Mental Health

Life Is Hard. But You’re Making It Harder Than It Really Is.

I used to think life was too hard for me. I felt like I wasn’t meant for this sad, hard life, which to me is still like a game where everyone is pretending to be happy or be someone there not. Life was just too heavy for me, and I didn’t want to keep pretending anymore.

It’s so hard to make real, strong, and long-lasting friendships. It’s hard to find a job that makes you feel important and that you’re good at. It’s hard not to want to hurt the people who keep bullying you over and over. And it’s hard to stay mentally healthy.

If you’re feeling like life’s too much, you’re not alone.

The Key Takeaway.

Life can be hard, but have you thought that you might be the issue? Reflect on this before continuing. I’m not saying you don’t face obvious challenges, but sometimes, you are the one creating more obstacles in your life.

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Why Is Life So Hard On Me?

First, if you’re comparing yourself to others, remind yourself that they have their own problems that they don’t show. They could even be in a different stage of life than you. 

Why are you worrying so much? Focus on your own journey.

If anything, the fact that you think your life is hard and you’re trying to change your habits is a process that’s meant to be hard. We all see things through our own eyes, our senses, past experiences, beliefs, thought habits, knowledge, and even what we don’t know.

We shape how we see life and what’s real, so if you view everything as good or bad, you’re probably adding to why things seem that way. This doesn’t mean everyone doesn’t have issues, but sometimes, we make life harder for ourselves. Here’s how I’ve made life hard for myself and how you might be doing it too:

Over-Analyzing Everything.

Why does life seem so hard? It’s because you’re always trying to figure it out in your head. When you overthink and look for reasons with words, it just makes everything more complicated and stressful.

Don’t get me wrong, I over analyze things too. So I understand that. But I don’t believe we can break life down into small pieces to make it easier to handle. What I mean is, we should stop worrying so much about our thoughts and just be present with life as is is right now.

Take a hot shower and then deep breaths. Go for a 30-minute walk outside. Get some fresh air. 

You Can’t Accept Your Reality.

Look, accepting things doesn’t mean you’re giving up. Acceptance is about being honest with where you are. It doesn’t mean your situation is right or wrong, good or bad. It just is present.

How can you reach your goals if you won’t accept your current situation?

If you’re fighting against what’s real, it’ll keep happening. Know it, accept it, and move on!

Stop fooling yourself into thinking you’ve leveled up when you’re still struggling financially. Stop lying to yourself that owning expensive things makes you cool, when you had to stretch your finances to buy them.

Take a good look at where you are right now, accept it, take responsibility for your part, give yourself time to get better, and then get the help you need to make the necessary changes.

Think! 

What parts of my life are difficult, and what’s causing them?

  • You’re broke? Find ways to earn more money, raise some, budget better, or start saving instead of sitting there whining and complaining.
  • Are you depressed? Find professional help.
  • You need help? Ask people.
  • You are unhappy in your relationship? Work on it with your partner or consider a break up.

You’re Judging Yourself.

You’ll say life is hard, but do you let yourself have your down moments?

What I’m saying is that you don’t let yourself be vulnerable. Instead of giving yourself a break and taking care of yourself like you would for someone you love, what you likely do in your hardest times is criticize yourself. You take on more tasks instead of resting.

Ahah! 

All this will only lead to feelings of shame, guilt, and not feeling good enough… No wonder your life feels so miserable and hard. You’re always being hard on yourself!

You’re Isolated.

For instance, if you’ve had a rough childhood, are dealing with family issues, or are cut off from your family, it can be really hard. These things can make you feel alone and want to stay hidden. They can also make you jealous if you see others have good family support.

We need and do well with others around us. Without friends and support, we struggle.

You might be going through a lot, dealing with addiction, abuse, being broke, or being sick all the time. These things can’t be ignored and can always make life feel really hard on you.

You’re Resentful.

Holding onto resentment is like poisoning yourself and waiting for the other person to suffer.

And it’s true!

If you’re resentful, you’ll only make your own life harder and much more unhappy. You’re hurting yourself with your own thoughts.

Forgiving is hard, and it can take a long time to learn how to do it. It’s not always that you don’t want to forgive; sometimes, you just don’t know how to forgive those who have hurt you.

You should keep trying though! 

Self Sabotage.

You’re trying to get into the habit of waking up at 5:30 am every day, but you stay up doom scrolling on social media until midnight. You want to eat healthier, but your kitchen is full of snacks and ice cream. You want to start exercising in the morning, but you don’t sleep well.

Creating good habits is hard. You’ll try to do it all by relying on your willingness. But when you make a mistake, you’ll say you don’t have enough will. Remind yourself that forming habits is a process and it’s okay to make mistakes along the way.

The thing is, people who have successfully created good habits don’t necessarily have more will. They succeed because they set themselves up for the success. They go to bed at 10pm instead of midnight, making it easier to stick to their routine.

They understand that if they don’t have unhealthy food at home, they won’t eat it. They also know that if they’re not sleeping well, trying to exercise in the morning is unrealistic. So, they choose a more achievable goal like walking every afternoon.

You Play Victim/See Yourself As One.

You might be taking on too much. In the past, I blamed others for my problems or acted like I didn’t have a choice.

Acting like a victim is terrible. If you keep that mindset, you’ll just be going through life without truly enjoying it. It’s better to let go of that way of thinking.

Using martyrdom as an excuse is a way to avoid changing ourselves and learning new habits. We choose to be victims or martyrs because it’s easier than making changes. It’s a way to avoid the hard work of personal growth.

‘Of course you are not the problem, others are’. I lied. And I lied harddd. The next time you play victim, give yourself an outstanding knock on your forehead. I’d love to hear it from here. 

You Make Too Many Assumptions.

You might think you know what someone will say, so you don’t ask. You might believe you’ll fail, so you don’t even try. You might think everyone does something a certain way, so that must be the best way to do it.

Must your assumptions stop you?

When you challenge our assumptions, you might be right. But the other times, we’re in for a surprise. The person we didn’t expect to help us might say yes. The client we thought was too good for us is very interested. The 1000 skips we thought we could do without stopping is really hard, but definitely achievable in the long run.

The sweet thing about challenging our assumptions is that it clarifies/simplifies things. Instead of worrying about what others think for weeks, you can just ask. If they agree, that’s great. If they don’t, that’s also great. Knowing for sure is always better than guessing, and having clarity makes life easier.

You Lack Simplicity.

It’s time to be very careful about what you keep and start living with less. Make it a habit to regularly remove things that don’t deserve your attention or space.

Do you have a lot of things that make your life harder?

Clutter is expensive in so many ways. It drains your energy, takes up your time, and costs you money. It also fills up your mind and makes you feel burdened. Owning less stuff means worrying less. This minimalism isn’t just about having fewer things; it’s a lifestyle choice. And it includes your house, your mind and so much more.

You Don’t Know When To Say ‘No’.

Many of us want to be liked and we’ve learned that saying yes to others is a quick way to get that approval.

You should stop.

Saying yes to everyone, family, friends, or colleagues, will mean you’re taking on too much. Before you realize it, your days are packed, and even a small problem can cause a big chain reaction that takes a long time to fix.

Living this way isn’t enjoyable, also, the anger it brings from having no time for things we enjoy is a silent poison that harms us from within and will damage our relationships eventually. 

Learn to say no to things that don’t fit into your schedule or that you’re not interested in doing.

But, as a retired people pleaser, I get it.  This can be difficult for you. So, say you want to think about it instead. This gives you time to step back from the situation, and makes it easier to say no later.

You Think Everything Is About You.

Was the cashier at the store rude? Is your friend slow to reply? Is your partner acting distant? It’s likely none of this has anything to do with you. Maybe the cashier is dealing with personal issues. Maybe your friend is in the hospital. Maybe your partner is stressed about work or finances.

What happened to giving people the benefit of the doubt? Eh? 

If you believe that everyone’s actions are directed at you, you’ll make your life unnecessarily hard. It’s better to think that it’s due to their own issues or challenges. This way, you’ll feel happier, less disheartened, and less upset.

You Don’t Make Time For Yourself And The Things You Love.

Your life could be hard because you only do stuff that brings you unhappiness.

When life becomes overwhelming, we can draw strength and purpose from the things that make us happy. If we avoid these things and only do things we dislike or feel forced to do, we can really remain unhappy.

You might not even realize what you enjoy because you’ve never prioritized those activities. I’m not saying you shouldn’t do what you’re meant to. But, there’s a concept called balance, and you need to create it.

You’re Friends With Negative People.

Being around negativity can destroy your happiness and drive you mad. The stress from all the drama can even seriously damage your mental health. Do yourself a favor by not getting involved with the drama queens, bullied and nags, and your life will become much easier.

What Can I Do When Life Gets Hard?

Rest.

I strongly think taking breaks when facing life’s challenges helps. Rest is a good way out against the societal pressure to always be up and active and productive, even during hard times.

You Can Do This Right Away.

If you’re feeling right now, try doing something simple right away. You could call a friend, go for a walk, exercise, do some deep breathing or yoga, or repeat positive affirmations to yourself.

Have Your Values Changed?

Take a moment to think about what really matters to you. Sometimes life feels hard or you feel stuck because your values have changed, but you haven’t realized it yet. You’re still doing things the old way when you need to stop and think about what’s important now. This way, you can start doing things better and move forward.

You Need To Change Your Mindset.

Think about the habits and ways of thinking that are stopping you from doing well. How can you change them to see things differently? Step back and look at your situation without bias, then change your view of the hard times and challenge negative thoughts to tell yourself a new story.

Find Ways To Deal With Your Stressors. 

Don’t keep your stress to yourself or try to ignore it. Face it directly. Start by figuring out what’s making you stressed and see if you can change it. Make sure to exercise regularly, because it will make you feel better and give you more energy. Doing things you enjoy can help you relax and forget about your worries. Try out calming activities like meditation, mindfulness, and yoga when you’re feeling stressed.

Stop Comparing Yourself To Others.

Do you feel like others have it easier? First, remind yourself that comparing yourself to others will steal your happiness. We’re all different, and that’s great.

Second, everyone has their issues! Many people keep theirs to themselves, especially on social media. They usually share the good things and leave out the bad, so what you see online isn’t the full picture. Other people might have good ways to handle problems, so they might seem always calm on the outside (even though they have issues). Improving your own ways of dealing with problems can really help.

Seek Professional If You Can’t Seem To Help Yourself.

Therapy is a place where you can talk about your problems without being judged. It’s also a good way to understand yourself better. A therapist can help you see the negative patterns in your life, teach you how to cope in a healthy way, and give you ideas for taking care of yourself that fit your life and needs.

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