Break The Cycle of Unhappiness

Dan Troyak

Dan Troyak

Daniel Troyak is Australia’s first full-time Buddhist prison chaplain. Daniel also offers Mindfulness-based Therapy sessions from his private counselling practice.


The opposite of wellbeing is ill being.


Every time you are uncomfortable, have unwanted feelings, and you don’t want to go there, that is ill being and we can call it suffering.


When I think of being unhappy, I think of things that have happened to me. I think about the unexpected curve balls life has thrown at me, and how I’m never really satisfied. Even when I get what I want the shine rubs off and I’m back at square one.


Why does this happen? We should know!


The normal way we think is I am unhappy, I am depressed, I am anxious and we naturally and instinctively look outward to find the problem. We look for something ‘out there’ like a person, a thing, an event. It’s easy to point the finger and think this is why I am anxious and unhappy.


Those things are not the reason we suffer.


We know we’re experiencing anxiety and depression and we recognise it. But it‘s shocking for us to hear that others are not the root cause. We are used to believing the theory that they are my unhappiness.


Those things ‘out there’ are merely the trigger. The drama, the person, the situation is the catalyst and not the cause.


It takes a while to comprehend because we are addicted to believing the outer world is my problem.


No one wants to feel negative emotions and at first sight we try to eradicate them. We’ll use any means such as drugs, meds, drink and other things to distract ourselves from what we are feeling. Often and years later we are still suffering, even when the event has long gone.


We own every emotion in our body and with a stable mind we can navigate those feelings. The mind is not fixed. We can improve our mental stability with tools such as mindfulness meditation to relax and control the mind. This is the most useful way to balance emotions.


The mind we are born with is not the mind we die with. What happens between life and death is up to us. The mind has incredible potential but it takes time because the experience of the suffering is so deeply primordial. It’s been there for so long, it won’t change overnight.


With practice, clarity happens. We need to know what is positive for mind and what is negative. What to grow and what to discard, much like weeds in a garden. Once you find a weed you should pull it out with the roots. Weeds grow as fast as negative thoughts and we should pull them out before they take over the entire garden.


What goes on in the mind is the problem itself. The anger itself, the anxiety itself, the depression itself. No one implants those feelings into us. We create those feelings of ill being by the way we think about the person, the object or the event.


We need to consider that statement. The way we overcome unhappiness is to understand it, to analyse it within ourselves. Instead of running from the feeling of suffering we face it. We own it, because we created it.


Everything in life is impermanent including emotions. It too shall pass.


In order to find a solution to a problem you first need to know the cause. When you identify the cause that implies the solution. The cause of our suffering and unhappiness is negative thinking patterns. Therefore, the solution is to improve our thinking habits.



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