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Everyone Is Miserable: Here's What We Can Do About It

Soul-Destroying Work

Soul-Destroying Work

If the work you're doing isn't meaningful, people are bound to get anxious, depressed and unhappy. The most stress-inducing is the work that is monotonous and boring.

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Everyone Is Miserable: Here's What We Can Do About It

Everyone Is Miserable: Here's What We Can Do About It

https://www.fastcompany.com/40527184/everyones-miserable-heres-why-and-what-we-can-do-about-it

fastcompany.com

4

Key Ideas

Unhappiness vs Depression

Unhappiness and depression are on the same platform. They both are caused due to our disconnection from what makes us happy.

What we need to be Happy

Depression is caused by the lack of what we need to be happy:

  • We need to belong to a group. 
  • We need to be valued by other people.
  • We need to know that we are good at something.
  • We need to know we are secure in our future.

Soul-Destroying Work

If the work you're doing isn't meaningful, people are bound to get anxious, depressed and unhappy. The most stress-inducing is the work that is monotonous and boring.

Meaningful Values

To be happy, we need to have meaningful values:

  • Avoid materialism and consumerism.
  • Find lost connections with nature and people.
  • Be more giving.
  • Avoid social media
  • Live by basic values like loving your friends and family, and doing what we love.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Depression and medication

Doctors for long treated depression as something inside your brain, which can be treated with meds, with no outside influence.

Certain exceptions (like losing a loved one and this leadi...

Isolated diagnosis

To treat someone who seemingly has depression, while isolating this from any other situation, event or circumstance that might have triggered it is a flawed way to diagnose a potential mental illness.

The root cause of the problem of depression is not addressed in this way.

Happy pills

Antidepressant prescription and eventually their doses have doubled over the past decade, yet depression and anxiety are spiraling out of control.

The real cause of depression does not seem to be completely inside our heads, and pill-popping is just a stop-gap measure, which may even be harmful.

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School should not be the place where kids just learn and pass information, but a place where they learn about themselves.

You picked up in School without realizing that:

1. Success comes from the approval of others.

2. Failure is a source of shame.

3. You depend on authority.

Performance vs. purpose performance

Our system is performance-based and not purpose-based. It teaches mimicry and not passion. And performance-based learning isn’t even efficient.

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The "kindness pandemic"

Viruses aren’t the only things that spread through networks of people. Attitudes and behaviors do too. And we should take advantage of it. 
Spreading happiness and kindness right now is ...

Spreading connection

70% of our happiness comes from your relationships with other people. And the social distancing situation has left some with zero people around them. 
So reach out. Extended time without social contact is bad: Send a text, make that phone/video call, anything you want to let people know you care and are thinking about them.

Spreading help

Ask people if they need anything.  There are people out there in need of a little more than well wishes right now. And when people see others helping, they’re more likely to help. 

Also, if you need help, don’t be afraid to ask for it.

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Happy people vs. miserable people

Happy people engage in more happiness-boosting habits while unhappy people engage in more misery-inducing habits. 

You can choose which habits to cultivate in your life. If ...

Happy People Experience Flow Often
Flow is a state of complete absorption and full involvement in the present moment. 

It is marked by intense concentration, a sense of timelessness, and a loss of self-consciousness. It’s a deeply healing and enjoyable state and one that greatly contributes to our happiness.

Activities of happy people
  • They meditate.
  • They exercise regularly. “Surveys show that exercise may very well be the most effective instant happiness booster of all activities.”
  • They stop and smell the roses. 
  • They spend time with their furry friends.
  • They spend time outside.

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How depression is measured

Depression is often measured by scientists using something called the Hamilton Scale. It runs from 0 (where you are dancing in ecstasy) to 59 (where you are suicidal). 

Causes of depression

Many leading scientists believe the whole idea that depression is caused by a “chemically imbalanced” brain is wrong. 

There are in fact nine major causes of depression and anxiety that are unfolding all around us. Two are biological, and seven are out in here in the world, rather than sealed away inside our skulls.

Childhood trauma can cause depression

When you’re a child, you have very little power to change your environment. So, you have two choices.

  1. You can admit to yourself that you are powerless and there’s simply nothing you can do about it.
  2. You can tell yourself it’s your fault and at some strange level under your control. If you were responsible for being hurt, then at some level, you have to think you deserved it.

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Effects of ordinary medication

There’s emerging evidence that ordinary medications - from paracetamol to antihistamines, statins, asthma medications, and antidepressants - can change our brains. They can make us impulsive...

The crisis of over-medication
  • The US buys an equivalent of 298 paracetamol tablets per person every year.
  • The average American consumes $1,200 worth of prescription medications over the same period.
  • In the UK, one in 10 people over the age of 65 takes eight medications every week.
Statins and personality changes 
  • People with lower cholesterol levels are more likely to die violent deaths.
  • If you put primates on a low-cholesterol diet, they become more aggressive. Lowering animals’ cholesterol seems to affect their levels of serotonin. Even fruit flies start fighting if you interfere with their serotonin levels.
  • Studies have linked serotonin levels in people to violence, impulsivity, suicide, and murder.
  • In a randomized controlled trial, statins were found to increase aggression in post-menopausal women though, oddly, not in men. Giving statins to Nile tilapia made them more confrontational and altered the levels of serotonin in their brains.

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Hyper Envy

As people get more and more connected through social media and internet-based tools, they get exposed to things that make them envious.

Envy has always existed, but in the age of social media...

Comparisons With Everyone

The world has gotten smaller due to social media, as everything is instantly visible to all.

A few years ago, we just had our neighbors to compare with and were oblivious of the rest of the world. Now everyone is accessible and comparisons are rife.

The Envy Is Real

We have the smartphones that we carry with us 24/7, always able to catch what other people are up to and feel envious about it.

Even if we use logic and intellect to tell ourselves that the images that we see on social media may not be real or factual, as they can be edited/filtered, they still affect us on an emotional level.

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Stop entering relationships

... that you know are doomed.  We should not be pursuing every relationship that comes our way, but only those relationships that have the potential to work.

Get curious about how you act

... when you’re in a relationship. Think about those four horsemen of the relationships apocalypse: criticism, defensiveness, contempt and stonewalling and how often do you exhibit any of them.

Try to observe your actions and strive to understand the reasons behind them.

Relationship as a partnership

It helps to view your relationship as a “work of art” that you two are co-creating together, in real-time.

The work-of-art mindset can help counter that pessimistic self-narrative. Instead, you get to stop thinking about yourself and what you’re gaining or losing in your relationship, and you get to start thinking about what you have to offer.

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Craving for normalcy
Craving for normalcy

With all the 2020 events, we all want life to be normal again. While we are starting to adjust to the new normal, many of us are not adjusting in a good way. We let go of positive routines and repl...

Behavioral Activation Therapy - BAT

The idea behind BAT is that we have to do happy to feel happy. Instead of our mood changing what we do, we need to change what we do to fix our mood. The first principle of BAT is to change what you do. Engage in the right activities and positive feelings will follow.

We can't wait until we feel better before we act. Emotions perpetuate themselves. We have to move now and break the cycle of our feelings. This is how we grab hold of happiness.

The Balance Between Leisure And Mistery
  • Pleasure is vital, but we want the kind that will last and not leave you even more stressed than before you started. We're looking for a deeper satisfaction that comes from truly meaningful activities like relationships, exercise, and reading.
  • Mastery can be thought of as a feeling of accomplishment. Progress in goals that are meaningful to you, whether it pays the bills or not.

Create a balance between leisure activities and mastery.

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“Work and rest are actually partners. They are like different parts of a wave. You can’t have the high without the lo..."
Alex Soojung-Kim Pang
Why we don't take time off

  • We think more work should equal more output: we see productivity not as doing more with less. But simply doing more.
  • We’re afraid of being “left behind”:  not only could we miss out on some important conversation, but we worry that we’ll be left behind.
  • Work has become a larger part of our identity: we feel personally connected to the work we do. Taking time away opens up all sorts of questions that can be hard to face. 

Deliberate rest

It is a play on the term “deliberate practice” and it means engaging with restful activities that are often vigorous and mentally engaging.

It is not a continuation of work, but a way to find activities that let you recharge from your workday, while still being mentally productive.

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