Georgia van Tiel and Carla McMillan of Bodypass get their happy on. Photo: Robert Saponja.We all go through times in our lives when life doesn’t go the way we expected.
Things happen thatthrow us in the deep end and we find ourselves in situations we can’t actually change but that make us feel … crappy.
Perhaps this has to do with work. Or maybe you have a few days in a row where you had big plans and you get sick so you’re forced to take time off. Maybe you budgeted for something that’s become more expensive and you have to put some things on the back-burner.
These are all situations that are out of our control, yet they can send even the happiest people around the bend and bring on negative emotions.
If the situation itself can’t be controlled, then why do we feel crappy about it?
It’s the way that your mind reacts to it – or rather – the way your subconscious thought pattern ‘tells’ you to react. With exasperation, frustration, anger or hopelessness.
If you can become more conscious, then you can change the way you relate to a situation and that will change the outcome of something you would have perceived as negative to something that beings welcome surrender, feels calm or simply ‘meant to be’. It is what it is.
When we are overcome by our attachment to an idea we have in our minds about what things are supposed to be like, we spend a lot of time dwelling on the past or living with the future in mind and this does little for our state of fulfillment in the now.
“The true definition of mental illness is when the majority of your time is spent in the past or future, but rarely living in the realism of NOW.”
How though, do we change the way we see things in our minds to make the days we live happier? Here’s fiveeasy ways.
1. Recognise the emotion.
Instead of sinking into the pits of ‘should have, could have, would have’… be conscious of what it is you’re feeling. Is it despair, anger, frustration or loneliness? The emotion is there for a reason, even if it is created by the mind.
Give it a little room to be … feel it. We rarely, if ever, give our emotions a place to be recognised before we push them down and pretend they don’t exist. How many times has someone asked you what was wrong, only for you to say ‘nothing’, even though there are 15 things getting you down. Own the emotion and it is much easier to send that baby flying away.
2. Make a conscious decision to wave goodbye to that emotion, it’s fleeting.
Only you can make the decision to wallow in it – the emotion itself doesn’t make the choice to stay, you have the responsibility of control over it.
Picture a baby who cries for an instant over a toy being snatched away. Is that baby still upset about it an hour later? No. A baby probably isn’t too fazed about losing the toy even three minutes later. We forget to live in the moment like a child does and this is something we’d be much better off doing.
3. Talk yourself through it.
With pushing our emotions under the rug comes a constant habit of deafening our ears to our own voice. Many people today who’re dwelling in the past or existing only thinking about the future don’t have a good relationship with themselves. An excellent way of dealing with set-backs is to have a quick reality ‘check-in’ with yourself.
Phrases like “will my worrying change the future?”, “everything will work out as it needs to”, “What is this lesson here to teach me?” or “things are as they should be” will help you to relax and surrender in crappy situations.
4. Become comfortable with uncertainty.
As adults we hold onto negative emotions as if they will comfort us, and then many of us feel secure or safe feeling crappy because we’ve identified with that feeling for so long. It’s time to give yourself permission to be okay with uncertainty. The better you can respond to uncertainty in life the more opportunity you have to feel fulfilled because guess what? Life is never certain and we simply can’t control everything.
How many times in our lives do things happen out of our control and we go from whoa to CRAZY in .2 seconds flat? Unleashing fury and vitriol or helpless anxiety reaction over ourselves or anybody around us. And the one thing we forgot to do is breathe. Giving ourselves a small pocket of breath allows us to calm any instant negative reaction and follow the steps above.
An excellent breathing technique that calms nerves and reduces physical and emotional pain is the following. Try it today in a moment of stress or anxiety.
A slow count of four while breathing in, then count of four holding the breath. Then a slow count of four breathing out out and hold the breath out for four seconds and repeat.
A calmer, happier person who can roll with the ebbs and flows of life with peace, purpose and a strong belief that they are right where they should be.
JoinBodypassfor a variety of wellness classes to help you bounce back.Alice Nichollsis a Certified Holistic Health Coach and Life Transformation Coach.
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