Life is complicated. There are stable periods where things feel all right, and there are moments of transition that feel like the floor beneath you has collapsed. There might be days where you wake up and dread it, where things will be out of your control, and you might feel terrible. It happens to everyone. Despite the affronts and toils you experience, life is not all bad. Your current circumstance may make you believe that way, but things can change.
I think of it like this. Life is similar to a river. The currents may be moving you in a direction that you don’t want to go. You have two options: surrender to the current or change.
If you choose to change, remember that change only happens when there is a strong opposing force.
Below are seven signs that you might need to change your life. If you decide to change, trust yourself and believe that you are strong enough to bring about the change you want.
- You feel unhappy with your current life.
It’s easy to encourage someone to change or “unstick” themselves, but it’s easier said than done. Changing yourself, your thoughts, and your lifestyle can be exhausting work. Some moments feel overwhelmingly bad and seem have no end. The magnitude and persistence of an unhappy moment can make you wonder if anything matters. You may end up giving up, giving in, and not caring anymore because you feel that you no longer have the energy to fight it. I hear you, and I understand because I’ve been there.
However, do not let those moments opaque the luster that you can find in life. If you find that you have stopped caring, take some time to invest in yourself. Go for walks, eat something healthy at least once a day, and drink more water. Laying the foundation down for healthy habits is important if you want to change your life.
- You feel like you have become more cynical
Although you may want to change your life, the will to do so may be lacking simply because you do not think that you will be able to. Slowly, you find yourself becoming more and more cynical until the point that you no longer have a positive outlook for the future, which can make you feel more stuck.
To be honest, lately, I have found it hard not to be cynical. It is easy to get absorbed by the problems that you see around you, but you need to have hope. Hope is not forcing yourself to think positively about something that you are unsure of. It’s having faith that eventually things will turn out okay. Whenever I feel cynical about the world, I usually read Max Ehrmann’s poem Desiderata. There’s a stanza that says: “And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.”
If you ever feel overwhelmed, reach out to someone who will listen to you without judgment, be a friend or a therapist.
- You feel unmotivated.
Though this is not a determinant sign that you need to change your life, it does signal that you should make a few changes. Life should have some exciting moments. You don’t have to jump out of bed every morning, but you should have something to look forward to.
If you find yourself bored with your life, do at least one things new every day. Despite a busy schedule or your hectic routine, try to carve out time and dedicate it to something you love.
- You’ve acquired compulsive habits
Feeling stuck is sometimes brought on by feeling like you no longer are in control. As a result, you may develop compulsive habits (this is not the same as having a compulsive disorder).
Most compulsive habits tend to act as band-aids. They help you cover up whatever is burdening or overwhelming you. Unfortunately, they are likely to devolve into negative habits. If you find yourself coping with your emotions with a negative compulsive habit, try to swap it with something positive.
- You prefer your fantasy against your reality.
When life gets difficult, it easy to romanticize the past. According to Art Markman Ph.D., psychology and marketing professor at the of Texas at Austin, we often prefer the past because we do not know how the future will turn out.
Because the future is uncertain, it best to focus on the immediate present. Focusing on what you can do in that specific moment will help ease some of the anxiety that you may have about the future.
- You are just getting by.
Most people would agree that just surviving sucks. It drains your spirit and creativity. But, despite what many articles might say, sometimes just getting by is a form of survival. Not many can go out and enjoy adventures. So, even if you are just trying to keep your head above water, keep your gaze towards the horizon and swim towards it. One day, you will reach the shore.
- You find yourself thinking that there has to be more to life.
Another sign that you are ready for change is that you keep wondering if there is something more. Expecting more out of your life means that you are ready to grow into something new. If you find yourself ruminating about what else is there, go out and search for it! The adventures that you are waiting for won’t fall into your lap. Go out and look for them!
Life is a maravelous journey! It is an exciting screenplay starring you, directed by you, and co-written by you. There will be moments where you might as though your story is not progressing, but those are the moment where amazing character development happens! So, instead of seeing moments of upheaval or transition as lull or negative events, see them as opportunities for growth. Meet those moments with curiosity and hope.
If you ever feel overwhelemed or afraid about the changes you experience in your life, reach out to a therapist for assistance.
Ishak, R. (2016, July 5). 11 Signs You Might Need A Major Life Change. Bustle. https://www.bustle.com/articles/170387-11-signs-you-might-need-a-major-life-change.
Katie. (2021, March 3). 4 Signs You Need to Change Your Life. Resilient. https://resilientblog.co/growth/4-signs-you-need-to-change-your-life/.
Markman, A. (2011, November 30). Why The Past Always Seems Happier Than The Present. HuffPost. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/past-less-intense-than-present_b_987726.
Serf-Walls, L. (2017, December 7). 7 Signs You’re Ready For A Major Life Change. HuffPost. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/7-signs-youre-ready-for-a-major-life-change_b_7225108.