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20 Simple Ways To Fall In Love With Your Life Again

20 Simple Ways To Fall In Love With Your Life Again

Think about the best phase of your life.  What did it look like?  What made it different?  Somewhere in the mix of life, the colors can lose their brilliance.  No worries…it happens to the most of us.  Here are 20 things you can do to add some pizzaz into your life.  Warning: these suggestions are extremely easy to implement and have the power to change your outlook!

1. Take a walk through the park

Find a nice park around you and just take a stroll.  As cliche as it sounds, it might just add a spring to your step.  Bring yourself back to the simplicity of life by walking through a non-commercialized zone.  Soak in the greenery and fill your lungs with fresh air.

2. Set a measurable goal for time of silence

This is a bit crazy…but we really do have to set apart time for silence.  The world is getting louder and louder, so we have to be intentional about giving our bodies silence daily.  Start small and ease yourself into it.  Set a timer for 15 minutes so you don’t have to think about when to stop.  Quiet your thoughts and sit or lie down in a wakeful state of silence.

3. Eat 2 more servings of vegetables than usual

We all know that we feel better when we eat well, so give your body a boost.  Pick a day of the week and add 2 more servings of vegetables than you normally would.  Don’t get too ambitious if this is not natural for you.  Stick to the extra servings just once a week.  Then, after it’s a weekly habit, you can a day at a time.

4. Eat something indulgent on purpose (guilt-free)

There’s always some part of us that wants to indulge in a sweet dessert or less-than-healthy treat.  I just ate a Key-Lime Cheesecake.  I worked hard today and gave myself a treat.  Keep it special.  Know you will only do this occasionally and enjoy the treat.

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5. Watch a comedy

Life is too serious sometimes.  Watch outrageous comedy.  Step outside your situation and watch life from the lens of a comedian.  Find the humor in the mundane.

6. Learn how to bake

Baking requires meticulous technique and whimsical imagination.  Immerse yourself in something that will work your brain in a different way and then make someone else happy with the things you’ve created.

7. Build something with your hands

Just like baking, any kind of craft made with your hands injects a very organic energy into your life.  Find a project that does not require much time or energy, preferably something you can complete in a couple hours.  There’s an innate need to create in all of us.

8. Make a list

This one is a bit more concrete and practical.  Make a list of things that make you feel stuck and see what you can eliminate.  Do this twice a year and whenever you feel stuck and stale.  Some factors are out of our control, but there are some things we can change.  So we should.

9. Call an old friend

What was the best friend era you ever had?  Call one of those friends.  Connect over the phone.  In this digital age, it is so special to actually receive a call from an old friend.  Get nostalgic and lose yourself a bit.  It might even inspire a spark in you.

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10. Forgive someone

This is so powerful.  Do you hold any grudges?  Free yourself.  That negative energy does not serve you.  Release that power and don’t worry about the other person.

11. Do something completely selfless

Focus on someone else.  When you help others, you benefit too.  Yes, you do need to make sure that you are healthy, but you don’t need to be perfect to help others.  Just a little act of selflessness can ripple many other kind acts.

12. Create a safe space

Where do you go when you feel drained, exhausted, upset, or happy?  Find a physical space in your home that will absorb all these emotions.  It doesn’t have to be fancy, just somewhere you can peel back the layers and just be.

13. Get a new Duvet Cover or Comforter

Home design shows have put a reno bug in all of us.  Unfortunately, we can’t renovate our homes every couple years.  What’s the next best thing?  Freshen up your space with things that change the landscape of your room.  Try a fresh new duvet cover, shower curtain, or towels.  A $100 solution to hold you over till the next big change.

14. Try a new food

My grocery bags look the same week after week.  I have to go out of my way to get some new flavors on my tastebuds.  Keep life interesting.  Try one new food every week.  A snack, take out, whatever you want.  Expand your palate.

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15. Watch a documentary

Get immersed in something bigger than yourself.  Find a cause or phenomenon that interests you and then binge watch about it.  You just never know what it will lead to.

16. Join a Book Club

Even if you’re not a big reader, it’s good to hear other people’s perspectives on the same work of art.  Choose a group and remember that you are not committed for life.  Just try it.

17. Clear out your closet

Cleanse the staleness out of your life starting from the 10 year old pants you never wear.  Remove unused clothing every 6 months.  Make it a habit not to purchase more hangers when you buy new clothing.  Maintain the size of your wardrobe by getting rid of something when you add an item.

18. Keep your counters clean

It’s so easy to place something on an empty countertop.  Resist the urge to clutter your space.  Make it a goal to remove any non permanent items (like mail) every day or every couple days, at the most.

19. Cut Down Your Daily Goals

Do you get overwhelmed with all you’d like to do?  Most people don’t do all they’d like to because of overwhelm paralysis.  Try this for a month.  Just focus on 1 goal for each day (other than daily tasks).  What is the one thing you can focus on today.  When you make a goal, remember to keep it measurable and specific.  Small goals will help you get to your larger goals.

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20. Smile

Often and everywhere.  Smile because there is a lot to be thankful for.  Smile because you are alive.  Smile because you can brighten another’s day.  Of course, smiling’s best friend is laughter, so laugh often, too.

What do you think?  Which one of these will you start doing this week?  If you start feeling really good about your life again, just smile.

Featured photo credit: Mitya Ku via flickr.com

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Last Updated on June 24, 2019

Why Social Media Might Be Causing Depression

Why Social Media Might Be Causing Depression

A study [1] published in Depression and Anxiety found that social media users are more likely to be depressed. This was just one of the huge number of studies linking social media and depression[2] . But why exactly do platforms like Facebook and Instagram make people so unhappy? Well, we don’t know yet for sure, but there are some explanations.

Social Media Could Lead to Depression

Depression is a serious medical condition that affects how you think, feel, and behave. Social media may lead to depression in predisposed individuals or make existing symptoms of depression[3] worse explains[4] the study above’s senior author Dr. Brian Primack. So, the problem may not be in social media per se, but how we use it.

Signs You’re Suffering From “Social Media Depression”

If you feel like social media is having a negative impact on your mood, then you may be suffering from “social media depression.” Look for symptoms like:

• low self-esteem,

• negative self-talk,

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• a low mood,

• irritability,

• a lack of interest in activities once enjoyed,

• and social withdrawal.

If you’ve had these symptoms for more than two weeks and if this is how you feel most of the time, then you are likely depressed. Although “social media depression “is not a term recognized in the medical setting, social media depression seems to be a real phenomenon affecting around 50% of social media users. As explained in a review study[5] published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, if a person has a certain predisposition to depression and other mental disorders, social media use may only worsen their mental health.

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Social Media Could Crush Self-Esteem

We know that social media and depression are in some way linked, but why is this so? Well, according to Igor Pantic, MD, Ph.D.[6], social media use skews your perception about other people’s lives and traits. To explain this further, most people like to portray an idealized image of their lives, personal traits, and appearance on sites like Facebook and Instagram. If you confuse this idealized image with reality, you may be under the false impression that everyone is better than you which can crush your self-esteem and lead to depression. This is especially true for teens and young adults who are more likely to compare themselves to others. If you already suffer from low self-esteem, the illusion that everyone has it better off than you will just make you feel worse.

Causing Social Isolation and Other Negative Emotions

Another commonly cited reason for the negative impact of social media on mental health is its link with social isolation. Depressed people are more likely to isolate themselves socially and chose only to interact indirectly through social media platforms. But communication online tends to be superficial and is lacking when compared to real-life interaction explains Panic. What this means is not that social media leads to isolation but the other way around, possibly explaining why we find so many depressed persons on these sites.

Lastly, social media use may generate negative emotions in you like envy, jealousy, dislike, loneliness, and many others and this may worsen your depressive symptoms.

Why We Need to Take This Seriously

Both depression and social media use are on the rise according to epidemiological studies. Since each one has an impact on the other, we have to start thinking of healthier ways to use social media. Teens and young adults are especially vulnerable to the negative impact of social media on mental health.

Advice on Social Media Use

Although these findings did not provide any cause-effect explanation regarding Facebook and depression[7], they still do prove that social media use may not be a good way to handle depression. For this reason, the leading authors of these studies gave some suggestions as to how clinicians and people can make use of such findings.

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One suggestion is that clinicians should ask patients about their social media habits. Then they can advise them on how to change their outlook on social media use or even suggest limiting their time spent on social media.

Some social media users may also exhibit addictive behavior; they may spend too much time due to compulsive urges. Any compulsive behavior is bound to lead to feelings of guilt which can worsen depressive symptoms.

Having Unhealthy Relationship with Social Media

If you feel like your relationship with social media is unhealthy, then consider the advice on healthy social media use provided by psychology experts from Links Psychology[8]:

Avoid negative social comparison – always keep in mind that how people portray themselves and their lives on social media is not a realistic picture, but rather an idealized one. Also, avoid comparing yourself to others because this behavior can lead to negative self-talk.

Remember that social media is not a replacement for real life – Social media is great for staying in touch and having fun, but it should never replace real-world interactions.

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Avoid releasing personal information – For your safety and privacy, make sure to be careful with what you post online.

Report users who bully and harass you – It’s easy to be a bully in the anonymous and distant world of social media. Don’t take such offense personally and report those who abuse social media to harass others.

The bits of advice listed above can help you establish a healthy relationship with social media. Always keep these things in mind to avoid losing an objective perspective of what social media is and how it is different from real life. If you are currently suffering from depression, talk to your doctor about what is bothering you so that you can get the treatment you need to get better. Tell your doctor about your social media use and see if they could give you some advice on this topic.

Reference

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