4 Things Unhappy People Do According to Science

Person counting money

The ultimate goal in life is to be happy. And happiness should come from being content with what you have and having realistic yet challenging goals. But to some people, happiness means perfection, which is something impossible to achieve.

Now, I don’t want you reading the following points and panic because you definitely do these things and automatically think that you fall into the category of ‘unhappy people’. We should not mistake being in a bad mood or having a bad day with being chronically unhappy. People who are unhappy with their life do a combination of all of them and drag them long-term, which is when it becomes troubling.

The following are 4 troubling things unhappy people do that we should avoid (with science-backed reasons):

1. They only value material things

Ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus once said: "Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for."

A study carried out at Baylor University showed that people who are more likely to achieve material goals are unsatisfied with life and with lower self-esteem. They are also less likely to be happy and satisfied in a relationship and less involved in community events. People who try to find happiness through material things are stuck in the Treadmill of Consumption. They continue to purchase more and more things but never reach happiness, they simply speed up the treadmill.

2. They don’t exercise

We’ve heard plenty of times that exercising is good for our mental health and can make us feel way better afterward. But what is the scientific explanation for it? Well, when we work-out our heart rate raises, which promotes endorphin, dopamine and adrenaline production. These are all brain cells that are associated with feeling happy and confident.

Unhappy people have in common that they rarely exercise, so they don’t get the endorphin rush nor the feeling of accomplishment. Working-out takes willpower, so people who struggle to find time to exercise consistently can put themselves down for the lack of motivation and willpower.

Be Happy quote

3. They gossip

One of the signs of unhappy people is someone who is not happy with themselves and projects their own insecurities to others. After all, someone who is happy, confident and has a lot to live for doesn’t have time to engage in negative small talk that is of no benefit at all. So, people that gossip and talk negatively about others are people who are not happy or satisfied with their life and find pleasure in bringing happy people down, because they don’t have anything better to do.

4. They procrastinate

Even if most of us don’t think procrastination is a big deal, as long as you get the task done, it is pretty harmful. For starters, if this delay of tasks was no big deal, there would be no need for calling it ‘procrastination’ and would simply be called ‘time-management’. So, why is procrastination bad and why is it associated with unhappy people?

Well, that is because procrastination carries the feelings of guilt, shame and anxiety that comes from the decision to prolong and delay things. And all these feelings sum up to become dissatisfaction and self-defeat. So chronic procrastinators basically end-up suffering more and performing worse than others and this negative feeling leads to unhappiness.

As a conclusion, people with chronic unhappiness are this way by choice. Happiness is under our control and it has very little to do with where we were born, our net worth and so own. In fact, an article published by ABC News states that only 10% of our overall happiness is related to our life circumstances such as where we live, how much money we have, our marital status and how we look. So, the rest is really up to you!

Keep reading: 4 non-obvious habits successful people do


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