During this quarantine, I have noticed myself falling into a repetitive thought pattern. I catch myself thinking “I am going to be so much happier when this quarantine is over,” as if the end of the coronavirus pandemic equates to my general happiness in life. While many people will be able to take a much-needed deep breath after this crisis is over, it is unrealistic to expect that a return to reality is the cure to the sometimes depressing or scary nature of life.
The passing of dreaded events can have a short-term sense of relief, but this relief is often replaced by a new subject of worry. From taking difficult tests to getting my wisdom teeth removed, I have noticed numerous occasions where I have fallen into the endless cycle of expecting to feel happier upon the completion of an event. This draining, never-ending repetition of dread, hope and short-lived relief are exhausting. Singular events are usually not enough to trigger a long enough sense of happiness to place all hope in them.
Often, continuous subjects of worry suggest a deeper-rooted issue that is bigger than the perceived problem. Overwhelming stress over a test may be the result of a lack of self-confidence in one’s ability to succeed, or a need to prepare more. Fixing these issues may be easier said than done, but it is helpful to recognize them in order to work on resolving them. Is it the fear of catching the coronavirus that is scary, or is it a fear of the unknown? Will the end of the epidemic solve this fear, or make it worse? While not every person has the same concerns about various aspects of life, it is important to identify the sources that make one nervous or scared.
Every year seems to bring a new challenge. From the smaller worries in life to the larger ones, one must remember that sources of happiness can be found in the midst of all daunting events. Searching for joy outside of surviving another milestone is a much more fulfilling and realistic pursuit than expecting everything to be immediately resolved after one event.