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8 Ways You Hurt Yourself and Inadvertently Your Happiness

8 Ways You Hurt Yourself and Inadvertently Your Happiness

How do you view life?

Are you an optimist or a pessimist?

Do you tend to see the bad in everyone and everything?

Do you struggle with seeing things any other way?

Well, let’s change things up a little. It takes nothing more for you to see the good things in life than it is to see the bad.

Do not get down on yourself because unfortunately too many of us feel that way sometimes. Far too many of us have gotten into that rut and find it hard to get out of it.

The good news is, we can all change for the better. It doesn’t take much for us to change our life; we only need to redirect our thoughts from being negative to being positive.

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There is always something you can change to become happier. Sometimes going down the wrong path is the only way you can then get back on track and grow.

Life is not easy all the time, and neither is the path always smooth. We stumble and fall and even hurt ourselves. The bumps and bruises are what propel us to growth and heights we couldn’t attain unless we had struggles in our lives.

The experiences we gain from our challenges would not be learned any other way so in some sense even when you struggle there is something good to learn.

We all have habits that have caused us unnecessary frustration and stand in the way of our happiness. Some of those habits are good, others not so good, but they hinder our very survival at times.

These habits that aren’t good we allow to control our lives, and they make us miserable but not miserable enough to want to change them.

Today is the day to change some of those bad habits and refuse to allow yourself to be limited and or discouraged from becoming the best version of who you can become.

Quit fighting life

Life is unpredictable with its ups and downs, but life already has a plan laid out for you. Do not complicate things by forcing and fighting. Let life unfold for you as it should.

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To move ahead in life, you must be prepared to accept things as they are. When you can accept things in their current state, it provides you with an opportunity to start your journey to recovery and happiness. You are also allotted an opportunity to move in any direction you want to go.

Do not go back to the past and resurrect things that will only complicate and distract from your current life. To return to the past or to wish things were different is only wasting your precious time and will get you nowhere.

Accept things the way they are, this will help you to move forward and create a new life and a better future. This doesn’t mean you are giving up on your dreams but accepting things the way they are will enable you to move forward. You have to see things as they truly are in reality and then once you can accept your current situation as it is, only then can you move on freely.

Forgiveness is huge if you want to stop hurting yourself and your happiness. Forgiveness will open the door for you to move forward into your future and the life that is destined to be yours. Forgiveness is the acceptance of the present without any attachment to any thing, place or circumstances.

The best place to start the healing process and to forget all the hurt and pain on all sides is through forgiveness. This is when the heart becomes open as it has emptied all the pent up resentment, hatred and other things that take up space. Your heart is now clean and ready to accept love and the fulfillment of happiness.

Simplify and de-clutter

You need to simplify and de-clutter your life to make any headway. This doesn’t mean you need to reduce yourself to a state of poverty, but it means you need to get rid of the things in your life that aren’t helping you to get where you want to go. This means ridding yourself of all the negative influences. Clean your mind of all the baggage of past relationships, lack of forgiveness and regrets.

Start removing the toxic things from your life so you can have space in your life for the things that truly matter. Surround yourself with things that are essential to your development and progress.

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You have no clear direction

Before you can start your journey, you have to know which direction to take. You cannot be just running around in circles without clear directions.

Establish goals and work towards them. Do not just get a job with no clear ending in sight. What is it you want to do in ten years and where do you see yourself then? Once you set your goals, then you can start putting things in place to achieve them. Set very smart goals for your life. They must be specific, measurable, achievable and timely. Do not go through life blindly. You will be sabotaging your life and your happiness.

Take a break from your everyday life

There comes a time when you will have to break away from everything and everyone. It doesn’t mean you stop loving them, but you need to be able to recharge. You need to take care of yourself so you can take care of others.

You need some down time to refocus. Getting the necessary rest is part of growing and becoming stronger. Create habits that will be beneficial to you in the long run and will encourage healthy, safe habits.

Do not resort to stimulants and drugs to fix your life

People, unfortunately, tend to use all kinds of things including drugs to numb their pain. Sadly, these things do not help but rather hinder your growth and healing. They mask the pain and cloud the brain, and so you are left feeling worse about yourself and your problems.

See yourself as a strong enough person who can face life’s ups and downs without the need for any stimulant. You don’t want to go through your life numb.

Do not hurt yourself with things that you already know does nothing but cause more pain and destruction to your life.

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Commit to healthy eating habits.

One of the easiest ways to stop hurting yourself is to treat your body right. Your body is your temple and should be treated with respect and dignity. One way of showing that you love yourself is how you treat your body. Choose foods that will help and heal the body and make you happy and healthy.

Refuse to over indulge and put things in the body that you know are not helping you because that will rob you of your health and happiness like nothing else.

Do not neglect your body

The body is the greatest tool ever created. There is nothing that will heal your mind and spirit more than exercising. Exercising is one of the best medicines you can take to rid yourself of mental and physical problems; besides taking care of your mind it also makes you look and feel stronger. You need your strength to face life and its challenges. Taking care of your body will have an enormous effect on your quality of life.

Be prepared to do the work

There’s no secret to success: it is all about hard work. When you are prepared to offer your best you cannot help but see good results and be happy when you do. You must be confidence in your belief and know that you are doing and giving of your best.

The world needs more people with great ideas who are prepared to work to see their dreams come to fruition.

Give everything you’ve got towards your dream and be prepared to persist in spite of all adversity and setbacks. Take the action needed to get the results you want and do not stop until you do.

Featured photo credit: Sjoerd Lammers via flickr.com

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

1. Take a step back and evaluate

When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
  3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
  4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
  5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

4. Process your thoughts/emotions

Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

  1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
  2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
  3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
  4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

5. Acknowledge your thoughts

Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

6. Give yourself a break

If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

As Helen Keller once said,

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

  1. What’s the situation?
  2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
  3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
  4. Take action on your next steps!

After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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