Why Am I Unhappy? 6 Tips to Get Back On Track to Happiness

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When I discovered I had it all I realized I still wasn’t happy.

I was living in a perfect house, surrounded by a white picket fence in a beautiful suburb just outside the city limits of Stockholm. I had a caring, beautiful, and successful husband who devoted his spare time fully to our family. Our two children, a giggly boy and a brave girl, completed our family. At age 32, I’d already had an amazing career in journalism and politics and was well on my way to building a successful business of my own as founder and CEO of a healthcare center for pregnant women. I had everything I’d ever wanted. I had succeeded in life. But I thought, why am I unhappy?

The question “why am I unhappy?” haunted me. I spent long nights, wide awake, wandering around my huge house wondering what was missing. I blamed myself for feeling this way. How could I be ungrateful when I had it all?

why am I unhappy

One day, I was called into the office to cover for the receptionist who was sick. As I sat at her desk, I became aware of two expectant mothers chatting by the front door. “I went to an amazing seminar,”one of them told the other in an excited voice. “The facilitator asked us tons of questions, one of which was, ‘Do feel like something is missing in life, even if you have it all?’” A flicker of hope and excitement arose in my chest. I just wanted to shout, “YES! I’ve always felt just like that!”

A few weeks later, I found myself in a big conference room with more than a hundred people, none of whom I knew. Tears rolled down my cheeks, but I didn’t care about my mascara running or what people might think. The only thing I could think about was the simple question from the man on stage—a question that kept ringing in my ears: “What if there was never ever anything wrong with you?”

Opinions, values, judgments, sorrow, anger, pain . . . I laughed and I cried as I realized I’d been living someone else’s life. Other people’s. Society’s. My family’s. Anyone’s.  We live in a world filled with demands and expectations. We try to adhere to opinions about what is right and wrong, good and bad, what indicates success and what is a sure sign of failure. There are hundreds of voices telling us what to wear, what to eat, how to exercise, whom to marry, what we should achieve. Even our bodies are great targets for judgment. And if we don’t succeed despite all of the “truths” we are told, we can always have our body surgically corrected to fit the retouched, fictitious model we aim to copy. In our quest to fit in and “do the right thing,” we create stress, anxiety, exhaustion, and depression for ourselves. Not feeling great, or even well, has become the norm for too many.

Can you relate? Did you believe your career, your future family, your someday would come and that would make you happy? Are you living like a robot, trying so hard to live up to your own and the expectations of others?

why am i unhappy

Now, after that initial seminar, the classes I attended, the tools I discovered, and practicing what I learned, I know there was never anything wrong with me. And let me be the one to tell you – there’s nothing wrong with you either.

I no longer try to fit in or be perfect. I’ve discovered that what was missing wasn’t another career step or a more perfect man. What was missing was me. While trying to please others, I forgot that I contribute the most when I’m being me and include myself in my choices.

We all live with our different points of view. Understanding how our viewpoints become the filters through which we see and create our lives creates a space within us, one where we can start looking at our beliefs, asking if they serve us. Think about it. If your beliefs don’t serve you, why keep them? They are not you. You are.

Here are a few of the tools and tips I use daily to create my life—a life where I’m included—a different, more joyful, and vibrant life.

  1. Be your own cheerleader. Don’t look for validation from the outside. Instead, acknowledge yourself every day!
  2. Follow your own knowing. What is true for you? Follow your own truth based on your own point of view and not on anything you’ve learned or bought as being true.
  3. Ask yourself, “Who does that belong to?” You’re very aware and pick up stuff from the world around you—many of your thoughts, feelings, and emotions are not.
  4. Remove the limitations. Cut out what is not working in your life, and add things and people that make you happy.
  5. Stop judging yourself. Start looking at what is brilliant and amazing about you and choose to see that instead.
  6. Embrace this idea: “What if there’s nothing wrong with me?” If only you and your point of view creates your reality, then who are you? What can you create? What is then possible for you?


About the author

Lisa Henriksson, author of I Was Supposed to Be Happy, shares her own journey to help others find their true choice and happiness. Co- founder of Wisdom Stockholm, an Access Consciousness® Certified Facilitator and the founder and CEO of Egen tid, the first yoga studio offering babysitting services in Sweden, Henriksson finds pure joy in aiding others to grow and blossom. Henriksson travels the world coaching and facilitating individuals and groups inviting others to a new reality; with Egen tid, Henriksson opened up new possibilities for expectant women and today the single studio the began 10 years ago has since the expanded into a flourishing business in numerous health centers, fitness locations and online. More information at: lisahenriksson.com and egentid.se. Follow Lisa on twitter @lisahhappy and on Facebook for more inspiration and tips.

photo credit: 167 via photopin (license)

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