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Have you ever come across someone who always seemed to be unhappy, no matter the situation? Chances are, this person was addicted to unhappiness. That’s right! People can be addicted to the feeling of unhappiness! But how does this happen, and why does it happen?
Read on and learn why you or someone you know might be addicted to unhappiness, along with some solutions to this pesky issue that plagues many people.
Before we go any further, we must first address whether it’s possible to be addicted to unhappiness or not.
It is possible to be addicted to unhappiness. Addiction is defined as having an uncontrollable dependency on a substance, thing, or activity. A few characteristics of addiction behavior include:
Typically, when we think of things people are addicted to, we think of drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling, etc. However, there are many other things and substances that people can get addicted to.
While happiness is a great feeling, for some people, it can lead to feelings of discomfort. These people often make themselves unhappy on purpose by expressing negative emotions or creating misery for themselves in their lives. To most people, it looks like a strange way to live. But, for those people who are addicted to unhappiness, it’s more comfortable than being happy.
Research has shown that negative emotions can have an addictive quality to them. For certain people, when they feel negative and unhappy, their brain gets rewarded by different stimuli, thus making them feel better. This is what makes it possible for people to be addicted to unhappiness.
Oftentimes, when we’re addicted to something, we recognize that it’s not good for us. However, this doesn’t change the fact that it is difficult to stop partaking in the addiction. Knowing this, it’s easy to see why someone who is addicted to unhappiness would be curious as to why they are the way they are.
Being addicted to unhappiness can be a result of childhood trauma. The brain sees the extreme negative behavior as a stimulus and when the behaviors/pain temporarily stops it sees the relief as a reward. Many times, this cycle of stimuli and reward becomes normalized by the person’s brain. As an adult, this then becomes the standard by which a person believes that they can receive a reward.
If you had a traumatic childhood or even a traumatic experience as an adult, this could explain the reason behind your addiction to unhappiness. Chances are, you’ve felt this way for a long time, and that has allowed your brain to build the reward pattern that is causing you to keep going through the same loop.
A great way to become happier is to recognize the blessings that we have. Instead of focusing on the negatives, focus on the positives. Doing this will help you to associate positive feelings with positive things, as opposed to associating positive feelings with negative things.
Oftentimes, we do not see patterns playing out in front of us. The sooner we can become more aware of our thoughts, the sooner we can recognize the patterns that lead us to our emotional episodes. Consider writing down your thoughts in a journal so you can become more aware of how you feel daily. This will help you to determine what things trigger your unhappiness.
Even if you make a conscious effort to stop being unhappy, you’ll still have emotional episodes as you heal. Try to turn these episodes into a learning experience for yourself. Ask yourself, “What lesson can I learn from this?” as the episodes occur, and use the lessons to help yourself recognize patterns.
Being addicted to unhappiness is no joke. It’s a frustrating problem to have and a difficult habit to break free from. Since this is the case, you must be kind to yourself. One of the best ways to do this is to create a self-care practice. Partaking in a self-care practice will help you not get too overwhelmed during the healing process.
Are you or somebody you know addicted to unhappiness? If so, now you know why. While the feelings of unhappiness can feel comforting, they do not lead to a fulfilling life. Individuals who suffer from this issue must do reprogramming work and healing to reverse the reward systems in their brains, or they will be destined for lives of misery.
If you are ready for change and want to start the process of gaining more clarity, confidence, and courage, I have created 3 simple steps to help you on your journey:
Do these things and start to live a more fulfilling life today!
Tiffiny has a B.A. in Psychology, and master’s degree in Public Health Education. She worked in consulting for over 16 years, as well as previously owning a fitness and health business. In her personal life, she used personal development, mindset and health strategies to go from being overworked in a demanding corporate career, emotionally drained in a toxic marriage, physically unhealthy, and depressed to becoming an award-winning figure level bodybuilding athlete and entrepreneur. As a women’s empowerment coach, she works to help women get clear on their goals, build confidence, increase self-esteem, take action on their deep desires and create a life they love