Over the last week or so, I found myself more and more unhappy and frustrated with life. I gradually felt less inspired to work, and the more I pushed myself to it, the more resistance I felt. I found myself longing for something else, without knowing what that "something else" would be. It became a frustrating situation. I felt like I was losing myself.
And this happened despite me having most of my happiness habits in place: I work out regularly. I eat healthy, mostly vegetarian food. I take my daily fish oil and Vitamin D. My relationships are in good shape – I don't fight with my girlfriend or have grudges with anyone else. On a daily basis I get to perform a job I have created myself, the job I carefully designed for myself to enjoy the most. So what the hell could be the source of the problem here?
The fact that I have felt very happy, energetic and inspired for weeks and months on end in the last few years, made me even more upset when it all went away, and I was left with low energy and zero inspiration. Why didn't I feel as happy in the last few days? What did I change in my life? I kept thinking and analyzing, looking back on the past couple of weeks, to try to see if any significant event took place, or if I changed any habits. I couldn't find anything significant at all.
Two days ago, I finally couldn't take it anymore. When I sat down to work, I just couldn't. I felt such a strong resistance towards working, that I thought to myself that maybe my writing career is now over, before it had barely started. Since I had hit a brick wall, I decided to take two days off. And I decided to get out, to leave my apartment, which I have spent too much time in lately, as it is where I work. I walk out my door, and I went shopping. I went far away, to a mall I have never been to before. Something started to change in me. Slowly at first.
When I had been shopping for three hours or so, I felt like I was done and wanted to do something else. Then the idea struck me: What if I would try to walk home from here? I checked the map, and it would roughly be a two and a half hour walk. I like taking long walks, but normally I max out at around one hour or so. So I was a bit apprehensive towards this random idea. But something in me said that I definitely needed to take this walk.
And it was so wonderful! I love exploring a new side of the Stockholm suburbs. I had never walked this path before. I explored new neighbourhoods I hadn't been in before, beautiful forests, lakes, new perspectives on some neighbourhoods I had been in, but never passed by foot before. I made some phone calls during the walk and talked to good friends and family. It was a wonderful walk. When I had gotten home, eaten some food, and crashed on the couch, completely exhausted from the long walk in the sun, I felt different inside. I felt a glimmer of the old energy I used to have. And today, the day after, when I woke up at 6 AM, it wasn't just a glimmer anymore. I was glowing! I felt so energized, inspired, and ready to take on the world. I was back!
So what was it that changed me back into the old, happy, energetic, creative and inspired me? The answer is simple: Variation. Sometimes you get so stuck in the same boring habits and routine, in the same environment, day after day, that the monotomy kills you slowly from the inside. You need new experiences regularly to recharge life inspiration and creativity, and in turn happiness. It doesn't matter if the experiences are mundane, such as going to the mall or taking a really long walk, the only thing that matters is that you take a day to do things you haven't done in a long time, and that you do them in an environment you haven't been to in a long time. It is remarkable how little you might need to get back your spark.
So if you feel stuck in boredom, plan a day where you go somewhere you haven't been before, preferably hang out with new people as well, and do something you don't often do. Break your patterns.
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