this, they are unable to make progress in their life.

Often times, we can get the outcome we desire if we have the ability to change our mindset and alter our perception. When we make this alteration, we move around the circumstances we thought were once immobile, and then we find a path to the solution that we desire.

Change your perception to get your end result. Question your belief system – are your thoughts your own or someone else’s? Are these thoughts helping you achieve your goals or are they hindering your progress? Make these identifications and then alter your perception to get what you want from life – happiness.

If you are having difficulty changing your perception and developing a positive mindset, then a step-by-step guide to cultivating a positive mindset might be beneficial:

How to Cultivate a Positive Mindset (A Step-By-Step Guide)

Power

You have control over how you think, feel, and your end result. Be deliberate. Direct your thoughts to align with how you want to feel at the end of your life.

You already have the ability to be successful, to be happy and fulfilled. You must allow yourself to have the power in your own life. Give up the belief system that life is happening to you, and that circumstances are controlling your life.

When we gain control and hold the power of our own lives, we can envision our future and create anything that we want. What are you seeing – Exhaustion or Energy?

You

This is YOUR life! This is not your parent’s life, your boss’s life, your kid’s life or your spouse’s life. This is YOUR life and you are the only one who knows what drives your spark and what brings you true joy. Nobody else can tell you how you feel and what to do with your own life.

The only choice that you need to make is to choose the happy path. The only way that we can live in a better world is if each of us chooses to put our true necessity first and that is joy.

The decisions you are making today and tomorrow are creating your future and your end product. Self-care is not selfish, it is essential to living the best life for yourself and everyone that you meet.

How do you want to feel at the end of your life? Decide it now and in every moment from here on out. Are you exhausted or are you exhilarated?

The Bottom Line

The best way to get HAPPY is to identify your warning signs. Acknowledge your reactions and monitor your feelings and emotions, then take action!

Make the choice to living a happy-centered life. Enjoyment and exhilaration should be the life that you desire today and tomorrow – it should be your end goal.

More Resources About Happiness

Featured photo credit: Alicia Jones via unsplash.com

More by this author

Jacqueline Battaglia

Growth Coach, Blogger, and Creator of Life is Duck Soup. My approach will help you get to your next potential level, follow your HAPPY path and enjoy each moment fully.

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Last Updated on April 14, 2021

How to Deal With Anger (The Ultimate Anger Management Guide)

How to Deal With Anger (The Ultimate Anger Management Guide)

We all lose our temper from time to time, and expressing anger is actually a healthy thing to do in our relationships with others. Expressing our differences in opinion allows us to have healthy conflict and many times come to an agreement or understanding that works for everyone. However, there are times when anger can become overwhelming or damaging, and during these times, it’s important to learn how to deal with anger.

Expressing anger inappropriately can be harmful to relationships, both personal and professional. You may express too much anger, too often, or at times that are only going to make things worse, not better. In this article we will look at anger management techniques that will help you better control your emotions.

Let’s take a deeper look at how to deal with anger.

Expressing Anger

Anger is a natural and normal part of almost any relationship. This includes relationships with your significant other, kids, boss, friends, family, etc. Anger provides us with valuable information if we are willing to listen to it. It clues us in to areas where we disagree with others and things that need to be changed or altered.

Unhealthy Ways to Express Anger

Here are some common yet unhealthy ways to express anger that you should avoid:

Being Passive-Aggressive

This is a term many of us are familiar with. Passive-aggressive behavior happens when someone is angry but uses indirect communication to express their anger.

Some of the more common passive-aggressive behaviors include the silent treatment, making comments about someone behind their back, being grumpy, moody, or pouting, or simply not doing tasks or assignments that they should.

This is a passive-aggressive person’s way of showing their anger. It’s not very productive but extremely common.

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Poorly-Timed

Some people get overwhelmed and express anger in a situation where it can’t really do any good.

An example would be getting angry at one person in front of a crowd of people. All that does is make people uncomfortable and shuts them down. It’s not a healthy way to express anger or disagreement with someone.

Ongoing Anger

Being angry all the time is most often a symptom of something else. It’s healthy and normal to express anger when you disagree with someone. However, if someone is angry most of the time and always seems to be expressing their anger to everyone around them, this won’t serve them well.

Over time, people will start to avoid this person and have as little contact as possible. The reason being is no one likes being around someone who is angry all the time; it’s a no-win situation.

Healthy Ways to Express Anger

What about the healthy ways[1] to adapt? When learning how to deal with anger, here are some healthy ways to get you started.

Being Honest

Express your anger or disagreement honestly. Be truthful about what it is that is making you angry. Sometimes this will entail walking away and thinking about it for a bit before you respond.

Don’t say you’re mad at something someone did or said when it’s really something else that upset you.

Being Direct

Similar to being honest, being direct is a healthy way to express anger.

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Don’t talk around something that is making you angry. Don’t say that one thing is making you angry when it’s really something else, and don’t stack items on top of each other so you can unload on someone about 10 different things 6 months from now.

Be direct and upfront about what is making you angry. Ensure you are expressing your anger to the person who upset you or you are angry at, not to someone else. This is very counterproductive.

Being Timely

When something makes you angry, it’s much better to express it in a timely manner. Don’t keep it bottled up inside of you, as that’s only going to do more harm than good.

Think of the marriages that seem to go up in flames out of nowhere when the reality is someone kept quiet for years until they hit their breaking point.

Expressing anger as it occurs is a much healthier way of using anger to help us guide our relationships in the moment.

How to Deal With Anger

If you feel angry, how should you deal with it right at that moment?

1. Slow Down

From time to time, I receive an email at work that makes me so angry that steam is probably pouring out of my ears.

In my less restrained moments, I have been known to fire off a quick response, and that typically has ended about as well as you might imagine.

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When I actually walk away from my computer and go do something else for a while, I am able to calm down and think more rationally. After that happens, I am able to respond in a more appropriate and productive manner. Doing things that helps you learn how to release anger can make an uncomfortable situation more manageable before it gets out of hand.

2. Focus on the “I”

Remember that you are the one that’s upset. Don’t accuse people of making you upset because, in the end, it’s your response to what someone did that really triggered your anger. You don’t want to place blame by saying something like “Why don’t you ever put away your dishes?” Say something more like “Having dirty dishes laying on the counter upsets me—can you work with me to come to a solution?”

When you are accusatory towards someone, all that does is increase the tension. This doesn’t usually do anything except make your anger rise higher.

3. Work out

When learning how to deal with anger, exercise is a great outlet. If something happens that angers you, see if you have the opportunity to burn off some of the anger.

Being able to hit the gym to get a hard workout in is great. If this isn’t an option, see if you can go for a run or a bike ride. If you are at work when you become angry and the weather permits, at least go outside for a brisk walk.

Besides working some of your anger out through exercise, this also helps to give your mind a chance to work through some ways to address what it is that upset you.

If you’re not sure where to start with an exercise routine, check out Lifehack’s free Simple Cardio Home Workout Plan.

4. Seek Help When Needed

There are times when we could all use some help. Life can be stressful and overwhelming. It’s perfectly fine to seek some help from a mental health professional if it will help you get back to a healthy balance.If you find that you are angry all the time, it might be a good idea to go talk to an expert about learning to control intense emotions. They can give you some sound advice and ideas on how to get your anger to a more manageable and healthy level.

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5. Practice Relaxation

We all seem to lead incredibly busy lives, and that’s a good thing if we are loving the life we are living. That being said, it is very beneficial to our physical and mental well-being to take time out for relaxation.

That can mean spending time doing things that help us calm down and relax, like being around people we enjoy, practicing deep breathing or listening to music. It could be making time for things that help bring us balance like a healthy diet and physical activity.

Many people incorporate techniques such as yoga and meditation to calm their minds and release tension when learning how to deal with anger. Whatever your choice is, ensure you take time out to relax when warning signs of anger start to bubble up.

6. Laugh

Incorporating humor and laughter on a regular basis will help keep anger in check and help you get over a bad mood and feelings of anger more quickly. This isn’t part of formal anger management techniques, but you’ll be surprised by how well it works. Remember, life is a journey that’s meant to be enjoyed fully along the way through healthy emotion. Make sure you take time to laugh and have fun.Surround yourself with people that like to laugh and enjoy life. Don’t work at a job that just causes you stress, which can lead to anger. Work at something you enjoy doing.

7. Be Grateful

It’s easy to focus on the bad in life and the things that cause us negative emotions. It’s vitally important to remind ourselves of all the wonderful things in life that bring us positive emotions, things that we easily forget because we get caught up in the whirlwind of day to day life.

Take time out each day to remind yourself of a few things you are grateful for in order to help you learn how to release anger and invite in more positive feelings.

Final Thoughts

Life can be overwhelming at times. We seem to have constant pressure to achieve more and to always be on the go. People we are around and situations we are in can cause stress, anger, and negative emotions. At times, it can seem to be too much, and we get angry and our emotions start to get out of control.

During these times, keep in mind that life is an incredible journey, full of wonder and things that bring you joy. When you find yourself angry more often than is healthy, take time out to remember the good things in life—the things that we seem to forget yet bring us so much positive energy and emotions.

Use some of the tips included here to help with how to deal with anger and better control your emotions.

More Resources on Anger Management

Featured photo credit: Andre Hunter via unsplash.com

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