It's normal to feel unhappy sometimes. Life is full of ups and downs, after all. But if you find yourself stuck in the downs and dwelling on negative feelings, you need to make some changes.
Today we'll look at eight habits of unhappy people. These behaviors can reinforce and extend unhappiness, preventing you from lifting your mood. We'll also look at why extended periods of negative emotions are detrimental to your bone health.
1. Being Overly Critical
The tendency to be overcritical goes in two directions– outward and inward. Both are habits that reinforce negativity and unhappiness. If you build a pattern of always finding something that's wrong, then eventually that's all you'll see.
When you're overcritical toward yourself, you harm your self-esteem. Feeling good about yourself is essential to making positive progress. Instead of dwelling on mistakes or imperfections, look forward to opportunities to try again.
When you're overcritical toward others, you risk driving them away. No one likes to receive undue criticism. If you can't offer constructive and positive feedback when it’s requested, then consider withholding comment. And if you find that you offer critiques of people you aren't close to when they haven't asked, this may be a runaway problem that needs swift attention.
The next time you feel the impulse to say something critical, try offering supportive words instead.
Being critical of yourself harms your self-esteem and impedes growth. Being critical of others can drive them away. Try offering positive support instead of criticism.
2. Regretting The Past
Regret can take the form of repetitive negative thoughts that can overwhelm you. This sort of obsessive replaying of the past has an impact on your emotional state. Regret doesn't accomplish anything, but it raises levels of stress and unhappiness.
Instead of dwelling in the negative and self-critical feeling of regret, try to reframe the situation in a more positive way. You might find you're assigning too much blame to yourself.
If you are still identifying a mistake that you made, then write down the lesson you’ve learned, and let the negative memory go. Especially if your regret is about a situation that cannot be changed, you must move forward and not get stuck in the past.
Regret can become a damaging habit that increases stress levels. If you dwell on regrets, try reframing them more positively, not blaming yourself, by making a note of what you learned, and letting the situation go.
3. Worrying About The Future
The inverse of regretting the past is worrying about the future. Both are examples of negative fixations on events that are outside of your control. If you can take concrete steps to prepare for a future event or situation, write them down and then do them one by one. When you've done all you can, throw the paper away, and let your worries leave with it.
If you get stuck worrying about what the future holds, you probably won't be ready to meet it when it arrives. And even worse, you'll miss out on everything that's happening around you in the present.
If you find your mind drifting to the future and filling with worry, reground yourself in the here and now. Try connecting with your senses. Focus on your breath. Find something visual or tactile to examine or feel. If you're with others, then give them your focus. Your life is happening right now!
You're not in the future, so worrying about it will only stress you out. Do what you can to prepare for the future, then shift your attention to the present. Ground yourself with what's physically in the room, or give your focus to people around you.
4. Fixating On Perfection
Happiness does not require perfection, but if you expect it from yourself or others, you'll never be happy. That's because perfection is an ideal that can be strived for but seldom achieved.
Embrace imperfection– it makes you human. In fact, accepting imperfection gives you the ability to accomplish more. Instead of spending the endless amount of time required to make something perfect, you can identify when it's good enough, and then move on.
Attaining perfection is a myth that can prevent you from accomplishing your goals and making progress. It will always leave you feeling unaccomplished and prevent happiness. Don’t let the myth of perfection stop you from celebrating your successes.
Perfection is a trap that can prevent you from accomplishing your goals or feeling good about yourself. That's because perfection is impossible. Embrace imperfection so you can celebrate your accomplishments and keep moving forward.
5. Chronic Complaining
Chronic complainers don't complain because they're unhappy, they're unhappy because they complain. Sometimes, complaining can become a habit that relies on unhappiness. If your pattern of behavior requires finding something to gripe about, then you'll work to find something no matter the situation.
This is a commitment to unhappiness! If you observe that you complain often, make a conscious decision to stop that behavior. You might find that you have more time and energy to focus on things you like.
If there's a problem that needs addressing, seek out solutions, and try to create change instead of just pointing out that something is wrong. This positive response can set you on a path to feeling helpful, successful, and engaged.
Chronic complainers need to be unhappy so they can find things to complain about. If you notice you often complain, try changing your behavior. If there's a problem, try helping to fix it instead of complaining.
6. Living In A Negativity Echo Chamber
The people and voices around you have an enormous impact on your emotional state. If you spend your time with complainers, critics, and curmudgeons, then you'll experience less happiness in your life.
That extends to the media you consume as well– books, television programs, movies, etc.. If you only ingest negative views of the world, you'll stay gloomy. If your social circle is always critical, you'll feel bad about yourself.
Instead, surround yourself with positivity. Add some inspirational music to your playlist or some uplifting stories to your stack of books. Cultivate relationships with people who see the glass half full and offer support instead of negativity. You'll feel happier and more excited to meet life with open arms.
The people and voices in your life impact your emotional state. Spend more time with supportive, positive, or inspiring people, books, tv, and movies. They'll help you feel better and embrace life with positivity.
7. Comparing Yourself To Others
Don't constantly compare yourself and your life to other people and their lives. This habit does enormous damage to your emotional state and your self-esteem. You will always be able to find someone who you think has something you don't– whether that's true or not.
When you feel the urge to compare yourself to someone else, stop, and choose to compare yourself to yourself instead. Look back to an earlier time in your own life and observe how you've changed and grown; notice your progress and celebrate it.
Also, be kind to yourself. It might take practice to do that because more often than not, the world teaches us to be hard on ourselves. You'll find that when you're kind to yourself it’s easier to feel happy, and when you feel happy, it's easier to be kind to yourself. This cycle can propel you forward, helping you to enjoy life!
Comparing yourself to others is a destructive habit. Instead, compare your current self to a past version of yourself. Notice your progress and growth and celebrate it. This is a great way to be kind to yourself, which will help you cultivate happiness.
8. Eating Poorly
Savers won't be surprised to hear that diet plays an important role in our emotional well-being. It can be tempting to use junk food to create a false sense of happiness or satisfaction. But that quick sugar high doesn't last, and when you crash, you lose more than just energy.
A poor diet can rob you of mental acuity, physical fitness, an effective immune system, and strong bones. Meanwhile, a nutritionally dense and pH-balanced diet– as recommended by the Osteoporosis Reversal Program— sets you up to feel great. When those good feelings are based on eating well, the feeling lasts!
Eating junk food can create a cycle of ups and downs that become an unhealthy and unhappy habit. A poor diet compromises mental, emotional, and physical health — including bone health. Eat a nutritionally dense pH-balanced diet to build happiness and strong bones alike.
Psychological Stress And Bone Loss
Negativity and unhappiness are taxing. They can leave you tired and stressed. They can also lead to a higher incidence of medical conditions, including the acceleration of bone loss.
Studies on the relationship between psychological stress and osteoporosis have found that mental and emotional health is linked to bone loss. The exact mechanisms by which unhappiness or chronic stress lead to bone loss are not completely clear yet.1
However, a prime candidate is the stress hormone cortisol. We know that extended periods of high cortisol levels impede the bone remodeling process and leads to bone loss.
These associations provide a compelling additional reason for every Saver to examine their behaviors and make adjustments to reduce unhappiness.
Studies have linked psychological stress and bone loss. Reducing unhappiness can help you to preserve and strengthen your bones.
What This Means To You
Unhappiness is more than just a mental and life issue. It can harm your health, including your bone health. This link is a great example of lifestyle and behavioral changes that can help prevent and reverse osteoporosis.
And the fact that eating poorly contributes to unhappiness shows how interconnected diet, emotional wellness, and bone health can be. If you want support to craft healthy meals that will help you feel good, both physically and emotionally, check out Bone Appetit. The Save Institute's cookbook and meal planner is full of delightful, delicious, and bone-healthy recipes.
And remember behavior number four — fixating on perfection. You don't need to be perfect to improve. Little changes make for meaningful progress. Celebrate the distance you've come so you can look forward to the path ahead!
Eat Your Way to Stronger Bones!
Discover over 200 mouth-watering bone healthy recipes for breakfast, smoothies, appetizers, soups, salads, vegetarian dishes, fish, and plenty of main courses and even desserts!
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Brilliant article…thank you so much for reminding us all. I have had a copy of ‘Desiderata’ on my wall for many years which I read often to keep me grounded. Also, discovering TaiChi..basically ‘moving meditation’ has been great. However, your article was exactly what is needed today in this ‘moment’ on our planet.
Keep going..love your e mail’s. Xx
Just read comment from Carol about Tai Chi. I do Qi gong and Tai Chi. There is a dvd by Dr Jerry Alan Johnson who is a master at both. His Tai chi has sections on flexibility and power. This is a wonderful opportunity to strengthen leg muscles/bones and upper body. It was good to hear your comments🙏🙋
This is absolutely the best article I’ve read in a long time. There are many take aways for me in it, so thank you so much for writing it. I shall have to keep this one and re-read it regularly to remind myself!
Thank you Vivian. So true and I needed to hear this for I am at fault also. But yes everything you said is so right. Thank you and I will save this article/ advise and refer to it.
A truly valuable message Vivian.
The theme reminded me of something the Dalai Llama has written – to change an undesirable habit you need an antidote. In other words, trying to stop cold turkey will rarely work but substituting with a positive “good” habit is the answer.
Your post was full of antidotes – thank you.
Hey Vivian how about using the same number of POSITIVE words to ENCOURAGE others !!!!!
In 2012, I was into listening to positive thinking hypnotherapy videos on YouTube. The effectiveness of one video in particular has stayed with me all of these years.
This short video took the viewer on a journey into a spiraling tunnel. The hypnotist suggested to the viewer that every time a negative thought arose, it would be automatically followed by a positive thought.
In my case, this sequence of thought pattern is still happening. Every pessimistic thought I have is immediately countered by a positive view point!
I tried to find the video on YouTube again to post the link in this comment, but YouTube is awash in hypnotherapy videos now. Anyways, I recommend listening to these self-hypnotism videos to change your minds. They work wonders!
Thank you, Ita.
Great reminders! I would add: Being sedentary. Walking, dance, exercise, T’ai Chi, yoga, Qi Gong, stretching – anything that gets you up and moving. Good for our bones, good for our mood.
This is a GOLDEN ADVICE! No one is free from at least a couple of these harmful ways… I suffer from many!
Thanks a million
Today’s article about bone loading was excellent. I am 80, have osteoporosis and refuse meds. Was on fosamax years ago. Have two new hips five years ago as I was a runner and biker. Do a two hour practice daily, Qi gong, yoga, stretching and use a mini trampoline and have been doing bone loading at PT. Also dance and love to move. Eat healthy and am grateful every day. This is a lifelong practice to maintain a healthy Body, Mind and Spirit. Thank You🙏🧘♂️🧚♂️🦵💪🦶