Sometimes I'm even too embarrassed to post things on social media in case I sound pathetic.
One of the best ways to sabotage our happiness is to question it and start picking it apart. Instead of just relaxing into a great moment, we start wondering if it's really so great. Maybe it could be better?
I am an expert at doing this; right in the middle of something really great I’ll start thinking, "Are these people really enjoying being here with me? Do they wish they were somewhere else? Am I lame for enjoying this- after all it’s just a (work party, family gathering, walk with my husband, tea with my friend, fill in the blank). My life must be really boring if I think this is great.
Facebook has really fed into this phenomena by making me think everyone else is doing really cool things all the time while I’m just… see list above. Sometimes I'm even too embarrassed to post the fun things I'm doing in case it sounds pathetic. Talk about sabotaging myself! I know I'm not alone here.
A recent study published by Plos One discovered a direct link between time spent on social media sites and declining happiness in young adults
(Kross E, Verduyn P, Demiralp E, Park J, Lee DS, et al. (2013) Facebook Use Predicts Declines in Subjective Well-Being in Young Adults. PLoS ONE 8(8): e69841. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0069841). One theory for this outcome is the "comparison affect," whereby seeing lots of pictures of your virtual friends at amusement parks and beaches makes you feel worse about your life. I buy that theory because I know it happens to me.
The reality is if I’m enjoying myself what possible difference can it make what other people think? More importantly, people are much more concerned about what they are doing and if you think that's cool than about what you are doing.
Another bit of truth: others believe whatever you believe about your life. If you think that a rental cabin on a local lake is the best vacation ever and you talk about how much you enjoy it, other people will think it’s awesome too. At least the people who matter and isn't that really what you want?
So stop sabotaging your life. Enjoy whatever it is you enjoy this weekend and don't worry about how it will look when you post it.
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