Why do we feel exhausted? Some ways to overcome malaise

In our modern society, we, as humans, have done some incredibly innovative things and have shaped our world to the world we know today. As great and impressive some of our evolutions might be, we must face the downsides arising from them as well. Doctor Schaffner from the University of Kent got intrigued by the overall exhaustion[1] of humans and wrote all her investigations down in her book Exhaustion: A History. According to the World Health Organisation, around 300 million people are suffering from depression worldwide. Some even claim that we are facing a so called ‘exhaustion epidemic’.

Although some people believe that our brain (and bodies) are just not made for our 24/7 culture, exhaustion is not a new phenomenon. Throughout history, people have always felt tired and unhappy about their lives, just as we do. The only thing that varies throughout the ages is the causes and effects aligned with it. Scientists are not sure whether it is our body or brain that is actually triggering (any form of) exhaustion. What we do know for sure is that exhaustion is just a very normal and common feeling that every human being experienced from time to time.

Since we need to accept that exhaustion is just a part of our lives and that there is no easy cure for this malaise, the only thing we can do is to change the way we deal with it. Experiencing any type of exhaustion is directly intertwined with our mind. Changing your mindset and the way you look at life, in general, can make a huge difference.

Therefore, I would like to share with you some tips and ideas about my perspective on life and how I have made myself feel happier and more satisfied with the life I am living. Having this kind of mindset can definitely help you overcome stress, burn out, depression, or any kind of form of exhaustion or unhappiness.

Tip 1: Define happiness and success

The first step you need to take in order to do something about your happiness is to define what makes YOU happy and how YOU define success. Think about what makes you happy in life: is it reading a book, spending time with your beloved ones, or is it spending time on your own in nature? Whatever it may be, make sure you know what makes you happy and do it as much as you can. Secondly, it is of utmost importance to know what you define as being successful. Set your own goals and achievements and do not let you influence by what the society defines as being successful. If you feel satisfied with a part-time job and not having a big house, a car and so on, well, that is great! Define what you want to do with your life and try to make it happen. That’s all you need to do.

Tip 2: Do not compare yourself with others

When defining what makes you happy and what you define as being successful, it is necessary to not compare yourself with others. Do not think about what the society defines as successful, think about what makes YOU successful in YOUR eyes. That is all that matters.

Tip 3: Surround yourself with good people

Another important thing to do is to surround yourself with people you love and with people who genuinely love you as well. If a person does not show he/she genuinely cares about your happiness or sadness, this person does not deserve your time and attention (anymore). Although it might sound like something very harsh to do, it is necessary to take distance from people who do not show true love for you as a person. Spend time with people who make you feel happy, who make you laugh, who make you feel better when there is something wrong and who make you be the best version of yourself. Your friends and family should make you capable of doing great things; they should not drag you down in any kind of way.

Tip 4: Always think positively

It might sound like something you have heard a billion times before, but it is true: always try to think positively. This is of utmost importance if you would like to feel happier in life! Even if something very bad or sad happens to you and you are having a difficult time, always remember that in a way, things will get better. Whether you had a good or a bad experience, there is always something you can learn from it. ALWAYS. Next time you are having a hard time, just try to think of what you learned from it and try to see it as a valuable lesson in life that will make you, at the end, benefit from it. ‘Never a failure, always a lesson’ is a life quote I live by.

Tip 5: It is okay not to be okay

My last tip is one that might sound controversial, but that will give you some peace in a way. We are human beings and we just cannot feel happy EVERY moment of the day/week/month/year. Life can be hard and we need to face some difficult and/or sad moments from time to time. That is just part of life. If you do feel sad (or anything) about something, it really is okay to feel that way. The fact that you experience a shift in emotions, only makes you more human. Take the time you need to process it, but try to remember yourself of the positive side of it and what you can learn from it (as mentioned in the tip before).

 

We, as humans, need to accept that we are not perfect and that life has its ups and downs. There is nothing we can do about that. What we can do is change the way we look at life and how we deal with it. Find what makes YOU happy and try to stay as positive as possible in any situation. This, my friend, will lead you to true happiness and help you overcome exhaustion.

[1] Exhaustion is the overall term to describe any type of physical, mental and spiritual exhaustion that a person can feel, like stress, lethargy, burn out and depression for example.

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