May 23, 2022

Common Habits of Unhappy People
By Jayne Warwicker

Circumstances can definitely make life unhappy. However, a big part of unhappiness comes from our own thinking, behaviour and habits.

However, don’t despair! Below are 6 destructive daily habits that can create this unhappiness that can taint your world, along with some quick fixes to lift your mood and elevate your ‘happiness level’.

I will also share what has helped me to minimise or overcome these habits in my own life so you have some examples.

1. Needing perfection.

Does life have to be perfect before you are happy? Do you have to behave in a perfect way and get perfect results?

Setting the bar for your performance at a high level usually leads to low self-esteem and feeling like you are not good enough.

How to overcome this habit:

Three things that helped me to kick the perfectionism habit and become more relaxed:

Go for good enough.

Aiming for perfection usually winds up in a project or something else never being finished. So go for good enough instead. When I am coaching Managers and Leaders this can be the hardest habit to break and I also feel into this management trap also (perfection). Unfortunately, this is the main trait/habit that can lead to poor mental well-being and burn-out.

Don’t use it as an excuse to slack off! Simply realise that the result doesn’t have to be perfection. Once I had accepted this my production grew tremendously as my focus wasn’t on just one thing. When it was ‘good enough to serve its purpose I moved on to the next project. My clients also said they could feel the stress-reducing also and the telling thing is no one complained about a drop in standards! You are probably the only one looking for perfection so why half kill yourself striving for it!

Have a deadline.

Setting a deadline so you have something to keep you on track, that way you can’t stray off into your old habit of perfectionism as you don’t have time to keep polishing until perfect! I used to read my blogs, re-read them, add bits, take bits away and waste the time I really wanted to spend connecting with clients face to face. The content wasn’t any better, I just wasted an hour or two faffing with it!!

Be aware of the negative impacts of wanting perfection.

It can harm or possibly lead you to end relationships, jobs, projects etc. just because your expectations are out of this world.

Take my word for it ‘good is good enough!!’. Lots of people think that the world’s most successful or famous people are perfectionists; they aren’t. They have their fingers in many pies and multitask, they don’t ‘stand still’ while they polish and repolish some element of themselves or their lives!!

2. Living in a sea of negative voices.

Who we socialise with, and what we read, watch and listen to have a big effect on how we feel and think.

People that tell you that life will for the most part be unhappy, and dangerous will suck the joy out of your life. I call these people ‘Joy sponges’ and I can literally feel the joy and positivity being sucked out of my very core when they are near.

How to overcome this habit:

Replace those negative voices/individuals with more positive influences.

You can start small by reading/listening to inspiring music and books, watching movies and TV shows that make you laugh and think about life in a new way.

Although it sounds brutal, sometimes you need to cut ties or reduce time spent, with the negative individuals in your life. In my younger days I had several friends who came to me for advice regarding relationships (before I officially became a Life Coach) which was fine, but when this is the ONLY conversation they want to have and you are literally just a sounding board, think about how this relationship is serving YOU. It needs to be a two-way street. If they walk away feeling better great; but are you now feeling down and overburdened?

3. Getting stuck in the past and future too much.

Spending much of your time in the past and reliving old painful memories, conflicts, missed opportunities and so on can hurt.

Spending much of your time in the future and imagining how things could go wrong at work, in your relationships and with your health can create self-doubt and cause anxiety and fear.

Not being present in your can lead to missing out on a lot of wonderful experiences. No good if you want to be happier.

How to overcome this habit:

It is pretty much impossible to not think about the past or the future.

And it is of course, essential sometimes to plan for tomorrow and next year and to try to learn from your past. However, dwelling on those things rarely helps.

I struggled with this as I am an ‘over-thinker’! However, with adding just a few simple tools into my life on a daily basis I spend most of my time ‘in the moment’. I know everyone uses the buzz words ‘living in the moment’ and ‘being mindful’ etc, and I am aware that people can be put off, as they think they need to perform hours of meditation and mindfulness to achieve this. Let’s face it, who has time for this!!! I use a few really easy tools; the body scan that you can do anywhere (I do it for 10 minutes before I go to sleep or when I wake in the morning), ‘stillness’ and also when I have worries bouncing around in my head, ‘leaves on a stream’.

If you want any or all of these tools and techniques just email me at and I will gladly send you these free.

Whatever I am doing I try to be there fully and not drift off into the future or past. If I do drift off, I focus only on my breathing for a few minutes or I sit still and take in what is all around me right now with all my senses for a short while. An added benefit to this is you start to notice and enjoy things that you were oblivious to while rushing around in today’s busy existence, many of which can bring you flashes of joy hence ‘topping up our pot of happiness’!!

4. Comparing yourself and your life to others and their lives.


One very common and destructive daily habit is to constantly compare your life and yourself to other people and their lives. You compare cars, houses, jobs, shoes, money, relationships, social popularity and so on.

All this achieves is you pummel your self-esteem to the ground and you create a lot of negative feelings.

How to overcome this habit:

Replace that destructive habit with two other habits.

Compare yourself to yourself.

First, instead of comparing yourself to other people, create the habit of comparing yourself to yourself.

See how much you have grown, what you have achieved and what progress you have made towards your goals.

This habit has the benefit of creating gratitude, appreciation and kindness towards yourself as you observe how far you have come, the obstacles you have overcome and the good stuff you have done.

You feel good about yourself without having to think less of other people.

Be kind.

In my experience, the way you behave and think towards others seems to have a big, big effect on how you behave towards yourself and think about yourself.

Judge and criticise people more and you tend to judge and criticise yourself more (often almost automatically).

Be kind to other people and you tend to be more kind and helpful to yourself.

Focus on the positive things in yourself and in the people around you. Appreciate what is positive in yourself and others.

This way you become more OK with yourself and the people in your world instead of ranking them and yourself and creating differences in your mind.

No matter what you do you can pretty much always find someone else in the world that has more than you or are better than you at something. There are plenty of people like that in my case, but I never consider it as I accept myself as I am and appreciate everything that’s good in my life. Positive affirmations can help with this, please see the previous blog in relation to this.

5. Limiting life because you believe the world revolves around you.

Do you think that the world revolves around you so you hold yourself back because you are afraid of what people may think or say if you do something that’s different or new? If so then you are putting big limits on your life. This results in you becoming less open to trying new things and growing.

You can think that the criticism and negativity you encounter is about you or that it is your fault all the time (while it in reality could be about the other person having a bad week or you thinking that you can read minds).

How to overcome this habit:

Realise people don’t care too much about what you do.

They have their hands full with worrying about their own lives and what people may think of them instead. Yes, this might make you feel less important in your own head. But it also sets you free a bit more if you’d like that.

Focus outward.

Instead of thinking about yourself and how people may perceive you all the time, focus outward on the people around you. Listen to them and help them.

This will help you to raise your self-esteem and help you to reduce that self-centered focus.

Letting go of the opinions of others is a major part of self-development and at the heart of everything that I do. In my New Life, New Love, New You programme we address this head-on. Clients soon realise that their lives are run, quite often by others! They do what others think they are capable of which limits their life and self-development severely, they think like their peers (so as not to stand out) and ‘tow the line’ that we all think society expects of us. But consider this for a moment; what if we do ONLY what we want to do, what WE think we are capable of, create and take our OWN path in life. Sounds scary right? But that’s where LIFE WITHOUT LIMITS exists! Go on, take the plunge. My clients do and they never look back!!

6. Overcomplicating life.

Life can be pretty complicated. This can create stress and unhappiness. But much of this is often created by us.

Yes, the world may be becoming more complex but that doesn’t mean that we cannot create new habits that make our own lives a bit simpler.

How to overcome this habit:

Having your attention all over the place.

I replaced this habit with just doing one thing at a time during my day, having a small to-do list with 2-3 very important items and writing down my most important goal on a whiteboard that I see easily each day. The sense of satisfaction when you tick these off leads to a sense of happiness in itself!

Having too much stuff.

I honestly think our homes reflect the state of our minds. Often people who are stressed, in a low mood or depressed have messy or chaotic houses. I find keeping an uncluttered home gives me an uncluttered mind (plus it’s less to dust!)

Creating relationship problems of any kind in your mind.

Reading minds is hard. So, instead, ask questions and communicate.

This will help you to minimise unnecessary conflicts, misunderstandings, negativity and waste of time and energy. My own relationship improved tenfold when I started to do this as again I was guilty of overthinking a situation or second-guessing what he was thinking which never ended well.

Getting lost in the inbox.

I spend less time and energy on my email in-box by just checking it 2 or 3 times a day and writing shorter emails. The same goes for social media. How can you be present and focused on your own life with constant external interruptions?

Here’s the next step…

Now, you may think to yourself:

“This is really helpful information. But what’s the easiest way to put this into practice and actually make a real change with these destructive habits in my own life?”

Simple…contact me and we will arrange a 100% free zoom call where you can tell me which of these impact your life and I can provide tailored responses to help you start implementing them TODAY.

Why wait, what have you got to lose?

Also, don’t forget if you want the free tools and techniques; contact me and provide your email address and I will wing them to your inbox….

Love as always, Jayne


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