So maybe you have the awesome house or apartment, a great relationship, and an amazing job. But despite the fact that everything in your life looks so great on "paper" or upon someone viewing your Facebook or Instagram accounts, for some reason, somehow your just not happy.
What I've come to realize that while our societal views on what constitutes a happy and successful person, it's rare that someone who actually fulfills all of those things are going to be genuinely happy. Our true happiness is not determined by our external circumstances, but rather our internal focus.
So here are 5 reasons why you may be unhappy -- and how you can start being happy today:
#1 - You're living in the past or future
Out of all the reasons in this list, I think this one is the most impactful of our level of happiness than all of them.
You're focused on what you did have in the past or what you could have in the future rather than what you have right now. Your mind is focused on how things were so great back in "the good ol' days." Or, you're focused on the idea of how things will be great "someday" in the future.
The reality is that by focusing our attention on the past and the future, all it does is prevent us from really living in and enjoying the present moment, which is the key to really living and being from a place of true joy and happiness.
So when you catch yourself thinking about how things were great in the past or how they could become great in the future, take a deep breath, feel your feet on the floor and look around you. Notice what you have right now in this moment and how amazing it is to simply be living right here, right now.
#2 -- You're caught up in thoughts of judgement and criticism
Are you caught up in judging yourself about not being "good enough"? Are you often trying to, somehow, be "perfect"?
Or, on the flip side, do you get up in judging and criticizing other people? Do you get caught up in criticizing the way a co-worker dresses? Are you often getting caught up in judging others for their own life choices?
When it comes to judgement and criticism I think it's important to remember this: When I am judging others, I am judging myself, because we are all intricately connected.
When we are judging and criticizing, its a sign that our ego mind is bringing out our inner critic. All this does is block us from being able to truly experience love, happiness and joy in the present moment.
#3 -- You're seeking fulfillment in material things
Do you find yourself thinking things like: When I'm able to get that house then I'll be happy, when I'm making six figures I'll be happy, or when I can get that new car I'll be happy?
One of the biggest fabrications that our ego mind likes to tell us is that being rich, famous and successful we are somehow going to be living the best lives ever.
While getting a new car, house, and make more money may certainly make our lives easier, it doesn't necessarily mean that we're going to be happy when we get these things. True happiness comes through our mindset and how we choose to live and be in the world -- not a pair of Manolos and some Gucci.
#4 -- You're focused on what you're getting rather than what you're giving
To you tend to get caught up in thinking that if you did X favor for Sally then she better give Y favor for you? Or, do you tend to get caught up in thinking about how much money you're getting from your employer rather than how much you're giving at work?
It's interesting, but often when we're focused on a mindset of always thinking about what we're "getting" then there never seems to be enough -- there's always lack. However, when we shift our mindset and start to focus more on what we're giving, then we are able to see what we are actually receiving. In turn, we can then find ourselves more grateful and content with what it is that we do have right here, right now.
#5 -- You're trying to push your feelings of sadness, worry, and anger away
In the world of self-help and personal growth, there's a lot of talk out there about a need to be positive so that you can be happy and joyful and live the best life possible.
Well, I'm going to tell you right now: Thinking that we need to be positive all the time is BS.
Honestly, it's not even remotely realistic. We all have our good days and our bad days. People die. Pets die. Relationships end. Health issues happen. We lose jobs. We move.
And as a result, we cry, we scream, and we worry. Someone does or says something to hurt us and we struggle to forgive. We have wounds, addictions, and disorders.
And you know what? It's all normal and perfectly okay. In fact, we need it. Why? Because we can't have light without darkness. We need both to be whole and to feel complete.
We all have wounds because we've all been hurt in various ways and those wounds need our love and attention. We have to give ourselves time to really truly feel and process those emotions. When we don't, this is where other problems can emerge, such as an addiction, an eating disorder, or maybe even a case of depression.
So allow yourself to really truly feel -- both the good and the bad, because it is all a part of you, and by loving and accepting it, you can start to tap into your own true authentic happiness.
Get a copy of my FREE new guide 3 Self-Care Tools to Make You Truly Shine
Jennifer is a self-love coach, writer, spiritual mentor and teacher. She is the founder of JenniferTwardowski.com and the creator of Your Power: How to Harness Your Energy So You Can Truly Shine and Ignite Love from Within: Meditations to Create Relationships and a Life Filled with Love, click here for a free meditation from the album. Her mission is to help women create more loving relationships with themselves. She has been featured in Cosmopolitan, MindBodyGreen, BeliefNet, PositivelyPositive, Elephant Journal, and more.