In 30 seconds…
Finding happiness can seem like chasing shadows. The happiest people aren’t necessarily the ones who laugh the most, though. They are the people who display absolute eagerness and satisfaction in their lives—they are excited to wake up each morning, and they feel calm and content at the end of the day.
Do you find that nothing makes you happy anymore? Maybe you’ve stopped doing things you used to enjoy, can’t get out of bed in the morning, or feel hopeless or lost about your future.
Whether these feelings are transient or a sign of a deeper underlying problem, it’s important not to let them fester. What might start out as situational depression could turn into something long-lasting.
If you are finding that nothing makes you happy and wondering what to do about it, below are some ideas to help you pull yourself out of the state you are finding yourself in.
Change Your Mindset
It might sound too simplistic, but for some people with only transient feelings of a lack of enjoyment, changing your mindset might be all that is required.
If you feel that you are putting off feeling happy for some time in the future, it’s important to stop using this as an excuse to avoid living your life now.
While bad things may have happened to you in the past, or you may not have everything that you want in your life right now, everyone has a story of some sort that weighs heavy on their heart.
How you think about your story and how you go out into the world and live with it is what will set you apart.
End Rumination and Engage in Problem Solving
Next, if you find that you are ready to change your mindset about how you are feeling, what are the concrete steps you can take to actually get there?
One of the things that people who are feeling down tend to do is to ruminate about how they are feeling. Is that you? Do you think a lot about how you don’t enjoy things anymore?
Rumination is a habit that can worsen low mood or feelings of lack of enjoyment. Try to be aware of your thoughts and watch for times that you spiral into negative thinking.
Ask yourself, why am I upset? What do I need to acknowledge, evaluate, or change? While complaining about your situation or ruminating might feel like you are doing something, in reality, you are only making yourself feel worse.
Identify problems that you can solve, and take action on them. In taking action, you will start to feel better.
Get Some Exercise
Try to engage in exercise at least a few times a week, ideally for 30 minutes each time. Exercise causes your brain to release endorphins, which will naturally make you feel more upbeat and happier.
Develop Healthy Habits
Similar to getting regular exercise, make sure that you are engaging in other healthy habits in your life.
Are you drinking enough water each day? Do you eat healthy food each day and take vitamins regularly? Junk food, caffeine, alcohol, etc. will serve to worsen a bad mood, make you feel sluggish, and keep you in a state of low mood.
On the other hand, healthy habits will give you a solid foundation on which to build back your joy in life. Give yourself a chance to feel better by making sure you are doing basic things to maintain your health and mental health.
Practice Meditation and Yoga
If you still find that you can’t reconnect with joyful things in your life, try adding in a regular meditation and/or yoga practice along with breathing exercises.
Having a regular practice will help you to release negative emotions and stress, leading you to feel more peaceful, joyful, and ready for clarity in your life.
Reconnect With Joy
At this point, you might be ready to start adding back joyful activities into your life. What did you used to enjoy doing? Whether it was doing art projects, working in your garden, reading, watching movies, or other activities, make a point of dedicating a bit of time each day or week to the things that bring you joy.
While you may not immediately feel like doing these things, taking action to add them back into your life will eventually help to boost your mood and bring back the joy you once felt.
And, if there are barriers to you doing the things you used to enjoy, see if there are new activities that can take their place or other ways to go about doing what you used to do.
For example, if you used to enjoy lunch dates with friends, but no longer have the ability to meet with them, see if there’s another social activity that you can take up and find enjoyable.