Misery is more addictive than happiness for some people. Hard to believe, I know. But misery can become a comfort zone that is hard to move out of to become happy and contented. Misery can be a habit that is hard to break. Even after glimpsing what it is like to be happy, you can revert back to the comfort of misery
Why Misery is Addictive
Following are some of the reasons why you may end up being addicted to misery:
- As a child you may learn that misery equals success and love if your parents had unrealistic expectations and were excessive disciplinarians.
- You may choose to punish yourself or others because of the regret or guilt of poor past situations or decisions that you cannot get over.
- It could be frightening to feel happiness because you may feel it only ends up setting you up for eventual disappointment
- Lack of self-esteem and insecurity could make you believe you do not deserve to be happy.
- Maybe you have an overly realistic, practical view of the world which means you focus on the negatives instead of the positives.
- Struggling with trauma for years and other negative experiences may leave you unconsciously wanting to continue living that way.
- You may have a mental disorder if you feel comfortable being miserable.
- Happiness is so foreign to you that you fear the unknown and being miserable is an easier choice.
Characteristics of an Addiction to Misery
Are you addicted to living in misery? Would you even know? Here are some clues. If you have an addiction to misery you:
- No longer look after yourself including not getting enough exercise or sleep, and do not eat a healthy diet.
- Are not happy when everything seems to be going well in your life. You may expect it al to crash down around you at any minute.
- Look for excuses to be miserable if life goes too well
- Find it difficult to set goals and focus on achieving them or, if you do achieve them, you do not enjoy the feeling of success.
- Rather than taking responsibility for your choices and decisions, you prefer to play the victim and blame everyone else for what goes wrong in your life.
- Feel that you cannot control your emotions or unempowered to make changes.
- Succumb to using legal or illegal substances, food or sex or other compulsive behaviours to help you cope.
- Compete with friends, family and work colleagues about who has it the toughest.
- Have relationships that are unfulfilling, toxic or full of drama.
- Struggle to pick yourself up when things get tough.
Happiness is a Choice
Is happiness a choice? The short answer is yes but it is more complex than that. Some people may find happiness in situations that challenge even the most positive person, and others may have it all and still be miserable. Happiness can be short lived and depend on what is happening around some people. But other people are generally happy in themselves, and some are unhappy or happy no matter what happens to them. Does any of this sound familiar to you?
The other issue is how do you define happiness? Does it come from within and feeling satisfied, or does it come from success or is it something else? Happiness means something different for everyone.
It can be true that you can choose to be happy. You can make a conscious choice to choose what you think and how you react which can have an impact on how you feel. But you can change how you think; for example, practice mindfulness, develop better ways to cope or keep a daily gratitude journal. When you feel miserable most of the time, it is a sign that something needs to change so you have a better state of mind.
Remember, it is impossible to be happy all the time, but you can become addicted to misery. Happiness comes and goes. But when it goes it leaves behind a feeling of contentedness not misery. Becoming addicted to misery can be because it takes very little effort to be miserable. Feeling sorry for yourself can be one of the easiest things you can do. It is so easy to sink into the ‘if only’ trap. If only you had been smarter, you would have done better at university. If only you had been a better partner, you would still be together. Ad infinitum.
If you have a mental health disorder such as anxiety or depression, it is much more difficult to choose happiness. You do not choose to be anxious or depressed. It just is. So while people may tell you it is your choice to be negative or positive, it is not that simple. You may need therapy to help you work through your mental health issues.
The thing is that people addicted to misery rarely ask for help. Just as many people with mental health disorders do not seek treatment. Why? It could be because of fear or any number of other reasons. But you have to recognise you have a problem to seek help. And with counselling you can find happiness.
Breaking the Cycle of Misery
It is your choice to break the cycle of misery. The first thing you need to do is acknowledge that you have a problem. The next step is to make a decision to break the cycle to overcome it.
You need to change your mindset. It is time to move on. Put a stop to your repetitive, obsessive thoughts. It will be difficult to do alone. Seek a therapist or someone to help you. You may also have anxiety or depression, so it is important to work with someone who specialises in this area.
Recognise that no one thing is going to make you happy. Whether it is a career, partners, family and friends, house or a job. None of these can be solely responsible for giving you permanent happiness. Of course they will make you happy for a while, but it is more complex than that.
Work towards finding balance between all the important things in your life to reach a feeling of contentment. There are always times where happiness will peak but there will also be times of sadness. This is the natural order of life. Something to consider is that without the sad times you cannot know or understand what happiness is. Put value on your different emotions, they all have their place. Do not obsess over different emotions, especially the negative ones. Acknowledge them and then let them go.
Happiness can be Scary
When you are not used to feeling happy, the thought of it can be scary. It can feel so foreign especially if you have depression or anxiety. Struggling with mental health is difficult and you may have brief glimpses of joy and happiness. For example, going out with friends, spending a day at the beach or enjoying the love of your family can bring you great joy. But these positive feelings are often short lived as misery lurks as a shadow in the background waiting to spring.
Happiness can make you uncomfortable when you are dealing with mental illness. This could be because feeling happy raises a questions. How long will I be happy? Does this mean that something will ruin the happiness you feel? Happiness can feel as if you do not deserve it or can be ripped away at any moment.
This is normal as when happiness is not a familiar emotion, it can be daunting. And you may quickly go back to what you know. What feels familiar and safe even though that means wallowing in misery.
Avoid becoming addicted to misery and self-pity. Make the break. Dare to leave your comfort zone to seek happiness. If you do not push yourself, you will never know what it is truly like to be happy.
It is far more satisfying to live your life with the complexities of highs and lows rather than being stuck in a constant state of misery.
Blissiree Pty Ltd
Turning misery into happiness can be difficult especially when misery has become a habit. When you are used to worrying about everything, and being negative, it can become a hard habit to break. But you cannot turn misery into happiness overnight. You may need to seek help.
You may be addicted to misery when you have forgotten what happiness is or what it even feels like. If you do not prioritise treatment, it will continue to escalate and you may develop anxiety or depression. Until you do something to help change the way you see the world, misery will continue to negatively impact your life.
The Brain Wellness Spa is pioneering a new technique. A natural treatment that may help you cope with the symptoms and triggers of a range of mental health issues. It only requires for you to relax. Highly trained facilitators help you learn to recognise the triggers and how to manage or to break the cycle of misery addiction. This may help you take back control of your life. And you may notice an improvement after the first session. With some simple changes to your life, and with practice, you can learn to cope better.
If you are worrying excessively and your misery is out of control so that it affects all parts of your life, it is time to turn it around. Time to do something positive. Seek help. Take back control. You do not have to go through it alone. The sooner you get help, the sooner you can start taking good care of your mental health. And get back to enjoying life and find the happiness you deserve.
If anxiety causes you to struggle with everyday life, reach out to our professionals. When you are not coping contact us We can talk to you about how to get your life back on track. But if you reach a crisis point, call us immediately. We are here to support you.
We can work with you over the phone, via Skype or in our Spa. Book in today for my special introductory offer of just $49 (private health rebates apply) so you learn to control what worries you. We aim to help you cope with any mental health challenges and any mental health issues that affect your life. Our facilitators may help you turn your misery into happiness so you start to take back control and start to enjoy life again.
Let me Help turn Misery into Happiness
My Emotional Empowerment Program has helped many people for more than a decade. My aim is to help you manage and cope with the effects of misery so you may start to feel better. This can give you a new hope for the future. A future filled with happiness, peace and contentment in weeks not years.
Book a free 25-minute telehealth consultation with Blissiree Pty Ltd founder, Terri Bowman. Or discover a seamless way that may help you manage your emotional and mental health by becoming a member . It will give you access to more than 75 audio programs that may help you to live an inspired life.
What are you waiting for? Try us now. You have nothing to lose.