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Life can be boring when everything is going well. Not amazing, not brilliant, just well.
Well isn’t a bad place to be. There are so many people out there who are striving to even reach that bare minimum of well.
But well is easy to confuse with boring or stagnant, especially for people who need adventure or excitement to liven up their days. And seeking that adventure or excitement may actually blow up a well-crafted life if you are not careful to identify the actual problem.
So, if you feel like your life is stagnant, you should first ask yourself this important question:
“Why do I feel stagnant?”
What is presently going on that is making your life feel stagnant? Is it the monotony of routine? Are you overworking yourself? Do you have too much responsibility and not enough time to do anything for yourself? What is the reason? Can you narrow it down to a specific cause that there may be a solution to?
Is it a matter of perspective? Is your stagnant life actually a calm or peaceful life? Because calm and peaceful don’t necessarily flow with excitement or happiness. People tend to pair happy and peaceful up as a couple, but you can be happy in chaos and peaceful without joy. Different people define these words in various ways.
They may also confuse excitement with happiness because excitement is brilliant and fun, bringing happiness for a little while. But that’s usually just a temporary thing.
Be certain of what you’re feeling and why before you make major life changes because you may not get a second chance at what you already have. Unfortunately, there are way too many articles and gurus advising you to just dump relationships or drop jobs if they aren’t making you happy, without examining the root of the problem.
But what if your life really is stagnant? What if you’re not getting what you want out of life?
How can you revitalize a stagnant life?
1. Get in touch with your “Why.”
“Why?” is the most powerful question you can ask yourself. It’s about finding your motivation, your inspiration, and getting to the root of why you do what you do. What moves you? What shakes you? What stirs your heart and lights up your soul?
It’s easy to lose sight of your why with the monotony of life. Work, eat, sleep, do laundry, shop for food, and repeat. Of course, that is assuming you don’t have other responsibilities to attend to, like raising kids or caring for a family member. The weight from that responsibility and repetitiveness can be quite heavy to carry after a while.
Or maybe you’ve never really touched your “why?” Maybe it’s time to take a dive into yourself to figure out what you really want out of life so that you can spark your own flame and start burning for something bigger.
2. Get yourself a change of scenery.
A change of scenery can help you find a different perspective about your life. Stagnation is about stillness and monotony. A change of scenery can give you something new to look at, new people to meet, new things to experience, or just something different in your general flow of life.
It doesn’t have to involve moving to a new place, dropping a long-time job, or anything so utterly life-changing, though you may find that is something you desire. Instead, save up your money and take a short vacation somewhere. Drive to a different city and stay in a hotel for a few nights so you can experience some of what that city has to offer. Almost every city will have some kind of art or tourist activity available.
Take some time to get out of the rut by getting away from home for a few days.
3. Take up a new hobby.
A new hobby can be a great way to introduce some change in your life. Solo hobbies are great, but finding a social hobby or activity to do with other people will allow you to create new social connections. New friends mean new things to learn and experience, which may give a stagnant life a much-needed boost.
That hobby might be a great way to improve yourself and get out of your comfort zone too. Maybe you’ve always wanted to try hiking, rafting, rock climbing, or some other challenging sport that can bolster your physical health. And, as science regularly tells us, good mental health is often intertwined with improving your physical health. So an active hobby may be just what you need to change your outlook on life.
4. Consider a career change.
Unless you’re fabulously wealthy, chances are pretty good you need to work to make a living. That’s normal for the majority of the world. But the thing is, too much work and not enough time to rejuvenate yourself through some rest and relaxation can negatively affect your mental health. It’s even worse for people with high-stress or even traumatic jobs.
That’s not including the fact that many people need to work two jobs just to keep their head above water, pay the bills, pay for food, pay off student loans, and whatever other expenses they might have.
Maybe it’s time to consider a career change. A job can get stagnant if you don’t feel you are making any advancement toward something better, whether paying off your bills or trying to put a down payment on a new home.
Maybe it’s the fact that you’ve reached a peak in your career and have no room for advancement. Maybe it’s a bad manager that makes your life miserable because their behavior is toxic. Maybe your job isn’t the kind of place that even bothers giving out pay raises because they don’t care about retaining their talent.
Work isn’t always a happy affair. You may not be able to work in your passion. Or worse, you do work in your passion, and you realize it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. But if you feel that your job is the cause of your stagnation, maybe it’s time to look at getting additional training or changing employers.
And if you can, keep your commute time under a half hour. Science suggests that shorter commute times make for happier workers.
5. Take a class to expand your horizon.
Learning can be a great way to add something new to your life and shake things up a bit. Look into local activities and see if there are any classes available to you. You may be able to take a college course, find a class at an art or community center, or even pick something up online.
Maybe learn a foreign language? That can be a great precursor for taking a vacation to a place where English may not be the dominant language. Plus, learning a language is a great exercise for the mind, which can help boost your mental and emotional health.
Is there something that’s always interested you? Maybe there’s a class out there on it so you can learn more and incorporate it into your life.
6. Look for a new challenge and set some goals.
Sometimes we stop moving because we stop challenging ourselves. Stagnation comes from stillness, so flowing toward something can end that lack of movement.
Are you setting goals? Do you have something to strive for? If not, maybe it’s time to learn how to do that so you can get yourself moving forward again.
The SMART system is a common, effective method of setting and pursuing goals. Goals should be “Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant, Time-bound.”
A Specific goal should be clear. Instead of “I want to lose weight,” a Specific goal would be more like “I want to lose 20 pounds in three months by limiting myself to 1500 calories per day.”
A Measurable goal is a goal that can succeed or fail. Instead of “I’m just going to watch what I eat,” a Measurable goal would be something more like, “I’m not going to eat more than 1500 calories per day.”
An Actionable goal is a reasonable goal that you are capable of accomplishing. For example, “I want to lose 20 pounds in a week” is not an actionable or reasonable goal.
A Relevant goal is relevant to the primary goal. For example, “I want to exercise for 30 minutes every other day” is a good goal and will help a person lose weight. Still, it’s not relevant to “I want to lose 20 pounds in three months by limiting myself to 1500 calories per day.” It’s not relevant to portion control.
A Time-bound goal is a deadline to hold yourself to. Losing weight can be a tricky affair depending on the person, but it should be possible to lose 20 pounds within 3 months.
The SMART goal system can get you moving forward toward what you want most out of life.
7. Change up some of your routines.
Sometimes we get stuck in a rut because we’re just too used to our regular routines. Can you do something to change them up? For example, can you take a day off to do something fun for yourself and your mental health? What about exercise or responsibility? Is there a better way to work your routine so you can have some adequate time to do something different?
One thing that might be helpful is to designate one day as your day off. On that day, you avoid doing any major responsibilities.
You might also want to schedule your shopping, laundry, and other major responsibilities for one other day so that you can get them all done in one go, rather than thinking about them all week. It’s easy to lose valuable time for yourself by constantly running out to stores or tripping your way over chores that need to be done.
The thing is, there will always be something that needs doing. That’s just life. So it helps to carve out some time and space for yourself so you don’t get swamped with the tedious details of everyday life.
8. Talk to a certified mental health counselor.
It may be worth talking to a certified mental health counselor if you find yourself bored with life or not finding joy in things. That may point to other problems, like depression, which may take more than some lifestyle adjustments to work through.
Counselors aren’t just for people with mental illnesses, though. They are also there to help people deal with their emotions, like feeling bored or overwhelmed with your life. So if your life feels stagnant, a mental health counselor can be a great resource for getting to the root cause of those feelings and addressing them.
If you’d like to speak to a counselor, you can simply click here to connect with one of the experienced counselors on BetterHelp.com.
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