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Does the new year signal need for a life change?

 

Special to The Dispatch

 

 

Typical New Year's goals and resolutions tend to revolve around exercising more, eating less or cleaning out the closets. But a thoughtful look sometimes indicates more may be called for.  

 

Vinay Saranga M.D. is a psychiatrist and founder of Saranga Comprehensive Psychiatry in Apex, North Carolina. He offers seven signs that may indicate other life changes should be considered.  

 

  • You are always thinking of what could be: If you constantly find yourself thinking how life could be better or about things you wish you could do but aren't able to right now, this is a sign you need to make a life change. It's one thing to think about things you would like to do; however, it's something very different when you catch yourself obsessing about these things, becoming depressed because you can't do these things right now and it just totally consumes you. You need to sit down and have an honest discussion with yourself and figure out what changes you need to make to move closer to being able to do these things. 

     

  • You are "the glass is half empty" person: If you always find yourself thinking the worst, expecting things to go wrong, not believing you are worthy of great things in life, then you need to make a change in your life. You can start by reading some self-help and personal development books on self-esteem and confidence. Try getting around more people who have an optimistic attitude. If that doesn't work, consider counseling or seeking out help from a trained therapist or mental health professional. 

     

  • Not living life in the present: Some people are stuck living life in the past or are always trying to figure out the future. We all think about the past and future from time to time, but never spending anytime in the present moment is unhealthy and holds you back from growth, fulfillment and personal success. If something is bothering you from your past, make it a goal to bring closure to it this year. If you are worried about the future, realize that some things are out of your control and that making good choices and living in the present will help lead to a better future. 

     

  • You are living for other people: One of the biggest indicators that it is time to make a change in your life is when you are living for other people and not yourself. This is more common than you think. Make it a goal this year to let go of the approval of other people. Ask yourself: what do I really want for my life? What will really make me happy? Follow your heart and don't worry about other people. If they truly love you and care about you, they will support your goals and dreams. 

     

  • Nothing feels genuine: Some people just kind of fell into their life path by accident and have never been able to escape. Although things might not be all that bad, life just doesn't feel authentic and genuine. You know deep down what it is you want to be doing, and it's time to sit down with yourself and figure out how you can move closer to doing these things. 

     

  • Every little thing bothers you: We are all bothered by certain things from time to time, but does it ever feel like every little thing bothers you, especially things that shouldn't? This could be as simple as needing to lighten up and find more joy in life to more serious mental health conditions like depression. Start practicing mindfulness and trying to change your reactions. If this doesn't help, seek help through a mental health professional. 

     

  • You constantly feel anxious and depressed: Any symptoms of anxiety and depression should always be taken seriously, even if they seem minor. We all experience occasional anxiety and feel blue from time to time, but if it doesn't go away, this is could be a sign of an anxiety disorder or depression. Reach out to a mental health professional and get help.

     

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