Most can agree that the honest admittance of one’s unhappiness is particularly viewed as embarrassing or shameful. This is because our society sees this as a personal weakness and failure. Whether it’s that unsettling feeling tucked away in the back of your psyche or the obvious obsession with the lackluster of your reality, we’ve all felt it from time to time. Generally we look to our past for any explanation of why or how it is possible to have become so desolate in our own lives, but maybe the truth lies in our mindsets. Like many, I’ve ignored the power of my own choices in the matter and the onset of my actions that are directly affecting my daily happiness. Every once in awhile it seems appropriate to filter out the parts of our lives that just aren’t “working” anymore. In light of spring, maybe it’s time for an important spring cleansing of the mind.

Limiting social drinking.

One common cure for anyone feeling a tiny bit uneasy is alcohol. Young or old, reaching for something strong to sip down has become the crutch to pacify mental breakdown. If you’ve built a tolerance and a love for a good glass of wine like I have, it can be hard to part from it completely. If a bottle of spirits is your perfect ending to a stressful day, try limiting yourself. Reach for that glass but keep it at a happy limit of one glass with dinner. Instead of feeling sluggish, cotton-mouthed and sleep deprived the next morning trying to rehash all the intolerable things you did the night before, you’ll feel satisfied without overdoing and overindulging. 

Date differently.

The newest trend in dating is the fact that we are now focusing so heavily on our lack of a love-life that we miss the whole beauty of dating. The innocent excitement of meeting someone unexpectedly has turned into a game of left or right and how many matches we can achieve virtually. While our heads are buried somewhere behind a smartphone or laptop we are actually missing the people who walk in and out of our lives daily. Don’t get me wrong, the thought of looking through a catalog of singles is sometimes very intriguing but when you realize the price you pay by deluding romantic attention into the confines of social media, even your own reality can be altered. Logout and focus on the people who are a constant support in your life, maybe the person you’ve been looking for isn’t hiding behind an internet profile afterall. 

Find valued use of personal time.

It’s almost as if social media has become less a place to personally connect but a place to compete and criticize amongst the individuals in your life. You may think posting about the newest material advancement in your life will somehow heighten your success, but in fact you find yourself fixating on the amount of likes you receive from your peers, or the lack thereof. Time may find itself available to focus on other things we have been notoriously neglecting, if we could only find small ways to pull back from internet platforms in our everyday lives. Instead of that hour long session of social media scrolling before bed, find an inspiring read or relaxation hobby to pick up before turning out the lights each night. I’ve turned to free writing as a way to release stress. Giving your mind the time to breathe after a long day will not only adjust your free time spent, but also promote a healthier night’s sleep: disconnect to decompress.   

Stop engaging in pointless gossip.

As a woman, I am notorious for indulging in conversations focused on other people with my girl friends. On and on, gabbing about things that have no direct effect on our lives. This I have found may be a small way to release steam because something deeper is making me equally unhappy. Instead of deciphering my own buried disappointments I have wasted precious time trying to pick apart others. Instead of engaging in the gossip surrounding my inner circle, I’ve tried to sit silently and observe our social behavior, that has proven to be telling enough. Voicing a frustration or two is perfectly normal but spending a whole evening harping on drama is as equally destructive as it is exhausting.    

Draft reasons to smile.

It is so easy to somehow make my life into a soap opera of immense proportion. Taking small steps to resist the urge to rehash the hardships during my day and shift it into a play by play of the positive ones isn’t easy. Sometimes it can feel like squeezing water out of a rock, but get creative if you have to. Write a small list down somewhere in a notebook next to your bed, store it away and when you’re having “one of those days” reread the things that once made you smile.

Being happy has no simple fix but focusing your attention on your personal responsibility in the matter could be a huge step in the right direction.