Even though unhappiness has become an epidemic, we aren't devoid of solutions. There are some things which could be done to alleviate this problem-
1. DON'T COMPARE:
Comparison is the thief of improvement. We all know that. We're aware of our own uniqueness and the fact that we shouldn't be comparing ourselves to the glamorized highlight reel of someone else's life. A lot of what we see online is curated. Yet we just can't stop. You are unique, nobody can be you. You have your own journey, different aspirations and things that you value in your life. You need to focus on those rather than worrying about what everyone else is doing. You already know that. All that's left is to take action and tell ourselves this everyday. So what're you waiting for?
2. DISCIPLINE IS FREEDOM:
This is probably the most unpopular advice ever given. Yet it's also the most effective. If you're feeling untethered, lost and find yourself floating adrift, what you need is a solid, structured foundation. And such a foundation comes from discipline. Don't worry, we're not asking you to join the military! But having some realistic goals, setting a schedule, having a routine and cultivating a few hobbies are all things you could benefit from. The ironic thing about being disciplined is that it actually sets you free, giving your life a predictable pattern and increasing flexibility which will give you a lot of structure. It'll be hard for the first 66 days, but you'll experience an indescribable sense of contentment after that as you get used to it.
3. HEALTH IS HAPPINESS:
First things first, this isn't about weight. Many people mistakenly believe that losing or gaining a few pounds will make them infinitely happier, only to ruin their health completely in the process. That's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about taking care of your physical and mental health; Getting good sleep, eating healthy and nourishing food, exercising, tuning out of social media, taking your meds on time etc. A healthy body will lead to a happier mind. That's why it's important to not neglect our health, especially when we're young.
4. LEARNING TO DO BETTER:
When we have setbacks, we want to curl up in bed and cry. While our emotions are valid and we should acknowledge them and let it out, throwing a never-ending pity party never helps anyone. Failure is inevitable, but it doesn't define you. Who you become as a result does. True, adversities are terrible, but they're also opportunities to learn and improve. One little failure today can help you move mountains tomorrow, if you learn from your mistakes and take control over your life. This is a two part process, requiring introspection about yourself and expressing gratitude for what you do have. This isn't the easiest, but it is undeniably helpful.
5. EXTERNAL HELP:
Sometimes we end up in a situation where no matter what we do, things just don't seem to improve. We keep trying but end up feeling more helpless and down in the dumps. At times like these, what you probaby need is an outsider's perspective. You could consider approaching your close friends, family and loved ones. And it's absolutely okay to take therapy or consult a professional. In fact it can make a world of difference. Which is why finding a community of supportive individuals who'll always be there for you is important. And this includes distancing yourself from enablers who don't want us to do well and are leading us down a destructive path. It's better to have two good friends than 12 fake ones. No matter what we tell ourselves, human beings are social creatures. We need people. At the end of the day, when everything else goes away, the people who are by your side make your life worth living.
Being happy is easier said than done. Happiness is dynamic and fluid, but it makes up in depth for what it lacks in length. Ultimately the surest way to long-term happiness is to give up short-term, temporary pleasures which feel good in the moment, but take us nowhere. Contrary to what we've been taught, the road to happiness is lined with sacrifices, mistakes and deferred gratification. But that's what makes happiness the most worthy and fulfilling pursuit.