“Don’t take life too seriously; nobody ever makes it out alive anyway.” – Van Wilder
Many of us take ourselves far too seriously, and that shows in the amount of stress we have in our daily lives. What if we stepped back for a few minutes to remember that there’s so much more to life than our job titles, money, accomplishments, degrees, and whatever else we identify with? Most of us spend so much time trying to become something and beat obstacles and get ahead that we forget to simply breathe, laugh, and take in the beauty that surrounds us everyday. We let the voices in our heads tell us we aren’t good enough way too often, and we start to believe them after a while.
Life doesn’t have to feel like a constant battle; you can choose to have a more light-hearted approach, and just ride the waves of life rather than fighting to stay afloat.
Here are 5 signs you take yourself too seriously:
1. You don’t remember the last time you laughed at yourself – or anything at all, for that matter.
Many studies have come out in the past decade regarding the incredible health benefits of laughter, and how it really is the best medicine. Laughter has been proven to reduce stress, combat anxiety and depression, improve memory, lower blood pressure and heart rate, release endorphins into the body, and even boost circulation and oxygen levels to organs. It offers a plethora of health benefits, and most of all, it helps you not take life so seriously. If you don’t remember the last time you laughed, I would recommend taking the highest dosage of laughter you can, because keeping our hearts light and happy allow us to live a healthier, richer life.
Go out with friends, watch a funny YouTube video, or do anything that brings a smile to your face. Just because you have responsibilities in life, does not mean you can’t enjoy yourself along the way!
2. You feel you must defend yourself constantly.
If you take yourself too seriously, you will likely feel as though everyone wants to attack you and get under your skin. You might see the world as a hostile, unfriendly place, in which you must defend your territory and belief systems. However, having this attitude will only keep people from getting close to you, and will not help you to stop taking yourself so seriously. Most people in the world actually love reaching out to others and having intelligent conversations without wanting to hurt or attack other people for their beliefs or personality.
If you feel threatened by others, work on your confidence levels so that other people start to look like friends rather than enemies in your eyes.
3. You get offended when other people question your beliefs.
As an elaboration of the last point, you shouldn’t feel threatened or on edge when other people ask questions about your beliefs or viewpoints. You should be able to have a civilized, open conversation with someone without taking it to the extreme and feeling like you must get defensive about it. If you don’t want to elaborate on how you feel, you don’t have to, but most of the time, others just want to get to know you and don’t mean any harm.
Don’t attach yourself so much to your beliefs; rather, keep an open mind so you can learn from other people, and they might just learn a lesson from you, as well.
4. You always need a goal to chase after in order to feel happy.
Humans are goal-oriented creatures by nature. We want to have something to set our sights on, something to work towards, and something to accomplish. Having a dream and going after it is great, but not when it takes you out of the present moment and prevents you from enjoying life in the now. Just because you have something you want to achieve in the future, doesn’t mean you can’t embrace the present. If you can’t feel happy without having something to work towards constantly, you might be taking yourself too seriously. Try to enjoy the little things about life, and remember what truly matters: your family, friends, health, and how you treat others.
5. You compare yourself to other people constantly.
With social media and other forms of entertainment and news outlets, we don’t have to look very far to find someone to compare ourselves to. However, this only serves to make us bitter and judgmental in the end, and does nothing to help us feel good about ourselves. Next time you catch yourself doing this, remember that no one can imitate or replicate you. So go out there and show the world your unique gifts and talents, and stop trying to become someone else. You will only lose yourself by trying to be someone you’re not, so make the choice to love yourself today. If you stop taking yourself so seriously and learn to relax into your individuality, you will start to have a more open, loving perspective about life, and just enjoy the ride while you can.