7 surprising reasons why you don’t feel happy

1. Not living in the moment.

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Thinking too much about what has happened and what is yet to happen it can mean that you may never drift into deep sleep, so you don’t wake up feeling refreshed and energized.

“If you always think about the future and the past, you don’t spend a lot of time in the moment,” online psychologist Carolin Müller told Insider.

In a way, happiness is strongly tied to living in the moment, he said. The brain doesn’t really know the difference between an emotion you’re feeling right now and one you’re reliving in your mind.

“If you think about the situation, you can have all these feelings from behind and then come back; you can feel the anger again in your stomach or in your chest,” Müller said.

“We say it’s like a cow, they eat the grass and take it out again, chew it again, swallow it again, and it goes to the next stomach. This is exactly what you’re doing. Throw it up, pick it up, and chew it again.”

2. You are thinking too much.

Worried young woman lying on sofa at home

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Some people always let their minds jump to the worst possible conclusions, known as catastrophic thinking. or “catastrophic.”

Linda Blair, a clinical psychologist and columnist for the Telegraph, told Insider that catastrophizing is a useless habit that people somehow fall into.

Like any habit, catastrophizing is hard to break, Blair said. Habits are stubborn, and in many cases, people have behaved in the same way for years, perhaps decades.

Blair said that a bad habit is always ready to come back into your life, especially when you get really emotional. But the solution is to learn to be rational and calm.

“You have to be kind to yourself and patient, and recognize that the more emotional you are, the more likely it is that you won’t remember to get it right,” Blair said. “So when we’re still and calm, and things are under regulation, we have a chance to be logical.”

What you do with negative thoughts you can also do with positive ones, said Müller

“You can think of something really beautiful that happened to you,” he said. “How you met someone really nice, or had a good day at work.”

3. You are in the wrong relationship.

A young couple embraces on the beach

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Sometimes unhappiness can come from being in the wrong relationship, but dreading the prospect of going it alone. Briana L. Severine, founder of Sanare Psychosocial Rehabilitation, told Insider that there are Multiple benefits of being single that people don’t always consider.

“There are years of research showing that heterosexual marriage tends to cause a slight benefit to men who are not also owned by the women in the couple,” Severine said.

People in relationships may have stopped putting as much effort into their friendships, which could end up making them feel lonelier than ever. It’s a mistake, Severine said, for a romantic partner to avoid those feelings.

“Single people can feel happy and fulfilled in their relationships without a romantic partner meeting those needs,” he said. “Just as married people may feel that their social needs are not being met, despite having a sentimental partner.”

In general, be with the wrong person it can have a terrible impact on our physical and mental well-being. So if there’s no medical explanation for the anxiety you’re feeling, it may be time to reexamine your love life and exercise. if it is healthy or toxic.

4. You see yourself as a victim

sitting woman with depressed pose

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Sometimes people can’t stop seeing themselves as victims, Müller said, always asking “why me?” But the reality is that it can happen to anyone, why not you?

The way to reframe your mind is to stop generalizing, Müller said. For example, if you say that everyone is mean to you, think carefully if that is true. In all likelihood, you will probably be able to find at least one person a day who was nice to you.

“If you see yourself as a victim, you become a victim twice because you diminish yourself again,” Müller said.

5. You can’t be alone

Woman standing alone in the sea

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Being afraid of spending time alone can mean Do you have autophobia or monophobia?. People with this diagnosis feel a lot of anxiety when left alone, possibly because they fear abandonment that stems from childhood trauma.

“When you feel lonely, you feel unhappy or sad about the quantity or quality of social connections in your life,” reads an article from the Cleveland Clinic.

“When you have autophobia, you feel anxious or scared when you are alone or when you think about being alone. You feel that way no matter how many loved ones and friends are in your life.”

For people who don’t have this diagnosis, learning to be content with their own company will not only make them happier in the long run, but it will also benefit them. all your future relationshipsromantic or otherwise.

“If you understand yourself first, you will be able to understand others a lot more,” said Müller. “You will know your needs and your expectations, and you will understand why certain people act as they do.”

6. Your body doesn’t get what it needs.

Mediterranean stew

Whole wheat bread and vegetable and chickpea stew would fit into the Mediterranean diet.


In general, if you’re feeling down, it’s likely to come down to the most basic things, Müller said. For example, not getting enough sleep, eating poorly, not taking care of your relationships.

“Make sure you have meaning in your life,” he said. “Get out into nature, see more green than concrete, take care of the animals and people who are important to you.”

There is some evidence that diet can affect our mood and well-being. Dr. Uma Naidoo, Harvard Nutritional Psychiatrist wrote in an article for CNBC that certain foods can cause “anxiety and stress.”

For example, eat a lot industrial seed oils, fried foodand Artificial sweeteners may be linked to an increased risk of depression, while probiotic yogurts, healthy fats in foods like avocados and nuts, and minerals like iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc might be good for the brain.

“Keep in mind that changing your diet alone will not help you prevent or completely cure depression and anxiety,” Naidoo wrote. “But changing your eating habits can have positive effects that leave you feeling energized and rejuvenated.”

7. Your emotions control you

A man is standing alone on a ferry

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Müller said that the mind is just a tool that helps you make sense of the world.

“Use your mind to make it useful to you,” he said. “And look what he can do, it’s amazing, you can solve the most amazing puzzle, you can do crossword puzzles and build atomic bombs.

“We can go to Mars because we have a brain and a mind, but it also leads people to think they are worthless.”

If your negative emotions are out of control, you are not the captain of your own ship and you can only steer it if you retrain your mind to choose when you want to react.

“It’s different from not having emotions, because they are very important to our life,” Müller said. “It’s more about, do I really want to go there now? Is this reasonable what I’m doing? And thinking maybe not, maybe I can look at it from another perspective.”

This article was first published in March 2019 and updated in March 2023 to include more experts and new information.

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