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4 New Words to Help You Love Your Life Now

4 New Words to Help You Love Your Life Now

This might be too much information, but the other day as I was sitting in the restroom of a coffee shop, I glanced at the wall in front of me where either bored or inspired patrons had inscribed their particular sentiments.

One scrawled word caught my eye: Exploreality.

    “What a cool word,” I thought to myself.

    Walking back to my table, I turned the word over and over in my head.

    Exploreality. Exploreality.

    I’m not sure what the artist meant when she scribbled the word on the wall, but it did what good art is supposed to do – it made me think.

    That’s how I understood the word and it got me pondering about what it meant to me.Explore reality.

    A portmanteau is a combination of two words into one new word such as exploreality. Here are a few of my own portmanteaus to sum up my thoughts about the inspirational restroom art.

    1. Extendenial

    Why did the bathroom writer encourage us to explore reality?

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    Because we spend most of our time in a type of veiled, extended denial – extendenial.

    Denial sometimes gets a bad rap. When we are traumatized or experience severe adversity, denial is a protective factor that helps us rest before we actively address the trauma or problem.

    But used too much, denial gets in our way.

    It prevents us from seeing what is right in front of us – the life that we have, not the life that we think we should have.

    It’s this latter idea that forms our veil of extendenial. We don’t embrace the reality of what is in front of us because we hold an illusion that “someday” life will be ____________. (Fill in the blank with whatever you don’t have right now.)

    Don’t get me wrong. There is certainly nothing wrong with having goals.

    But how much of life are you missing by thinking, “I’ll be happy when . . .”?

    2. Busymbiotic

    A way to extendenial is to be busymbiotic – having a symbiotic relationship with being busy.

    Our social norm of “busy = productive = good” has caused us to glom onto busyness as though it is an integral and reciprocal part of us. Just like a symbiote, we think we need busyness in order to do well in the world and be happy.

    But busyness is just another way to engage in seeking the “someday” life and disengage from the life that you have right now, both the glory and the gloom.

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    Someone commented on my blog the other day that she decided to put away the busyness of life so that she could get on with the business of life.

    Amen to that.

    3. Interactuality

     So, how do you stop being so busymbiotic that you’re in a state of extendenial?

    By interacting with your actual life – interactuality.

    Let me say again that there is certainly nothing wrong with having goals and being motivated to better yourself in life both emotionally and materially.

    But interact with your days now as you are working toward those goals.

    Enjoy friendships.

    Learn something new.

    Notice how you like the aroma of coffee in the morning but would be happy to not have to smell your partner’s burnt oatmeal again.

    Find something that you like about work and emphasize that in your mind. Note the difference between that feeling and the one that comes up when your annoying co-worker walks by.

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    Life is good and bad, joy and misery, contentment and discontent, and many shades of gray in between those things.

    But it’s your actual life. Interact with it.

    Love your life now.

    4. Remindfulness

    Yes, this portmanteau is exactly what it looks like: reminding yourself to be mindful.

    Mindfulness is the art and practice of noticing your present experience without judgment.

    So maybe part of what inhibits you from exploring reality is that reality isn’t such a great place for you so it’s easier to be in extendenial.

    But is life really that bad or are you making it worse with judgmental thinking?

    The thing about mindfulness is that it allows you to be engaged in your current life experience without all of the drama that you add to it in your head.

    So for example, as I’ve been writing this, I’ve drifted in and out of extendenial and remindfulness.

    Although I enjoy writing, it’s very hard for me. It takes a long time and I can get very easily distracted.

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    My thoughts tend to go something like this:

    Geez, this is taking forever. Maybe I’m just not meant to be a writer. I really want to do something else right now. Focus . . . focus . . . you can do this. Other people must be faster at this than I am. Maybe I should . . . squirrel!”

    You can see that I spend a lot of internal energy wishing my life was something other than it is at the moment.

    But when I remind myself to be mindful, I come into the present, take a breath and realize that I’m . . .  okay.

    Even with a mind that gets distracted by a squirrel or takes a long time to finish a sentence. It’s all okay and I recognize that my mind has been making me miserable only seconds before by judging my experience of writing.

    Now that I’m in the present and not judging it, I can accept that writing brings me both joy and frustration. Like you, I want the joy and not the frustration.

    But frustration is a part of life and mindfully accepting the emotion, not magnifying it in my head, and moving on frees me from getting stuck and wishing my life was something that it is not.

    Instead, I acknowledge that this is the life I have and to live fully is to interact with it consciously and with mindfulness.

    And, as I remind myself to be mindful by taking that deep breath, I look up and notice the sun outside my window and hear the sound of the chimes in the trees as they blow gently in the breeze.

    Reality.

    I’m exploring mine. What about you?

    Featured photo credit:

    Heart in Hands via Shutterstock

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      Last Updated on June 13, 2019

      5 Fixes For Common Sleep Issues All Couples Deal With

      5 Fixes For Common Sleep Issues All Couples Deal With

      Sleeping next to your partner can be a satisfying experience and is typically seen as the mark of a stable, healthy home life. However, many more people struggle to share a bed with their partner than typically let on. Sleeping beside someone can decrease your sleep quality which negatively affects your life. Maybe you are light sleepers and you wake each other up throughout the night. Maybe one has a loud snoring habit that’s keeping the other awake. Maybe one is always crawling into bed in the early hours of the morning while the other likes to go to bed at 10 p.m.

      You don’t have to feel ashamed of finding it difficult to sleep with your partner and you also don’t have to give up entirely on it. Common problems can be addressed with simple solutions such as an additional pillow. Here are five fixes for common sleep issues that couples deal with.

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      1. Use a bigger mattress to sleep through movement

      It can be difficult to sleep through your partner’s tossing and turning all night, particularly if they have to get in and out of bed. Waking up multiple times in one night can leave you frustrated and exhausted. The solution may be a switch to a bigger mattress or a mattress that minimizes movement.

      Look for a mattress that allows enough space so that your partner can move around without impacting you or consider a mattress made for two sleepers like the Sleep Number bed.[1] This bed allows each person to choose their own firmness level. It also minimizes any disturbances their partner might feel. A foam mattress like the kind featured in advertisements where someone jumps on a bed with an unspilled glass of wine will help minimize the impact of your partner’s movements.[2]

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      2. Communicate about scheduling conflicts

      If one of you is a night owl and the other an early riser, bedtime can become a source of conflict. It’s hard for a light sleeper to be jostled by their partner coming to bed four hours after them. Talk to your partner about negotiating some compromises. If you’re finding it difficult to agree on a bedtime, negotiate with your partner. Don’t come to bed before or after a certain time, giving the early bird a chance to fully fall asleep before the other comes in. Consider giving the night owl an eye mask to allow them to stay in bed while their partner gets up to start the day.

      3. Don’t bring your technology to bed

      If one partner likes bringing devices to bed and the other partner doesn’t, there’s very little compromise to be found. Science is pretty unanimous on the fact that screens can cause harm to a healthy sleeper. Both partners should agree on a time to keep technology out of the bedroom or turn screens off. This will prevent both partners from having their sleep interrupted and can help you power down after a long day.

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      4. White noise and changing positions can silence snoring

      A snoring partner can be one of the most difficult things to sleep through. Snoring tends to be position-specific so many doctors recommend switching positions to stop the snoring. Rather than sleeping on your back doctors recommend turning onto your side. Changing positions can cut down on noise and breathing difficulties for any snorer. Using a white noise fan, or sound machine can also help soften the impact of loud snoring and keep both partners undisturbed.

      5. Use two blankets if one’s a blanket hog

      If you’ve got a blanket hog in your bed don’t fight it, get another blanket. This solution fixes any issues between two partners and their comforter. There’s no rule that you have to sleep under the same blanket. Separate covers can also cut down on tossing and turning making it a multi-useful adaptation.

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      Rather than giving up entirely on sharing a bed with your partner, try one of these techniques to improve your sleeping habits. Sleeping in separate beds can be a normal part of a healthy home life, but compromise can go a long way toward creating harmony in a shared bed.

      Featured photo credit: Becca Tapert via unsplash.com

      Reference

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