“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.
How do you realize that something’s become a habit, before it becomes difficult to get out of?
Psychologically, a habit is considered to be a mental pattern. A system that the brain/mind is accustomed to follow subconsciously, through consistent repetitions . So, obviously, it’s not easy to break.
Especially, if you are as lazy as I am. Some habits are so comfortable that one simply doesn’t want to break them. It’s so easy to simply be pulled into another routine, even if’s not a good thing. It’s a habit, something we’re so accustomed to it. Why change now? And doing something else requires hard-work and hard-work requires energy. Which I lack for this particular act. Riiiight.
Waking up late is not necessarily a choice for everyone. For some it’s become a habit to never witness sunrise or see the rest of the family members leave home for work. It’s become a habit to sleep late, even if there is nothing worthwhile to do, the creative mind comes up with innumerable ways to procrastinate and stay awake.
Same goes for change, one is so used to whatever routine is present, whether one likes it or not. But change? A big NO! It’s the case of ‘I’d rather stay under the rock because it’s cosy here than venture into the world and look at the fields and lakes beyond’. Sigh.
And being lazy is the worst.. it’s such a self-destructive habit. A lazy person doesn’t even realize that he’s lazy. Such is the level of comfort. Hard-work is like oil on water to a lazy person. Simply doesn’t gel.
These very habits when out of control, can turn into addictions and obsessions. Almost everyone I know has been an internet addict at some point or the other. As long as it’s just a phase, no biggie. But when it begins to slip out of control, things get ugly. There are mood swings, frustrations, depression and immense fatigue.
Is it really worth it? What habits do we have? How good are they for us and how do they affect the people around us? We get irked sometimes when someone has a bad habit that we don’t approve of. What about our own habits? How many of them are good or productive or at least do nothing negative to anyone?
Are you happy with all the habits that you have? What about the ones that you think can be altered a bit or changed completely? When a habit becomes ingrained and we are totally comfortable, then we automatically fight against change. Most times, it’s an involuntary reaction. Like when you are habituated to defending yourself constantly; everything someone else says keeps you on guard too. That’s not healthy.
So now what? Where to start? How to change? Is change really required, when it’s so comfortable right now? And what if… blah blah blah ? All the scary, idiotic, nonsensical, logical what ifs will always be present. The important thing is to prioritize and to understand what the habits are doing and will end up doing.
Sometimes it’s easy to get rid of a habit, but most times it requires hard work. There’s no hard and fast rule as to how you can develop a new habit or get rid of an old one. But I remember being told often that if you want to cultivate something as a habit, keep doing it for 21 days or at least 15 days straight. And don’t stop after the second or third day. That’s very important. It actually works.
P.S. Frankly, my inspiration was denying me my creative rights, but I decided to set a habit for this blog. Makes me happy.