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If You Always Play It Safe, Are You Really Living?

If You Always Play It Safe, Are You Really Living?

In life, we have to make many decisions. From what we are going to eat, what we are going to wear, what we are going to do today and sometimes we have to make a decision that can impact our lives drastically. We may need to make a crucial business decision, choose whether we stay or leave a certain relationship or even have to make a decision that could impact someone else’s life. We reach a crossroad and whichever decision we choose will put us onto an entirely different path.

Today, I found myself at a crossroad. I wasn’t really given much time to think about it and had to come up with an answer on the spot. I had a choice between keeping my 9-5 or jumping on a plane to Cambodia. I didn’t even give it a second thought, I quit my 9-5 job. Now some people may think that quitting my full time job was reckless. I am not telling everyone to go ahead and just quit their job, but before you judge, hear me out.

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Learning from your past

One thing I learnt while I worked in Recruitment, was that if you are great at what you do, make sure to make yourself known. Even if you aren’t looking for another role, you never know what could happen around the corner. If other recruiters/headhunters know about you, when a role pops up they feel you would be a great candidate for, you will be the first to know about it. If your company’s competitors know who you are, when they are looking for quality staff, guess who they’re going to contact first?

In saying this, I wasn’t particularly looking to jump ship. I had actually turned down multiple job opportunities this year alone. I was however always open to hearing about what was out there. This worked out in my favor big time. I am a firm believer of the law of attraction. You attract what you think. If you have good thoughts, good things and good people are drawn to you.

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Funnily enough as the words ” I am resigning” came out of my mouth. My phone had buzzed with a job offer. I was just thinking to myself, I really shouldn’t resign if I haven’t got anything secure lined up. Coincidence? I don’t think so. Synchronicity is the universe showing signs, guiding you in the right direction.

Making a decision

I could’ve played it safe, kept at my secure job and helped make someone else’s dreams come true. I won’t get into the logistics of it all, but bottom line is that I used to love it. I used to be motivated and passionate. Lately, it literally sucked the life out of me. It ate at my soul.

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I think I would much prefer to jump on a plane, go and meet the Buddhist monks, awe at the beauty of the temples, wander through the rainforest and soothe my soul by doing yoga and meditation everyday. Get away from the rat race we find ourselves in and be centered.  Ground myself, feed my soul and nourish my happiness, so I can come back and kick goals again. This trip is much needed. I believe it is important to take time out to do things that soothe your soul.

I think back to past relationships, when I was indecisive about whether I should stay or go. I was comfortable, it was what I knew. Leaving was so scary and unknown. I couldn’t imagine life without them. You know the drill. Do I regret leaving any of my exes? Hell no. To think of the opportunities, the growth, the experiences I have had that I would not have otherwise experienced, if I had stayed with any of them. It definitely rings true, when they say that life begins outside of your comfort zone.

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Look at anyone successful in business, do you think they got to where they were without taking risks? They took a risk to start a new venture, they took a risk to follow their dream. Do you think they played it safe? Now there is a difference between being reckless and taking risks, but I truly believe that if it gives you a chance at happiness, you should take the risk and just go for it.

Don’t have regrets

Life is short and happiness is priceless. If you fail, well you actually didn’t because you learnt something along the way and maybe next time you know better. And if you succeed? Oh, imagine that. So if you stay in the job that you hate just so you have security, if you stay in the relationship that doesn’t bring value to your life because you are scared to be alone, if you continue to do what is easy instead of starting that awesome business idea you have because you might fail. Is that bringing you happiness?

So the real question is, if you play it safe, are you really living?

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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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