How to get Unjaded
Is disillusionment because of childhood trauma getting in the way of you actually living? Here are little reminders to help you find the joy of life again.
“Jaded”, in official terms means:
But, to me, I think it’s more than just simply being bored, or exhausted. It sounds like a word you’d associate with disillusionment — that feeling like things aren’t actually what you’d hoped for. “Benumbed” is also a synonym of jaded, meaning deprived of emotional feeling. I think these are quite accurate.
Life can feel so heavy sometimes, especially in our world where being human is getting more and more tiring as the bar for productivity keeps getting set higher and higher because of the economy and social comparisons brought by online platforms.
It can all become too much and you can start to feel a little numb — we no longer feel alive when all we’re doing is staying afloat. It can be especially hard if you grew up with childhood trauma, because on top of the work you have to do to pay the bills, you’re processing your wounds too.
The tips I’ll share won’t be a cure-all for being jaded, but keeping these things in mind has helped me greatly, and I hope that by applying these mindsets, little by little, it can also help bring lightness back in your life and reconnect you with the child you once were before the world started pressuring us too much.
1.) Everyday is a new beginning.
I was sipping tea one day, feeling uninspired and like I was already so old even though I’m still in my early 20s, because each day felt the same. But then I realized, no it it isn’t. No day is ever the same. Each sunrise and sunset is a different one each day— the atmosphere and the clouds bring about different variations of the hues of light. Or, at least, you can view it that way.
Don’t let yourself be defined by the past. Your mind doesn’t have to be rigid and you can be ever-evolving. You can always begin anew each day. Many of us, especially those who have a shame trauma response can end up beating ourselves up for the mistakes of our younger self who didn’t know any better. Honor your youth and naivety by letting it be, learning from it, and just moving on.
Feelings don’t need to become moods. In the book “Unf — k Your Brain,” by Faith Harper, she shares research that feelings only last 90 seconds, but if you ruminate on it too much, it then becomes a mood. So just let yourself feel it and then move on. It’s pretty much the same with regret: there’s no wrong or right choice. You may think it’s wrong in hindsight, but past you thought that it was the right decision to make at the time. So who’s actually right? No one. Every decision has brought you here; there is only making the most, or not making the most, of where you are right now. And choosing to begin again if need be.
2.) Get out of your own mind.
I think that once we start going on our healing journeys, we start to stop doing the things we’ve usually done, and instead start questioning it: Who are we? What do we really want? Are we doing this because we really want it, or because it’s what’s expected of us to do?
And that’s great! All this introspection is awesome for growth. But at a certain point, it becomes too much.
We can then make the mistake of staying too long in the mind, and no longer listening to our bodies.
I think the huge majority of today’s problems is because we are simply overthinking — we are believing our own thoughts too much. But our thoughts are not us. Who we are is the person listening to these thoughts, and so, we have the ability to change them.
When you start getting anxiety from overthinking, go out and move. Listen to music and dance, do yoga, or walk or run. Our brain is a muscle, and like any other muscle, it can become fatigued. Rest your mind by exercising your body and meditating. We may think we’re so drained of joy from life, but it could simply be that our minds are drained and overworked in general. It needs to rest from time to time.
3.) Fill your life with awe again.
As kids, we were always looking at life like it was magical, because we didn’t know the explanation for how most things came to be. And any time we encountered something new and learned about it, it would blow our minds away.
Now, in adulthood, things seem mundane and so common. When was the last time you looked at something and felt the bigness or the grandest of it all? That feeling like we’re living in this magical world, interconnected, and it’s a wonder we’re all here with the chance to behold it all?
I am not a morning person in the least. I work from home, and my work is output-based, so I don’t really need to stick to a schedule. But everyday, I get up at dawn to be able to behold the engulfing of everything in gold for awhile as the sun greets us each day.
There are many ways of infusing awe in our everyday life. One of these is traveling. I think one of the great benefits of travelling is that it allows us to miss our homes. It doesn’t have to be somewhere far or expensive. In fact, it doesn’t need to be anywhere new.
When life starts to get boring and you can’t travel to miss this familiar place, your home, then make believe that it’s the first time you’re experiencing this again.
I find that even going to my usual café, looking out the window, and just pretending like I’m a tourist gives me a new appreciation for the place. It gives me a new pair of eyes with which to view everything for the first time again.
Or, perhaps, you can try making-believe you’re an alien who landed on our planet for the first time. Doing this brings me to tears each time. God, is the earth beautiful or what?
4.) Immerse yourself in different perspectives.
Being a generation that is constantly online, I think the posts we consume on the internet can either be 1.) too positive, or 2.) too negative.
You’re stuck in a vacuum because the algorithm only wants to show you more of what you’re already interested in. If your interests are motivation or self-development, like mine are, then you may see too much of people who are already living the life you want to live(or maybe they just make it seem like they’re living the ideal life). Or you may see too much of the world’s problems if you’re someone who consumes mainly activism-type content. This creates a narrative imbalance in your mind that the world is either too evil and you’re not doing enough to make it better, or the world is too happy and privileged while you’re the one who’s being too sad or at a disadvantage.
An interesting thing happened while I was watching a show on Netflix about teaching people how to be better with money. The show’s real life participants were either in debt or struggling so much with managing their finances. I was feeling very lost in my own life at the time(I still am, though less so), and I was taking a gap year to heal my traumas and discover who I really was and what my interests really were. That gap year made me think like I was falling behind though. Seeing other people’s problems made me feel something I’d never felt in a while: that I was doing just fine. I know that seems selfish, or like I’m deriving satisfaction from other people’s suffering, but I was simply gaining perspective. We can live in our very narrow world sometimes and get stuck in our own problems too much that it sucks us into a whirlpool of self-pity. When, really, we’re all doing fine.
“Everything works out in the end. If it hasn’t worked out yet, then it’s not the end.”
― Tracy McMillan
Immerse yourself in the hardships and struggles of others before you if you see too much of people’s happy lives on social media. Read about how many people in history both underwent huge suffering, but also, immense success. Some made it out fine in the end although others were less lucky. Some lived simple lives till the end, and only found everlasting fame after they died. It helps us remember that life is so random and so we should just learn to ride all the highs and lows — all the moments of excitement and rest.
5.) Have faith in the future; have faith in the ability for humans to grow.
Being hurt, abandoned, or abused by our own families can lead us thinking that the rest of the world is like this — because it’s all we’ve known growing up, and so, we end up having our defenses up for everyone. But what’s the likelihood that you, too, have become like the people who hurt you? It’s alright. It’s normal to bring with us some of the unhealthy (and harmful) habits we couldn’t help but absorb growing up.
I used to have really bad social anxiety because I couldn’t help but think that people were judging me as harshly as my own primary caregiver did to me. My body would tense up in any public space. I realized that I was always on guard because I had this subconscious narrative in my head that people are bad. But I came to realize that the majority of us are actually good — how else would humanity have lasted so long if most of us were out to get each other instead of look out for each other?
After I started switching up the judgemental narrative of my head from “people are bad” to people are good/neutral(they neither care, nor do they wish anyone harm), then my social anxiety slowly started easing up.
The fact that you’re doing the inner work means that there are others who are doing the same as well. There are so many people nowadays who are trying to be better — why else would self-development channels on youtube be so popular?
The way I see it, we were all once unfeeling, psychopathic cavemen who slowly started gaining more awareness and became more evolved as a result. Some of us are still struggling(and some of us are just born with our brains wired differently), but the fact that we’re the only species who doesn’t leave our injured or developmentally-delayed behind speaks volumes of our capacity for compassion.
If you’re a decent human being reading this, chances are, if you decide to have a family one day, you’ll probably teach your children to be as good as you. And your children will pass on their good, and so on and so forth.
There could also be a chance, however, that you actually don’t like kids, or may even have some sort of contempt for them. If that’s the case, it could mean that you haven’t taken the time to care for your own inner child — your primary caregivers weren’t able to do it properly, so how could you learn to do that for yourself? I used to be one of those people who didn’t understand why people would fawn over babies so much.
What was the big deal? I thought to myself.
But after healing myself, and really seeing my own beauty and the good I’m capable of, I get it. Children fill us with hope because it’s exhilarating to know that a new, smarter generation has the infinite potential to change the world for the better — like how you have the same infinite potential to heal yourself, grow, and change for the better.
I don’t know about you, but that fills me with hope.
Hi, I’m Amelia! I’m a highly sensitive person, sharing my insights on healing from narcissistic abuse, having better relationships, and sustainable productivity. Subscribe on youtube for more: https://youtube.com/@ameliafall