Thursday, June 27, 2013

Comparison Trap

So this morning on CBS they were discussing an article in the new Time magazine about the Pursuit of Happiness.  The discussion touched on how comparing can have a direct affect on one's happiness. 

Interesting because the other day I included a list of 10 ways to Zen in my Soul Sunday post and letting go of comparing was on there.  Truth is letting go of comparing is tough.  It's hard not to compare, especially in this age of social media.

Sometimes the world seems rather unbalanced where a few seem to have a lot and many seem to have little.  It's something that in this plentiful world seems hard to fathom.  And when we think others have more than us it can lead to feelings of unhappiness.

Between reality tv and social media we are able to see how others truly live.  While in some aspects it's interesting, in other ways it sets up people to fall into the comparison trap. 

For instance, we see someone post something on facebook about their beautiful house, seemingly perfect spouses or kids, awesome jobs, luxury cars, designer clothes, great health, amazing vacations or whatever else and our minds can start comparing our lives to theirs.  But comparing can be dangerous as it can lead to all sorts of feelings such as anxiety, envy, depression, jealousy, regret, stress and so on.

Ever since the emergence of social media comparison is hard not to do.  I admit sometimes I wonder what it would be like to be other people or have their lives. ha  Who knows the truth behind what we read or see it may not be all it seems, but it is enough to bring on the comparison.

I don't know about anyone else but when the comparison starts, I also find regret seems to surface.  All sorts of thoughts go through the mind such as what if I had done this and not that, etc. Honestly the mind could go crazy with such thoughts.  And in a sense it's silly because no one can change past choices, all we have is the present and why waste it by focusing on the past.

Lately I have been falling into the comparison mindset.  But I believe the universe has a way of trying to remind or show us what's important and this appeared on an inspirational site I follow....

You didn’t go to sleep hungry last night. You awoke this morning with a roof over your head. You had a choice of what clothes to wear. You have access to clean drinking water and electricity. You are online right now. You have plenty to be comfortable. Being wealthy is a mindset. Be sure you understand this. Want less and appreciate more.

What a great reminder.  So when trying to let go of comparing this might be good to keep in mind.  

Think the key is to focus on what makes you happy, don't worry about what everyone else is doing or has.  Everyone has their own lessons to learn, path to walk and journey to live.
 
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