I’d love to share with you one very simple and practical tip to have a better day. You might not like this idea at first, so please stick around and read the whole thing! Ready? Here goes!
Stop thinking about yourself so much!
If you haven’t noticed, we’re a little obsessed with ourselves.
We’re constantly taking and posting photos of ourselves, sharing about our lives, and encouraged to only think about what will make us the happiest.
But it’s funny that we’re told, “just do what makes you happy!”, because this very way of thinking sets us up for unhappiness.
Did you know that the more you focus on yourself, the unhappier you’re likely to become?
Why? Because the more you think of yourself, the easier it becomes to zero in on your flaws, your difficult circumstances, your pain and your problems. It’s incredibly easy to dig yourself in a hole of self-pity when you’re only thinking about your own life. It’s also very easy to spiral through negative thoughts and become anxious.
Now hear me out. I’m NOT saying to neglect yourself. I’m all about self-care, taking time for personal growth, etc. I’m also willing to bet that someone reading this right now probably needs to take care of themselves a little more! But generally speaking, we all naturally think of ourselves enough, so this is just an exercise of shifting our attention elsewhere when we can. This idea is not only counterintuitive to human nature but also counter-cultural. It’s not popular to think of others. But it’s the only way to have a meaningful life.
Many people think that the key to happiness involves acquiring all the things on our wish list. Like the perfect body, a loving spouse, all the cutest furniture we currently can’t afford, an amazing wardrobe, our dream job, dream car, or dream home.
But here is something we forget: we can accumulate all those things and still feel deeply unhappy. Why? Because what really makes us happy is a meaningful life. A life spent fulfilling a greater purpose beyond collecting shiny things for ourselves. That’s the bigger picture.
So when you feel thoughts of inadequacy, hopelessness, anxiety, or anything similar start to creep in your mind, just try this simple exercise.
Just think of other people. Let your mind wander to others. Think of your parents or your siblings, think of your friends and family, think of people you don’t even know who are living in third world countries or people living in slavery. Zoom out from the bubble of yourself.
I bet you’ll realize that even though your own problems are real, you might not want to trade them for another person’s problems.
The point of this is to distract yourself from only thinking of you, because our minds can sometimes be a dangerous place if we’re fixated on ourselves for too long.
So take your imagination somewhere new, even just for a few minutes. Let this concept broaden your scope of thinking and expand your dreams into new territory- one that involves many more people. They say that the best dreams are the ones that require the biggest teams. Actually, I think I just made that up. Ha!
Try this out, and let me know how it works for you!