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Last Updated on May 12, 2020

Why Does Life Suck So Bad Sometimes?

Why Does Life Suck So Bad Sometimes?

Life sucks. We are often faced with many difficult challenges that are completely out of our control. Besides the coronavirus epidemic we’re all facing right now, there’s also death, disease, bankruptcy, injustice, mental health issues, illness, and the list goes on…

There are so many more things that make life so hard. It also feels like they come in waves; one bad things happens, and then they keep coming, like the world wants to kick you when you are down.

So why does life suck sometimes? There are times when it has nothing to do with you, how hard you are trying in life, or how good of a person you are. Life gets hard, bad things happen, and sometimes it just plain sucks.

The fact that life sucks sometimes is never going to stop because life is filled with challenges and difficult moments that we simply can’t avoid. Even if you had unlimited money, fame, fortune, you wouldn’t be able to avoid the inevitable difficulties.

The Good News

If life is always going to suck and adversity is always going to be coming for you, you can’t control that.

So stop trying. You can’t control anything in this world except yourself and your reactions. It is time to stop focusing on the suck and begin focusing on the good in your life. Life is all about perspective, and perhaps right now you are choosing to obsess about the negative, the lack, the suck. This is addictive because we are biologically programmed to do so, to assess all situations for danger. [1]

We are biologically programmed to focus on negativity because it keeps up safe, and forces us to avoid things that may cause us harm or discomfort. We have evolved since the days of constant physical threats coming from wild animals or ominous sounds, but our survival instincts have remained intact. Because of this, we focus on the negative, and we now have to learn how to fight with the feelings that naturally arise from this.

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Since we are biologically predisposed to look for danger, this trait is exploited by the media to sell products to you. You can’t control that. You also can’t control the outbreak of disease, your friend’s poor choice to treat you like trash, or the price of food going up. None of this is within your control. Instead, it is time to let go of the fear mongering and focus on the things you can control.

What To Do When Life Sucks

You can choose to follow your Neanderthal programming and focus on fears you can’t control, or you can choose to focus on all the abundance you have in your life. We have never lived in a safer or more abundant time in human history. With that in mind, here are my top six ways to stop yourself from asking “Why does life suck so much?” and start embracing the abundance.

1. Focus on the Good

You have a lot going on in your life, and some of it is unavoidably positive. You likely have a safe place to sleep every night, people who love you, and unlimited access to food.

Instead of focusing on all the good things we have, we often focus on what went wrong, what we don’t have, and what isn’t good enough in our lives.

Society has set an impossible standard that encourages you to feel like you don’t have enough and that you aren’t enough. Relentless sales ads convince you that everything about you is flawed and can be repaired if only you purchased this one product.

Instead of focusing so much on why life sucks, spend time focusing on all the good you have in your life. Every day, write something good that happened and do more things that spread goodness. One act of kindness a day gives your brain a boost of oxytocin. It will also give the person you are helping a boost of oxytocin as well, and anybody watching you be kind also gets the boost.

Being kind spreads love and positivity, so start being kind and helping more with no expectation of a reward. Your life will get easier when you have your natural brain chemistry working with you.

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2. Express Gratitude

Another way to focus on the positive in your life is to express gratitude daily. Every day, find something you are grateful for and write about it, post it on your social media (for shared oxytocin release), or find a way to express it through art. Send someone flowers, or simply take a moment to tell someone how much they mean to you.

Gratitude is the antidote to misery. Gratitude costs you nothing and spreads more goodness into the world. The best part is that you can inspire someone else to express gratitude, kindness, and happiness. Gratitude and kindness are infectious and can help you respond when you’re asking “Why does life suck so much?”

3. Handle Problems Head On

Challenges that cause life to suck are going to keep coming, and they are going to hit hard. Don’t bury your head in the sand as that only leads to delayed suckage and an extra dose of anxiety.

When something hits you hard, don’t ignore it and hope it goes away. Grab a notepad, write out the problem, and then write down possible solutions. This will help you find the best solution for you. If you’re having trouble, ask your closest friends what they think. Ask them for some emotional support to carry out your plan if necessary.

Try not to create excuses about how you are busy or tired. Taking a moment to handle your problem head on will not only save you time in the long run but also relieve your emotional struggle when life sucks.

It will also energize you to move forward knowing that something has tried to knock you down but that you rose  to the challenge, took control, and defeated it.

4. Take Mental Health Days

Sometimes we experience real pain, loss, and suffering that make life really suck. The death of your best friend, the loss of your job, or difficulties in a relationship may present hard times that drag you down.

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In these cases, taking a day or more to stop and face the feelings can help you return to a sense of balance. Try to face your grief and know that no matter how inconvenient it is, it will take time to heal.

The world is getting more complicated, painful, and stressful, and the more this happens, the better you have to take care of yourself. We are overwhelmed every single day with information that inundate our brains to the point of collapse.

All this pressure means that something has to give, and often the first thing that goes is taking care of our mental health. We ignore our feelings because we have decided they are bad, and instead, we focus on our loss and sadness.

To counter all of this negativity, slow down, take a deep breath, and prioritize your mental health. Clear out all of those unhelpful emotions so you can feel more balanced. [2]

5. Think of Adversity as a Way to Grow

It should be no secret that many moments of growth and great leaps of personal development come from making it through suckage and adversity. Successful people will tell you that they wouldn’t trade their pain and their struggle, for without it they wouldn’t be who they are.

Adversity is a test from the world to you to see if you have grown enough to be able to face the things you want to achieve. You have dreams and goals that are out of your reach, and you get challenged until you grow into a strong enough person to handle the next level of challenges.

This is why it is so important to not only embrace challenge and pain but to ask it how you can grow and how it is going to help you be a better person. If the suck is just going to keep on coming, instead of letting it control you, challenge it and defeat it. In this way, it won’t completely suck, and you will get something out of it.

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6. Quit the Negativity on Social Media

Nothing promotes a negative, the-world-sucks mindset quite as much as the news and media outlets on social media. The world is struggling, but it shouldn’t all land on your shoulders.

If you want to feel like you are doing something positive, pick something you are passionate about and do it with all the spare time you now have not scrolling through negative news stories.

In the meantime, use less plastic, eat as local as you can, and do the best you can to live guilt-free. Unsubscribe to all the negativity and drama that the news and social media are constantly blasting at you, and you will immediately gain more peace of mind.

Conclusion

These are my quick steps to move forward when you start asking “Why does life suck?” You need to take care of yourself, and that may mean more than just buying yourself gifts, giving yourself half-hearted compliments, and or taking a bath. It may be necessary to give up the compulsion to listen to the news, make time to face your feelings, express gratitude, and focus on the good in your life instead of what’s lacking.

The world is all about perspective, and you can choose to focus on the bad or you can choose to accept that you can’t control everything that happens to you and focus on the good.

You are in control of your life and reality, so don’t let the suck overwhelm you. Take a moment to work out why life sucks so much in a given moment, feel your feelings, and make a plan to confront them. Choose to embrace the opportunity as a moment of growth.

The hits come, but when you get back up, make sure you are walking in a positive direction. One day, you will thank your struggle, for without it, you would not have found your strength.

Featured photo credit: Amber Kipp via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Jade Nyx

Qualified Life Coach

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Last Updated on September 29, 2020

How to Change Your Life at 60 Years Old and Feel Proud of Yourself

How to Change Your Life at 60 Years Old and Feel Proud of Yourself

Ever heard the phrase 60 is the new 40? While that maybe an exaggeration, it’s meant to highlight the very real phenomenon of our ever increasing health and longer lifespans.

For the average person who turned 60 in 1970, they could expect to retire at age 64 and live to age 70.8. For someone who turned 60 in 2010, they can very easily work throughout their entire 60’s and expect to live to at least 78.7 years old.[1] With the advances in modern medicine, lower rates of smoking and generally healthier lifestyles, our active and productive years can expand well into our 70’s and beyond.

How we choose to use this “extra” time will be determined by our current situation and our priorities for the future.

For some, their 60’s are a time to kick back and relax. They have worked for 30+ years, lived below their means and diligently saved money for retirement. They may also have sold a successful business, or been able to retire from a (increasing scarce) job that had a good pension.

For others, the prospect of retirement isn’t even a thought. Whether it’s a case of financial reality or just the psychological need to be productive, a continuing presence in the workforce is a reality for more and more of the 60+ crowd.

So how to change your life at 60 years old and feel proud of yourself?

Changing Priorities in Your 60’s

For most us us, our priorities change as we get older. Living for parties and excitement, what use to be called “working for the weekend” slowly gives way to working on the weekend and eventually working towards retirement.

By the time we hit our 60’s, a lot of us are looking to slow down. Health issues, either our own, our spouses or parents often come into play at this time in our life. This combined with having (hopefully) grown children, a paid or nearly paid off home and bit of savings in the bank. This means that you can start to trade long hours and stressful work situations for a more flexible schedule and more leisure time.

The key to making a successful life change in your 60’s is being prepared for both the mental and financial challenges you are likely to face.

Understanding the Psychological Challenges

Any major life change comes with its own set of psychological challenges. When that change takes place in our 60’s. there are some very specific psychological issues to be aware of.

Some of these issues are apparent and we easily recognize them. For instance, we’ve all heard someone say “When I retire, I don’t know what I’ll do with all that time on my hands”. While other challenges are more subtle and harder to quantify such as depression and anxiety.

While not everyone suffers with all or even most of them, here are come common psychological issues to be aware of:

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Anxiety

Even positive life changes can cause our anxiety levels to increase. Humans are creatures of habit. We develop routines that make our lives predictable and we rely on that predictability to give us comfort.

Now imagine that after 30+ years of having a relatively stable and routine job, you suddenly retire, get sick, or find yourself out of a job. The routine that you have relied upon to give you a sense of normalcy is suddenly gone.

In humans, the natural response to any major life changing event is an increase in anxiety. Symptoms and severity will vary from person to person, but you should always expect your anxiety levels to increase with any major life change in your 60’s.

What can you do about it?

Establish a new routine to replace the old one, this is the reason we have hobbies!

Gardening, golf, tennis, volunteer work all can help to get you back into a comfortable routine.

Helpful hint: Pick a hobby that has both a physical and social component to it. Both physical and social activity will help to lower anxiety levels.

Depression

Even the most happy-go-lucky of us become susceptible to depression during a major life event. In fact, when retiring, changing careers or even striking out on a new business adventure, both anxiety and depression can go hand in hand.

You may find yourself with a lot of excess “nervous” energy that you would have used at your job to meet deadlines and get things done. On the other hand, you may find that you have no energy and all and it’s tough to even get out of bed.

While everyone experiences everyday or “normal” bouts of anxiety and depression, it becomes a problem when these episodes become severe, or last longer that a few days.

At that point, it turns into a serious life threatening situation. It’s recommended that a person seeks medical help if they experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Feelings of extreme sadness, emptiness or hopelessness that seem to envelop you.
  • Angry outbursts, irritability or frustration, especially over small or normally insignificant matters.
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities that use to give pleasure, such as sex, hobbies or sports.
  • Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or hypersomnia (sleeping too much).
  • General tiredness or malaise, so that even small tasks seem to take a lot of effort.
  • Unusual changes in appetite, rapid weight loss or gain.
  • Slowed or delayed patterns of thinking, speaking or body movements.
  • Constant feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or self-blame
  • Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things (more than normal).
  • Frequent or recurrent thoughts of death, suicide or suicide attempts.
  • Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain, headaches or stomach ailments.

Dealing with the Financial Challenges

There are very unique financial considerations to take into account when making a major life change in your 60’s.

Depending on your situation, you may find yourself having to come to terms with a completely new relationship with money. Whether retiring, changing careers or starting your own business, chances are your income is going to take a hit.

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Part of making a successful life change at 60 is anticipating and planning for these events so you don’t get blindsided. The following is a list of general recommendations that everyone in their 60’s should consider.

1. Get aggressive about paying off debt

Especially credit card debt, it’s almost always at a high interest rate and, without any tax advantages, it just makes all of your purchases more expensive.

So if you are still carrying balances on your credit cards every month, it’s time to get those paid off.

Start with the credit card that has the highest interest rate, and then work your way to the card with the lowest rate.

These tips on How to Nix Your Credit Card Debt in Less Than 3 Years can help you too.

2. Pay off the house

If your home isn’t paid off already, after paying off credit card debt, this should be the next goal. It’s much less stressful going into a situation where you’ll have less income if your house is paid off.

You’ll not only reduce your expenses by not having a mortgage payment, but you’ll also have the piece of mind that comes with knowing that your home isn’t going anywhere.

3. Make a budget

No matter what kind of change you make in your 60’s — career change, retirement or becoming a entrepreneur, both your income and expenses are going to change.

Things like the cost of commuting, wardrobe expenses, credit card and mortgage payments are likely to be reduced. You’ll still need to budget for things like home repair and maintenance (how’s the AC unit or the roof?). Car maintenance and even replacement.

And don’t forget about leisure and entertainment expenses, after all, we all need to enjoy life. As a general rule, 30% of your budget should be allocated to leisure and entertainment expenses.

4. Examine and re-adjust your investment portfolio

This is where a good financial planner comes in. While your earlier investment goals were designed to maximize the amount of money in your retirement account. At this point in your journey, the goals have changed to providing you an income for the rest of your life.

You also want to protect the principal from unnecessary risks so it lasts as long as you do. A good financial adviser can help you make the change from a growth orientated investment strategy into more dividend or income producing assets for your golden years.

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5. Consider a change of address

Depending on where you live, moving to a new state might make financial sense. High tax states not only can zap your resources faster than states with lower taxes, but can often times make you get much more “bang for your buck” by moving.

Things like housing, personal property, sales and gas taxes can all add up to a significant savings in a low tax state. Places like Texas, Arizona, Nevada and Florida all have an influx of people migrating from the higher tax states on each coast.

6. Reexamine your insurance needs

A good experienced insurance broker is your best asset when tackling this task.

Do you still need that disability policy to cover your mortgage in case you get hurt? Or could you take that money and buy an annuity that would give you some extra income? What about the cash value of your life insurance?

Walt Disney used the cash value of his life insurance to start Disneyland.[2] Even your car insurance needs to be reevaluated. You can often times save money through good driving and senior discounts as well as eliminating your commuter miles.

Talk to your insurance broker to maximize the benefits and minimize the costs of insurance.

7. Consider becoming an entrepreneur

Roughly 1/3 of people in their 60’s decide to strike out on their own and be their own boss. And why not?

Children are (usually) out of the house, household and credit card debt is likely to be low, most people have some savings by this point in their life and often times they are at the pinnacle of their career.

With the prospect of any further career advancement unlikely, many see this as the perfect time to start their own business.

Now ideally, if you’re going to start a business, you should start 2-3 years before you plan on retiring. This will give you a chance to become established, build your network and income stream all while maintaining the benefits of your current job.

But even if you didn’t start early, you can still become a successful entrepreneur, in fact, studies show that older entrepreneurs are generally more successful than their younger counterparts.

So don’t think that your too old to start something, many successful entrepreneurs started businesses later in life. People like Ray Kroc (McDonald’s), Harland “Colonel” Sanders (Kentucky Fried Chicken), Walt Disney, Charles Flint (IBM) and many more. The only person telling you that you can’t do it is you.

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It’s never too late to start your business! Here’s the proof.

8. Consider becoming a consultant

If you don’t feel the bite of the entrepreneur bug, but still want to stay connected and earn money. How about becoming a consultant?

After 30+ years working in an industry, you’ve built up a world of knowledge, contacts and experience. All of which is useful and has value.

Doing consulting work allows you to have control over your schedule and, once you are established, it can provide a significant source of income.

9. Get a part-time job for more than just the money

Both entrepreneurship and consulting can take a lot of time and effort, but picking the right part time job can cut your expenses and give you a little spending money.

What are your hobbies? Do you like to golf? Become a marshal on your local golf course. Most courses will pay you a modest hourly rate and let you golf for free.

How about gardening? A part time job at your local nursery will not only provide you with pocket money, but also a discount on plants.

Whatever your hobbies or interests, there’s a part time job out there for you.

Conclusion

Whether you are changing careers, starting a business or retiring, big life changes are by their very nature stressful.

The great thing about being older is that we have the advantage of experience. We’ve been though other life changing events and can anticipate some of the issues we’ll face.

Becoming well informed, getting prepared and making a plan will insure that you can change your life at 60 years old and feel proud of yourself.

Featured photo credit: Ian Schneider via unsplash.com

Reference

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