Sacha Cabral (@sachacabral)
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Sunday May 15, 2016 – You get those days; I know you do. You spilled boiling water on your hand and suddenly you’re in tears. Uncontrollable sobbing. This is not about the boiling water. This is not about your hand. This is about a deep-seeded misery; a feeling that creeps up on us and slips in the back door. You don’t know it’s there usually until you have a “moment”. Something frustrating happens that should be manageable and you feel like it should be manageable. This is almost always a sign that something bigger is going on.
Sometimes these days stretch into weeks and months before we acknowledge how miserable we are. We don’t mean to be. We don’t want to be. We just are.
If you feel like misery has sublimely crept up on you, here’s a few reasons why it might be happening.
#1 You’re not taking care of yourself
No one is ever going to physically grab you from your chair at work and drag you to the gym. No one is going to force feed you nourishing foods and liquids to give you the energy you need. You’re not a child and you are your own priority. A lot of times you’re miserable because your body feels beaten up, run down, and not what it used to be. If you’re neglecting your health – whether physical, mental, or emotional – you’re creating a recipe for disaster.
#2 You consume too much social media
Here’s what’s making a lot of people miserable: social media. This is so counterintuitive because these online communities are supposed to bring people together. Instead, they’ve created a need to share and show – sometimes too much. Here’s what you have to remember: the photos, tweets, and videos you see on social media are someone else’s highlight reel. It’s not their whole life. Want to be happier? Put down your phone and love your life instead of watching other people love theirs.
#3 You don’t go outside enough
We have become slaves to the screen. We’re either staring at our computer screen, the TV screen, the iPad screen, or our phone for hours and hours each day. When is the last time you went for a walk with no particular destination? When is the last time you went to a park, had a picnic, or swam in the sea? Get outside. It’s good for your health and your happiness.
#4 The people you surround yourself with
You are a product of the people you surround yourself with. So if your friends are overzealous, gossipy, and petty, chances are you will be too. If they spend time whining about why life is so unfair or playing the victim game, chances you are too. Critically evaluate the people you’re giving your time to.
#5 Lack of focus
I believe a lot of us feel miserable just because we’re just going through the motions. There’s no destination in mind, no goal you’re working towards. When you’ve lost focus for your life you’ve fallen into the hamster and the wheel scenario. Take time to refocus your life and decide what you want.
#6 One dimensional living
I know a lot of people who go to work, then go home. Then they go to work, then go home. And this cycle repeats itself incessantly. Yes, I believe in putting in the work. Yes, I believe in hustling. But I also believe that your life cannot be one-dimensional. Fill your life and your time with people, places, and activities that give it depth and meaning.
#7 Negative thinking
Living in New York City, I see a lot of people down of their luck murmuring out loud to themselves. We think these are crazy people but the truth is we’re all a little bit crazy. We just murmur to ourselves in our head. There is a constant stream of chatter going on in our heads at almost every moment of the day. For most of us, these thoughts are negative. I’m not good enough. I’m not pretty enough. I always mess things up. You’re thinking affects your mood and your outcome in life. It’s inevitable. Play witness to your thoughts. Are they positive? Are they lifting you up or bringing you down? If your thoughts are negative, you need to actively work to reverse them.
#8 Lack of progression
Tony Robbins said the key to happiness was progression. As humans we hate standing still. We want to feel like we’re going somewhere. Decide where that somewhere is for you and make active strides towards it. Take a class, volunteer, learn a language. Take the initiative to progress your life.
Sacha C. is a life coach, writer and speaker who works with emerging entrepreneurs and dream chasers to monetize their talent. She authors a weekly blog at www.sachac.com. Her topics include entrepreneurship, marketing, motivation, and interviews with featured entrepreneurs.