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The Causes and Effects of Unhappiness Essay

Try to take a look at the people around you. How many people that you see that are happy? How many of them that are looked unhappy, sad, depressed, and not enjoying life? What happen to those people? Why do so many people feel unhappy? As according to Chernoff “There are many reasons, but it all boils down to one simple principle: They choose something else over happiness” (2011). And so this essay will explain about the common causes of an unhappy life, such as lack of self-esteem, wandering mind, being pessimistic and negative attitude, and a tendency to make life harder than it has to be. And the effect of an unhappiness. The first cause of an unhappy life is the lack of self-esteem. And the bad habits that the low self-esteem people have are the habits to compare themselves with other people. As according to Robert Chen “Comparing yourself to others can be motivating if you have a strong self-esteem but more often than not, you will end up feeling bad about your own inferiority” (2012).

Also the comparison are only comparing the best part of someone else’s life, and making them feel worthless, sad, and feel bad about themselves. Another bad habit that the low self-esteem people have are, they take peoples opinion personally, as they may get offended easily, and became insecure about themselves. The second cause is a wandering mind. People with a wandering mind, tend to worry and obsessed with the past or future. Study shows that people spend almost half of their wake time thinking about other things than what they are actually doing, and make them feel sad (Samantha, 2013). Sometimes people keep thinking about the past mistakes and keep mourning it, and other times people are obsessed with the future that are unknown. And the obsession of the unknown makes them worried about all things and creating a lot of negative emotions, which is the cause of unhappiness.

Another cause of an unhappiness is the pessimistic and negative attitude in their life. A quote from Abraham Lincoln said “Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be” (n.d.). The set of your attitude is going to determine the rest of your day. If you choose to be pessimistic and focus on the negativity, that is what you will get. Every day is a bad day for you, because negativity is what you are looking for, instead of looking for the bright side. And that is what leads you to an unhappiness (Chen, 2012). The last cause is a tendency to making life harder than it has to be. Many people like to make unrealistic goals and making their life harder than it has to be. They are setting goals like ‘I will be happy when I have 10 million dollars.’ As if you are punishing yourself, that you cannot be happy if you do not have 10 million dollars (Chen, 2012).

Another thing that makes people make life harder is the perfectionism. Perfectionist people are constantly putting themselves in the stressful situation, where they demanding everything to be flawless, but in the other hand, nothing is perfect. As Marc Chernoff said “Perfect is the enemy of good. Learn to accept the good – learn to love things when they are less than ‘perfect’” (2011). And as a consequence, being unhappy can affect your life in every aspect. It is normal for a person to feel unhappy, but being unhappy for a long time can make you depressed, stressed and causing even more problems in your life. Starting from relationship problems, as I quoted from an article about The Dangers of Depression “Depression leaves people drained emotionally, mentally and physically, so it becomes hard to be there for friends and family” (2014). Additionally with the symptoms from depression such as insomnia and do not want to eat can cause health problems as it makes the body vulnerable to illness.

And with the bad condition like that, many people try to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol, which makes it even worse. And as it can lead to self-injury, reckless behavior, and a chance for a person to commit suicide (The Dangers of Depression, 2014). Finally in conclusion, unhappiness is caused by the lack of self-esteem, wandering mind, being pessimistic and negative attitude, and a tendency to make life harder than it has to be. And the effect of a long term unhappiness can be a depression or stress that can cause from relationship problems, up to self-injury, reckless behavior, and even a suicide. Happiness indeed are important in everybody’s life, and it is everyone’s right to be happy. But it is your choice to be happy or miserable. As Martha Washington said “I am determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may find myself. For I have learned that the greater part of our misery or unhappiness is determined not by our circumstance but by our disposition.” (n.d.). So choose happiness. 


Chen, R. (2012). The Top 7 Reasons Why You Are Unhappy. Retrieved from http://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/the-top-7-reasons-why-you-are-unhappy/ Chernoff, M. (2011). 12 Common Causes and Proven Cures for Unhappiness. Retrieved from http://www.marcandangel.com/2011/05/29/12-common-causes-and-proven-cures-for-unhappiness/ Chernoff, M. (2012). 30 Traits Happy People Have In Common. Retrieved from http://www.marcandangel.com/2012/07/02/30-traits-happy-people-have-in-common/ Depression (Mood). (2014). Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depression_(mood) Goldberg, J. (2012). How Depression Affect Your Body. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/depression/how-depression-affects-your-body?page=2 Goldberg, J. (2013). Untreated Depression. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/untreated-depression-effects?page=3 Lincoln, A. (n.d.). 12 Common Causes and Proven Cures for Unhappiness. Retrieved from http://www.marcandangel.com/2011/05/29/12-common-causes-and-proven-cures-for-unhappiness/ Muskin, P. (2010). How does depression and affect someone’s physical health and well-being? Retrieved from http://asp.cumc.columbia.edu/psych/asktheexperts/ask_the_experts_inquiry.asp?SI=72 Samantha. (2013). 10 Things Unhappy People Have in Common. Retrieved from http://www.care2.com/greenliving/10-things-unhappy-people-have-in-common-2.html The Dangers of Depression. (2014). Retrieved from http://www.ulifeline.org/articles/396-the-dangers-of-depression Tyrrell, M. Elliott, R. (2014). The Physical Effects of Depression. Retrieved from http://www.clinical-depression.co.uk/dlp/understanding-depression/the-physical-effects-of-depression/ Washington, M. (n.d.). Unhappiness Quotes. Retrieved from http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/unhappiness.html

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