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Lighten Up Already: How Not to Take Life So Seriously

(This content is being used for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted in the content is a model)

By Cheryl Steinberg

It’s easy to get caught up in daily life and lose perspective. There are many different takes on the meaning of life and everyone is entitled to their own interpretation. However, here are some tips to letting go of the stress and insecurities we sometimes feel when we start thinking it’s us against the world.

It’s my belief that levity is the spice of life. Sometimes, you gotta laugh to keep from crying. So, lighten up already! Here’s how not to take life so seriously.

  1. Everything is ridiculous

I’ll explain. Look around you. As much as there are serious and even bad things that are happening (i.e. violence, war, inequality), the world is full of ridiculous people who go around hating others because they hate themselves, taking themselves too seriously (i.e. taking numerous selfies and waiting for the ‘likes’ to roll in), watching stupid TV shows, and in the end, we all die. Death doesn’t discriminate. The world is a ridiculous place. Don’t take it so seriously.

  1. Don’t take sh!t personally

Cliché, I know, and easier said than done. But, as you get older and wiser, you’ll realize that all the stuff that you used to worry about: how you look or what someone thinks about you – is simply a waste of energy. You’ll realize how foolish and even torturous you were to yourself and for no good reason. As a very popular Disney movie advises: Let it go.

  1. Money doesn’t buy happiness

OK, well having some money can make you happy in the sense that you aren’t worrying about having enough money for groceries after you’ve paid your bills (welcome to the working poor!) because well, you’re not anxious about covering your basic needs. But, what studies have found is that people’s sense of happiness increases as their pay increases – but only up to a certain point ($75,000/year to be specific – which I would be more than happy to take home annually). After that, your degree of happiness actually begins to decline.

What’s most important is what you’re spending your money on. If it’s the newest gadgets and clothes, then your feelings of happiness are fleeting. Spending money on experiences is where it’s at. Going on vacation with family or good friends, for example, leaves you with an experience as well as memories that last a lifetime.

  1. Worrying changes nothing

Now, it’s impossible to go through life without a care in the world and it’s probably even a bit dangerous – if you’re not concerned about your health or welfare for example. But, you shouldn’t let worrying occupy your mind. It’s pointless. This is a good time to invoke #1 on this list and find a way to laugh about your troubles. You might be surprised at how much this can help. Besides lightening your mood, you might just find a creative solution to whatever your problem(s) is.

  1. Everybody is going to die (yes, even you)

Did you know that if you make it to the age of 90 years old, you will have lived less than 800,000 hours, and a third of that is spent sleeping?! Don’t waste your waking hours getting all worked up about life. Focus on the present and take advantage of what you have.

  1. You’re a very small thing in a very big universe

Now, this isn’t to say that you – or anybody else – are insignificant. But, keeping a perspective on just how infinite this world is and on just how little time and (space) you will occupy on Earth should help you to remember to practice numbers 1, 4, and 5 (really, all of the things on this list).

Substance abuse and drug addiction is no laughing matter; it’s a life-or-death disease that requires intervention and treatment. And while coping with your own or a loved one’s addiction may be made easier with some healthy doses of humor, it’s important to reach out for help. We are available 24/7 to take your call and help you figure things out. Call us toll-free at 1-800-951-6135.

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