And when Elvis was unhappy, believe me, everyone was unhappy.
He’s simply got the instinct for being unhappy highly developed.
Hector Hugh Munro
Are you familiar with feeling blue, grumpy or dispirited?
It’s not hard to see that most of us are unhappy at times, and for some almost all of their existence.
You can easily be trapped in the apparent nature of reality, which is ever changing, deceptive and can keep you away from what you really love.
Even though I’m pretty aware and happy, I tend to get caught in the illusion too, in the spiral of suffering in unhappiness.
For example I’m surprising myself when I’m mad not finding our car keys when needed NOW. It’s not the end of the world (and we get to them in a few moments or workout a way without them). But searching for lost objects stupidly pushes my buttons and can lead to childish arguments. I hate that to a point that I usually take a great care not to lose stuff just to make sure I don’t have to look for it!
Sure life can seem pointless or frustrating at times, and we can let that make us unhappy. Let’s look at what some scientists say about happiness:
- About 50% of happiness is genetic but the other 50% is related to external causes like relationships, health, careers and positive practices. In fact, a study found a one-day happiness seminar had significative happiness increase (as noted in the free ebook).
And here is some philosophizing about it and the meaning of life:
- “Because children grow up, we think a child’s purpose is to grow up. But a child’s purpose is to be a child. Nature doesn’t disdain what lives only for a day. It pours the whole of itself into the each moment. We don’t value the lily less for not being made of flint and built to last. Life’s bounty is in its flow, later is too late. Where is the song when it’s been sung? The dance when it’s been danced? It’s only we humans who want to own the future, too. We persuade ourselves that the universe is modestly employed in unfolding our destination. We note the haphazard chaos of history by the day, by the hour, but there is something wrong with the picture. Where is the unity, the meaning, of nature’s highest creation? Surely those millions of little streams of accident and willfulness have their correction in the vast underground river which, without a doubt, is carrying us to the place where we’re expected! But there is no such place, that’s why it’s called utopia. The death of a child has no more meaning than the death of armies, of nations. Was the child happy while he lived? That is a proper question, the only question. If we can’t arrange our own happiness, it’s a conceit beyond vulgarity to arrange the happiness of those who come after us.” (Tom Stoppard, The Coast of Utopia)
- “The purpose of life is to stay alive. Watch any animal in nature–all it tries to do is stay alive. It doesn’t care about beliefs or philosophy. Whenever any animal’s behavior puts it out of touch with the realities of its existence, it becomes extinct.” (Michael Crichton, Congo )
Granted we have free will, we might as well choose to enjoy our existence.
How to stop being unhappy?
Here are some quick fixes for being unhappy and more permanent ones to remain aware, blissful and do what you love. I practice them to improve my life:
1. Short term unhappiness fixes
- Stay calm. Observe. Meditate. Overreacting usually won’t solve your problem and can worsen it. For once, don’t do nothing and observe yourself. What is your reaction to a problem? How can you make it positive and more like what you love?
- Things will change. This too shall past (really useful when a massive hangover, having an argument with a dear one, or other awful realities). Realize the impermanence of all problems.
- Be aware. Is it really that important? Is being unhappy who you really are and want?
- Enjoy senses. Use what your body enjoys to get away from being unhappy, and go back to happiness. A tasty lunch, a warm bath, languorous sex, a fine wine, with moderation, can boost your mood. Have fun now and it could help you to find a solution.
- Let go. Do you really want this “(Your choice here)” that bad? Consider not having it in your life and how well it would make you feel.
- Love and compassion. Forgive, give compassion to yourself or whomever hurt you. Try this exercise from the book Buddhism For Dummies: Imagine your mother’s love or someone who really loved you in your life. Feel it and bask in this presence. Then send it back to her, and extend to others. Notice how it feels.
2. Long term unhappiness fixes
- Lifestyle design. Bring more of what you love in your life. If you already do what you love for a living, make sure you have enough time for yourself. If you don’t do what you love at all, read other articles on the website to find what you love and do it.
Live your day in the moment toward what you want. If you have another of those unhappy moments, take one more step, one more minute to live your dream life.
- Workout your behaviors. Decide what general frame of mind you want to have, and integrate that in your design. Dissolve your bad temper one step at a time too.
- Have passions. Do some activities. Studies find for example that unhappiness is correlated to watching a lot of television! I do love movies – a lot, from all around the world – but if I watch too much of them I feel drained and as if I’m living someone else’s life.
3. Be happy permanently
- Be conscious. I focus most of my time on this. When you become aware full time of this illusion of reality, of your true state, there’s no unhappiness, only love and appreciation.
- Happiness and love is here. The mother’s love I talked about in the exercise above, you can really feel it permanently in your true state, the one you have when you learn to discover it, as from meditation and taking it on in all your existence. Always be mindful of others too, follow the Golden Rule.
- Be who you are and want. Be your true state and live your dreams awaken in this reality. Being conscious you can make them realistically happen if you care.
- Living is the solution. I think now is a good moment to talk about suicide. Suicide is often seen as a mean to stop unhappiness. But according to what is known, you could just continue in realms of unhappiness. Since nothing is lost and all is transformed as well as reincarnation being a plausible theory, there is a possibility you could exist in another unhappy state. And just think about what you could generate around you and the sadness you could cause. Face on your difficulties today, solve them and be aware. Seek help if you’re in this situation.
Remember, control your mind to stop being unhappy and you’re likely to find a joyous and meaningful existence.
Latest posts by Mary (see all)
- Is It a New Beginning? Let’s Find Out. – February 5, 2014
- What Zen Is Really Meaning Is that We Can Stop the Suffering Now. – January 8, 2014
- Best Blog Posts of 2013 – December 18, 2013