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Simple Mindsets That Can Make You Calm And Happy Every Day

Simple Mindsets That Can Make You Calm And Happy Every Day

Our mindset influences every single aspect of our life, so it’s important to be conscious of how we’re thinking and what we believe about the world. With the right kind of mindset, you can reduce your stress levels, increase the number of positive emotions you feel, and feel more fulfilled with yourself and your life. Here are six mindsets that can help you feel more calm and happy:

1. Cultivate gratitude for what you have (rather than focusing on what you don’t)

An unfortunate side effect of the way our brains have evolved is that we are drawn to focus more on the negative than the positive. This has been necessary for our survival, but a biased focus on the negative in our daily life can dramatically affect our experience of life and our mood.

Luckily for us, thought patterns are like habits and we can gradually change them. Make sure that you’re paying as much attention to all the positive things that are happening in your life as you are to any negatives.

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2. Adopt a growth mindset

In her book Mindset, psychologist Carol Dweck talks about the fixed mindset versus the growth mindset. People with a fixed mindset believe personality traits like intelligence are fixed. They tend to think they’re either good at something or not, and to give up easily when challenged. They take failure personally and can find other people’s success intimidating or threatening.

People with a growth mindset, on the other hand, relish a challenge and persevere through frustration. They believe in people’s capacities to learn new skills and recognize the value of hard work. Someone with a growth mindset generally feels happier and calmer because they focus on the things they can control. They have a greater sense of freedom and achieve more than people with fixed mindsets.

3. Prioritise connection over validation

Fear of what other people think of us is a common worry and stressor. When we feel this fear, we tend to hide or adjust parts of ourselves so we become who we think the other person wants to see — so we can get validation from them. Even if they offer us validation, however, it tends to feel empty because we know deep down that the person they’re validating isn’t really us. It’s who we’re pretending to be.

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We can remove ourselves from this game entirely by going into conversations and interactions prioritizing connections over seeking validation. When we do this, we are less focused on whether or not the person likes us, and more focused on truly getting to know them.

4. Assume the best

Due to the negative bias mentioned above, we tend to jump to negative assumptions about other people, which can lead to all kinds of misunderstandings and unnecessary conflicts.

Be generous with your assumptions about other people. Until they’ve demonstrated otherwise, assume the best about their words, intentions, and actions.

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5. Remember that other people’s choices do not affect whether or not you are enough in your own life

With social media, blogs, and other online media, it’s easier than ever to fall into the comparison trap. We see the edited highlights of other people’s lives online and start comparing our own behind-the-scenes to their Pinterest-perfect images.

The truth is that it doesn’t matter how other people are living their lives. What really matters is whether you are living your own life in alignment with your values, goals, and priorities. Remember that where other people go on holiday, how they look, or how successful they are has zero impact on whether you are the kind of person you want to be.

6. Dwell in possibility

Instead of shutting down dreams and ideas with thoughts like “I can’t” or “It will never work,” start asking yourself possibility-filled questions instead. Turn beliefs like “I can’t” into questions like “How can I?” and negative self-talk like “It will never work” into thought experiments like “How could this work?”

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The shift from internal statement to question is subtle but it helps us dwell in a place of possibility and opens up new doors and opportunities that we previously couldn’t see.

Featured photo credit: Alex Evans room via flickr.com

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Hannah Braime

Hannah is a coach who believes the world is a richer place when we have the courage to be fully self-expressed.

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Last Updated on December 3, 2019

10 Life Lessons You’d Better Learn Early on in Life

10 Life Lessons You’d Better Learn Early on in Life

There are so many lessons I wish I had learned while I was young enough to appreciate and apply them. The thing with wisdom, and often with life lessons in general, is that they’re learned in retrospect, long after we needed them. The good news is that other people can benefit from our experiences and the lessons we’ve learned.

Here’re 10 important life lessons you should learn early on:

1. Money Will Never Solve Your Real Problems

Money is a tool; a commodity that buys you necessities and some nice “wants,” but it is not the panacea to your problems.

There are a great many people who are living on very little, yet have wonderfully full and happy lives… and there are sadly a great many people are living on quite a lot, yet have terribly miserable lives.

Money can buy a nice home, a great car, fabulous shoes, even a bit of security and some creature comforts, but it cannot fix a broken relationship, or cure loneliness, and the “happiness” it brings is only fleeting and not the kind that really and truly matters. Happiness is not for sale. If you’re expecting the “stuff” you can buy to “make it better,” you will never be happy.

2. Pace Yourself

Often when we’re young, just beginning our adult journey we feel as though we have to do everything at once. We need to decide everything, plan out our lives, experience everything, get to the top, find true love, figure out our life’s purpose, and do it all at the same time.

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Slow down—don’t rush into things. Let your life unfold. Wait a bit to see where it takes you, and take time to weigh your options. Enjoy every bite of food, take time to look around you, let the other person finish their side of the conversation. Allow yourself time to think, to mull a bit.

Taking action is critical. Working towards your goals and making plans for the future is commendable and often very useful, but rushing full-speed ahead towards anything is a one-way ticket to burnout and a good way to miss your life as it passes you by.

3. You Can’t Please Everyone

“I don’t know the secret to success, but the secret to failure is trying to please everyone” – Bill Cosby.

You don’t need everyone to agree with you or even like you. It’s human nature to want to belong, to be liked, respected and valued, but not at the expense of your integrity and happiness. Other people cannot give you the validation you seek. That has to come from inside.

Speak up, stick to your guns, assert yourself when you need to, demand respect, stay true to your values.

4. Your Health Is Your Most Valuable Asset

Health is an invaluable treasure—always appreciate, nurture, and protect it. Good health is often wasted on the young before they have a chance to appreciate it for what it’s worth.

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We tend to take our good health for granted, because it’s just there. We don’t have to worry about it, so we don’t really pay attention to it… until we have to.

Heart disease, bone density, stroke, many cancers—the list of many largely preventable diseases is long, so take care of your health now, or you’ll regret it later on.

5. You Don’t Always Get What You Want

“Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.” – John Lennon

No matter how carefully you plan and how hard you work, sometimes things just don’t work out the way you want them to… and that’s okay.

We have all of these expectations; predetermined visions of what our “ideal” life will look like, but all too often, that’s not the reality of the life we end up with. Sometimes our dreams fail and sometimes we just change our minds mid-course. Sometimes we have to flop to find the right course and sometimes we just have to try a few things before we find the right direction.

6. It’s Not All About You

You are not the epicenter of the universe. It’s very difficult to view the world from a perspective outside of your own, since we are always so focused on what’s happening in our own lives. What do I have to do today? What will this mean for me, for my career, for my life? What do I want?

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It’s normal to be intensely aware of everything that’s going on in your own life, but you need to pay as much attention to what’s happening around you, and how things affect other people in the world as you do to your own life. It helps to keep things in perspective.

7. There’s No Shame in Not Knowing

No one has it all figured out. Nobody has all the answers. There’s no shame in saying “I don’t know.” Pretending to be perfect doesn’t make you perfect. It just makes you neurotic to keep up the pretense of manufactured perfection.

We have this idea that there is some kind of stigma or shame in admitting our limitations or uncertainly, but we can’t possibly know everything. We all make mistakes and mess up occasionally. We learn as we go, that’s life.

Besides—nobody likes a know-it-all. A little vulnerability makes you human and oh so much more relatable.

8. Love Is More Than a Feeling; It’s a Choice

That burst of initial exhilaration, pulse quickening love and passion does not last long. But that doesn’t mean long-lasting love is not possible.

Love is not just a feeling; it’s a choice that you make every day. We have to choose to let annoyances pass, to forgive, to be kind, to respect, to support, to be faithful.

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Relationships take work. Sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s incredibly hard. It is up to us to choose how we want to act, think and speak in a relationship.

9. Perspective Is a Beautiful Thing

Typically, when we’re worried or upset, it’s because we’ve lost perspective. Everything that is happening in our lives seems so big, so important, so do or die, but in the grand picture, this single hiccup often means next to nothing.

The fight we’re having, the job we didn’t get, the real or imagined slight, the unexpected need to shift course, the thing we wanted, but didn’t get. Most of it won’t matter 20, 30, 40 years from now. It’s hard to see long term when all you know is short term, but unless it’s life-threatening, let it go, and move on.

10. Don’t Take Anything for Granted

We often don’t appreciate what we have until it’s gone: that includes your health, your family and friends, your job, the money you have or think you will have tomorrow.

When you’re young, it seems that your parents will always be there, but they won’t. You think you have plenty of time to get back in touch with your old friends or spend time with new ones, but you don’t. You have the money to spend, or you think you’ll have it next month, but you might not.

Nothing in your life is not guaranteed to be there tomorrow, including those you love.

This is a hard life lesson to learn, but it may be the most important of all: Life can change in an instant. Make sure you appreciate what you have, while you still have it.

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Featured photo credit: Ben Eaton via unsplash.com

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