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Why are we so unhappy?

Published January 05. 2013 09:02AM

I think that most people today are, unfortunately, very negative and downright unhappy and it seems few individuals have anything positive to say anymore.

I have had numerous conversations with friends or family where all they did was complain and complain some more, and it really makes me wonder why. Why are we so unhappy and dissatisfied?

Recently, I spoke with someone close to me who struggles with depression and anxiety. A counselor told her to make a list of all of the good things in her life; things that she was thankful for and a general counting of blessings.

When she couldn't do it, she called me and asked me what I would consider to be blessings.

I was taken back that she couldn't think of anything that she could deem good in her life. Believe me, I have had my own bouts with depression, but thankfully, I think I am able to recognize the positives in my life most of the time.

I began to rattle off things such as having a home and a family, and a job and food on the table. I continued with being thankful for my dog and my friends and sunshine and on and on.

Sadly, these were things that she had just not considered. I was floored.

I think we look too much at others and compare ourselves to them; not just with regard to possessions, but with every aspect of our lives. Doing so can often lead to a mixed array of negative thoughts and feelings that can be damaging on many levels. Not just to ourselves, but also to those around us.

I started to think about certain people whom I find to be particularly negative and how their negativity makes me feel. While I do love and care for them very much, I sometimes find their incessant complaining very annoying, and it makes me not want to be around them as often.

Then I started to look at myself. How many times do I gripe about the things I do not have or about the things that I have to contend with that I really just want to avoid? How often do I grumble about my health, or my spouse and children? How do I appear to others and how do I make them feel?

Of course, my first impression of myself was that I really wasn't all that bad but the truth is, perhaps I am.

It can be very difficult to take a look at yourself sometimes and seek out your own shortcomings. I am reminded of a passage in Luke that says "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?"


With that in mind, I made the decision to be more aware of my blessings on a daily basis and to try and find the positive in a negative situation. I also want to make a concerted effort to really try to complain less in my life, and if my little "Eureka!" moments can help others to possibly see things through a different set of eyes, maybe they too will be able view things on a more positive note and maybe, just maybe, we could all become a little less negative and learn to be happy; joyful even.

Imagine that.

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