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Mentally Strong People Don’t Just Tell Themselves To Be Happy, They Do These 4 Things

Mentally Strong People Don’t Just Tell Themselves To Be Happy, They Do These 4 Things

Do you ever find yourself wondering why you aren’t happier? Sometimes, it seems like the act of saying you’re happy isn’t enough to actually make you happy. It’s a good start, sure, but don’t stop there. Mentally powerful people don’t just hope for happiness, they take action to make it a reality. Why? Because they understand that life is meant to be enjoyed. So, without further delay, here are four things that mentally strong people do to achieve happiness.

1. They don’t base their happiness on achieving things that are out of their hands

Focus on the things you can control, and you’ll find that you’re more motivated and less worried about failure. For example, you can’t know when you’ll find love or when you’ll be able to afford your dream house. If you base your happiness on these unknowns, your mental health will suffer as long as they remain out of your reach. So, instead pay attention to how often you make efforts to bring yourself closer to your goals. Measuring small things like the steps you take toward a goal can immediately make you more certain and less worried about a situation. It’s a wonderful tool for self improvement.

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2. They shift their worries away from the long-term problem

Instead focus on daily practices that will help you solve that problem. Worrying about the way things will turn out in the distant future is worse than unhelpful; it’s the cause of much unneeded stress. For example, if you’re worried about a piano recital or a public speaking engagement you have in a month, focus on preparing for it each day instead of worrying about how it will turn out. Trust that your present efforts will help you achieve what you want if you make them a routine.

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3.They keep track their emotions using a bullet journal

A bullet journal[1] is a personal mix between a diary, a to-do list, and a planner. You can make lists and graphs every day that describe how you’re feeling physically and emotionally and the reasons for specific feelings throughout the day. You can also use the journal to track your daily habits. You will have a clear readout of how long you spent studying, exercising, and watching TV. A bullet journal is a wonderful tool that will help you see and change your habits. Better than that, it will show you how the changes you make each day effect your moods.

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4. They don’t ignore their negative emotions

Try again. Ignoring negative emotions can actually be extremely harmful to your mental health. It’s better for you to challenge them[2]. Do you listen to all of the things your inner voice tells you? No, I’m not talking about your voice of wisdom when I say inner voice. I’m talking about the voice of fear: the voice that tells you why you can’t do something and why you’ll never amount to anything compared with the success of a family member. Are you familiar with that voice? Try this. Next time it speaks up and tells you you’re not good enough, ask it one simple question: “why?” You always have the right to ask this question. Remember that most of us are stronger, smarter, and more capable than we believe ourselves to be. Don’t let fear-based thoughts hold you back from your true potential.

Happiness is really quite simple when you remove all the preconceived notions that tell you otherwise. However, getting the things you want out of life and learning to be content and happy as you move towards your goals takes some effort. You’ll find that an open mind and perseverance are key. Using these tools, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be as happy as you want to be.

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Reference

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Marina Richter

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on January 6, 2019

Why a Life Without Pain Is the Guarantee to True Suffering

Why a Life Without Pain Is the Guarantee to True Suffering

No one wants to suffer. As a general rule, people like to avoid hurt and pain as much as possible. As a species, humans want a painless existence so much that scientists make a living trying to create it.

People can now choose “pain-free” labor for babies, and remedies to cure back pain, headaches, body-pains and even mental pains are a dime a dozen. Beyond medicine, we also work hard to experience little pain even when it comes to loss; often times we believe a breakup won’t hurt as much if we are the ones to call it off.

But would a world without pain truly be painless? It’s unlikely. In fact, it would probably be painful exactly for that reason.

If people never experienced hurt, they wouldn’t know what it was. On the surface level, that seems like a blessing, but think for a moment: if we didn’t know pain, how would we know peace? If you don’t know you’ve hurt or been hurt, how would you know that you need to heal? Imagine someone only knowing they have an incurable cancer at the final stage because no obvious symptoms have appeared at early stages.

Without the feeling of pain, people won’t be aware of dangerous situations—what should or shouldn’t do for survival.

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Pain Is Our Guardian

Pain serves to protect human beings from harmful actions. It’s the same reason parents teach babies that fire equals hot, and that hot equals hurt. Should the baby still place its hand in a fire or on a stove, the intense pain remains so memorable, that the child is certain never to repeat that action.

In the same way, pain within human bodies can serve as a warning that something is not right. Because you know what it is to feel “well,” you know what it is to feel poorly.[1]

Along with serving as a teacher of what not to do, pain also teaches you what you are made of in terms of what you can handle as an individual.

While the cliche, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is a tired term, it’s used excessively for a reason: it’s true. Pain helps you learn to cope with life’s inevitable difficulties and sadnesses— to develop the grit it takes to push past hardships and carry on.

Whether it’s a shattering pain, like the loss of a loved one or a debilitating accident, pain affects everyone differently. But it still affects everyone. Take a breakup as an example, anyone who has experienced it knows it can hurt to the point of feeling physical. Especially the first breakup. At a young age, it feels like the loss of the only love you’ll ever know. As you grow and learn, you realize you’re more resilient with every ended relationship.

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No Pain, No Happiness

You only know happiness when you have known pain. While the idea of constant happiness sounds nice, there is little chance it would be. Without the comparison to happiness, there’s no reason to be grateful for it. That is to say, without ever knowing sadness or pain, you would have no reason to be grateful for happiness.

In reality, there is always something missing, or something unpleasant, but it is only through those realizations that you know to be grateful when you feel you have it all. Read more about why happiness and pain have to exist together: Chasing Happiness Won’t Make You Happy

In a somewhat counter-intuitive finding, researchers found one of the things that brings about the most happiness is challenge. When people are tested, they experience a greater sense of accomplishment and happiness when they are successful. It is largely for this reason that low-income individuals can often feel happier than those who have a sense of wealth.[2]

This is a great thing to remember the next time you feel you would be happier if you just had a little more cash.

Avoiding Pain Leads to More Suffering

Pain is inevitable, embrace it positively. Anyone who strives to have a painless life is striving for perfectionism; and perfectionism guarantees sadness because nothing will ever be perfect.

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This isn’t a bleak outlook, but rather a truthful one. The messy moments in life tend to create the best memories and gratitude. Pain often serves as a reminder of lessons learned, much like physical scars on the body.

Pain will always be painful, but it’s the hurt feelings that help wiser decisions be made.

Allow Room for the Inevitable

Learning how to tolerate pain, especially the emotional kind, is a valuable lesson.

Accepting and feeling pain makes you human. There is no weakness in that. Weakness only comes when you try to blame your own pain on someone else, expecting the blame to alleviate your hurting. There’s a saying,

“Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting your enemy to die.”

Think back to the last time you were really angry with someone. Maybe you were hurt because you got laid off from a job. You felt angry and that anger caused so much pain that you could feel it in a physical way. Being angry and blaming your ex boss for that pain didn’t affect him or her in any way; you’re the only one who lost sleep over it.

The healthier thing to do in a situation like that is acknowledge your pain and the anger along with it. Accept it and explore it in an introspective way. How can you learn and grow? What is at the root of that pain? Are you truly hurting and angry about being laid off, or is the pain more a correlation to you feeling like you failed?

While uncomfortable, exploring your pain is a way to raise your self-awareness. By understanding more about yourself, you know how to deal with similar situations in the future. You can never expect to be numb to difficult situations, but you will learn to better prepare financially for the loss of a job and be grateful for an income since you now know nothing is promised (no matter how much you work or how deserving you may feel).

Pain Hurts, but Numbness Would Be Worse

Pain does not feel good, but the bad feeling of it will help you learn and grow. It makes the sweet moments in life even sweeter and the gratitude more sincere.

To have a happier and more successful life, you don’t learn from success or accomplishment, but through pain and failures. For it is in those moments that you learn how to do better in the future or at least cope a little more easily.

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You are the strong person you are today because of the hardships this life has presented to you. While you may have felt out of control when those hard times came, the one thing you will always have control over is how you choose to react to things. The next time you hurt or you’re angry or sad, acknowledge it and allow yourself to ruminate in it. Then take a deep breath and start learning from that pain. You’ve got this!

Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

Reference

[1] University of Calgary: Why is Pain Important?
[2] Greater Good Magazine: The Importance of Pain

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