As 2019 comes to a close, I am sure there are many people contemplating their New Years’ resolutions. Some people find this as just a lighthearted tradition, while others tend to take this more seriously. I am not sure how this tradition started, but if we think about the human psyche for just a moment, the idea is inevitable. We are always trying to improve ourselves and our happiness throughout our lives.
If you look back at history, it is clear to see that we are at the peak of quality of life. Sure there are people that struggle tremendously, but for the majority of the people in our 1st world country, there is not much of a struggle compared to our ancestors. Although our lives from an outside perspective are improving, it’s clear to see that is not the same for mental health.
I truly believe there are many aspects that affect a person’s happiness in this day and age, but I think that our constant need to improve has been accelerated. We tend to worry about a lot more than our one or two New Years Resolutions throughout the year. We are always comparing ourselves to others and are constantly seeing the best of everyone else. Sure there are ways to make this less in your face all the time. You can delete your social media, watch less tv, meditate, etc. But this isn’t going to stop the future from coming and at some point, we are going to have to adapt to where we are. Plenty of people have journals to write what they are thankful for every day and if you can keep up with that, kudos to you. However, for most of us, life gets in the way and sometimes it’s hard to remember to be thankful and to appreciate where we are in life.
I truly believe true mental health is a journey. Sure we need to continue to work towards a goal in order to feel like our life has a purpose, but we also need to take time to realize how far we have come and how much it took to get here. There is never going to be a point in your life where you completely arrive. There will always be the next step for you, hopefully, because what would be the point of life if there wasn’t? However, we need to constantly remind ourselves that we really have accomplished a lot. As you are reading this post, take time to realize all the little and big things you accomplished this 2019 and be immensely proud of yourself, even just for a moment.