For a Calmer, Happier Life, Stop Taking Everything So Seriously
Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive.
Words by Elbert Hubbard. Profound and true.
People agonize over the smallest decisions. They worry about daily interactions and the impressions they make on others. And sometimes, they even wrestle with each word of a simple email.
Tom Robbins says:
People tend the take everything too seriously. Especially themselves. Yep. And that’s probably what makes ’em scared and hurt so much of the time. Life is too serious to take that seriously.
Seriousness happens when we see everything as evidence of our abilities, values, and ethics. When in doubt, question if you’re trying to prove yourself.
Everyone has responsibilities and goals to achieve. There are likely countless things you must do and many people depending on you.
Seriousness should depend on the weight of the situation. You’re the best person to judge the weight of every problem or obstacle to overcome.
An overemphasis on seriousness leads to a narrow vision of what’s worth your time and attention. You can become less productive, fixating and nervous about one thing.
You’re likely to misjudge other people’s reactions when you’re too serious about everything. A serious attitude makes it difficult to connect with others. When you stop taking everything so seriously, you make more genuine connections. Ones that can have a positive influence on your life. A relaxed personality is not an indication that you’re irresponsible.
The problem with taking ourselves too seriously is that we look for approval — the fear of rejection prevents us from living our best lives. We allow people to become our judges.
Fear of ridicule makes us overthink everything. The need for worthiness — pleasing, performing, and perfecting consumes us.
When you convince yourself that the world is a stage, you become an actor who must perform to please. That mindset can make the rest of your life miserable. Living our lives as an endless performance is exhausting — we’re always playing a part.
Often people who take things too seriously are perfectionists and can’t tolerate their imperfections and vulnerabilities.
Here’s the thing: you start living when you stop worrying and being concerned with every “what if?” scenario. Stress and worry are not responsible ways to deal with life’s challenges.
While you’re busy worrying about everything, you miss out on the little things that matter. You miss the moments that can make you happy and fulfilled in life. You miss out on connecting with people on a deeper level.
Imagine a world where everyone prioritized self-care and their own well-being first before stressing about everything wrong in their lives.
Here’s the real truth — while things are nowhere near perfect — the sun still rises and falls every day. The sky isn’t falling. It isn’t. The evolution and transformation of everything around us will continue when we’re gone.
Take your life for example. You’re changing but too busy stressing about everything to notice or enjoy the process.
Get out of your head. All that worry isn’t worth your sanity. Stop taking everything so seriously and witness the difference it makes in your life. Go for what you want, but make sure to have fun in the process.
Build and improve your career but don’t make your career your life. The two are not the same. By all means, budget your finances but don’t stress about every penny you spend on coffee. Spend time with family, friends, and colleagues without worrying too much about what they think about you.
The truth is nobody is thinking about you or judging you as much as you are judging yourself.
Relax and Enjoy Life More
Sanity returns once you focus on what’s at hand, give it your very best, and keep moving. Appreciate your journey in life as much as the destination you seek. No one is perfect or has all the answers. I don’t. I make the most of every day.
Just live. Or better yet, learn to live a life looking forward to today’s opportunities.
Things can seem like a big deal from our little plot of existence. Everything happening in your life can come off as monumental. That can stress you out. When life becomes very serious, you stop living. Don’t drive yourself crazy with all the things that have to be done. Be conscious of what you tell yourself so you can start appreciating what you get to do.
Ask yourself simple questions to keep things in perspective. When you feel intense seriousness start to bubble up inside, ask yourself the following questions:
- Is this worth getting upset over?
- Is this really so important right now?
- Is the situation really beyond repair?
- Is this my problem at all?
This can help you calm down, relax, and focus on overcoming the obstacle, or find a solution quickly, and move on.
You don’t have control over as many things as you think. There’s nothing you can control except right now, this moment, and your availability to it.
End this vicious cycle by committing to a brighter and lighter version of yourself. Add more humor to your life — surround yourself with funny people, turn off the news, and watch a comedy instead.
Be OK being vulnerable. Move from measurement to possibilities.
By learning how to spread some lightness into your life, you can stop being too serious and spend more time enjoying life.
No, things won’t always be easy. But this life is still so good — laugh, be cheerful, be open, be free. Smile, it’s free therapy!!! Just Live.