Do you live with a sense of eternal preparation for life? Are you putting off until later what can make you at least a little happier today? Do you study by stacking your diplomas? Do you promise yourself to go to the gym from Monday or go on a trip when the kids grow up? You most likely have delayed life syndrome. Why does it appear and how to “neutralize” it, tells candidate of psychological sciences, psychologist Elena Milto.
The behavior of a healthy person can be described by the triad “I want – I can – I do.” The mechanism for delayed life syndrome looks like this: “I want – I can – but I do not allow myself.” Here we are dealing with a set of scenarios when a person is preparing to live all the time, allegedly creating the conditions for this, while he himself simply leafs through the calendar, exists and survives, but does not live, does not solve problems, which leads to problems with his own health, social status, finance, etc.
Accumulated unresolved problems trigger, lead to neurotic disorders, swings in the form of “apathy-excitation”, periodic declines in mental and physical performance. All this significantly worsens the quality of life. After all, life “after” (after a divorce, as soon as I lose weight, in retirement, when my children grow up, when I pay off a loan, etc.), which you amuse yourself, risks not coming.
Are you efficient in this state? Of course not! You simply “drain” your resources into expectations, into preparation, into settings, without getting any result or pleasure from the process. And it’s okay if one day is so unfortunate. And if this is the norm of life, when a month, a year, decades pass? Of course, here you need to take up the mind and act.
The husband is bad, the stomach sticks out
How do you define delayed life syndrome? To get started, track if you have its signs:
one. You live in anticipation of some event. Let’s say the end of the working day (New Year, divorce, etc.). And when it finally comes – the anticipation of dinner. At dinner – anticipation of sleep. And so on in a circle, skipping both the working day and dinner, only seeing off and meeting a new day.
2. In order to be satisfied and enjoy today, you are always missing something.: a new thing, an apartment, a hug from a husband, a couple of thousand, free time, etc.
3. You often use the word “when” in your speech.: when I graduate from the university, when I get married, when I give birth, when I close the mortgage, etc.
4. You constantly devalue what you have today. For example: “I lost two kilograms, but I could have five”, “They raised my salary by 30 thousand, but is it really money?”, “I got a raise – so what? That’s when I become a director … “
5. You do not have a clear plan and goal to change something, despite the dissatisfaction with your current life, i.e. you may not like the job (husband, environment, figure, etc.), but you won’t lift a finger to fix it.
6. You constantly compare your life with the lives of others.looking for and fixing only those comparisons that will not be in your favor: Vasya’s salary is an order of magnitude higher, Lena’s figure is cooler, Svetka travels the world, Kirill’s son is a child prodigy – not like mine.
7. You always doubt the correctness of your choice, in your partner, in the level of your competences, in the purpose of existence.
If you have found four or more of the listed signs, it’s time not just to think, but to start changing your life strategy.
Where did you come from?
The formation of scenarios for the postponed life syndrome depends on the symbiosis of family attitudes and sociocultural factors. They can be provoked by various reasons:
1. Excessive loyalty to the family, to the values of the clan makes one live the life left “inherited” by the ancestors. Their ideas about how to live become a template, sometimes even a tracing paper for the next generation.
2. Parents often manipulatively suggest to the child that he will be able to receive pleasant emotions “later”: “when you finish school”, “how you get an A”. They teach him to deserve something nice. If it is one-time, it is about discipline, dedication and even efficiency. But in the imbalance, the syndrome of delayed life is born.
3. Religious and ideological teachings often preach patience and sacrifice for the sake of a beautiful tomorrow, and if there is a bias, then the postponed life syndrome is also inevitable.
4. Parents, school, work structure our lives, accustoming to the regime, some of us get used to the fact that everything is decided by external circumstances or people. And the attitude “when you do it, then …” fuels an internal contradiction: everything seems to depend on me, but the rules of the game are alien. So the thought is born in the head: in order to do something, you need to get permission from a parent, boss, husband, etc.
How to deal with the delayed life syndrome?
1.Allow. A person with this syndrome often needs permission. So make a pact with yourself (with a psychologist, a friend, etc.) and get permission to get rid of the habit of postponing life until later.
2. Recognize. You are not on the way to solving the problem, but avoiding meeting it, exacerbating the situation. All your resources go to avoidance – this is a path to nowhere.
3. Do it. Life is what happens in the moment, right now. Yesterday is gone, tomorrow is gone. New Year’s is great, but besides it, there are still 364 days a year that can be filled with events. No need to drive thoughts in a circle, get down to business!
4. Don’t store. Grandma’s crystal, which is taken from the sideboard only on major holidays. Clothes in case “I lose weight, then I’ll put it on.” Things should work for you, since you have purchased or received them.
5. Make a list of the things that “get in the way” of your life. What are you always waiting for: moving, going to the gym, an increase in salary. These are milestones that need to be accepted as a transition to a new stage, which means that life on a new stage should be separated from life on a previous stage. And start seeing the positives where you are today
6. Minimize. Better yet, get rid of the environment that fuels your postponed life syndrome: social networks, coaches who “know how” to change other people’s lives in a couple of days, etc.
7. Learn. Learn to see the essence, to psychologize, to divide the big into parts, do not fuss. So efficiency will come into your life or get at least a chance.
8. Ask for help. There is nothing shameful in this. Sooner or later you will find a person who will lend a hand, will not do it for you, but will support you. The prerequisites here are: talk about the problem (open effective communications), plus your clear decision to “edit” your own thinking.
9. Stop thrashing about. Constant “swings” inside your head – a danger that “eats” all resources, strength, health, energy, money, time, relationships. Feel the throwing, turn on the “stop mode”, forcibly slow down these pumped, but completely illogical ruminations and transfer the mental flow to new tracks. The question “why?” is very helpful. Use it more often.
10. Set a goal. Write down the tasks to achieve it and start walking. The walker will master the road, and the first step is the most difficult – it’s about you, but you can definitely do it. Give your friend that dress that has been waiting for your weight loss for more than a year, finally reach the fitness room, the subscription to which is already burning out, write to the person you like, “hello”, etc.
If the goal is to buy real estate, the tasks are: to describe the criteria for a dream apartment in the “maximum” and “economy” format, open sales sites and study options that are consonant with these criteria, call ads you like, see, understand whether it is or not. At the same time, solve the issue of money, study the mortgage market, loans, etc. Such steps build a bridge between dream and reality. You decide and live, and do not go out in endless “when”.