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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 January 16, 2020

12 Simple Ways to Boost Your Confidence Right Now

12 Simple Ways to Boost Your Confidence Right Now

The way you feel about yourself greatly influences how you live and interact with others. If you are confident about yourself, you tend to see yourself positively and actually enjoy spending time with and around people. You don’t feel self-conscious or awkward around others, and that allows you to live your fullest and happiest life.

However, if you’re drowning in a sea of self-doubt, hesitancy and shyness, you often withdraw and isolate yourself from others and avoid interacting and connecting with people. That anxiety you feel in the pit of your stomach when you are around people is holding you back greatly and it is not good for your emotional health and overall well-being. You need to do something about it if you are low in self-confidence or have friends or family members who are not confident.

“Confidence isn’t walking into a room thinking you’re better than everyone, it’s walking in not having to compare yourself to anyone” – Anonymous

Here are simple, practical tips to boost your confidence right now and make you feel and act your best.

1. Stop labeling yourself as awkward, timid or shy.

When you label yourself as awkward, timid or shy, you sub-consciously tell your mind to act accordingly and psychologically feel inclined to live up to those expectations. Instead of labeling and entertaining negative self-talk, visualize and affirm yourself as confident and strong. Close your eyes for a minute and visualize yourself in different situation as you would like to be.

Be your own cheerleader. Experts believe that positive affirmation and good mental practices like picturing yourself winning or achieving a goal can lead to greater feelings of self-assurance and prepare your brain for success.[1] As the saying goes, “seeing is believing.” Picture yourself as confident and soon enough you will begin to manifest behavior that gives evidence to this new ‘fact.’

2. Recognize that the world is not focused on you (unless, of course, you are Kanye West).

That means you don’t have to be excessively sensitive about who you are or what you are doing (or not doing). You are not on the center stage; there is no need for preoccupation with self and perfectionism. As rap music star Rocko sings, “You just do you and I will do me, aight?”

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Forget about trying to please everyone or being perfect. Trying to be perfect and being a people-pleaser puts too much pressure on you and creates unnecessary anxiety. Besides, people are too preoccupied with their own issues to pay much attention to your every move unless, of course, you are a mega famous, super celebrity like Beyonce or Kanye West.

3. Focus on other people as opposed to yourself.

If you are low on confidence, self-conscious, nervous and shy in social situations, focus your attention on other people and what they are saying or doing instead of focusing on your own awkwardness.

For example, think about what it is that is interesting about the person who’s the centre of the party or the guy or girl you are talking with. Prompt them to talk more about themselves and be genuinely curious and interested in what they say. You will instantly come across as confident and warmhearted.

People generally want to talk about themselves, be heard and understood. They will love it when you’re eager and willing to listen to them and really hear what they have to say.

This habit of focusing more on what you love in others as opposed to what you dislike in yourself will not only help you become more assertive and comfortable in virtually all social situations, but also instantly make you feel great about yourself.

4. Know (and accept) yourself for who you are.

Chinese military general, strategist and philosopher Sun Tzu, author of the internationally acclaimed book The Art of War, said, “Know yourself and you will win all battles.” Even in the battle with lack of confidence, you will need to know yourself to win.

Knowing yourself starts with understanding that people are not all the same, neither are all social situation suitable for everyone. You might not be confident in large gatherings, but you could be bold and confident in one-on-one and small group interactions. We all have our own unique gifts and unique ways of expressing ourselves. Embrace yours!

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Introverts, for example, have a quiet confidence that is, unfortunately, often confused for shyness. They are naturally low key and prefer to spend time alone. However, this natural disposition affords them certain unique gifts, such as an ability to listen better than most people and notice things that others don’t.

Your uniqueness is where your strength and advantage lies. You won’t be comfortable and confident in all situations all the time. Albert Einstein said,

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

5. Crack a smile.

If there is one sure way to instantly boost your confidence, it’s cracking a smile. Christine Clapp, a public speaking expert at The George Washington University, says that flashing those pretty, pearly white teeth will immediately make you appear both confident and composed. But, the effect of smiling is not just external. Studies show that smiling can also help nix feelings of stress and pave the way for a happier and more relaxed you.[2]

Not a bad return for something seemingly so trite, wouldn’t you agree?

6. Break a sweat—with exercise.

Working out is another great way to make yourself feel amazing and confident. Science has shown that exercising increases your endorphins, helps reduce stress, tones your muscles and makes you feel happy and confident.[3]

And hey, all you have to do is take a walk a few times a week and you’ll see the benefits. What seems to matter—as far as your confidence goes—is whether you break a sweat, not how strenuous your session is, which is pretty cool. Start working out now.

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7. Groom yourself.

This might seem mundane, but it’s amazing how much of a difference a shower and shave can have on your confidence and self-image. And when you spritz on a scent, the boost on confidence and self-esteem is incredible. As it turns out, your favorite fragrance does more than make you smell oh-so-nice.

A study found that a fragrance can inspire confidence in men. Interestingly, the study also found that the more a man likes the fragrance, the more confident he might feel. Another study found that 90% of women feel more confident while wearing a scent than those who go fragrance-free.

8. Dress nicely.

Another one that might seem trite, but it works. If you dress nicely, you’ll instantly feel good about yourself and give your confidence a real boost. That is largely because you’ll feel attractive, presentable and sometimes even successful in nice clothes.

While dressing nicely means something different for everyone, it does not necessarily mean wearing $500 designer outfits. It means wearing clothes that are clean, that you are comfortable in and that are nice-looking and presentable, including casual clothes.

9. Do activities you enjoy.

Whether it is reading a book, playing a musical instrument, riding your bicycle or going fishing, do what you really enjoy and what makes you truly happy often. It will boost your self-esteem, soothe your ego and allow you to identify with your gifts and talents. That will in turn bolster your self-belief and grow your confidence exponentially.

You might not become popular for doing what you love, but you might not even want to be popular at all. Being popular doesn’t make you happy; doing what you love does.

10. Prepare for the possibility of rejection / setback.

Late World No. 1 professional tennis player Arthur Ashe said, “One important key to success is self-confidence. A key to self-confidence is preparation.” You need to prepare for the possibility of rejection and setback.

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Why?

Everybody suffers rejection and setback at one point or another. You are not exempted. The question on your mind, therefore, should not be if you will be rejected, but how you will handle rejection when it comes.

Prepare yourself adequately in every situation to minimize the risk and effect of rejection and so that your confidence is not broken. For example, learn public speaking and rehearse what you are going to say beforehand if you have landed a public speaking engagement. That way, you are sure of yourself and confident you have what it takes to hack it. If you are rejected, don’t take it personally.

Rejection and setbacks happen to the best of us. Take it as a learning experience. Learn from your mistakes and move on.

11. Face uncomfortable situations square in the face.

Don’t run away from uncomfortable situations. Running away from people or situations because you feel scared, shy or timid only confirms and reinforces your shyness. Instead, face the situation that makes you uneasy square in the face. For example, go ahead and talk to that person you are afraid to approach, or go straight to the front of your yoga class! What’s the worst that can happen?

Prepare and be ready for any eventuality. The more you face your fears, the more you realize you are stronger than you thought and the more confident you get. This simple, yet admittedly courageous, act makes you unstoppable. You get comfortable being uncomfortable and begin to feel like you can take on the world. And that is the hallmark of someone destined for great things.

12. Sit up straight and walk tall—you are awesome!

Yes, sit up straight and believe you are awesome. Don’t slump in your chair or slouch your shoulders. Experts say the right stance can not only keep your self-esteem and mood lifted, but also lead to more confidence in your own thoughts.[4]

The way to sit is to open up your chest and keep your head level so that you look and feel poised and assured. And when you get up, stand tall and walk like you’re on a mission. People who sit up straight and walk tall are more attractive and instantly feel more confident. Try it now: you’ll feel fierce and confident just by sitting up straight and walking tall.

Featured photo credit: Freshh Connection via unsplash.com

Reference

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