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  • Paula Thompson
    Paula Thompson

    How Can I Gain Control of My Life and Find What Makes Me Happy?

    Dear eNotAlone: I'm desperate for some kind of advice. The thoughts in my head seem to be turning faster than ever but why doesn't the world around me seem to be moving? My life feels like it's spiraling out of control.

    I work a 9-5 job and hate it so much that I can hardly summon the energy to make it to work in the morning. Every day, I'm overcome with this feeling of pressure that I can't shake. I feel like I have to choose between two paths – the path I've been told to follow (my job) or the path that my heart and gut tell me is right.

    I'm 31 and I still live with my parents, trying to save up enough money to move out. I struggle to figure out what to do with my life – what career to pursue, where I want to live, if I want to get married and have kids, or even just figure out what makes me happy and satisfied. I feel overwhelmed and confused by the sheer amount of choices and decisions I have to make and I can't seem to find an answer.

    I don't know who to turn to for advice. My parents are supportive, but often don't understand my confusion and worry. My friends are having babies and buying houses, so I don't feel comfortable discussing these feelings with them because I think they all think I'm too young to be worrying about this stuff.

    What should I do to gain control of my life again? How can I figure out what makes me happy and what I should do with my life?

    * * *

    No matter your age, it's natural to feel overwhelmed and confused when trying to figure out what to do with life. It's also common to feel pressure to make certain decisions about career, relationships, and where to live.

    The first step to gaining control of your life is to take a step back and take the time to listen to your inner voice. Listen to your intuition and tune in to the thoughts and emotions that your mind and body are letting you know. This will help you become clear and aligned with who you are and what resonates in terms of your career, relationships, and lifestyle.

    Make sure you dedicate time each week to disconnect from everything, practice mindfulness, and gain clarity on what and how you want to spend your time. That might mean taking a walk, talking to a mental health professional, or trying something that's outside your comfort zone to see if it brings you closer to what you're looking for. All of these activities can help you identify what makes you happy and feel satisfied.

    Once you've gotten some clarity, start experimenting with different career paths, or anything that you feel passionate about. Don't be afraid to reach out to people in your network - near or far - and ask for advice on their experience in certain areas. Everyone has had moments of confusion so reaching out for help can reveal unique paths and possibilities.

    Remember that there's no single formula for life. Be gentle and kind to yourself, allow yourself to grow and explore, and don't be scared to be bravely honest and open minded to new ideas and opportunities.

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