“How can life be so horrid to me?“
“Why can’t I just have some peace?“
“Nothing is going right…. everything is a mess!“
“Will I ever be happy?“
It’s astonishing how common such phrases have become these days. What’s appalling is how often they are meant. Frustration and mild depression have become common-place amongst today’s youth. Let’s not underestimate the pressures of being young blood in today’s world. Peer pressure, pressure to excel, find a high salaried job, the frustration of not finding ‘the one’, not being cool enough, unable to score well in exams- despite preparing for weeks before. These are definitely challenging times.
So gravely challenging in fact that Rita finds it hard to sleep at night. Sahil doesn’t want to live with his family anymore and finds it hard to eat anything.Youngsters are generally tensed about one thing or the other – be it relationships, social positions, jobs, lifestyles etc- there’s always something to worry up the wrinkles.
Take a break really. It doesn’t matter what age you are, being so worked up in life that normal bodily functions like sleep and hunger are affected- is simply not done! If you find yourself being unhappy everyday, then it’s time for some major lifestyle and attitude change.
Everyone. Really. Everyone goes through crap in life and it just can’t be weighed or compared. But people get affected by whatever they are dealing with differently. So, if you feel stressed about not being a topper, someone else maybe stressed about not being able to pass. There are people who went through hell because they were not placed in college or were having a very hard time at work.
Everyone has problems. The reason that the majority aren’t sitting depressed at home is because they deal with it somehow. Their attitude carries them forward and helps them cope.
The following are some tried and tested methods of getting out of a rut:
1. Work, work, work!
Being involved in any sort of work is a brilliant remedy to get out of the lows. Not only are you productive, you feel happy for having accomplished something. It distracts your mind from whatever is bothering you. Just make sure not to stop mid-way. No matter how hard it maybe to start something, you just decide and do it.
There is something therapeutic about cleaning. It is an external healing process of sorts. Take any corner of your room or house and start de-cluttering. Throw away things that you really won’t use. Things that you ‘may use’ also need to go in the bin. Focus on what is needed. Give away old things you no longer need. Let go of the clutter. It will somehow help you feel better and make you happy.
3. Talk to people.
Call up, text or meet a friend or many friends. Just talk to people randomly. Find out how they are doing in life. Forget about yourself and mingle. Get in touch with some family members. Just talk. Being social will make you feel less isolated. Just don’t talk about your problems. You are merely socialising and trying to have a good time.
4. Share your feelings and thoughts.
Take time out to communicate for yourself. Some people go into a shell due to the all the ‘problems’. It’s just not done. Suppressing things inside will only make it grow. Think of your thoughts as water in a tub. If you don’t clear the water every few days, it stagnates and starts breeding insects and dirt. So clear that water or get rid of it. Share about what is bothering you, talk it out. Let it out.
5. Get creative.
Expressing yourself creatively is another marvellous way to heal. Be it dancing, singing, listening to music, reading a great novel, watching a good movie, painting, cooking, decorating, playing an instrument, writing a poem; create. Get artistic and make something. It will build your confidence that you can do something well and simply have a nice time by yourself. It’s important to be productive.
6. Do something different.
Something you’ve never done before or not done in a long time. Call out some friends and meet. Dress up- feel confident about yourself. Try a new class or a new hobby. If you have have emotional baggage, open the bag and sort through it.
7. Find the change.
Sometimes, feeling low becomes a habit. Everything around seems to go against you because you’re used to seeing things that way. Change. If everything is going wrong for you; then the common denominator is you. What can you change about yourself? Your confidence, looks, attitude, way of expressing/talking. Maybe your resume or field of study or job? Something needs to change, if you want to get better and progress. Only you can help yourself.
8. Stop being so sorry for yourself.
I think self-pity is one of the worst forms of ego manifestation. It just makes you weaker and selfish, callous and un-caring towards others. People who are constantly in a state of self-pity push others away. It’s repulsive to others and self-destructive to you. Think beyond yourself. No one has a perfect life. No one always has it good. If the going gets bad, you deal with it rather than complain all the time.
9. Look at the positives.
Be grateful for what you have. Stop concentrating on what you don’t have or can’t have. Focus on what you have and what you want. Change your thought process to acceptance and reality. Keep things simple and count your blessings. There is always someone better and someone worse-off than you. At least you have someone to talk to. At least you have the resources to make a change. At least you are educated. At least your body functions well. So many things are taken for granted. Start being aware of how good life is despite the transitory challenges.
10. Just start.
It’s easy to feel lethargic and demotivated. Only you can convince yourself to do something/anything. If you want some changes in your life, then you make it happen. No one else can. No one else will. Why should they anyway?
11. Get real.
Sometimes the mind makes an issue appear bigger and twisted in ways it is not. So, really think and consider your situation and the people involved in it. Things aren’t usually as bad as we’d like to believe. Be realistic or get a reality check from someone you can trust to be honest. It maybe hard to digest, but sometimes a wake-up call is necessary to bring life back on the track of happy and happening.
12. Don’t give up on yourself.
You aren’t all that bad really. And you can deal with this. Just calm down a bit and take charge. You can do it, even if its hard initially- keep trying till you have the life you want. And trust people. Believe in goodness and happiness. Life will get better. What goes up, must come down. Vice-versa too.
Family. Friends. I wonder why someone chose to label the relationships that we live with. Why it is even necessary to name what we feel and share with a few people in the world. I think the whole debate of family over friends and friends over family is pointless. No matter how we are biologically related or non-related, what matters most is the pull and warmth we have towards each other. That warmth or love or anything you may want to term it, doesn’t require the labels of society or the bindings of DNA.
The familiarity and level of comfort that we share with the other person is through time, talk, experience, incidents and simple love. There is definitely giving and receiving, but they don’t have conditions and ego. At least not in the same degree as most of the other relations do. That’s the beauty of the people we love and who love us. And that is so rare.
There are times when family sucks as much as friends/other relationships may do, when people you love, look up-to, hurt you, disregard you and do not accept you for who you are. They play mind games, hurl accusations, hide behind their ego and judgement to confront you and what not. So what difference does family and friendship have? You gotta live with the former no matter what, while you can simply let go of the latter. Not much solace there. Why the imprisonment then?!
I just think it’d be so simple, if we didn’t have the obligations to put up with everyone and everything. How nice would it be to talk and be with the people we mutually want to and love it. To share time with people who make us happy, who value us and who are willing to accept us for who we are and love us enough to help us become better people.
The more I’m growing up and meeting different people, and seeing people around me grow older, one thing is obvious- change is the constant. Be it family or friends- there is no guarantee to how long people will ‘love’ or accept you. Because turns out everyone is out there for themselves, so you are in, as long it’s within the comfort zone of the other, beyond it- you are nothing but a pest. So, where really does the ‘love’ figure? Where really does the ‘warmth’ feature?
I feel chained and bound to such obligatory relationships, where you need to be polite and nice for the sake of it, put up with people who pretend to put up with you. It’s so tiring.
Then I remember the other relationships that I have; with parents, best friends, a few relatives, friends and acquaintances and it makes me happy. The few people who let me be, who I accept, with whom spending time doesn’t feel like a burden or punishment.
Yeah, makes me smile.
So I guess, one of my resolutions for this year is to throw away [at least mentally] the people who pull me down, whose company doesn’t exactly make me happy, whose presence compels me to change myself beyond necessity. Goodbye to the negative. I neither have the time, the wish, the energy or space for such horrors in my life any more.
And I hope you will usher the new year with happy, friendly and loving people around you too.