Ever feel like something about your life is "off"? Maybe you don't feel entirely happy with how things are going — with your career, your relationships, or where you live. Or maybe things are mostly OK, but you have the sneaking suspicion they could be so much better.
Whatever the case may be, checking in with yourself is always a good idea. If you occasionally evaluate your life, and see how things feel thus far, it can save you from getting stuck in a rut. "It can also mean catching anything that is starting to make you unhappy and doing something about it before it get worse," says psychologist Dr. Nikki Martinez, in an email to Bustle.
It may not be a comfortable experience — especially if you realize you need to make some major changes. But a little self-reflection is often necessary in the name of heading off in a more positive direction, therapist Julienne B. Derichs, LCPC, tells me.
When it comes to making changes, she says it's important to get in sync with your goals, values, and talents. Do you need a more fulfilling job? Is it time to try out living in a new city? Or do you just need a few more (positive) challenges in your life? Read on for some signs it may be time to shake things up and try something new.
1. You Feel Anxious For Seemingly No Reason
If your life is currently less than ideal, your body might try to give you a hint with an annoying case of anxiety. You know, "the kind where you can't fall asleep because your mind is racing with all the things that you're concerned about," says psychologist Dr. Nikki Martinez. If you can't shake the feeling that something's wrong, it may be time to shake things up.
2. You Look Forward To Feeling Great "Someday"
As Derichs tells me, thinking "I'll be happy when..." is a clear sign something needs to change. (Like, right now.) So take note if you find yourself waiting for the day when you finally have the dream job, the perfect partner, and/or steady yoga routine. You deserve to be happy right now, so start making it happen.
3. You'd Describe Your Daily Routine As "Mind-Numbing"
If you're bored with your current life you might feel, well, bored. This might show up as a general lack of motivation, Derichs tells me. Or zero desire to go about your daily routine. Or a nagging sense that life has become a chore. Whatever the feeling, it ain't good.
4. You Can't Seem To Get Any Sleep
If you're feeling anxious and bored, it make sense that you might have trouble sleeping, too. As Martinez says, "Insomnia goes hand in hand with this." So take note if you're lying awake 'til all hours feeling stuck, freaked out, or worried about the future.
5. You Find Yourself Surrounded By Unhappy People
"There [may be] some truth to the saying 'misery loves company,'" Derichs says. So take a look at the people you hang out with the most. Are they all totally miserable? If so, it may be time to look for a more inspiring — and uplifting — friend group.
6. You Feel Achey And Rundown
When your current life isn't jiving with what you imagined for yourself, it can start to take a toll on your body. "You [might] have headaches, stomach upset, and other body aches and pains," Derichs says. When you're riddled with unhappiness, stress, and worry, crappy health won't be far behind.
7. You've Been Getting Extra Frustrated As Of Late
If you've been scowling away at work, or tromping angrily around with friends, it may be worth noting. "When someone isn't happy with his/her life, they often notice themselves feeling frustrated with things that ordinarily wouldn't upset them," says life coach Nina Rubin, in an email to Bustle. "Little things get blown out of proportion and people tend to irritate them." Sound familiar?
8. You Catch Yourself Complaining All The Time
Happy people don't complain about their lives, so take it as a huge hint if you can't seem to stop. If you catch yourself complaining 24/7, it's a sure sign you're bored, frustrated, or unhappy with your current situation.
9. You Dream About Being Somewhere Else
Instead of waking up happy to be where you are and doing what you're doing, you constantly wish you were somewhere else. Maybe you dream about getting an apartment in a different city, or scoring a job with a different company. As Derichs tells me, it's all a sign that you desperately need to try something new.
10. You've Given Up On Your Social Life
What do you do after work? If your answer is "run home as fast as humanly possible," beware. Withdrawing from your social life can cause problems, Rubin tells me, and it can point to a problem. If you want nothing to do with your friends, it may be a trend worth evaluating.
11. You Constantly Compare Your Life To Everyone Else's
It's OK to occasionally give your friends' lives the ol' once over. But if you simply cannot stop comparing, it may be a sign you aren't too thrilled with your own life, Derichs tells me. When that's the case, it may be time to figure out what you need to change so your life can better match up with your vision.
This, of course, will take some work. If you find that you aren't happy with your life, it's necessary to think about what, exactly, you'd like to change. Do you need a new job? New friends? Or simply some new goals? Whatever it may be, figure out what you need and then set off in that direction. You'll be much happier as a result.
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