Let me be the first one to admit that there have been times in my life when I have pondered a lot on the status of happiness in my life. I’ve had those moments of pure happiness when I thought nothing can top this, and yet I’ve felt a void in my heart. When nothing could go wrong and when my life is going great, I’ve had those moments when I thought, “Why am I not happy?”
If you can understand this feeling, then you are not the only one. Life is mysterious that way. At the same moment, it can make you feel like you’re on top of the world as well as morose. If you’ve thought about how your life is going great but you still aren’t happy, then there could be various reasons for this feeling.
Ups and downs in life are pretty common and acceptable too, at a rate, but when you constantly feel like something is dragging you down even when it shouldn’t, then it could have something to do with your physical, emotional, or mental health and even your environmental stimuli.
Let’s explore more about what might make you think, “Why can’t I be happy?” and what you can do about this feeling.
The Paradox of Happiness: Why Can’t You Be Happy?
When life is going good or better than good, but still you don’t feel happy as you should be at that moment, it can create a paradox within. If we talk about the psychology of happiness, then we can define happiness as a “general state of positivity” – something that follows good news, an achievement, and even satisfaction.
In various studies over the years, it has been suggested that our happiness in life can be related to our attitude towards life or the quality of our life. When you’re content with your life, you feel happy, but when you constantly struggle with thoughts of financial worries, stress, and other disruptions, then you are more likely to feel less happy.
Not only this but if you’re struggling with a mental health condition – unaddressed or not – then it can also affect your state of happiness. If everything in your life is going great – a fulfilling job, an amazing partner, and a great social life – you might still feel unhappy. The cause could be traced back to your hormones. When your mental health is poor, your brain may struggle to produce enough happy hormones. Because of this hormonal or chemical imbalance, you may find yourself struggling to stay happy.
Other reasons why you aren’t happy or are struggling to be happy can include;
You feel too overwhelmed. You might have a great life, but this could also become intimidating and overwhelming which may cause you to second-guess yourself and doubt your abilities. You may even become wary of messing up or developing imposter syndrome.
The people around you can also be a reason you’re not happy or can’t feel happiness. Many of us have a social life that we engage in everyday – be it family, friends, or coworkers. Indeed, the company you keep can also affect your overall happiness and health. If the people around you are toxic or have a strong negative aura, then it can also make you feel unhappy, regardless of how great your life is going.
Lack of purpose or direction in life. Your life is good and yet you can’t be happy? Well, look around. Your external environment can be a factor. If you are unable to meet others (or your own) expectations, living on high-stress levels, or don’t have a purpose in life, then it’s highly likely that you might feel a certain level of unhappiness. Because you’re unsure about your goals and direction in life, happiness keeps eluding you.
Is It Normal to Not Feel Happy?
Absolutely! If you don’t feel happy, then don’t feel bad! It’s normal to not feel happy at times in your life, even when you seemingly have no reason to be unhappy. Happiness, what many of us fail to understand is that it isn’t a constant state of mind or even an emotion – rather, it’s an attitude. Happiness takes time to form and this includes a lot of self-exploration as well. Just because you’re not feeling happy like you’re expected to, does not mean that there is something wrong with you.
It’s all your experiences that can change or alter the state of your happiness. There will always be days when you just can’t figure out what’s wrong, and then there will be days when the cause of your unhappiness will be in front of you to scrutinize. Life is two-way, after all.
However, it is important to understand that in some cases if you’re constantly experiencing this state of unhappiness, then it could indicate a serious mental health symptom, specifically anhedonia. Anhedonia is the inability to feel happiness or enjoyment in things that previously brought you joy. If this feeling persists for more than two weeks, then it is recommended you speak to a professional for a diagnosis.
What to Do When You Can’t Be Happy?
Even if everything is going well for you in life but you can’t feel happy, then here are some things you can do to feel happy once again;
Reach out to loved ones: Try to spend some quality time with your loved ones. If you feel like you aren’t happy, talk to them. Just letting others know how you feel can help you a great deal.
Express your thanks: Another simple trick to do when you can’t get happy is to express your gratitude for what you have in life. Just quickly write three things you’re thankful for. Just doing this simple gratitude exercise can help.
Get moving: When nothing seems to work and you can’t feel happy, just put on your walking shoes, plug in your headphones with your favorite music playing, and go for a run or walk. This will help the production of endorphins, which can help improve your mood.
Celebrate little victories: When everything is going great and yet you can’t feel happy, bring your mind to focus on small wins. When this happens to me, I simply like to focus on how I got up from bed this morning and took a shower. These kinds of small victories can make you feel rooted in your present.
Engage in hobbies: Anything that can make you feel happy can be good. If I talk about myself, then when life is good and I can’t feel happy, I cook. Sometimes when I don’t feel like cooking, I sit in my room and listen to music. My favorite artists that can help me feel content at that moment are BTS, The Beatles, and Coldplay. So if that’s your thing, check out their songs to take your mind off things for a while.
Change your perspective: When you change your perspective and shift your mindset, you realize that happiness is a choice, and instead of dwelling on “what couldn’t be”, it’s good to focus on “what is”. You need to allow yourself to be happy.
A smile can change your status: When nothing seems to be motivating you, just smile. Smiling at nothing might feel weird, but after a while, you’ll find yourself feeling better than you did a minute ago. You can also use this time to think back on your happiest moments in life or focus on meditating about your “happy place”.
Speak to a professional: Sometimes, emotions can go deeper than you may realize and if this is one of those times, then it is strongly recommended that you speak to a professional. The inability to feel happy can also be a sign of depression, so it’s always a safe bet to seek professional support.
Happiness Is Just Around The Corner…
It’s OK to feel overwhelmed and intimidated by life even when your life is going smoothly. So, when you keep wondering and asking yourself, “Why can’t I be happy?” or “Why am I not happy?”, then don’t worry too much about it. Just take a break and engage in self-reflection to understand the root cause of this morose feeling.
With a professional’s help, you can find what is causing you to feel unhappy and what to do when you can’t get happy. Happiness, after all, is an attitude, and with patience and effort, happiness won’t look too much out of reach.
Hope this article helped you understand why you can’t feel happy and what to do when you can’t get happy. For more, feel free to reach out to us on our social media or leave us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.