“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.
I find so much of it so over-rated. When I was a kid I was told to always respect my elders. Why? Because they are older and more experienced. As I grew older, I began to have a dissenting view. I began to question why I should respect someone just because he/she is an adult or is older than I. What is so special about being grown up that separates one from the ‘innocents/kiddos’ and automatically makes one the recipient of respect?
Does being an adult imply that the person has all the maturities and thought-processes befitting an adult? What exactly are the ‘qualifications’ of being an adult? And who decides what the qualifications are? And why is it necessary to confine ourselves to what has so far been a norm?
What if I want to be an adult in my own right and my own way? What if I decide that I don’t want to follow the conventional modes of breaking into an adult- work, marriage, children, retirement and loads of planning and savings? And the flip-side of the psychological aspects of adulthood that I have so far observed- diplomacy, patience, mind games, word games, suppression of thoughts or imposition of thoughts, an attitude of superiority, loads of ego and unnecessary self-importance. Umm? What gives?!
I am losing respect to the whole adage surrounding adulthood. From experience I have seen so many adults behave like children mentally. Being stubborn, holding onto grudges and ego, imposing responsibility on the self and surrounding, expecting too much whilst the same is not delivered by the self, too much talk and very little action. The hypocrisy of it all is astounding. What minds must have worked to set up this whole system, eh?
“What’s wrong with our children? Adults telling children to be honest while lying and cheating. Adults telling children to not be violent while marketing and glorifying violence… I believe that adult hypocrisy is the biggest problem children face.”- Marian Wright Edelman
So, how much can you rely on an adult to guide you into being an adult? We are expected to follow our elders and believe what they say is true and right. What if it’s the exact opposite in certain aspects? When does one ever really grow up? We always have something to learn, so do our elders too, right? Of course, we need to respect them for experience that they leave us with, if not anything else. But that’s my point. Being an adult is simply over-rated.
Does being an adult mean that one has to always be responsible and worry about what others say? If no, then why is it expected of us to behave so? And if one dares to defy convention, one is outcast. So what’s the point of being an adult, when one can’t do what one wants completely?
Isn’t being grown up associated with mental maturity, understanding, acceptance, responsibility and some extent of rationality? Then, why the two faced demeanour? Of course no one is perfect, but why pretend to be?
Why not keep it simple, and actually just communicate, exchange views and ideologies, agree to agree/disagree and move on? The facade of it all is so irritating.
To all the adults out there: what makes you an adult? Frankly, I don’t know why I should be labelled as an adult or why anyone should be for that matter! We learn, grow up and experience different things at different times. We are adults at 20, only biologically, adults at 18 only legally. But mentally, I wonder how many of us are really ‘adults’!!
If a person wants to be recognised as an adult and be respected for it, shouldn’t he/she at least behave in some manner like an adult? It is so tiring to see the hypocrisy. To see the stress-ridden shoulders that are burdened with the expected and conventional responsibilities of adulthood. Why not simply be? Why can’t a person who has attained mental and physical maturity and is biologically grown up enough to make sane/rational decisions, live life the way he/she wants? Does the ideology of ‘live and let live’, apply only with regards to matters of world peace and religious conflicts? Why not in the real world of everyday, ordinary life?
Why can’t I just be me? Does being me and defying convention, mean that am not an adult really? That I still have a lot of growing up to do? Then please explain how those ‘adults’ who still have immaturity in them and lack certain other personality traits are so grown up?