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!

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