There's one thing every human being wants in life and that's to be happy. And, despite that universal longing, 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 sometimes I find that I feel a little bit lost or unhappy.
What I've realized from these moments of self-actualization is that it's no one's fault but my own. There are things I do every day that cause this unhappiness and yet I persist. If you (or I) want to be happy, you need to cut out the things you do every day that feed that negativity.
So this one goes out to those who need a little pick-me-up, even if it's in a small way. Here are the things you do every day that could be stopping you from being happy.
1. Constantly Scrolling Through Social Media
The number one culprit is social media. This encompasses nearly every platform that causes us to compare ourselves to the glossy lives of friend, enemies and exes that they probably aren't even living.
The worst platform of all is Instagram. It 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 editing our lives makes us look better, or look more like a fellow Instagrammer.
Instead, we should put down our phones for a while and focus on not being perfect, as a reminder that everyone is beautiful in different ways, and real life is not filtered.
2. Not Moving Enough
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 figured out how to turn my mistake into a lesson and, to this day, I make sure to 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. You probably remember when your mother would say, “Who cares what others think?” Sounds simple right?
The truth is, it's not simple; I still struggle with overwhelming anxiety over saying or doing the wrong thing. I have this fear that other people judge me for each 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 that isn't mainstream, do it. If you love indie music more than the American Top 40, listen to it.
Ultimately, expressing your true self will make you happier and more confident.
4. Over-Stressing Yourself
Regardless of what some may think, 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 extracurricular 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 the end goal can sometimes get lost, but it's 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's 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.
Originally written by Christina Fragiskatos on Unwritten.