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10 Ways to Have Happiness Back in Your Depressing World

10 Ways to Have Happiness Back in Your Depressing World

How many times have you heard the phrase: “Happiness is a choice?” Well, I’m here to tell you that it is indeed correct. In a world of horrific events discussed every five minutes on the television, radio and in the newspapers, it’s no wonder so many people are sad when the state of the world is as it is. It’s times like these that we need to view life from a new perspective, to not let outside circumstances, the media and other people’s negative attitudes affect us in our daily lives. With this in mind I’ve come up with 10 ways to bring the happiness back into your life, to help gain a better perspective on what is happening around you, and to help you to live a brighter, more vibrant life.

1. Always surround yourself with people who love you.

Sounds obvious, but it’s true! If you surround yourself with those who love, nurture and care for you, you will know that even through the toughest times you will always be supported. However, if you surround yourself with negative, soul destroying and energy zapping people who are only out for themselves, your world will look completely the opposite. When love is around you, you will feel it, and because of that you will provide the same love to others who may need it from you. Sometimes, it will be necessary to move away from those who drain you and bring you down. That’s OK. Each person we meet is there to teach us a valuable lesson, one way or another.

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2. Distract yourself by doing something you love.

What do you love to do? When was the last time you did something you really loved to do? If you’ve answered, “I don’t know,” to both of those questions, then I’d suggest taking some time out to remember what it is that inspires you, lifts you and fills you with passion. In a world with so much sadness we need to remember that following your bliss and doing something you love will have a deep and meaningful effect on you and those around you. It’s doing things you love that brings you joy and brings the happiness back in an otherwise cold world.

3. Smile, laugh and play as often as you can.

Try not to take life too seriously. I know that ‘seriousness’ is required in some circumstances, but if you continually treat life as a struggle or as something painful then it will continue to be that way. Let your true self come out by remembering what it was like as a child to be carefree, to laugh, to smile and to play regularly. If you can learn to bring more play into your life and the lives of those you love, you’ll see that life no longer has to be depressing or sad. Just because the rest of the world is like that doesn’t mean you have to follow suit!

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4. Be grateful for what you already have in life.

This is always so important and no doubt you’ve seen it many times before. Being thankful or grateful for what you already have in life is one of the main things to remember when living in a depressing and sad world. To put the happiness back in your life you have to be thankful daily. Remember, if you are reading this you probably have a roof over your head, or you have food to eat, or water readily available and most of all you are able to wake up every morning with good health. It is easy to take these things for granted, especially here in the Western world. So instead of worrying or wishing for things you do not have, always be grateful for everything you already do have.

5. Write down your thoughts to calm the mind.

Journaling or writing is a powerful way to unburden the mind of all the sadness or depression around us. So often those who get weighed down with depression or mental health issues feel that they have no one to talk to or they are unable to express themselves openly. Writing is a perfect way to help with getting happiness back. It can release any stress, worries or anxiety, and once you have written down your thoughts—however negative or sad they are—you will feel a hundred times better for letting it out. If you can write every day, putting down your thoughts and feelings and sharing them on paper, you will feel a weight lifted from your shoulders. This is one habit I would recommend if you want to be happier and healthier.

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6. Go back to nature.

Nature is beautiful and if it’s been a while since you stepped out in it and really took in its natural wonder and magnificence, then perhaps you should take some time out and absorb it fully. There is no need to go on a great hike or head miles away to truly embrace nature, just stepping out into your back garden early in the morning or late in the evening will do the same thing. Sitting and listening to the birds, watching as they go about their daily routines, feeding their young, catching worms or singing their wonderful songs will soon have you fully aware of their presence. It’s not until you really sit, listen and observe that you become in awe of how nature just gets on with life in the only way it knows how, one day at a time.

7. Do something for someone else.

A lot of what has happened in the world to make it depressing has happened because we have forgotten to love and forgotten to give. To get the happiness back in your life, it might be time to start looking at how much giving you actually do. When someone asks you to do something for them, how do you react? Are you resentful, offhand or plain rude? If you have answered “yes” to any of those, then perhaps it’s time to re-think how you are to those you love. Giving does not have to be about money, it can just be giving back time, or helping someone move, or lending a loved one a book. It can be anything. I’ve always felt that if you aren’t giving then you aren’t living because that’s what life is all about!

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8. Always look for the good in the world rather than the bad.

If you look for reasons to be happy and to get back to happiness then you will find them. So rather than focusing on what’s bad in the world, perhaps it’s time to shift your perspective and focus on the good around you. Remember that your perceptions usually determine your reality, so make sure they are good ones!

9. Trust your gut instinct.

You are the only one who knows and understands what is right or wrong for you. To keep the depressing world from hammering on your door, remember to follow your intuition and have faith that you are going in the right direction. It’s when you believe that you can survive anything that you will have happiness back in your life. Don’t forget that there are no mistakes in life, there are only opportunities to grow.

10. Be the change you want to see in the world.

The world may be a depressing state of affairs, especially when you listen to negative people and the media. If you want to see a change in the world and have happiness back in your life, then start changing your own beliefs and attitude. It’s when you change that you can become what you want to see in the world. If you are more loving, then you will experience that more within your daily life. If you want more happiness then be happy, if you want more money then give money—the list is endless!

So, what ways can you have happiness back in your life when the outside world appears to be so depressing?

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Paula Lawes

Paula loves people and connecting. She writes about communication and relationships tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on March 30, 2020

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

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1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

2. Be Honest

A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

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If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

4. Succeed at Something

When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

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6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

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In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

Final Thoughts

When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
[2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
[3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
[4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
[5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
[6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
[7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
[8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

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