Sunday, May 21, 2017

If You're Unhappy, Change Your Life With These Tips

It's important to be able to identify the things in life that make you happy. How do you know you are truly content and enjoying your life if you can't name what makes you happy?

This took me years to figure out because I've been consumed by numbness off and on throughout the years. Being at peace with yourself becomes a forgotten affair because you simply don't feel anything at all.

When I have been at peace, it has been the most pleasurable experience to me. It is something you have to train your brain to see the positive in life, accept the things you can't change, and let go when you can't change it.

Personally, it was a constant struggle when I retrained my brain to realize that I had all the power to change my way of thinking and essentially, my entire life. It wasn't and isn't alway easy but I've never been much of a quitter.

As many of the ideas below have helped me, maybe some will help you too:

~ Exercise, exercise, exercise 

I have always been an athletic person. The endorphins released from exercising make me happy. I never actually realized that was part of why I enjoyed working out. I just assumed it was because I didn't want to become overweight. If you gain weight, then your pants won't fit! As a person who prefers spending their time out and about, shopping is the last thing I want to do. When I think about it, after working out, my experience has always been irrefutably positive—especially my sore muscles.

I took up rock climbing back in September of 2013. At first, I faced a tremendous and terrifying fear of falling combined with a fear of heights. Fully letting go of my fears so I could enjoy the experience was life changing. You might think that rock climbing is a simple feat and I'm silly for saying that, but it's so true. In the beginning, it debilitated me. I literally cried the first time I went climbing. It empowered me as time went on.

Martial arts is another passion of mine. After practicing taekwondo under the right instructors for a couple of years, you develop immeasurable discipline, strength, and peace of mind. Unfortunately, I am unable to train until my current injuries have healed. The same goes for rock climbing. Such is life, right?

~ Get more sleep 

Not everyone is able to function properly on a few hours of sleep. There is an extremely small percentage of people who do not need as much sleep as most. The majority of the population need seven or eight hours each night. It's difficult to get enough sleep when you have kids, especially when they wake you at night but I still manage. Lately, I'm the culprit if I miss out on a few hours of sleep because my youngest has finally started sleeping at night on most nights.

~ Spend time with the people you care about 

This one is a prickly topic for me. I spend most of my free time with my kids. I don't exactly have a lot of friends, maybe like one or two. I'm not close with my family either. I fall outside of the spectrum, I suppose. I'm somewhat socially awkward at times and the people I thought were my friends really were not. The past six months, I made it a point to throw myself into work and focus on my kids. I'm happier because I know my worth and I refuse to waste time on others who don't truly care about me or my well-being.

~ Be a giving person 

One of my core values is helping people. It's just who I have always been—even as a child. I recall a letter I wrote to Santa as a young child. I only wanted two things for myself, but the third item was for Santa to provide food for the poor people. Of course, I wasn't aware that we were poor ourselves. It makes me smile and chuckle when I think about it. I know what it's like to be down or to have a disaster occur with nobody around to help except a kind stranger. There have been a few incidents where a stranger lent me a helping hand. Don't discount the kindness of others. Not everyone is a bad person. For me, rather than receiving, giving to others has always been far more satisfactory.

~ Be optimistic 

Being a realist is fine, but being a pessimist will eventually break you. If you are constantly expecting bad things to evolve, then that will most likely be the result. Optimism will make you feel much better. This doesn't necessarily mean be overly optimistic because too much optimism leads to delusional expectations, which can either break you or keep you in la la land.

Admittedly, I am a realist, but I'm also optimistic about my life and day-to-day activities. It's extremely hot out today and the landscapers dropped a rather large branch on my flowers the other day. However, I didn't mope about the house irritated that the landscapers were careless and it's too hot to go outside. Instead, I sucked it up, went outside and cut away the broken stems. I replanted some of the smaller flowers and intertwined the stems that wouldn't stand up on their own with others that will in an effort to help them stand again. Problem fixed.

~ An idle mind begins to waste away 

If you aren't busy working towards something, then that leaves room for restlessness. You might also start feeling useless. Taking the occasional break from work is wonderful and rejuvenating—but only for a short time period. If you are constantly sleeping or sitting on the couch, perhaps you should reevaluate your goals. A busy mind is a happy mind. It's a fact. Try it out!

~ Don't compare yourself to other people 

I mean, ever. Just don't do it. You may share similarities with someone, but your life is just that—yours! It's not healthy to compare yourself to others. Accept who you are and realize that if you want to change something, then do it because YOU want it, not because of someone else. Focusing on yourself leads to a happier psyche.

~ Money is definitely important, but it's not everything 

There are people who do not have much at all, yet they are completely satisfied with their lives. Seek out relationships instead of material goods. Seek out experiences. Make your life full because a brand new pair of shoes you never wear because you have no life, will never make you happy.

~ Cherish the small moments 

I'm sure you've heard the old adage about stopping to smell the roses, correct? I try to savor the moments that please me in little ways, which eventually add up to a big pile of happiness. I love sipping hot coffee in the morning. Even the aroma is tantalizing. Receiving snuggles from my kids as we're waking up is sweet. Well, it's sweet when they quietly come into my room to wake me up. It's not so sweet when they decide to dive onto my bed at full speed. I guess it's the thought that counts.

Photography is one of my favorite hobbies. I enjoy exploring new places. I could eat pizza for days. I research anything and everything. I love learning new things. The list goes on and on. These are a just a portion of my collection of special moments.

~ Carve out alone time 

Being alone is not a bad thing. I treasure my alone time as much as my time spent with my boys. I'm able to concentrate on my most inner thoughts and desires. It's great for rebooting and relaxing. Enjoy your secluded moments. Learn to utilize it by reflecting on responsibilities, goals, and problems you face in life. Go for a walk, run, or hike the nearest nature trail. Yoga or meditation are methods individuals also use to focus and unwind.

~ Disconnect from technology and get outside 

The best part about going out on the boat, hiking in the mountains or walking around in the wetlands is that I don't have wifi! Sometimes, I don't even have a cell phone signal. It's wonderful not being subjected to the bling of social media or text messages! I can completely enjoy the beauty of nature without the interruptions of the outside world!

Change your life if you're unhappy

Many of the ideas listed above have been supported by scientific research. I actually did research years ago to figure out how to pull myself out of depression. It's all up to you. Only you can develop a foundation for your happiness. Once you have developed your core values, then it becomes easier to identify what is weighing you down or holding you back.

It's amazing how the world becomes alive for you when you change your perspective. And really, I can tell you how it feels all day, but you'll never know unless you try. You deserve to be happy so change the things in your life that are making you unhappy. The only person who can make you happy is YOU. Find the courage to step out of your comfort zone and go for it.

Thank you, for taking the time to read this. Have a beautiful day, everyone!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Live your life and be happy

Thought of the Day:

"You can't change how people feel about you, so don't try. Just live your life and be happy."

As I grew up, I encountered people who seemed to hate me. It was the most bewildering thing because I never did anything to those people. They disliked me because I was me, I guess? They were brutally hateful and often made me feel horrible for even existing.

Even now there are people I may have been friends with at one point that have suddenly stopped talking to me—despite my attempt at finding out the root issue. Nobody is actually mean or hateful to my face anymore. Apparently, friendships do not carry the same weight with others as they do with me. I can't change their mind, especially since they do not want to work out whatever happened. So, instead of being upset over a situation I can't change, I let it go. It's as simple as that.

It's normal to outgrow people

I make an active decision to continue living my life and I'm typically content with that decision after I've had time to make peace with it. Not every friendship or relationship is going to last until I die. As time passes, people are going to enter and leave your life. You can choose to be disappointed because it ended or look back on the past with love for the pleasant times you had together.

I'm starting to discover that when I outgrow someone, my reaction is to let them go, which is absolutely fine for anyone else to do likewise. It's normal to let go of the people or habits that no longer fit your lifestyle. Unfortunately, the main issue with this is it may hurt the people involved but eventually, they will get over it.

A word on family

I've noticed my family is highly judgemental, well most of them anyway. Can anyone relate? For instance, with my family, since I'm not religious, I must be some demon spawn from Satan himself. Of course, I would have to believe in Satan to buy into it. I feel that people associate me with my biological mother, however, I am absolutely nothing like her. Ah, and most of my family members believe that I have it in my head that I'm better than them, which I don't. See what I mean?

I can't change the way my family views me. I stopped caring a long time ago because it used to upset me that nobody could see my achievements over my mother's failures or my failures. I have won many awards throughout the years. I graduated with my Bachelor's degree (still contemplating a Master's). I've done many awesome things, but for some reason, it's never noticed.

It used to disturb me but eventually, I started letting go. The thing is, and I've deliberated over this many times throughout the years, I'm so thrilled with how my life is going that I no longer care if my family approves. My first step was doing it for me—and only me. I make the right choices in my life for my and my children. That's what matters—not some relative that has ZERO communication with me, and the only time my name leaves their mouth is when they have something negative to say. Repeat after me: "You don't need that in your life. Good riddance!"

Make your life about YOU

Trying to change how other people feel about you will drive you absolutely insane. You will never feel worthy enough if that's how you live your life. Don't even think about doing it. Just don't. Change your way of living for YOU. Take control of your life and do what makes you happy. Happiness starts at the core of your being. Take it from someone who used to be extremely unhappy with herself because it just seemed that nobody noticed her or her achievements—you will never achieve happiness by trying to please others.

And, for those of you who may be suffering from depression, anxiety, or something else that has you dragging through your day—I hear ya—it's hard as fuck to get out of that rut. Take it from someone who has been there many, many times. You can pull yourself out. I'll have some posts just for you in the next few weeks.

Whatever you do in life, do it for you. You can't change how people act, feel, or what they say to you. You can change how you react to them. Keep your goals in sight, build your confidence, and focus on your life. You do not require the validation of someone other than yourself. Period.

Thanks for reading!!

If you found this helpful, feel free to leave a comment or share with your friends and family!

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Seek the Positive Things in Life

Thought of the Day:

"Seek the Positive Things in Life" Penelope Winthrop

Often, when someone tells us to be "positive," we scoff at the suggestion because it's difficult to fake our feelings. Plus, when someone is too happy, then you start to wonder if they're smoking the good stuff or if they're simply delusional. 

Because if you haven't noticed yet—life sucks at times. And, there is nothing you can do about that. However, there are some things you can do to help you handle life proactively and in a more positive manner. 

Check it out:

Be alive, here and now. Don't let the past hold you back. Realize there is nothing you can do to change the past. The only thing you have any semblance of control over is right now. If you're working through fierce emotional pain, then you can't pretend to be happy. Seeking the positive does not mean you should ignore your feelings, but instead, recognize and accept them for what they are—emotional reactions to events in your life—and you continue living your life. 

If you fill your life with positive experiences, then eventually painful emotions fade away. Time really does heal, but you have to make an active decision to find peace. Peace isn't going to drop in and ring the doorbell. It doesn't happen like that.

Seek new adventures. You don't even have to go very far to find something. For instance, in my region, there are lots of boardwalks, parks, beaches, and botanical gardens. (I adore—alive not dead—flowers.) Or, you can do the complete opposite and jump on a plane to travel to a place you've never been before.

Be mindful of what you put in your body. Sure, most people enjoy having a bit of chocolate or pizza every now and then. However, if you choose to indulge in fatty, fried foods on a regular basis—it's going to make you feel lethargic and you're probably going to gain weight. When you eat healthy foods, you feel great. If you don't believe me, then try it out for yourself.

Live an active lifestyle. When you workout on a regular basis, you feel better. So, you used to have a workout routine, but for some reason or another—you don't anymore. So, what? You can always pick it up again. If you're looking to start working out again, I have some tips for you here.

Don't let negative people poison your mind—ignore it and them. If you only see them online—delete them as fast as you can. You don't need that negativity in your life. It's one thing to be realistic, and another to put others down all the time or say something rude just because you feel like saying it. If you're one of these negative people—let it go and grow up. If you're not one of those people, then cut them out of your life. I've been there and done that. It's just going to irritate you more if you confront them or stew about the things coming out of their mouth. Accept that you can't change them and move on.

The way you think determines the way you act. I always say that if you change your perspective, then you can unlock all of the possibilities. Well, it's true. If you think you're a winner, then there's nothing stopping you. Sure, life could stop you, but only if you let it. For example, my youngest was up around 2:30 this morning and didn't pass back out until around 4:30. I normally wake up at 4:30. Usually, I would have passed right back out until 6, which is when I have to wake my boys up to get ready for school. However, I didn't go back to sleep. Instead, I went through my morning routine. 

I'll probably need another coffee this afternoon, but I reminded myself that I wanted to get this post out and that I have other work to do—that I would surely regret it if I went back to sleep. Annnddd... here I am, finishing this post. Plus, I already posted to one of my social media accounts, checked my email, and my coffee is almost gone. The best part?? I have 15 minutes to spare!! Boom! That's how you do it. 

Have a great one, everyone!! 

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