Life isn’t always roses, but it’s nice to enjoy it as much as possible.
If you aren’t enjoying life, your work, family, and friendships can suffer. Identifying the reasons life is particularly hard will help you escape the thorns.
Pay attention to hormones
There are hormones produced by your body that send signals to your brain to make you feel good physically and mentally. The main ones are dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins. You feel these when you do something pleasurable, like playing video games, eating chocolate, or winning at a sport. But these can be imbalanced naturally and can result in the need for treatment for anxiety, depression, and stress.
Sleep, exercise, and healthy eating can help rebalance these, although supplements may also be needed. About a year ago, I had blood work done to show various hormone levels. My progesterone was particularly low, so I’ve been taking a hormone compound to treat that – and it has helped my anxiety and improved my sleep. (Of course, do this under the care of your medical professional.)
Limit screen time
Most people use their screens too much – I know I can fall into those bad habits. Too much screen time can cause sleep loss, eye strain, and social anxiety. It’s especially distracting right before bed, although that’s when lots of people (me included) want to escape and relax.
Take care of yourself
Taking care of yourself is important – and goes beyond rewarding yourself with a pedicure. Resting, enjoying hobbies, eating well, and investing in friendships help you feel better about life in every way. Moms or other caregivers also need to make sure they regularly schedule necessary appointments.
Of course, self-care can be hard with work commitments, social obligations, and parenting responsibilities. To prevent burnout, take some time for yourself to do the things you really enjoy, even if it’s something simple like taking a walk in your neighborhood, listening to music while you drive, or watching your favorite sports team.
Negative thoughts about yourself and the surrounding world can be damaging – especially when we’re believing lies. Your thoughts can form the wrong picture of yourself, and this can lead to depression and anxiety. To combat this, stay mindful of your thoughts with these exercises:
- Remind yourself what is true and lasting. This is where my faith is helpful.
- Tell yourself that things will change, and you won’t always feel like this. Feelings are temporary.
- Think about the future and how you can make positive changes in your life and for others.
- Note the day’s events and the feelings that came with them to understand triggers.
- List your positive attributes and what you like about them, and why you do.
- List experiences and moments for which you’re grateful.
If you aren’t careful, your thoughts can take over your life and build to the point where you don’t believe in yourself. These simple exercises help you understand the best qualities of yourself. For some guidance, a self-help book like The Lazy Genius Way can guide you in life.
Gratitude is the understanding that you have things in your life you shouldn’t take for granted. For instance, you can show appreciation for daily meals because there are people all over the world who don’t get enough to eat. Some people find the most effective way to practice this is to write down a couple of things each day and appreciate them. My family often does this together around the dinner table. The practicing of verbalizing the good parts of life helps us see how blessed we are – even on the hard days.
If these practical how-to posts are helpful to you, download this pretty PDF with links to other similar posts to encourage you.