When we look at our friend’s profiles on social
media, we see images, updates and posts about one thing; happiness. Very rarely
does someone share when they’ve had a bad day. They tell us about their
graduation, their birthday, their engagement. The problem with this, is that it
raises the bar for the levels of happiness we think we should be experiencing
every single day. Feeling envious of other people’s happiness can also lead us
to project onto other people. You might walk down the street and see everyone
else ‘being happy’ and feel angry that you aren’t experiencing this joy
yourself. The chances are, people look at you or your posts and think the same
thing. They see happiness and success, whereas inside you are feeling like some
of your joy has slipped away. You’ve lost something.
Maybe you feel like you’re stuck in a rut. Maybe you feel like nothing excites you anymore and you’re not sure why. Just like online medical websites, here we are to help you diagnose and treat your current distress. Today, we have brought you some practical solutions to help you change how you are feeling, because the joy still exists in your life; you just have to find it.
1. You are exhausted.
Sometimes when we are running around looking
after other people and completing our daily jobs, we forget to look after
ourselves. We often hear the phrase ‘burning the candle at both ends’ but take
very little notice. We go to work, keep up our social lives, exercise, look
after children and let our own health slowly slip down the list of priorities.
You may be the kind of exhausted where sleep doesn’t seem to cut it and you
wake up each morning yearning for thirty more minutes in bed or an even
stronger cup of coffee.
You don’t have to feel like that.
- Take more breaks: Throughout your day there is no reason why you can’t take five minutes for yourself. This could be doing anything; go for a short walk, speak to a friend, play a game or participate in a hobby. Try to take some time for yourself and whatever it is than rejuvenates you, do it; you deserve it.
- Look after your body: Believe it or not, your physical health hugely contributes to your mental health. Although you may feel like you don’t have the energy to look after your body (and it ceases to be your priority), looking after yourself and your body is crucial to fostering an energetic lifestyle. You can’t chop wood with a blunt axe!
- Find an escape: You may get so tied up in what you are doing that you forget the bigger picture. You always wanted to go surfing and you always wanted to go to Paris. You always wanted to sit on the beach in Fiji or drink wine in the vineyards of Italy. Although these things feel like they will take up time and make your normal life more stressful, it’s important to get away to relax and rejuvenate.
2. You feel lonely.
It is becoming easier and easier to contact
people instantly and in theory we should have more people around us than ever.
But, it’s not always the case. Some people may lack in a close circle of
friends, have a family that is more disconnected and broken apart or have moved
location, meaning friends or family are far away. Over time, losing the
connections that give our lives meaning can leave you feeling isolated and
unhappy. Having someone you feel understands you is important, and it is
crucial that it is added to your list of priorities to inspire happiness.
You don’t have to feel like this.
- Reconnect: Chances are, even though you are feeling disconnected, there are people in your life that still love you and would love to be back in touch or get closer. Make sure you find time for them; get a cup of coffee, go around to their house, call them on the phone. Maybe they feel the same as you. Try to deepen your connections by investing quality time into the people you love.
- Find a new tribe: It is very possible to feel lonely whilst in a group of friends. This could be because they aren’t really the people you should be friends with. Maybe they don’t share your interests or treat you in the way you should be. Join a club or frequent a place that you enjoy and really try to get to know people. You may be surprised about the results and you will soon find both quality and quantity of friends. (You’re brilliant they just don’t know you yet!)
3. You are bored.
So often people feel down
because they aren’t enjoying the events and tasks of their lives. For some,
this could be because they have lost the love and interest in their jobs. For
others, it could be their routines outside of work that are bringing them down.
Maybe, the excitement has gone, and you need something that is more
stimulating. Boredom is a frustrating emotion that means things we usually love
have become tiring or mundane.
You don’t have to be.
- Find a new hobby: There’s probably something that you’ve always wanted to do. Skydive? Paint? Yoga? Surfing? Shake up your life and give it a new breath of excitement, something that you can tell people happily next time you see them and something to look forward to at the end of the day or at the weekend. This could also help you find your tribe and people that you have more in common with.
- Pick a goal: Maybe your boredom has come from being unfulfilled. If you don’t have a goal at work or home, it can feel as though you are wandering around listlessly without a purpose. Pick something attainable and something you know you can meet and push towards achieving it.
4. You are doubting yourself.
Quite often, we shut ourselves out of certain
experiences because one this one damaging thing, doubt. Doubt manifests itself
in some strange ways, one being that we don’t want to look silly or stupid in
front of other people. Another way is that it stops us from going for things we
think we aren’t good enough for; a job, a person or an opportunity. Many people
suffer from self-esteem problems, which can make you feel like you aren’t good
enough. But here’s the kicker – you are more than good enough! You just have to
You don’t have to feel like that.
- Go for it: The one way to prove to yourself that you can do it is to just go for it. Jump in, throw yourself at it and see what happens. It doesn’t matter if you look silly and it will show you that there is nothing to be afraid of.
- Build up your confidence and self-esteem: There are so many ways to do this, that I think it deserves its own article! Here are a few simple methods: seek feedback from people who love you (they will tell you amazing reasons why), find something to be proud of (I’m sure you do so much for so many people) and look after yourself (there’s no better way to develop your self confidence than to feel excellent in your own skin).
5. You feel like you are stuck in the past.
In your life there may have been events that
have upset you or brought you pain. There are moments that all of us will
remember as being too painful –
Because of the lessons we have learnt from
these upsetting occurrences, we avoid things and isolate ourselves from events
that might make us happy. We may recall our teenage years when somebody told us
we weren’t good enough, or smart enough or cool enough and it brings us down
even now. Something may not have gone right before and we are convinced that it
can’t go right again; a relationship, a job or an activity.
It doesn’t have to be like this.
- Live for now: This may seem obvious, but it is so easy to get stuck in worry about something that has already happened, that we can’t change. Try to find something that makes you happy every single day.
- Think about what you want in the future: You are a different person than you once were, and you will no longer want all of the same things. Analyse what it is you want
Your vast life experience will have changed
how successful you are in certain situations and chances are, you will have
learnt from any mistakes. Try to work out what it is you want now and go for
it, despite what has happened in the past. You are a braver and better person
than you were then.
6. You feel overwhelmed.
Everyone knows the feeling of
being so overwhelmed by our everyday activities, that we feel like nothing we
do is successful. There are so many plates that you are spinning, that it feels
like you can’t keep them all going at once and at some point they feel like
they will all come crashing to the ground. This can become frustrating, because
it feels like you aren’t accomplishing anything because the tasks are too
large. The feeling of stress that comes from being overwhelmed is incredibly
unpleasant and can reduce the happiness that we find in our day to day.
You don’t have to feel like this.
- Take time to practice mindfulness: Mindfulness is becoming something that people are much more aware of. The basic principle of mindfulness is to be aware of your own body and all of the things going on around you. Contemplating why you might be feeling overwhelmed, will most likely lead you to pinpointing why. You might have overpacked your schedule, or you aren’t leaving anytime in your schedule to distress. There are many small mindfulness activities that you can do each day to open your eyes and calm your spirit – they are just a quick google away.
- Priorities: There may be some activities that you complete each day that might just be taking up time and don’t need to be done. Sit down and work out what could make the chop so that you have more time to spend on things you care about.
There are always going to be times when you are upset, hurt, or feel like the walls are closing in. In order for there to be light there has to be shadow and it is important that we recognize that you won’t always be blissfully happy. In difficult times, it’s important to try and increase your mindfulness about what is happening. Take a look at what might be going wrong in your life and then utilize some of these solutions to improve how you are feeling. Once we understand the root cause, it is much easier to bring back your excitement and joy. Take practical steps, don’t take it lying down and experience life to its fullest.
GET THE BOOK BY
Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books–written by men–barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.