Advertising
Advertising

How to Stop Feeling Bad, Change Your Thoughts, and Change Your LIfe

How to Stop Feeling Bad, Change Your Thoughts, and Change Your LIfe

You look like you’ve got it all together. You’re always smiling in your selfies. Your Instagram and Facebook photos look like you’re having the time of your life, but inside your head there’s another movie going on.

You know you’re a decent person (your mother tells you all the time) but you keep hearing voices that bring you down. Voices of doubt making you wonder if you’re good enough, cool enough, hot enough, or you’re up for the challenge in front of you. Guess what? You are!

You just have to learn how to dig through the garbage bin of your mind and see how great you really are, so you can start living a happier life.

CHANGE THE WAY YOU THINK ABOUT YOUR THOUGHTS

If you want to change your life, the first thing to change is the relationship you have with your thoughts. Regardless of how successful, confident, and self-assured someone looks; you can be sure that inside every person is a little voice full of doubt. What matters most is how you relate to those thoughts. Just because you hear thoughts of doubt, insecurity, or regret – doesn’t mean you have to listen to them.

Advertising

Give your negative voice a voice.

Listen to your thoughts. Be aware of what you say to yourself. Do you sound like your best friend (You’re doing a great job, hang in there, things will get better soon, believe in miracles, pray) or do you sound like the high school bully (You’re such a jerk, loser, stop being a baby, grow up already)?

Say your thoughts out loud. Whether it’s to yourself or a trusted friend, releasing those thoughts will free you from the prison of your mind. That’s when positive change will happen.

Face your flaws.

As odd as that seems, denial is a nasty self-esteem destroyer. Admitting your truths frees you. It’s the first step to happiness.

There is no such thing as perfect. Everybody is imperfect. It’s what makes us human. It’s a common bond we share. What matters is how you manage your imperfections. Do they haunt you and stick with you for days? Or do you try to forget about them and make them go away? Successful people admit their flaws, improve them, and move beyond them.

Flaws that are not admitted can hold you down and interfere with your happiness. If you want to be truly happy, you have to be brave enough to know what you need to improve. Maybe you need to stop procrastinating, less selfish, or control your temper; once you admit it, you can change it. If you remain in denial, your harmful habits will continue to harm you.

Advertising

Forgive yourself.

It’s going to happen; you’ll mess up, make a mistake, or say the wrong thing, it’s ok. You’re imperfect and human, just like the rest of us. It’s not the mistake that hurts, but whether you take it in and let it rot inside your head or learn from it and let it go. Mess-ups are part of everybody’s day. Look at Bill Clinton, Steve Jobs, and John Travolta. How do you think he felt when he mispronounced Idina Menzel‘s name in front of 43 million people? Ouch! People forget and get over it. You can too.

“Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.” 
Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs had to forgive himself when he made the first Apple III computer. It was so poorly designed that the computer was known as an unreliable machine that continuously crashed due to poor ventilation.

Think about who you want to be.

Whether your dream is to act on Broadway or become the next Stephen King, visualize the person you want to become. Jim Carrey did it, and it worked for him. In 1983 when Jim was broke and down and out, he wrote himself a post-dated check for $10 million. He carried it in his pocket for ten years. What do you see in your future? Make that your daily visualization. Write it down and keep it with you every day.

List your strengths.

Affirmations are corny, but they work. Remind yourself how you tackled that tough project, or made peace with a friend after they hurt you. Take a few minutes to realize how your accomplishments.

Advertising

When things happen that knock you down, get back up. Remember those life-size inflatable punching bags when you were a kid? That’s you. Keep bouncing back up.

Spirituality helps.

When times are tough (and even in the good times) a spiritual foundation can get you through. Knowing that there is something in the Universe that is steering your life path, guiding your journey, testing you, and helping you to become a better person can be a great source of inspiration, hope, and strength.

Start something new.

You might want to start a blog, journal, or books- whatever you choose- search for something that speaks to your soul. Explore new options, take a course, or make your childhood dreams come true.

Be ready to change.

Complaining about how bad things are doesn’t make things better. Talking about change and making a change are not the same. It’s so easy to say “I don’t like my life the way it is, everything’s a mess.” But if you want your life to be better, you have to be willing to make a change, and then take action to make it happen.

Achieving happiness is a paradox of life. First you have to see your flaws before you can see your goodness.

Advertising

It’s a choice you have to make. It’s not just saying you want it, and then you receive it. There are no special effect, no magic wands. It’s up to you.

The only way out is through. Go for it- you’re worth it.

Loving yourself is about feeling comfortable in your own skin, even if it’s itchy, bumpy, or burned. That’s true happiness.

You can be that person you want to be. Go ahead, write that $10 million check right now.

 

More by this author

18 Signs You’ve Found Your Soulmate 12 Ways To Deal With Stubborn People And Convince Them To Listen 20 Things to Remember If You Love a Person with ADD If You Love Someone Who Has ADHD, Don’t Do These 20 Things 10 Small Habits That Help You Maintain A Long-Lasting Relationship

Trending in Communication

1 40 Acts of Kindness to Make the World a Better Place 2 6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak 3 How to Train Your Brain to Be Optimistic 4 How to Stop Living on Autopilot with Antonio Neves 5 The Gentle Art of Saying No For a Less Stressful Life

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on August 6, 2020

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

Are we speaking the same language?

My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

Am I being lazy?

When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

Advertising

Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

Early in the relationship:

“Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

When the relationship is established:

“Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

Have I actually got anything to say?

When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

Am I painting an accurate picture?

One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

Advertising

How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

What words am I using?

It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

Advertising

Is the map really the territory?

Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

Read Next