Brance and I were chatting a couple of weeks ago about social media and a statistic that we came across.
Did you know that well over half of people who use social media feel worse about their own life after they spend time on it? That’s a heck of a lot of people feeling badly about their life every single day. And of course we’re not talking about it cause it’s too embarrassing or we’re in denial. (But, hey, I don’t let that stop me ;).
I am convinced that so many people are miserable seeing what is going on with others because comparison is a joy killer. And social media provides a lot of opportunity to engage in the unhealthy behavior of comparison—if we let ourselves. Right!?
But I have found that it doesn’t have to be this way! On social media or in the “real” world. REGARDLESS of our circumstances. Even if we feel we’ve been dealt a crap hand at the moment!
You see, YOU get to decide how you’re going to feel about life.
The way you respond to your circumstances (especially any trials) and the lense you choose to view other people’s circumstances through absolutely determines if you will feel completely miserable or full of joy.
And no. A better job, more vacations, a girlfriend or spouse, more money, a better physique, business success, better behaved children, a nicer house etc. (uhm…a social media “worthy” life) are NOT the answer. As nice as these things can be, they can’t fix a joy issue brought on by comparison.
I have found that comparison and all the ugly accompanying feelings go out the window when I do these two things.
1. Be thankful for and accept from God all the circumstances in your life—the good and the hard. When I finally stopped “resisting” my circumstances, things turned around for me in the happiness department. My life is still far from perfect, but being thankful for it ALL has brought so much joy. (And I am learning too that more often than not it’s the hard things in life that help me grow and mature more than anything and unltimately bring more joy!). Having joy in our own circumstances makes us less likely to compare.
2. Be genuinely thankful/happy for others when good things happen to them. Oh man. This really does work! It’s impossible to feel jealous and miserable when we are actually happy for someone else. Genuine thankfulness for another person’s good kills comparison. And if you are not feeling it, act this way until the feelings follow. Verbalizing your excitement for them out loud (as a compliment or encouragement) or even in your mind really, really helps. (The book of Proverbs says that we are refreshed as we bless others.)
If I ever notice that old behavior of comparison and it’s ugly feelings creeping back into my life it’s ALWAYS because I have drifted away from these two things.
I hope these help you experience more joy too!
p.s. Oh, I should also mention that as a Christian I often pray and ask God to help me love and see others as he does.