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Run, Forrest, Run! 16 Life Lessons We Can Learn From Forrest Gump

Run, Forrest, Run! 16 Life Lessons We Can Learn From Forrest Gump

Just a few weeks ago was the 20th anniversary of one of America’s most beloved films: Forrest Gump. (When did we all get so old?!)

This fabulous film is equal parts funny, inspiring, and downright heart-wrenching. In fact, there are quite a few life lessons that can be learned from this fabulous movie—and not just about chocolates and running (although that’s definitely included).

Listen up, and prepare to have the intense urge to open up Netflix and start re-watching. (Yes, it’s on Netflix. You’re welcome.)

Life Lessons We Can Learn From Forrest Gump

1. Don’t be afraid to be honest…

Forrest always blurts out everything that’s on his mind, and it cracks everyone up—or helps them realize something huge about themselves. Sometimes it can be mildly offensive…but no one really minds, because he always means well.

sea legs2

    2. …no matter who you’re talking to

    Whether it’s the lady at the bus stop or the president of the United States, Forrest treats everyone exactly the same – with equal respect, but also with equal honesty. Brown-nosing doesn’t exist in Forrest’s world, because no matter the status, a person’s a person.

    pee

      3. Always tell those you care about how you feel

      Forrest never hesitates to demonstrate and express his affections for those he cares about. He wears his heart on his sleeve, and everyone who matters to Forrest knows that they matter to Forrest.

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      forrest gump

        4. Don’t be afraid to love…

        youremyiglr

          Just like he isn’t afraid to express his care for others, he isn’t afraid to love deeply, from the bottom of his soul. He’s not afraid of getting hurt, and he doesn’t overthink – he just loves. A lot of people could learn from this simplicity.

          5. …and don’t be afraid to lose

          Forrest experiences multiple deaths of those he cares about. Just like all other emotions, he feels his grief strongly and purely. He doesn’t shut anyone out, but rather faces it head-on: by visiting their graves and speaking to them like he always did. He faces death with his mother’s advice:

          mama

            6. Always try new things, because you might be great at them…

            Someone asks Forrest to play ping pong. He takes the paddle and does it – and he lets his natural talents kick in. After all, who knows what you’re good at if you don’t try?

            ping pong

              7. …but if you’re not, that’s okay

              Well, at least you tried.

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              gospel

                8. Sometimes, you just have to do the right thing, even when everyone tells you not to

                Lieutenant Dan may have wanted to die on the battlefield, but Forrest wasn’t about to let that happen.

                Your heart may be pulling you in one direction, while others are telling you to go the opposite route. Always trust your gut instinct. It may just save somebody’s life.

                lt dan

                  9. Don’t ever let anyone tell you they’re better than you

                  Never. Mama knows best.

                  mama2

                    10. Because seriously, what does normal mean, anyway?

                    mama3

                      As the awesome Mama notes, society dictates what “normal” is. It doesn’t really have a true definition – it’s all relative. Don’t ever feel like you have to be “normal.” Let your freak flag fly.

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                      11. You never know whose lives you’ll change

                      elvis

                        Forrest doesn’t give a hoot about “normal,” and look what happened: he made The King famous and helped someone come up with the smiley face and a clever bumper sticker. And he had absolutely no idea. Be yourself, and remember that your actions matter in more ways than you know…

                        elvis2

                          12. Be careful what you say, because you can’t take it back

                          In my personal opinion, one of the most heartbreaking moments in the movie was when Jenny rejects Forrest’s marriage proposal, and he brings up a particularly cruel insult that she had thrown at him years and years ago.

                          love is

                            Think before you speak. Words can wound—and those wounds take a long time to heal.

                            13. Never take true friendships for granted

                            Casual friendships come and go, but when Forrest finds people he truly clicks with, he knows how special it is—and he doesn’t let that go.

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                            friend

                              bubba

                                14. Appreciate—and share—the little things

                                Firstly, ice cream is awesome. Always remember how awesome ice cream is.

                                Secondly, always share with a friend or loved one in need—even if that particular person dumps your offerings in a bedpan.

                                ice cream

                                  15. Do what you love

                                  Live your life how you want to. Participate in activities simply because you want to.

                                  running

                                    Not everything has to have a deeper meaning—but when you start doing what you love, it will develop a deeper meaning on its own.

                                    16. Finally, always remember…

                                    chocolates

                                      Featured photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/76791138@N07/9129073984/sizes/l via Bel Zamarbide

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                                      Last Updated on October 14, 2020

                                      Had a Bad Day? 7 Ways to Rebound From It and Feel Good Again

                                      Had a Bad Day? 7 Ways to Rebound From It and Feel Good Again

                                      Today didn’t turn out as you planned, but it doesn’t mean you’re weak. It simply means that you’re human, and you’re not bad just because you had a bad day.

                                      “Not everyday is a good day but there is something good in every day.” -Alice Morse Earle

                                      It’s not the end of the world when you find yourself thinking “I had a bad day,” but it can feel like it. You may have had plans that fell apart, experiences that set you back, and interactions that only did harm.

                                      You may have started the day thinking you could take on it all, only to find you could hardly get out of bed. When you have a bad day, you can forget to look at the good.

                                      Sometimes, self-care helps us to remember why we are worth it. It helps us to recharge and reset our mindset. It helps us to know that there are still options and that the day isn’t over yet.

                                      Love yourself today, no matter how hard it’s been. That’s the way to find yourself amidst the hardships you have. That’s how you center yourself and regain focus and live a more meaningful life. Give yourself some credit and compassion.

                                      Here are 7 ways to rebound from a bad day using self-compassion as a tool. If you had a bad day, these are for you!

                                      1. Make a Gratitude List

                                      In a study on gratitude, psychologists Dr. Robert A Emmons and Dr. Michael E. McCullough conducted an experiment where one group of people wrote out gratitude lists for ten weeks while another group wrote about irritations. The study found that the group that wrote about gratitude reported more optimistic mindsets in their lives[1].

                                      Overall, having a gratitude list improved well-being and made one truly grateful by counting the blessings in their lives.

                                      Write a list of what you are grateful for if you had a bad day. Make it as long as you like, but also remember to note why you’re grateful for each thing you write.

                                      What has given you the most joy? What has set you up for better days? Keep a tally of triumphs in mind, especially when you do have the bad days.

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                                      The day doesn’t define you, and you still have things of value that surround you. These could be material things, spiritual connections and experiences, relationships, basic needs, emotional and mental well-being, physical health, progress towards hopes and dreams, or simply being alive.

                                      Here are some other simple ways to practice gratitude.

                                      2. Write in a Journal

                                      Journaling affects your overall mental health, which also affects physical health and aids in the management of stress, depression, anxiety, and more[2].

                                      All you need is a pen and paper, or you could do an online, password-protected journal such as Penzu. The key is to get started and not pressure yourself on how polished or perfect it is. You don’t need to have prior experience to start journal writing. Just start.

                                      Write out everything that is bothering you for 15 minutes. This helps with rumination, processing problems, and can even aid with brainstorming solutions.

                                      However you approach it, you can find patterns of thinking that no longer serve you and start to transform your overall mental state. This will impact all areas of your life and is a great coping skill.

                                      3. Meditate

                                      Meditation can help you overcome negative thought patterns, worrying about the future, dwelling on the past, or struggling to overcome a bad day[3]. It shifts your mentality and helps you focus on the present or any one thing you truly want to focus on.

                                      Here is an example of a meditation you can do:

                                      Get into a comfortable position. Close your eyes. Rest your body, release tension, and unclench your jaw. Tighten and release each muscle group in a body scan for progressive muscle relaxation.

                                      Focus on your breath, taking a few deep breaths. Let your belly expand when you breathe in for diaphragmatic breathing. Empty yourself completely of air, then return to normal breathing.

                                      Next, focus on the idea of self-love and let it erase negative thoughts. Think about the ways you’ve been judging yourself, with the narratives coming up that your mind may create.

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                                      Give yourself unconditional love and release judgment. Take your time meditating on this because you matter. This is particularly important if you had a bad day.

                                      Check out this article for more on how to get started with a meditation practice.

                                      4. Do Child’s Pose

                                      Yoga Outlet says:

                                      “Child’s Pose is a simple way to calm your mind, slow your breath, and restore a feeling of peace and safety. Practicing the pose before bedtime can help to release the worries of the day. Practicing in the morning can you help transition from sleeping to waking.”[4]

                                      When you do Child’s Pose, it can be between difficult positions in yoga, or it can be anytime you feel you need a rest. It helps you recover from difficulties and relax the mind.

                                      It also has the physical health benefits of elongating your back, opening your hips, and helping with digestion[5].

                                      To do Child’s Pose, rest your buttocks back on your feet, knees on the floor. Elongate your body over your knees with both arms extended or tucked back, with head and neck resting on the floor[6].

                                      Had a bad day? Try Child's Pose.

                                         

                                        Do this pose as a gift to yourself. You are allowing yourself to heal, rest, get time for yourself, recover, and recharge. When you’ve had a bad day, it’s there waiting for you.

                                        5. Try Positive Self-Talk

                                        Engage in positive self-talk. This is essentially choosing your thoughts.

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                                        When you have a negative thought, such as “I can’t do this,” replace it consciously with the thought “I can do this.” Give yourself positive affirmations to help with this.

                                        Negative self-talk fits into four general categories: personalizing or blaming yourself, magnifying or only focusing on the negative, catastrophizing or expecting the worst to happen, and polarizing or only seeing back and white[7].

                                        When you stop blaming yourself for everything and start focusing on the positive, expecting things to work out, and seeing the areas of grey in life, you reverse these negative mindsets and engage in positive self-talk.

                                        When you speak words of kindness to yourself, your brain responds with a more positive attitude. That attitude will affect everything you do. It’s how you take care of yourself if you had a bad day.

                                        Check in with yourself to know when you are having negative self-talk. Are you seeing patterns? When did they start to become a problem? Are you able to turn these thoughts around?

                                        6. Use Coping Skills and Take a Break

                                        Use your coping skills. This means not letting your thoughts take control of yourself.

                                        You can distract yourself and escape a bit. Do things you love. You can exercise, listen to music, dance, volunteer or help someone, be in nature, or read a book.

                                        It isn’t about repression. It’s about redirection. You can’t stay in thoughts that are no longer working for you.

                                        Sometimes, it’s okay to get out of your own way. Give yourself a break from the things going on in your head. You can always come back to a problem later. This may even help you figure out the best course of action as sometimes stepping away is the only way to see the solution.

                                        If you had a bad day, you may not feel like addressing what went wrong. You may need a break, so take one.

                                        7. If a Bad Day Turns Into Bad Days

                                        “I believe depression is legitimate. But I also believe that if you don’t exercise, eat nutritious food, get sunlight, get enough sleep, consume positive material, surround yourself with support, then you aren’t giving yourself a fighting chance.” –Jim Carrey

                                        If you’ve been feeling out of control, depressed, or unstable for more than a few weeks, it’s time to call a mental health professional. This is not because you have failed in any way. It’s because you are human, and you simply need help.

                                        You may not be able to quickly rebound from a bad day, and that’s fine. Feel what you feel, but don’t let it consume you.

                                        When you talk to a professional, share the techniques that you have already tried here and whether they were helpful. They may tell you additional ideas or gain insights from your struggles of not being able to rebound from a series of bad days.

                                        If you’re having more than just a bad day, they will want to know. If you don’t have the answers, that’s okay, too. You just need to try these tools and figure out how you’re feeling. That’s all that’s required of you.

                                        Keep taking care of yourself. Any progress is progress, no matter how small. Give yourself a chance to get better by reaching out.

                                        Final Thoughts

                                        If you had a bad day, don’t let it stop you.

                                        Know this: It’s okay not to be okay. You have a right to feel what you feel. But there is something you can do about it.

                                        You can invest in yourself via self-care.

                                        You are not alone in this. Everyone has bad days from time to time. You just need to know that you are the positive things you tell yourself.

                                        More Things You Can Do If You Had a Bad Day

                                        Featured photo credit: Anthony Tran via unsplash.com

                                        Reference

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