Why is everyone else so happy?
If you've ever scrolled through your social media feed and felt this way—believe me you are not alone. Multiple studies have linked depression, sadness and dissatisfaction with social media use. Even though most social media photos are an illusive glimpse into someone's life, when we look at them we can feel anxious and alienated.
Here's a quick tip that can help you feel less stressed: practice Mudita.
Mudita (moo-dee-ta) is the opposite of jealousy. It is feeling true joy and happiness in the success of another.
Holding others in a space of jealousy can be a hard habit to break. The ego wants us to think that by putting them down we will feel better. But the opposite is true—joy comes from extending joy and compassion to others!
When you come to a photo that starts to stress you out and you feel cynical, angry or jealous, practice Mudita by looking at the photo and in your mind saying to that person, "I am happy for you." You can even follow it up by saying to yourself, "And I have a beautiful life too."
Even if you know it's not a true representation of their full life, even though they may have succeeded at something you've always wanted, even if saying those words feels forced, give it a try.
Mudita creates connection, where jealousy creates division. The more joy you feel for others, the less alone you will feel. With time, feeling true happiness in the success of others will come naturally.
Maybe this seems overly simplistic—but sometimes we really have to work at feeling more joy and less stressed.
The next time you check in with your social media feed, practice Mudita. See how it changes your experience. Instead of returning to your work feeling stressed and dissatisfied, you will feel grateful for all the amazing people in your life and for the wonderful things that are happening in the world, including your own!