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10 Ways You Can Be Mean to Yourself (and Prevent Your Own Happiness)

10 Ways You Can Be Mean to Yourself (and Prevent Your Own Happiness)


    No wonder many of us are not happy; sometimes we bring our misery on to ourselves by being mean to ourselves and not letting ourselves be happy and free.

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    I was catching up with my friend the other day – it took us 6 weeks to find a time to meet. I had nothing to do and flexible with my time as I was not working and spend my days recuperating. However, she was either travelling for work, or in the office slaving through projects. Then when she had time she would attend birthday dinners and farewell parties and other invitations. It seemed she never had a moment where she could decide what to do – she was always obliged to do something else or be somewhere for somebody else.

    I was enlightened after our “catch up” coffee, which she had to cut short too because work called her and she went back to the office on a Sunday afternoon.

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    We are quite mean to ourselves without knowing.

    Take a deep breath and a huge step back, and see if you are good at being mean to yourselves in the following ways:

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    1. Say “Yes” to every invitation and leave no time for yourself.
    2. Take on too much at work at the office because you are afraid of saying “No” and let other colleagues abuse this fear and push more work that is not yours onto your desk.
    3. Criticize yourself harshly at every single thing you do, and ignore the good bits.
    4. Be quick to judge everything, even if it is none of your business.
    5. Try to be nice to everyone and please them, thereby losing yourself.
    6. Feel obliged to make decisions immediately.
    7. Surround yourself with people who have negative thoughts and complain all day.
    8. Worry excessively that everything would go wrong.
    9. Discount your efforts and achievements.
    10. Sleep as little as possible to pull all-nighters at work.

    We need to put ourselves first in some situations, and make sure we are rested, have time for ourselves, and do not do what we do not want to do. Until then, we really cannot complain we are not happy – we can be, we just prevent ourselves from being so.

    (Photo credit: Image of a Mobster via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on December 9, 2019

    5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

    5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

    Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

    Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

    Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

    1. Get Rationally Optimistic

    Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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    This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

    In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

    The result: no more mental stress.

    2. Unplug

    Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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    How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

    It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

    Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

    3. Easy on the Caffeine

    Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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    Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

    4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

    That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

    How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

    • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
    • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
    • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

    While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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    5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

    This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

    The result: mental stress will be gone!

    So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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