There are so many people who seem so confident and sure of themselves, making decisions and getting on with their daily challenges, that you wouldn’t even suspect that they are feeling extremely anxious and vulnerable on the inside. For every task, there are countless doubts, insecurities and fears. And that can be exhausting and lonely, dealing with those emotions, without anyone knowing about it.
We all have ups and downs. Life isn’t a linear state and if your mood changes from one moment to another, it means that you are alive and open to your feelings. However, sometimes it feels that the low mood is taking over. From the moment you wake up, there’s that darkness and inexplicable sadness in your heart. You feel heavy and your mind seems filled with negative thoughts. What’s going on? What’s wrong with me?
We live in a fast world. Being busy is the rule and ‘doing’ is the norm. We feel guilty if we are not producing, achieving, showing results. There’s a pressure to be constantly in action. Either at work or during our time off. Even socially, it feels as if we have to be always doing something: meeting people, going to places, keeping up with events. But where is all that pressure coming from? Who is actually asking you to live your life like this?
I hear so many people apologising for their suffering, as if their troubles aren’t ‘bad enough’ or worth paying attention to. As if other people’s problems were always more serious than theirs and that they ‘shouldn’t complain’. And my answer is often the same: ‘How do you measure and compare suffering?, ‘Why are you not deserving of attention?’, ‘Why isn’t your suffering important?’.
Some call it ‘existential crisis’ or ‘life crisis’. And it can happen at any stage of your life. It’s that moment when you look in the mirror and ask: ‘Is that it?’. Or ‘What’s the point of this?’. Or ‘What am I doing with my life?’. Those thoughts can make you anxious and feeling lost. Not knowing where to go or how to take the next step.
If you ever panicked and overworked on the days leading to your holiday, you are not alone. Sometimes it feels like you will be leaving for months, years, and nobody else will be able to cope without you or nothing will be done in your absence. Worse still, you might feel they will cope too well and you might be replaced. All in the space of ONE single week.
Many times you behave in ways you don’t want to. You might react to people, say or do things you didn’t really mean, making impulsive decisions, and then regretting them almost immediately. ‘I wasn’t myself!’, ‘I don’t know what took over me!’. In those moments, there is an intense feeling of not being in control of your own actions.
The sad reality is that, more and more, people are too identified with their jobs. Their sense of self, of who they are and their external image, is intrinsically linked to what they do for a living. They get validation from praises at work, they find happiness when they receive compliments, their satisfaction and rewards come in form of bonus or promotions.