The 'new year, new me' momentum may have lost its luster as we are now ever closer to the end of 2023. What we've stated as goals and resolutions are becoming nuisances and heavy; there's only resistance to be found with incorporating these new habits. When we begin to feel an aversion to our goals and aspirations, we should ask ourselves, 'What truly brings me to the feeling of 'happiness'? Take some time and think about what you are grateful for, something that brings a smile to your heart. For some of us, this may be easier said than done as the burdens of daily reality creep into our minds.
Why Do I Struggle to Find Happiness?
Many reasons can cause you to struggle to find happiness, including anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. These conditions affect your mental health, leaving you feeling unhappy, unmotivated, and not interested in working on the hobbies or activities that you usually enjoy. You might also find you feel no emotions whatsoever.
Depending on what you experience in life and the situations you are put through, you may feel like nothing makes you happy. What you practice can also affect your mood – if you don't get enough sleep or eat poorly, these things can impact your emotions and how your body feels. If you also find your job stressful or are experiencing burnout, this can also contribute to any long-term unhappiness. Working excessive hours or feeling like you have no impact on your work schedule can negatively impact your overall well-being.
How you feel your relationships are going can also cause feelings of unhappiness if they are not going well. Multiple studies have found that feeling lonely most of the time often leads to depression.
If you find that what you are experiencing is more than you can handle, find a mental health practitioner you can talk to if you do not already have one.
What Is Gratitude and How Do I Practice It?
Gratitude itself is a state of mind that, if we fall out of sync with it, may become difficult to regain and experience. When the mentality of lack or resentment sets in, that pattern can quickly become our internal dialogue if left unmanaged, and things like happiness and abundance end up out of reach. True happiness is a fleeting concept of the individual mind. Still, it can become an overall mentality and state of being when consciously present to capture it. Just as any other mental or physical skill needs training, dedication, and focus, it is necessary to have the same drive to cultivate mindfulness.
Where to begin, though, with so many distractions and layers to sift through? This is all part of enjoying the path created along the way, for there is no finish line, only new horizons. Here are some tips to keep in mind throughout the journey inward.
- Begin short and simple, and start your day with a mindful reset when waking up. Keep it brief so it doesn't stress your morning routine but gives it a pleasant and peaceful foundation. 15-20 is ideal for working up to, and giving ourselves this quiet time is an opportunity to set intentions and the overall outlook for the day. Focus on the breath, visualizations, and bringing light into the body for energy.
- Allow your mind to wander. It is hugely beneficial to note where your thoughts revolve around for insight and the emotions that arise with those thoughts. Neuroscience has also found that consciously noticing your mind's location and gently bringing it back into your awareness has incredible effects on rewiring neural pathways.
- Set reminders and utilize waiting time to be mindful. Choose an item or task that can be used as a cue while sipping tea or coffee, passing the hall mirror, or even brushing your teeth or washing dishes. When waiting in line or stuck in traffic, go inward instead, focusing on the breath and steadying the mind.
- Practice, practice, practice. Training the mind is no simple task; it's a new language and perspective to develop. It took years of programming and repetitive actions to get us to the present mindset we are each experiencing. With conscious effort and love, we can create a supportive and optimistic internal dialogue to play with and evolve.
How Can I Enjoy Life Again?
- Find a reason to laugh – Laughter is the best medicine; it can reduce the stress you experience, boost your immune system, and improve your health. Laughing can also enhance the current relationships you have. To add more laughter into your life, make time for what makes you laugh, schedule outings with those who often make you laugh, and find jokes that you can share with others to make them and yourself laugh while you are sharing it.
- Take a nap if you need it – A 20-minute nap could be all you need to help you feel rejuvenated and ready for the rest of the day. A survey found that of the 2000 Americans questioned, 90% of those who take naps regularly were in a better mood. Another study found that those taking 30- to 90-minute naps experience improved brain function and less stress and anxiety.
- Get physical – Making sure to partake in at least a short daily exercise routine releases endorphins in your brain, which help put you in a better mood. If you are a beginner, the CDC recommends completing at most a 30-minute routine with moderate to intense exercises incorporated.
- Acknowledge what makes you unhappy – By practicing self-discovery and realizing what makes you tick, you can work towards avoiding those things, ultimately making you happier. Incorporating meditation sessions into your lifestyle or writing in a journal are ways you can practice self-reflection while also releasing any stress you have been experiencing that day. Some examples of accommodations you can make to improve your life include:
- If you are always grumpy when you have to wake up early in the morning, see if you can get more flexible hours at work or find a job that can allow you flexible hours.
- If you get annoyed around many people, try incorporating smaller gatherings with just one or a few friends.
We sacrifice time and energy to create an environment that brings peace of mind, security, comfort, and entertainment. These efforts lead only to find that our lives take up most of the time we thought would be spent enjoying those creature comforts. Many of us feel the answer is to continue accumulating that new position or next destination, and too often miss the journey by focusing on the end product instead of the experience itself. The hurdles and triumphs that get us to those epic moments are easily forgotten and taken for granted. On this everlasting hunt for happiness, cultivating mindfulness may not result in constant bliss. Still, the stillness within will always be an anchor and keeps the inner light in close sight.
Choosing a healthy plant-based and vegan diet is most beneficial when it comes to:
Higher levels of energy;
Aids in energy and overall happiness;
Provides a sense of comfort and relief;
Could prevent major diseases such as obesity and diabetes;
Accomplish weight-loss and management; and
Improves mental and cognitive functioning.
There are really no excuses not to try healthier habits in your everyday life. If you are a man or woman looking for specific benefits of adopting healthier habits or just want to know about the general healing properties of herbs. Please remember to comment or post any health questions, or contact us directly!
Also feel free to share any of your favorite recipes to make and share it with the Assuaged community on our ➡️ Share A Recipe ⬅️ page!
Cuncic, A. (2023, September 22). 'I Hate Life': What to Do If Nothing Makes You Happy. VeryWell Mind.
Perry, E. (2022, September 9). How to Enjoy Life, Explained. BetterUp.