We've all been on the receiving end of bad advice. It might have been well-intentioned, but that means absolutely nothing to us. As a result, we forcefully resist rolling our eyes, and we wonder when someone will actually deliver something useful.
However, before accepting that you've hit rock bottom, it's time to put down the shots (at least until it gets dark out) and give these seemingly worn-out suggestions a shot instead. Here are three clichéd pieces of advice that actually aren't bullsh*it:
1. Engage in mindfulness.
I'll be honest. When I first learned about the concept of mindfulness, I was convinced that it was overhyped and even a little bit ridiculous.
Mindfulness is defined as the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something. When we practice mindfulness, our thoughts tune into what we're sensing in the present moment rather than rehashing the past or imagining the future.
As I sat and pondered this definition, I thought to myself, "So what? I can't just snap my fingers and magically start living in the moment."
While it's true that being mindful is something we have to develop over time, what we can do is recognize these instances when we are not fully "there." Our mind is somewhere else because we are either focusing on where we want to be or where we were. There's nothing wrong with planning for the future or reflecting on the past, but it is problematic when we aren't giving our full attention to what is right in front of us.
So despite my skepticism, I decided to give mindfulness a chance. I began to fully recognize moments where I was running on the treadmill and manically stressing out about my upcoming work week. I noticed that when I was out at the bar with friends, all I could think about was my huge to-do list I had to tackle on Sunday.
Many of us are chronic over-thinkers, and that's always going to be a huge part of who we are. However, simply telling yourself to snap out of it and enjoy the moment from time to time can have more influence than you might expect.
So before writing off mindfulness, consider the effect it might have on your stress level. You'll likely realize that how often you think about your problems is a problem in and of itself.
2. Keep yourself busy to distract yourself.
It doesn't matter what you are trying to distract yourself from. It could be a breakup, a fight with a best friend or a family issue. Regardless of what it is, you have probably heard at some point or another that it's important to keep yourself occupied to avoid staying fixated on it.
Unfortunately, I personally identify myself as a dweller. I'm not one to let things go easily, and instead, I drive myself insane by thinking about it obsessively.
Growing up, my mom would always tell me to "go outside and get some fresh air" when I was in one of my moods. She was convinced that staying cooped up in my room would just make me more upset.
The thing is, I never believed her and thought she was just giving stereotypical mom advice. I thought to myself, "Why would going outside help anything? Why can't I just let myself sit here and be sad?"
As I grew older, I finally began to fully appreciate the notion of keeping myself busy. When I am upset about something in my personal life, it is critical for me to find purpose elsewhere.
That's why I love to write. There's really nothing better than finding out that people can appreciate and relate to my articles, and in turn, helping others helps me.
So, whatever your hobby may be, take it up a notch during these weird times when you're not really feeling like yourself. The less time you sit there staring at the wall feeling sorry for yourself, the more you'll remember that this situation doesn't have to impact your daily actions.
That relationship or job may have been a significant part of your life, but it wasn't your whole life. Diverting your energy into an activity that makes you consistently happy will remind you of that.
3. Life is a journey, not a destination.
At one point in my life, I truly believed that I would never find an occupation that was right for me. I knew I had a passion for writing, but I had no idea where to start. After multiple job rejections and mental breakdowns, I finally ended up getting an internship that turned into a permanent career.
I absolutely love my job working in public relations for an association management company. The job incorporates content writing, social media management and strategic communications. I couldn't envision myself anywhere else.
People always say that I'm lucky to have landed a first job that fits right into what I want to ultimately do. That's why I always remind them of how long it took me to get there.
Those endless job-searching days were miserable and anxiety-provoking at the time, but I'm now strangely thankful for the struggle. In addition to finally understanding that the seemingly clichéd phrase, "patience is a virtue," it truly showed me that how we get there is more important than where we end up.
Setbacks will test your willpower and resiliency, but we need them to build character. So, next time you catch yourself thinking, "What's the point? I should just give up now," don't.
It's not because I'm telling you it's worth it in the end, but it's because what you learn along the way will set you up for success in the long term. Isn't that what we all really strive for?