Comparing yourself or your situation to others can bring you down. Whether you see yourself as better- or worse-off doesn’t matter; it works both ways. You’d expect to feel bad if you see yourself as falling short or missing out, but surprisingly, being better off or more fortunate can produce negative feelings too!

If you really want to nurture unhappiness, compare yourself with others as often as possible, you’ll soon see the effect.

We are bombarded daily with information which is supposed to inspire us to act in a certain way (it’s called ‘selling’). Wishing and hoping for things is also a hopeless way to go if feeling happy is important to you. There are just too many many things and possibilities out there. You’ll never get everything you could have had, nor do all you could have (if that’s important to you).

Do this wishing and hoping properly and you can foster all sorts of negative feelings from inadequacy to anger. There’s enough here to keep a person on the back foot for a lifetime.

Pining for something you’ve lost or missed out on is also an effective way of keeping unhappiness alive. You have to take care with this one, lest the flickering flame of loss ignites a burning desire to learn from the loss and move on. Keep it damped down by sharing it with others and you’ll do well at dragging unhappiness around with you.

These three habits are just a starting point. If unhappiness is your goal there are many more things you could do to keep yourself down, failure for example, or judging yourself by the standards of others.

The great thing about these three, is that you don’t have to succeed at them; just TRYING can produce negative results. Failure is simply evidence of inadequacy.