Feel like you lost yourself? Forgot your old passions en route to developing your career? Gave up your hobbies and interests in pursuit of someone or something else? It happens, and you're never the only one. If you feel unhappy with what you're doing every day, it could be time to re-evaluate where you feel the best parts of yourself have gone--and how exactly to find them again.
1. Remember when you were happiest
When were you the most content in your life? Was in it high school, when you maintained a perfect balance of extracurricular and academics? Was it in college, when you were finally free from your parents and able to thrive socially? Was it in the professional world, where you realized how much you loved your job and the people you worked with for the very first time?
People feel like they peak at different times. The secret is not lamenting the good times past, but rather to figure out why exactly you had been so happy--and to re-incorporate those aspects back into your life. Once you know which things make you happy, you will be able to figure out where you want to go from here.
2. Figure out what makes you unhappy
In line with learning what makes your heart jump for joy, it's extremely important to reacquaint yourself with what makes your heart rate rise and blood pressure go up in frustration as well. Once you have pinpointed the negative, toxic influences on your life, you'll be able to slowly eliminate them and develop a healthier way of living.
Often, we hold onto things in our past we'd like to keep without realizing the most important fact of all: Perhaps, since it is in our past, there were reasons for letting it go. Whether it is your toxic ex, your draining job, or your inconsistent friendship, cut those negative influences out of your life. Only when we have space to grow do we truly grow. So make some space. And grow.
3. Write it down
The thoughts in our own minds can sometimes overwhelm us. They overpower our own, individual voice. They tell us what we should or should not want, what we can or cannot do, what is good or bad for us. In reality, the only person that is truly privy to any of this information is ourselves.
One of the best ways to organize our thoughts is simply to take them from the abstract to the concrete by visualizing them on a piece of paper. We can write lists of pros and cons, grocery lists, random thoughts, poetry, or keep a diary. All writing is therapeutic; all writing helps us rediscover just what our voice sounds like--and just who we are. Put your pen to paper. Get it all down. And find yourself--again.