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20 Simple Ways To Fall In Love With Your Life Again

20 Simple Ways To Fall In Love With Your Life Again

Think about the best phase of your life.  What did it look like?  What made it different?  Somewhere in the mix of life, the colors can lose their brilliance.  No worries…it happens to the most of us.  Here are 20 things you can do to add some pizzaz into your life.  Warning: these suggestions are extremely easy to implement and have the power to change your outlook!

1. Take a walk through the park

Find a nice park around you and just take a stroll.  As cliche as it sounds, it might just add a spring to your step.  Bring yourself back to the simplicity of life by walking through a non-commercialized zone.  Soak in the greenery and fill your lungs with fresh air.

2. Set a measurable goal for time of silence

This is a bit crazy…but we really do have to set apart time for silence.  The world is getting louder and louder, so we have to be intentional about giving our bodies silence daily.  Start small and ease yourself into it.  Set a timer for 15 minutes so you don’t have to think about when to stop.  Quiet your thoughts and sit or lie down in a wakeful state of silence.

3. Eat 2 more servings of vegetables than usual

We all know that we feel better when we eat well, so give your body a boost.  Pick a day of the week and add 2 more servings of vegetables than you normally would.  Don’t get too ambitious if this is not natural for you.  Stick to the extra servings just once a week.  Then, after it’s a weekly habit, you can a day at a time.

4. Eat something indulgent on purpose (guilt-free)

There’s always some part of us that wants to indulge in a sweet dessert or less-than-healthy treat.  I just ate a Key-Lime Cheesecake.  I worked hard today and gave myself a treat.  Keep it special.  Know you will only do this occasionally and enjoy the treat.

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5. Watch a comedy

Life is too serious sometimes.  Watch outrageous comedy.  Step outside your situation and watch life from the lens of a comedian.  Find the humor in the mundane.

6. Learn how to bake

Baking requires meticulous technique and whimsical imagination.  Immerse yourself in something that will work your brain in a different way and then make someone else happy with the things you’ve created.

7. Build something with your hands

Just like baking, any kind of craft made with your hands injects a very organic energy into your life.  Find a project that does not require much time or energy, preferably something you can complete in a couple hours.  There’s an innate need to create in all of us.

8. Make a list

This one is a bit more concrete and practical.  Make a list of things that make you feel stuck and see what you can eliminate.  Do this twice a year and whenever you feel stuck and stale.  Some factors are out of our control, but there are some things we can change.  So we should.

9. Call an old friend

What was the best friend era you ever had?  Call one of those friends.  Connect over the phone.  In this digital age, it is so special to actually receive a call from an old friend.  Get nostalgic and lose yourself a bit.  It might even inspire a spark in you.

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10. Forgive someone

This is so powerful.  Do you hold any grudges?  Free yourself.  That negative energy does not serve you.  Release that power and don’t worry about the other person.

11. Do something completely selfless

Focus on someone else.  When you help others, you benefit too.  Yes, you do need to make sure that you are healthy, but you don’t need to be perfect to help others.  Just a little act of selflessness can ripple many other kind acts.

12. Create a safe space

Where do you go when you feel drained, exhausted, upset, or happy?  Find a physical space in your home that will absorb all these emotions.  It doesn’t have to be fancy, just somewhere you can peel back the layers and just be.

13. Get a new Duvet Cover or Comforter

Home design shows have put a reno bug in all of us.  Unfortunately, we can’t renovate our homes every couple years.  What’s the next best thing?  Freshen up your space with things that change the landscape of your room.  Try a fresh new duvet cover, shower curtain, or towels.  A $100 solution to hold you over till the next big change.

14. Try a new food

My grocery bags look the same week after week.  I have to go out of my way to get some new flavors on my tastebuds.  Keep life interesting.  Try one new food every week.  A snack, take out, whatever you want.  Expand your palate.

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15. Watch a documentary

Get immersed in something bigger than yourself.  Find a cause or phenomenon that interests you and then binge watch about it.  You just never know what it will lead to.

16. Join a Book Club

Even if you’re not a big reader, it’s good to hear other people’s perspectives on the same work of art.  Choose a group and remember that you are not committed for life.  Just try it.

17. Clear out your closet

Cleanse the staleness out of your life starting from the 10 year old pants you never wear.  Remove unused clothing every 6 months.  Make it a habit not to purchase more hangers when you buy new clothing.  Maintain the size of your wardrobe by getting rid of something when you add an item.

18. Keep your counters clean

It’s so easy to place something on an empty countertop.  Resist the urge to clutter your space.  Make it a goal to remove any non permanent items (like mail) every day or every couple days, at the most.

19. Cut Down Your Daily Goals

Do you get overwhelmed with all you’d like to do?  Most people don’t do all they’d like to because of overwhelm paralysis.  Try this for a month.  Just focus on 1 goal for each day (other than daily tasks).  What is the one thing you can focus on today.  When you make a goal, remember to keep it measurable and specific.  Small goals will help you get to your larger goals.

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20. Smile

Often and everywhere.  Smile because there is a lot to be thankful for.  Smile because you are alive.  Smile because you can brighten another’s day.  Of course, smiling’s best friend is laughter, so laugh often, too.

What do you think?  Which one of these will you start doing this week?  If you start feeling really good about your life again, just smile.

Featured photo credit: Mitya Ku via flickr.com

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Last Updated on March 30, 2020

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

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1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

2. Be Honest

A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

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If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

4. Succeed at Something

When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

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6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

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In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

Final Thoughts

When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
[2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
[3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
[4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
[5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
[6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
[7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
[8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

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