If there is anything that we all share in common as millennials, it’s that we’re all uncertain. At the very least, we’ve all experienced anxiety related to that at one point.
Uncertain of what our future holds. Uncertain if we’re making the right decisions. Uncertain if we’ll be able to live the life our parents had or even better. Uncertain if the political climate will get better or worse. Uncertain about job security.
Anxiety about uncertainties has almost become a rite of passage to be the average millennial in modern-day America. Stress is now a frequent flyer in our lives. Depression may have made itself comfortable at home.
To top it off, our older and well-meaning families seem to be oblivious to the fact that these large– and frankly harmful– blankets statements are unfair to us. The problem right now is not as superficial as “being entitled” versus “being thrown into the world on top of the classifieds”.
The problem is: why is it that with all of the niceties that we have now as opposed to, say, 50 years before do we have a harder time getting to where you were at my age? It takes approximately 14 times more hours at work for us to make enough for public college tuition. That’s just college tuition.
I’m usually met with haughty huffs or small nuggets of inapplicable wisdom spray-painted gold. While I can appreciate that hard work is the only way to build a future for yourself, we also need people to concede that it’s harder now than before… Honestly, after situations like that, I’m just left unimpressed and feeling more frustrated than before.
At the end of the day, if we cannot immediately change our circumstances, we need tools to help us persist in the face of our current adversities. Whatever those challenges may be for you, dear reader, you need a reprieve.
While everyone has their own definition of what success looks like, I think a universal desire is to be happy. That can come about earlier than expected by doing these three things. The nifty thing is that better things always follow when you do it.
Express Gratitude Every Day
I can’t find a single negative thing to say about gratitude. It is an all-around great thing to practice in your daily life. Expressing gratitude over time changes your general outlook while increasing your overall happiness.
Gratitude is the practice of expressing genuine thankfulness for something. It is incredibly easy to focus on and remember negative experiences. When there is a challenge present that is constantly wearing down your mental faculties, it’s hard to remain positive.
However, like I learned in the church, you can’t just pray when bad things are happening. You need to pray when good things are happening, too. And similarly, it is something that you must practice often as it does not come naturally.
This is not me saying ‘things could be better, don’t complain’ either. However, when you focus on the good in your life you naturally can’t spend as much time thinking about the bad shit. This, in turn, increases your resiliency. Gratitude helps to recenter you, reminding you of what you have. It puts your situation into perspective. It gives you hope when there may be none.
Your gratitude can stem from any source that brings you joy or has a positive effect on your life; it can be abstract or concrete. You can be grateful for a place to live or you can be grateful for the hot pocket that you had last night. You can be thankful that you’re in your right mind to think for yourself or be thankful for the friends around you.
Furthermore, when you show someone your gratitude, it not only helps them, but it also gives you a chance to bask in the positivity that emanates from the situation. People love to feel wanted, cared for, and loved. Try paying someone a compliment. Why not let a fellow millennial know that it’ll be OK despite how they feel about their situation. It could be a much-needed boost for the day.
And who knows what you could receive by putting all of that positivity out there. 🙂
Meditate Mindfully Every Day
I will keep saying this over and over because it is a critical component for maintaining sanity. Meditation is a practice that can help to bring mental clarity after dealing with stress all day. It helps to identify problems in your life that have been there over time or problems that have recently erupted.
While mindfully meditating, you’re just allowing your thoughts to come and go as they please. You watch as a bystander while refraining from passing judgment on any thought that may arise or fade away.
Being able to quickly identify thought patterns that may turn negative is one of many ways to fix a problem or potential problem before things go south.
Even if you’re not meditating with the goal to relax, it still happens fairly often. It’s called the relaxation response. It is an unintentional response to the act of meditating. When you combine deep breathing with what is a naturally calming exercise, it’s not all that surprising that feeling relaxed is a result.
It doesn’t just stop there, though. The relaxation response prompts “blood pressure, heart rate, digestive function, and hormone levels return to their normal state”.
Any way you spin it, meditation is FTW.
(for the win)
Trust in the Law of Attraction and It Will Never Lead You Astray
For the uninitiated, the law of attraction is, in essence, that idea that everything and one has an “energy signature” or a “vibration”. The higher the “frequency” of your vibration, the better you are at attracting the things that you want and the easier it is to manifest that into your life. On the other hand, if your vibration is too low, you’ll only attract the things you seem to only hate and dislike (things with a similar vibration).
“Like attracts like,” in simplistic terms.
All thoughts eventually turn to tangible things, because we have the power of a creator. We are creative Beings. The key to manifestation, according to the law of attraction, is raising your vibration so that you are on the same frequency as the things you want and are meant for you.
To do this, first, you must truly be grateful for the abundance that is already in your life. Secondly, you must focus intently on the things that you want. So much so that you, in some sense, live right now the way you wish to live in the future.
This is not to say that you go to Saks Fifth Avenue with your rent money, in hopes that you will be an Amex Black Card Holder. Instead, I’m saying that if you live with the mindset that one day you will be rich and adjust your behavior to reflect that, those things will undoubtedly be attracted to that vibration that basically says, “I’m ready for this”.
I know. I know. This sounds like some unmeasurable, fictional, cockamamie pseudoscience. And while you may not be able to measure it or ascertain it’s existence through conventional means, I still firmly believe that this works.
Think about it, though. If you want to be smarter, you don’t gravitate toward people who lack the knowledge you seek, you find people who do. The people who do have the knowledge you seek will, by some means, find their way to you because of the energy you put forth in looking for them. There is the natural application of the law of attraction at work.
It pretty much happens all the time.
So if you wish to be rich, be grateful first, then adopt some rich habits and see how far it’ll take you. If you want to stay away from being poor, don’t speak ideas of poorness into the universe, e.g. “I don’t want to be poor”. You are directing attention to a thought that doesn’t need any. Instead, talk about and direct attention to what you do want, e.g. “I will be wealthy, healthy, and happy.” If your ambitions have nothing to do with money, it will work, too.
If nothing else, this is just a great way to live your life and these positive influences will naturally make life easier to manage. 🙂
You may be wondering how any of this is possible when you’re bogged down by negative feelings. I will admit that these things are hard to do consistently, at first, but over time– much like any other skill– it will become easier to do.
Build a ritual of sorts around these tenets to make it much easier to implement in your life. Follow them diligently, as these are essential things that will help you to deal with the stress of daily life. Of course, work as hard as you can, but don’t forget to work hard to care for yourself, as well.
You’ve only got one body and one life.
Don’t spend it all in one go trying to make things work when the system is inherently broken for us. Spend some time focusing on the things you can change and can make better.
Peace and peace,