When I was growing up as a child, things appeared to move at a slower pace. I remember it seemed to take forever to get to the next exciting event like holidays or days off from school. Now, weeks fly by in a blink of an eye. Because life is moving so fast now it makes me wonder what is the meaning of this life anyway? When we spend our lives merely surviving trudging from one task to the next, life can start to feel a little empty and almost pointless. Nevertheless, this is exactly how many of us live; we work for eight hours or more per day then go home feeling completely burnt out and exhausted to do much of anything else with the remainder of the day. What do we usually end up doing? Sit, eat, and watch TV. This could cause anyone to experience depression.
The same thing repeats over and again day to day and the most excitement we ever experience is maybe that one holiday per year to look forward to. Is that really any way to live? I’ve been pondering on this meaning to life for several years and wanted to share four simple ways you can bring more meaning to your life and hopefully fight off the blues.
Continually learning is a superb way to give life more meaning and direction. Ultimately, one of the things that our brains crave most is growth. If it isn’t challenged to learn and grow, then it can shrink and we will become set in our ways. Make it a focus to constantly be learning new skills and pursuits. It can be any subject matter such as career skills, a new hobby, or even a new language! Because I am a nerd and love to read books, I’ve always written down some of the things I learn in a journal. A friend suggested I start a blog to document and share my knowledge. So, I started a blog – one that you are reading at this very moment! Do you have a particular passion like photography, animals, or cooking? Perhaps you too could start a blog and share that passion! If you’d like, I’d be happy to help you on your blogging journey – contact me here.
Likewise, relationships are one of the things that we all really need to be happy. Connecting with others is super important. If you don’t have meaningful relationships, then you’ll have no one to share your experiences, challenges, or triumphs with. A truly ‘meaningful’ relationship goes beyond friends of friends that you only ever meet in a group setting. This is someone that you can share deep heart-to-heart conversations with and who has a long standing history with you. If you get that new job promotion, who would you contact first? Try working on building a couple strong relationships with others. A great book I suggest to read on forming relationship is Dale Carnegie’s “How To Win Friends & Influence People”. Check it out here.
What’s also necessary for life to feel meaningful is challenge and to some extent risk. Have you ever been in a situation that was truly life and death? Or, perhaps that put you in a situation where you were close to accomplishing something truly amazing? These are the moments that the brain focuses and engages with the world. They are the moments when we learn and realize the worth of what we have in life. It puts things into perspective and creates stories. Don’t shy away from the things that test you. No one expects anything life threatening. But, merely stepping outside of your comfort zone and pushing yourself to do what you wouldn’t normally do. Next time your are out and the have karaoke night, step up and sing a song! I know – some of us can’t sing but hey most people can’t but they still get up there and try! You never know – you may have better singing pipes than you realize!
Finally, everyone should seek to have some travel in their lives. This doesn’t mean you have to backpack across the desert. Just being able to experience new sights and new people is important to keep your mind open and your experiences varied. If you don’t have the budget to go away, then come up with an adventure you can enjoy a little closer to home. It can be something as simple as taking a hike in the woods.
So there you have. Four ideas to fight off depression and bring meaning into your life. I’m sure there are other ways – but these are my top four that I’ve personally practiced and must say it has helped me.
Until next time.