All we really want in life is to be happy and sometimes, no matter how hard we try, genuine happiness is difficult to come by. Some days I take a moment to reflect on my life and find that I feel a little bit lost or unhappy. In doing so, I’ve realized that it’s no one’s fault but my own, and the things I’m doing day to day that causes self-negativity. So this one goes out to those who need a little pick me up, even if it is in a small way. Here are daily things that could be stopping you from happiness.
1. Social Media
The number one culprit of causing a self confidence drop is social media. In specific, I find Instagram to be the one that causes us to rethink our image, and not in a positive way. We pick and choose the brightness and filter of our photos because we think it makes us look better, or look more like a fellow Instagrammer. Instead, we should put down our phones for a while and focus on being perfect, as a reminder that everyone is beautiful in every way, and real life is not filtered.
2. Lack of Physical Activity
During the winter months especially, we have a tendency to lean toward hibernation and let ourselves go when it comes to eating fresh foods and exercising. I am not a stranger to this and in my first year, I really struggled with this issue. I had an intense workout routine and a decent meal plan. I let this go once winter and assignments hit, and that is the one thing I really regret because I fell into a state of unhappiness and I really felt like there was nothing to be proud of. That said, I took this mistake and turned it into a lesson and to this day I am sure that I take special care of my body during those dark depressing months.
3. Worrying What Other People Think
This sounds like the oldest story in the book, where your mother would say “who cares what others think?” Sounds simple right? The truth is, it’s not simple, and if you are anything like me, I still struggle with an overwhelming anxiety of saying or doing the wrong thing. I have this fear that other people judge me for any and every reason I can think of, and as I stopped and reflected on this, I realized just how silly it is. If you’re passionate about an issue, speak your mind, even if people disagree. If you want to wear something not so mainstream, do it. If you love Indie music more than the American Top 40, listen to it. Ultimately, expressing yourself in ways that make you confident will make you all the happier.
4. Over-Stressing Yourself
Regardless of what some may think, us Millennials really do work hard both in school and general life. We are constantly trying to prove ourselves to the world in every aspect, and this can often take a toll on our general well-being and happiness. I can speak from experience when I say that some days it seems impossible to even stop and think about anything other than school, work, or extra curricular activities, we really do need to take at least an hour out of our days to just stop and think about our goals and why we are working ourselves so hard. I think that the end goal can sometimes get lost, but it is important to realize that all this hard work is not for nothing, and taking time to ourselves is going to create a more positive atmosphere in order to enhance productivity.
All in all, what I’ve learned is that it is easy to feel down in this big mess of a life, but the four things I’ve described could be a part of that reason. Taking the time to exercise, put down the phone, and focus on ourselves could make a difference in your life, and I really hope it does.