What's the Origin of Unhappiness?

12 August, 2020
Have you ever wondered what the origin of unhappiness is? Why aren't we as happy as we want to be?

Have you ever wondered what the origin of unhappiness is? Where does it come from? Throughout time, experts have written many books about what happiness is and whether or not it’s possible to achieve. This gives us an idea of its importance. However, to date, no consensus has been reached. In fact, people don’t know what to do to stay happy.

But regarding unhappiness, people tend to feel the almost constant perception that something’s missing from their life.

Patching up unhappiness

There are many theories about suffering. They describe techniques to overcome fears, live in the here and now, and ignore your negative thoughts. But why does our human nature tend to do precisely the opposite?

As human beings, we’re happy to patch up our unhappiness. However, we don’t like to delve deep into the functioning of our emotions, thoughts, or behaviors. We don’t make much effort to understand the root cause of the problem.

A coffee cup with a sad face.

First of all, you must accept one thing: your human nature isn’t interested in your happiness. It doesn’t care whether you’re fully aware of every moment, invent irrational fears, or just follow your desires.

Human nature doesn’t care about your happiness, only your survival. But these two goals sometimes clash head-on. Humans are like a child with a hammer in their hand. Instead of building, the child hammers everything around them, including their own body. They don’t know how the tool works or what it’s for.

The origin of unhappiness

According to researchers, the origin of unhappiness lies in four basic causes.

We’re born with useful ancestral tendencies. These tendencies (mental structures, emotional systems, and behaviors) develop as we grow. Their purpose is to allow you to survive, simplify, organize, and give coherence to your outside world.

These tendencies take root in all of us, even more so when we observe them or suffer them during our life experiences. For the most part, they’re unconscious and automatic. If you don’t make good use of them, they can lead you to drift in a sea of emotions and affect your interpretation of the world.

Secondly, these innate tendencies are no longer useful in the world we live in today. They were useful before, in a time that was completely different from the present one. Nevertheless, we still think and feel the same way as people did in those times, which makes us confuse our true needs.

Thirdly, innovations overlap with existing characteristics. Therefore, our brain is made up of primitive characteristics, as well as recent ones. Although they’re all useful, they often try to take over and make a person become confused in their contradictions.

Finally, lack of self-knowledge makes us disconnect from what’s going on inside us. We’re pushed by waves that hit us from all sides and we don’t know how to take command.

A sad woman.

Our useless innate tendencies

According to Eduard Punset, behavior patterns from thousands of years ago have ceased to be useful. There are many examples of this on a physical level, such as wisdom teeth.

As humans, we’re still aware, as we were thousands of years ago, of what we lack and the mistakes we make. We also continue to covet what other people have, even if it doesn’t help us to survive. We have the same tendencies as our ancestors, but societies have changed.

99 percent of our genes are similar to those of our ancestors. However, the evolution of our DNA and its manifestation is, unfortunately, slower than our technical, social, cultural, economic, or scientific advances.

As we can see, the origin of unhappiness seems to lie in our useless ancestral tendencies. Although they used to have a clear purpose, in our current society, they’ve lost their usefulness, meaning that our lives often become disjointed.