We live in what are possible the best times to be alive in. Advanced technology, antibiotics, an abundance of food, shelter that is easy to come by. Even when you live in a poorer country, in a place that can be defined as struggling, or as “third-world”, you still don’t have to worry about the dangers our ancestors faced.
You have running water, electricity, and healthcare that all boosted our average life expectancy by several decades when compared to just two hundred years ago. And yet we are all terribly unhappy.
The comforts of modernity have taken their toll. Since we don’t really have to struggle to survive, since we don’t really forage or hunt to eat on a regular basis, we then struggle with restlessness, with ennui and with depression. The points below are common pitfalls that sap our happiness, that make us not be content.
Letting fear control your life
It’s one thing to be cautious, to actually think about your choices, and to plan for the future. But, letting fear control your life will just sap any joy from your life.
Think – is there something you want to, or have always wanted to do, and yet you can’t because of fear? Maybe asking for a promotion, maybe asking that special someone on a date, or perhaps simply traveling and breaking up your routine? Dare to be brave, act towards this kind of thing, learn to be brave, and you will see new opportunities just crop up wherever you go.
Living in the past
There is no point in living in the past. What’s done is done, what happened happened. Changing things that are already in the past is useless, it will do you no good. Obsessing over them won’t help you accomplish anything either. Try to let go, whenever you catch yourself pining for the past, stop yourself, try to focus on something else.
Not taking care of yourself
A big part of being happy is being healthy, both physically and mentally. For this reason, we suggest you actually take care of yourself, you work on your mental health, your diet, your physical well begin, all the while getting enough rest.
So, work out, regularly. You don’t have to break yourself running a marathon or lifting heavy weights every day. Simple do something that feels good, and do it on a regular basis. Yoga, Pilates, a martial art. Try to give your all, but at the same time leave some time to rest and recuperate.
You also want to take care of your diet. No need to live like a monk, but strive towards having a good dose of lean meats, vegetables, and fruit every day. Minimize alcohol, sodas, and fast food.
Then, it can be as simple as taking some vitamin C every day, right down to something as complicated as getting high-quality removable prosthodontics and advanced blood screenings. It all depends on your time and funds, but still try to give your best and take care of yourself.
Staying away from your passions
You need to nurture what you are passionate about if you want to be happy. This can be a job, a hobby, maybe a combination of both (like a side-hustle). Whatever it is, know that you will get more energy, more life-force, you will be happier and saner if you make an effort and carve out some time for your passions. Have some scheduled “me time” and keep it sacred.
Furthermore, if your job is truly mind-numbing, if it’s the kind of work that is not making you happy, we suggest you invest your energy into a new job, work on getting a new career.
Comparing yourself to others all the time
Don’t compare your behind the scenes to somebody’s spotlight. You never know what is happening to that ultra-successful person. Maybe they are living the life you want to live on social media, in public, but in private they might have issues with their spouse, their kids…
However, even if they are perfect – what does it matter? You are you, your life is your own, and there is nothing constructive in comparing yourself to others. We advise two things. First of all, minimize or completely throw out social media out of your life. The second, simply remind yourself that as long as you are giving your own 100%, that’s all that matters.
There are many things that can make us unhappy, external events and other people. However, what truly has the most control over our happiness, what really can give or steal our joy is ourselves. Not doing things that you are passionate about, comparing yourself to other people all the time, not letting go of the past – all of these things will sap our joy, and all of these things are to a lesser or greater degree under our own control.