Most of us take for granted the sheer amount of stress and expectations from society today. Research shows that 1 in 4 Australians will, at one point, suffer from a mental health problem in their lifetime; with Depression and Anxiety as the leading diagnoses. This epidemic is proof in a shift in the way we are living, perhaps away from a simpler life as we did centuries ago.
So why are we becoming more depressed and anxious?
There are many things that affect our psyche. The truth is, no man is an island. Like it or not, we are influenced by our environment to which we are effectively (or ineffectively) guided. Influences such as the media we consume tend to create unrealistic expectations. There is an emphasis towards success or achievement without taking into account the process of hard work and time that goes into it. This tricks us into believing that our self worth is tied to things such as having a nice car, international holidays, an expensive house, a job promotion or just being super human. This can make us ‘cherry pick’ things that we compare ourselves to others against, focussing on the things we don’t have rather than what we do. The rising popularity of social media has further contributed to this. There is added pressure to appear happy and portray an ideal world where things are easy, possibilities are endless and negative emotions are a sign of weakness.
In a society where technology is also continuing to improve our life, do we stop and think about how it does complicate it as well?. Living a high paced lifestyle comes at a cost. Confidence and self worth that is attached to unrealistic demands/ expectations puts us at risk of being perpetually dissatisfied in relationships, careers and pleasurable activities with very little time for relaxation.
It does seem that one can feel like they’re running on a constant treadmill. Finding meaning in modern society has never been harder – but ironically we need it now more than ever. The good news is…it’s not a hopeless cause! While media plays role in our influencing our perceptions, we are not sponges. We do have the ability to decide what is important to us and prioritise accordingly. What may work for someone else may not work for others and there is not one formula that fits everyone.
One thing is certain: happiness does not come cheap, but something money cant buy. Learn to readjust expectations to what’s realistic; set goals that are manageable and be patient. Enjoy spending time with people you love, doing the things that make you feel good. Indeed, there hasn’t been a better time to stop and smell the roses.
NB. This article is also published on http://www.cookmyway.com.au/article/396/self-worth-can-be-attached-to-unrealistic-expectation