“Don’t worry, be happy” is easier said than done. People took to the internet to share what they think are the number one destroyers of happiness. If you’re down in the dumps, you could be struggling with a few items on this list.
Note: Some quotes in this piece have been lightly edited for grammar.
1: Savor the Moment
One person said that when people tell you to live in the moment, it’s because living in the past or the future can block us from being happy in the present. “Always thinking everything will be better ‘when I get that promotion,’ or when I meet ‘the one,’ or ‘If I could just earn 10% more,'” is a neverending cycle.
2: Nobody Compares
“Comparison is the thief of joy,” says one person, who thinks it’s the biggest happiness destroyer. “Getting rid of social media really helps with this,” another responded. “I do and buy stuff because it makes me happy. Not to show it off on social media.”
3: Stressed Out
One worry wort says anxiety has ruined their life. “Overthinking is a close second to this,” someone else added.
4: Ducks in a Row
“I’ve found that true happiness comes from solving problems in your life,” one problem solver said. “The inability for me to solve my problems leads to an anxiety that will not go away.”
5: High Expectations
One wise commenter believes expectation is the root of all misery. Another agreed, “I’ve started to notice more and more that the root of conflict between friends and loved ones is when expectation doesn’t meet reality.”
6: See No Evil
While it’s certainly easier to pay no heed to things, one person said avoidance is the biggest happiness destroyer. “As long as you keep running away from something, it can always keep coming back.”
7: Toxic Company
One said that being forced to hang around toxic people when you don’t want to be is a bummer. “This is the real answer,” someone agreed. “I’m surrounded at work by several people I’d be so happy never to have to see or talk to again.”
8: Ease Up
Sometimes, you have to be like Elsa and let it go. “Worrying about things you have no control over” can quickly wreck your cheery demeanor, one person said.
9: Creating Conflict
Harboring resentment will destroy everything eventually, a commenter cautions. They believe most of the happiness destroyers people listed either lead to resentment or are caused by it. “When you get mad, it’s because things didn’t go how you wanted them to.”
10: Endless Chase
If you feel full of yourself, make sure your pride isn’t getting in your way. “Pride and ego will make you your own worst enemy,” someone said. “Always thinking there’s more to achieve but never satisfied.”
11: Thinly Veiled
If you pop the question to the wrong person, it can lead to a bumpy path, one person said about a bad marriage being a happiness destroyer. “God, I can relate to that,” one unhappy spouse responded.
12: Pursuit of Happiness
The American dream is more like a nightmare for most people. “If you have a house, it’s not big enough. If you have a car, it gets older, and you need to get a better one,” they said. “Chasing this dream only leaves bigger voids, failed relationships, and a sense that you’re not good enough to reach the next level.”
13: Don’t Lose Yourself
People pleasers know the pain of making others happy at the expense of their wants and needs. “Be careful,” one self-proclaimed people pleaser said. “You might lose yourself while doing it.”
14: Happiness is a Butterfly
“This question is broken,” one philosophical commenter said. “Trying to hold onto happiness is like holding onto sand.” Instead, they suggest people learn to appreciate the signs of contentment and the slower, steady joy it can bring.
15: Get Out of Your Way
You know what they say: you can be your own worst enemy. “I’m with a therapist working on my own issues, mostly depression and anxiety, and most of what causes this is me,” one person explained. “I’m constantly going out of my way for people or doing stuff others would never do for me.”
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