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Think of existing like this: You’re just going through the motions. You are paralyzed by the depressing thoughts racing through your mind as you try to fit in, fake a smile, and please everyone around you.
You go to work purely for the paycheck, regularly numb your mind with alcohol, and distract yourself for hours on your phone, with Netflix, YouTube, and Facebook.
You dream of a better life, but never consider it a “real” possibility. Instead, you do things to impress other people and not for your own enjoyment, constantly feeling like you’re not good enough.
You hopelessly cling on to the “good times” from your past and never feel worthy of the successes you have achieved.
Life is passing you by every day and you have no creative outlet, hobbies, or meaningful interests to pursue.
If you identify with any of the behaviours above, don’t worry. I’m going to share three tips on how to break free from them.
How to Start Living Again
When the weekend rolls around, I want you to go to a playground where children are running, jumping, and having a great time, and witness what being ALIVE is all about. Children don’t dwell on their worries, fears or doubts. They live in the present moment and do what feels good to them.
If that involves screaming gibberish at the top of their lungs for no reason, so be it!
You’ll see their curiosity, energy, and excitement, qualities we need to get back in touch with. We need to be more childlike. To try new things and not be afraid to fall down and scrape our knees.
Stop for a moment and think back: When was the last time you spoke to a stranger?
It’s a little uncomfortable at first, but right there in front of you is another amazing human being with their own unique set of stories and life experiences. Being curious about other people, instead of making snap judgements about someone you know nothing about, is one of the wonders of life.
When was the last time you picked up a good book and got lost in the story for hours?
Or how about walking into a restaurant you’ve never visited before without looking at the reviews on TripAdvisor?
Doing things just because you’re curious about them, for the pure enjoyment of the experience, is what living is all about.
3 Steps to Start Living Again
1. Start more conversations with strangers
I’m sure you are faced with many opportunities every day to interact with new people. On your commute to work, at your favourite spot for lunch, or at the coffee shop.
Just say “Hi”, and if a conversation develops, great. If not, don’t judge yourself or the other person — just move on. You’re not going to hit it off with everyone you speak to.
2. Try something you’re curious about
There must be something you can think of that you’d love to try but have always been too afraid to jump into. It could be rock climbing, salsa dancing, or learning a new language. Whatever it is, open up Google and start looking for the nearest place you can go to learn that new skill.
Commit to taking just one class and show up eager to learn like those curious kids at the playground. You’ll meet a whole bunch of people who are just as scared as you all coming together for the same reason. You’ll probably walk away from the class with some new friends and a massive smile on your face.
3. Smile more
This might sound simple, but the impact can be profound. Smiling releases a whole host of feel-good hormones, natural painkillers, and antidepressants! It’s the quickest and easiest way to feel good.
Studies have shown that smiling reduces stress, boosts your immune system, and even lowers blood pressure!
As soon as you wake up, smile.
When you see another human, smile.
When you get your coffee, smile.
Before you go to bed, smile.
Be Grateful to Be Alive
I hope this post has given you the proverbial kick in the butt to start living again.
It’s important to be grateful that you’re alive on this planet right now because one day you will die, and if you continue existing unconsciously you will look back and regret all that time you wasted worrying about things that don’t matter.
It’s time to make the most of your life TODAY.
It’s time to stop existing and start living.