We get it. In this day, working outside the home is part of our lives. Even a farmer might find that keeping a job can help make their farm more productive or make ends meet. But it comes with a price, as parts of our modern lifestyle do not add to happiness, possibly making you unhappy. Here are six such issues, and what you can do to counteract them.
You don’t spend enough time in nature
Studies have shown that natural environments, including parks and the beach, are beneficial to well-being. People who spend time in nature feel happier and more relaxed, and experience less mental fatigue. Comparatively, urban environments make people feel stressed and mentally tired. Fix: Take some time regularly to get outdoors.
You don’t get enough daylight
Depending on your job and location, you may only get a small amount of natural light per day. Some office workers set off for work in the dark, spend all day indoors, and then go home in the dark. This routine can cause low vitamin D levels, and if you suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), it can have an adverse effect on your mood. The solution is simple: spend more time outdoors in direct sunlight.
Material possessions have taken over
Everyone has experienced retail therapy, that high you get when you spend money on something new. But that new prized possession quickly becomes passe, and soon, you’re pining after something else. To counter this, get into the habit of spending money on experiences, not possessions.
You’re addicted to your smartphone
The research base is still in its early stages, but the evidence is building that excessive social media usage contributes to low moods and anxiety. Try this experiment — keep your phone and internet off for one day, and count how many times you feel the urge to check your smartphone. You may be surprised at the results. To help curb your technology addiction, spend some time every day unplugged, with the WiFi, and all phones turned off.
Your commute is making you miserable
Commuting to work has been rated in surveys as the least happy time of day, even lower than being at work. In the search for a more comfortable life, many people accept jobs far away from their home. But long commute times may negate the monetary benefits. In reality, the shorter your commute, the happier you’ll be. Finding work closer to home is the best case scenario but if you can’t, is it possible to negotiate a few days per week where you work from home?
You’ve Stopped Connecting
The link between social relationships and happiness is well-established by research. Unfortunately though, as people older, they spend less and less time with their friends. It’s so easy to let friendships slide, especially if you’re tired after work, have children, or have a date with a box set. However, it is important to find ways to make it work. Invite friends over, plan an evening out, or just show up unannounced one day. Netflix can wait.
Make the effort
Human beings are creatures of habit, and it’s easy to get stuck doing the same things every day, even if they are not beneficial. It can take a bit of effort to adjust your routine, but the benefits are worth it. Try applying the above solutions just for one month, and see what effect it has on your life.