The lines are blurred between depression and boredom. What makes you happy? What happens when you’re no longer excited about your life? What do you do when you feel like you’re running out of time? Maybe it’s the feeling of nodus tollens.
You stumble in and out of love with yourself. None of your interests amount to anything and your fire is put out quickly. Do you have hobbies just to pass the time and distract you from your pain, or do you really enjoy them? A symptom of the feeling nodus tollens.
You fall victim to watching others become successful, meanwhile your life slips from between your fingers. You begin to wonder what the point of all of your actions are, if it makes a difference anyway. You stop taking care of your health. You forget to appreciate the details of life because they’ve been blurred by your boredom.
From the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows:
n. the realization that the plot of your life doesn’t make sense to you anymore—that although you thought you were following the arc of the story, you keep finding yourself immersed in passages you don’t understand, that don’t even seem to belong in the same genre—which requires you to go back and reread the chapters you had originally skimmed to get to the good parts, only to learn that all along you were supposed to choose your own adventure.
But you still have hope of a purpose. It’s that small spark that will never fade. You feel unprepared, but have no choice but to follow the light.
Tips for a Better Mindset When Experiencing Nodus Tollens
1. ) Learn to find the beauty of your environment. It’s easy to forget the small wonders of life when you’ve lost your way. Take time to appreciate the light that warms you slowly in the morning sun, the feeling of the breeze on your bare cheek, and the sensation in your body when you drink pure water. You have a purpose.
2.) Know that you are enough and you are doing your best. It might be confusing now, but it will work itself out. Time will tell if you will find your way. For now, know that you are doing all you can, and even if you have realized you are lost in a sea of depression, know that something will always pull you back to shore. (Sentence credit to A.McBeth)
3.) Tomorrow will probably be better. Today is a bad day. This moment is a bad day. There is misery. There is emptiness. There is boredom. But that does not define you. You are so much more than this. You will find each day at your own pace. And tomorrow you will have the knowledge to face the new day.
4.) Exercise. Although you may feel like doing nothing, getting up and moving will remind you that you are alive. Remind you that you have a body, you have feelings. Do not let the feeling of nodus tollens overwhelm you. Exercise by running, walking, doing an activity. It will be good for your body and good for your soul.
5.) Listen to mood lifting music. Even if you don’t want to. You will gravitate towards the music that expresses your feelings. Most likely the music will be bittersweet, lonely, or full of sorrow. Choose the opposite of that. Find something upbeat. Something beautiful. Something that will remind you that happiness does exist.
6.) Dress up. When experiencing nodus tollens, you wonder what the point of looking your best might be. But it’s the other way around; the purpose of dressing your best will allow you to see the effect that it has on you and others. People will see you have put in effort. You will feel like you’ve accomplished something. It will lead to better things, I promise this.
7.) Do a social media cleanse. Sometimes the feeling of nodus tollens comes upon you because you’ve become desensitized to the feeling of reaching a goal, planning an adventure, or even dreaming of where you would prefer to travel and what you would like in your life. Social media portrays only what each person wants others to see. You might be living through others, thinking they have perfect lives. You might be getting caught in unnecessary drama. Whatever the case, unplugging will help you quiet the noise and find your own voice.
8.) Force yourself to eat. What’s the point of eating? Nodus tollens takes away the feelings of pleasure because you no longer see the point of the things you once loved. And everyone loves food. Food exists to nourish us, yes. But it also exists to be an art; a culinary art, one that lets us experience feelings through taste. Force yourself to eat, if not for some pleasure, but at least for the nutrients. Your body will thank you later.
9.) Take a walk. Be out in nature. In the quiet, sometimes you realize that although you are small in this vast world, and although you will never understand everything, you are here for a reason. Even if you feel like you haven’t found it yet, you are living your reason right at this moment.
10.) Learn about other people with human interaction. Hearing other’s stories is vital to understanding ourselves. Relating and learning from others is how we begin to find our own story. Just by talking about their day, listening to others’ opinions on every and any topic, you can find your place.
The key to understanding and using nodus tollens to your advantage is not letting it overwhelm you for too long. You will find your way, no matter what.