We often times think we have everything figured out in life. What career we want, our ideal home, our ideal family, our dream school, and the list goes on. But sometimes, you can wake up one day and realize you are miserable in the job you currently have, and that you are lost. Wandering, hoping that amazing job will appear and THAT will be your calling. But, if someone were to ask you what you wanted out of life, you have no answer for them. This can be TOUGH. You can feel as if your life has no purpose and you can adopt a nihilistic attitude. This can be the precursor for anxiety and depression. Luckily, I have found a few tips that can help get you moving in the right direction.
1.) Acknowledge how you are feeling and embrace it
Often times when we feel an unpleasant emotion, we try to deny that it exists in hopes of making it do just that, not exist. Most of the time this has the adverse effect and makes you feel worse and can prolong the amount of time you feel down. Instead, embrace that you are feeling lost at the moment and why you are feeling that way. It can also help to write this out in a journal. Describe your thoughts, your physical sensations at this moment in time, why you think you may be feeling that way, and if there is anything you can change that could improve this.
2.) Figure out what you love to do, and do it.
This is easier said than done. When was the last time you had fun? Like FUN fun? No phones, lost in the moment, smile ear to ear or just pure inner peace fun? What lights up your soul more than anything else? Find that and do it! It doesn’t have to be a job, or anything work related. It can be going to the beach and sitting while the waves crash on your feet. It can be hiking in the mountains with your dog by your side. It could be going out to the movies by yourself for a change, so you don’t have to listen to your very opinionated friends. The point is, do the things you love because we often lose sight of how amazing this life really is. I mean, you only have ONE! Don’t allow yourself to wallow in self pity over the burdens of responsibilities and the mundane parts of life. When you do the things that ignite passion, that is when you start to give your life purpose.
3.) Forgive yourself
Forgive yourself for any past mistakes. We are all human and we don’t always make the right choices or do the right thing and that is okay. Realize from every “mistake” there is a lesson. Take that lesson and move on. Stop mentally repeating the mistake or the day you embarrassed yourself or whatever it may be. Forgive and let go.
4.) Take some form of action
Is there a project or side hustle you’ve been putting off? Take the first step of getting that ball rolling right now. What are you truly waiting for? The right time? Take this time and make it right! If you wait for the “right” time, you’ll end up waiting forever. A year from now you’ll wish you had started a year ago.
5.) Complain less
Take a moment to self reflect on your daily thoughts. Are the majority of them negative? Are you the person out of your friend group that plays the complaining game? When was the last time you said something positive, or that you liked or enjoyed something? Sometimes a change in outlook can lead to a huge shift in emotions, for the better. Start looking at the bright side of things. Even play a game out of it. The next time there is a shitty situation, try to find any positivity out of it, or a lesson. The more you do this, the more you will appreciate life and all it has to offer.
6.) Take a step back from social media
When you are constantly bombarded by peoples highlight reels, it can make you feel like you aren’t doing something right. or even worse, that you are a failure. I personally have gone through this and disguised my unhealthy addiction by telling myself that I will only look at positive posts. But lets be honest, that almost never happens. You can set out with that intention but one or two clicks and its right back to where you were before. We don’t realize the impact this has on us and how we view ourselves and where we believe we should be at this moment in our life. We subconsciously compare our life to someones best moments and this can be detrimental to our self esteem and overall outlook. So, if waking up and immediately checking your phone is your morning routine, I challenge you to go a week without social media and see how you feel. You will be amazed by the difference and I promise, it will be there when you return. If you even want to return.
7.)Realize this is just temporary
Everything in life, and life itself, is temporary. These feelings will eventually pass. Someone once told me that life is like a bouncy ball, sometimes it is at the bottom of the bounce but it never stays there for long. And often times, the lower the drop, the higher the bounce. So, keep pushing through these feelings, implement some of the tips above, and realize that soon these feelings will have subsided.
8.)Speak to a therapist or friend/family member
Sometimes the feelings just don’t pass. This could be due to a number of things and talking to someone close to you or someone trained in this profession can help you get to the bottom of why you are feeling the way you do, and help you take the right steps to move forward.