Life can be strangely complicated. You think you know exactly what you want, you've mapped it all out — and then sh*t hits the fan. Your life probably isn't bad, but you've settled and your happiness fell by the wayside. These are key signs that you need a major life change. Whether you've been feeling like this for a few months or a couple of years, no one should be living their life just to get through the day. And let's be real: Being an adult sucks. You have more responsibilities and you actually have to make important decisions. But even though it's tough, running away and avoiding your life won't solve anything. Everything is usually determined by how you decide to view the world and how you pick yourself up from failure.
"I am a firm believer of the radical notion that nothing is wrong with us, that we are not filled with pathology but rather, potential. In this, we do react to life circumstances, be it trauma, stress, dysfunctional relationships. Those who have suffered at the hands of these life circumstances longer will not only grow more accustomed to them and develop lower and lower expectations and dreams, but also have less resiliency to handle transitions and stress," says zen psychotherapist and neuromarketing strategist Michele Paiva in an interview with Bustle over email.
You have more strength and power than you give yourself credit for. But if you're not exactly sure if your apathy is derived from your current life situation or something else, here are nine signs you need a major life change ASAP.
1. Your Energy Is Low
While your energy can be low because of health reasons (in which case it's always a good idea to go to the doctor), it could be because you're living a meaningless life and you've just stopped caring. Maybe you've settled and the thought of changing anything sounds exhausting. "You stopped caring about yourself the way you used to. You need to start slow; talk walks, eat one healthy meal a day at least, trade off one junky snack for a healthy snack, drink more water," says Paiva.
2. You Feel Numb
Nothing excites you anymore and you don't remember the last time you seriously laughed out loud? These little indicators are telling you that you're not exercising your senses so you can have a thrilling and exciting life. According to MindBodyGreen, you might feel numb because you've lost passion and motivation. Try to do things that you love more often; it could help you revitalize your spirit.
3. You've Stopped Working On Yourself
You're the most important thing in your life, and it's imperative to remember to take care of yourself first because you probably won't be able to have a fulfilling life if you're not happy with yourself. "Go to a library, scour the internet, start embracing 'you time' and expanding your world, be it through hobbies or activities with others. Start learning and get to know how vast your untapped potential is; it will impress you," says Paiva.
4. Your Environment Has Become Toxic
If you find that you're surrounding yourself with toxic people who constantly criticize you or your work or are in an environment that is filled with negatively, it might be time to make some changes. It's impossible to be positive when your surroundings are not making you happy.
"Your friends do not raise you up, but rather, enjoy hearing your down moments, expect you to hear theirs incessantly and do not seem to openly and authentically celebrate your tribulations. They seem to put you down in small ways that just don't feel right, but you might not be able to pinpoint exactly what [it is] — maybe it is the back-handed compliment, maybe it is the cutting you off when you are talking, maybe it is never showing up for time together but not having remorse on treating you like a side dish. Either way, they drain your energy, resources and patience," says Paiva.
5. You're Not Happy In Your Romantic Relationship
Sometimes it's hard to admit that your romantic partner isn't the one that you should be with. Whether they're toxic and bringing you down, or your lives are going on separate paths, it might be a good idea to stop fighting with what your gut is telling you and just pull the plug. "Your partner makes you feel less than, like you are not enough in some way. They blame you and use you as their emotional punching bag (and if it is physical, you need a change NOW)," says Paiva.
6. You're Merely Surviving
Losing yourself in doing the same mundane things can kill your creatively and drive. Going to work and coming home to just pay the bills can be harmful to your spirit. According to the Huffington Post, your life is supposed to be filled with experiences and challenges. Daydreaming about the life you wish you had won't get you far in life. If you've been feeling restless and enthusiastic, it might be your gut telling you that you need a change ASAP.
7. You've Acquired A Compulsive Behavior
According to MSN Lifestyle, author and life coach, Eleanor O'Rourke, "You can’t stop eating, smoking or drinking. Compulsive behavior is a sign that we’re battling to balance the voice of reason with our heart’s desires. An addiction becomes a friend; one you both celebrate and commiserate with. The solution is to find a better friend. Try swapping the cake for an aromatherapy massage; cigarettes for a brisk walk or a jog around the block." If you're not happy with your life, don't try to cover it up with something else. Keep your vices separate and figure out the root of your problem so you can solve it and live the life you've always wanted to live.
8. You're Constantly Dreaming About The Past
The past is in the past for the reason. While it's always nice to reminisce about things, you don't want to be solely focusing on the past because you're tired of your life in the present. According to the Huffington Post, Annabel Irion Worsham, centennial professor of psychology and marketing at the University of Texas at Austin Art Markman, Ph.D., said, "When you look back on past events, you know how they turned out. Uncertainty is stressful. The present often feels less pleasant than the past, because we’re still waiting to find out how the various education and business ventures that are part of our life now are going to work out."
9. You Keep Thinking "There Has To Be More Than This"
It might be time to change things around when you don't feel like your living your life's purpose. You may be seeking for it or patiently waiting on signs for what it could be, but eventually, you may never live your fullest life if you're constantly waiting for the answers to come to you. According to spiritual site Tiny Buddha, some people tend to wait for permission to live the life they've always dreamed, but no one else is going to give them that access besides them.
10. You're Feeling Depressed
While your life is not going to be filled with sunshine and butterflies every waking moment, it shouldn't be making you feel depressed. "Depression is your body and brain’s way of saying, 'Something needs to change.' It’s there to make you stop and re-evaluate, and hopefully do something differently. That might include taking better care of yourself, saying 'no' to things or people that aren’t healthy for you, letting others help you, or changing your life circumstances, but whatever it is, it’s one way of knowing it’s time [for] change," says clinical psychologist, speaker, and founder of AZ Postpartum Wellness Coalition Christina G. Hibbert, Psy.D. in an interview with Bustle over email.
11. You're Experiencing Immense Stress
"If your health or mental health is severely suffering, it’s time for a major life change. If there’s one thing that’s a sure sign of a need for change it’s this: stress. If you’re living under immense stress—in work, home, or social life—it’s time to make a change. Change your habits like sleep, nutrition, and exercise. Implement stress relievers like relaxation, meditation, or mindfulness techniques. Poor health is one of the biggest indicators that it’s time for something major to change," says Hibbert. Be aware of how your body is communicating with you. Feeling constantly burnt out and exhausted is a key sign that your life needs to be altered in some way.
How you live your life is determined by you, no one else. Rather than feeling helpless and defeated, pick yourself up, figure out what you want, and go after it. Don't forget to love yourself and definitely don't settle. You deserve better than that.