20 Things That Wreck Havoc on Your Happiness

Happiness, that elusive butterfly we all chase, seems to flutter away just when we think we’ve caught it. While life is a beautiful mosaic of experiences, there are some sneaky culprits that have mastered the art of destroying our happiness.

One Redditor asked, “What is the number one destroyer of happiness?” Now, this thread has received thousands of responses, and we have listed the top 20 for you!

1. Expectations and Reality

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We dream big, and that’s awesome, but when reality doesn’t match up, we’re left feeling like we missed the memo. A discerning Reddit user commented, “A chasm between expectations and reality.”

Another person agreed to it and said, “I came here to say expectation. I am glad you nailed it. We rarely live up to our own expectations of ourselves, then have high expectations of others.”

2. Comparison

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One said, “’comparison is the thief of joy.”

Someone else added, “I rob myself of my happiness whenever I compare myself to other people. It doesn’t matter what it is, appearance, success, material items.. all of it.”

Thanks to social media, our lives are constantly bombarded with others’ highlight reels. We compare our behind-the-scenes with someone else’s edited spectacle, forgetting that everyone has their struggles.

3. Grief

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Losing someone or something you love, it’s like a sucker punch right in the feels. It’s natural to feel sad, angry, or even numb. But here’s the deal: grief is a part of life, and it sucks big time, but it’s also a reminder of how deeply we can feel.

A Reddit user wrote, “Grief. Grief over the loss of your loved ones, the loss of your future, the loss of your health, etc. Grief comes in many forms, but once it sets in, you’re in it until you get better.”

Another added, “I read this somewhere…”Grief is love with no place to go.””

4. Worry

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One Redditor stated, “I’m worried about how much I worry.”

Another person agreed to it and said, “Worry is the reason why I am ambivalent about ever becoming a grandparent. My daughter is indecisive about having children, and while I’ve never said anything to sway her one way or the other, I’d secretly rather she didn’t. I’m already a chronic worrier, and a baby would just give me more to worry about.”

But guess what? Worrying won’t change a thing.

5. Gut Feelings

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A discerning Reddit user commented, “Not listening to your gut feelings and being indecisive.”

Someone else added, “Following my instinct and understanding what I really want is making a huge difference in my life. I am still learning, but the more I learn how to be myself, the more I can trust my instinct and live my life to the fullest.”

Trust that little voice inside you – it knows things, man.

6. Depression

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Depression sucks the color out of life, turning everything into different shades of blah. One said, “Depression. You can be grateful but are not able to feel it.”

Another added, “This is my life, though not every single day is awful. The ones that are awful are truly horrendous though, and there are very few people I would wish this kind of life on.”

7. No Money

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Bills, debts, and the constant worry about making ends meet – it’s the pits. A Reddit user wrote, “Lack of finances”

Another added, “I’ve been financially well off for the last decade and, it’s the greatest. I’m not super rich, but I haven’t had to worry about savings or debt, take vacations when I want, eat what and where I want, basically haven’t had an ounce of financial stress in 11 years.

Being broke and scraping by takes such a toll. It just feels like slowly drowning and you can’t get air. Money might not buy happiness but it sure can buy time and eliminate the vast majority of stress in your life.”

8. Getting Paid for Your Time

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One said, “Getting paid for your time instead of your work. Nothing is more demoralizing to me than being forced to stay at a job when all the work is done.”

Someone else added, “That’s why I like working from home. My company doesn’t track that I’m at my monitor at all times, and I don’t have to sit in an office all day bored out of my mind”

Finding a gig that values your talents and passions is like hitting the jackpot. Life’s too short to spend it doing stuff that doesn’t light your fire.

9. Anxiety

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A Reddit user wrote, “anxiety and panic and the lingering feelings of derealization.”

Another person agreed to it and said, “Agree, but health anxiety makes it even worse.”

But guess what? You can change the channel. Breathing exercises, talking it out, or finding a stress-relief hobby can be your jam.

10. Thoughts

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Ah, the mind – a labyrinth of thoughts. While it’s good to contemplate, overthinking is like stirring a pot of soup endlessly. It achieves nothing but leaves you exhausted and frazzled.

A discerning Reddit user commented, “Our own thoughts. An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.”

One responded, “Yep, if only we could get out of our own heads”

11. Shame

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One Redditor stated, “Self-imposed shame. Where you beat yourself up because you think you might have done something wrong.”

Another added, “I was doing ‘something wrong’ because my cognitive function was degraded. But I had no explanation for it, so I ‘just’ blamed myself for being lazy, stupid, careless, etc. Turns out I was none of those things; I just had disproportionate difficulty with certain specific tasks that seem trivial to others.”

Shame about who you are, what you’ve done, or even how you look can be a major party pooper. But here’s the real talk: everyone’s got quirks and flaws.

12. Working

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When work becomes your entire life, happiness slips through your fingers like sand. Balance, people! Take a breather, enjoy some Netflix, and spend time with pals – that’s the real secret sauce of life.

One said, “Having to work causes unhappiness but more being forced to go into a field you loath out of survival or getting up every day to go work somewhere that your efforts aren’t noticed or appreciated, being undervalued or overlooked ..”

Someone else added, “I think it’s important to make a distinction between working for yourself and working for someone else. If you lived alone in the woods in Alaska, chances are high, that you’d be working harder than you do now, and the risks would be greater. You can’t escape work unless you have enough passive income to retire.”

13. Bad Health

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Your body’s your ride through life, and when it’s not doing so hot, happiness takes a nosedive. A Reddit user wrote, “Bad health ruins the lives of the individual and all around them. It’s true good health is everything.”

Another person agreed with it and said, “This is an underrated comment. As I get older, I appreciate this more and more as I see people my age suffer. It ruins finances, relationships, mental health, and hopes and dreams. It feeds despair.”

14. Yesterday

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One Redditor stated, “Yesterday. Or Dwelling on the past.”

One responded, “There is no changing the past. Holding on to past events, especially negative ones, prevents us from moving forward. This inability to let go can lead to ongoing unhappiness.”

We all make mistakes and say embarrassing things – that’s just being human! Learning from the past is cool, but dwelling? Nah, that’s just torturing yourself. Forgive, forget, and move on; the present’s where the fun’s at.

15. Tomorrow

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Now, worrying about the future? Guilty as charged, we all do it. A discerning Reddit user commented, “Tomorrow and worrying about the future.”

Another added, “Constantly worrying about tomorrow, playing out scenarios in one’s mind, and overanalyzing potential outcomes can lead to unhappiness. This overthinking can create a cycle of negative thoughts.”

16. Greed

Greedy young man hiding money on light blue background.
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Greed messes with your contentment, making you crave stuff you don’t even need. But here’s the secret sauce: appreciating what you have right now is the real key to happiness. One said, “In modern society, consumerism and greed.”

Someone else added, “I agree about greed. Greed often leads to a constant desire for more, whether it’s wealth, possessions, or power. This insatiable hunger can result in perpetual discontent and unhappiness because the greed-driven individual never feels satisfied.”

17. Control

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Then there’s this weird urge to control stuff that’s totally out of our hands. So, why stress about it? Life’s full of surprises, and trying to micromanage everything just leads to frustration.

A Reddit user wrote, “Trying to control things out of your control.”

Another person agreed with it and said, “Constantly worrying about things beyond your control, such as global events or other people’s actions, can lead to chronic anxiety and stress. This ongoing worry contributes to unhappiness and a sense of helplessness.”

18. Drinking Too Much

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One Redditor stated, “Excessive alcohol consumption.”

One responded, “This needs to be higher up. For all those around them, too. Family and others are affected too.”

Moderation is the name of the game; find joy in life without relying on the bottle. Your liver and your happiness will thank you!

19. Desire

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Wanting stuff is natural, but when it becomes an obsession, it’s a happiness sucker. One said, “Desire. Some desires are basic and practical, like the desire to eat and feel connected with others.”

Another added, “Not saying that desire is inherently wrong, but any desire beyond basic survival is ultimately the source of unhappiness. (i.e. If you desire nothing, then what is there to cause unhappiness).”

20. Toxic Relationship

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A discerning Reddit user commented, “Toxic relationship…..they slowly erode your inner happiness, and after a while if you hurt enough times, you just can’t be as happy As you were before.”

Someone else added, “Yes…Personally, every woman I met lied to me about their intentions. I’ve been rebound, someone they used only for one thing and had an abusive marriage on top of that. Then try to be happy after all this; already a war itself, so I always look angry.”

Surround yourself with people who lift you up, not drag you down. Life’s too short for drama and negativity.

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