“You can’t change what’s going on around you until you start changing what’s going on within you.” ~Zig Ziglar
Don’t panic – keep calm. Sometimes life circumstances can seem overwhelming and a desperation sets in. Sit quietly, breathe deeply and remember that one thing in life is guaranteed and that is change. This works in your favour when you feel really low as the only way forward must be up!
Sometimes it’s for the best to slow down and take time out for yourself instead of trying to control and fix. There are times when sitting back and focusing on ourselves, building our inner resilience is the best action to take. Stop resisting and accept – this does not mean giving up but it also means that stillness can be a blessing and that it can bring us greater perspective if we stop, take no action and let things evolve naturally for a while before deciding what to do next.
Do a little each day on the things that you have control and influence over. For me, that’s trying to eat healthily and improve the amount of exercise I do, The more I look after myself, the more content I feel. Focusing on the actions of others to help me feel better often leaves me feeling vulnerable so I do my best to work on and action those small things each day that bring me a sense of empowerment.
Monitor what you focus on. Try not to over think things or focus on problems that may never occur (“what if” type thinking). Watch your self talk and ensure that your ‘mental diet’ is helpful rather than unhelpful.
Example: unhelpful thought: My life is never going to improve
Helpful thought: I may be unhappy now and feel there is no hope but I can’t predict the future and there could be good times ahead.
Don’t give up. Learn self compassion during the tough times. Don’t beat yourself up over perceived mistakes. We all find ourselves in situations that test us – situations that we never ever imagined we would have to face. See each tough time as a lesson, it might be presenting itself to teach you something. Use to become wiser and stronger.
Let’s get this straight – when you ‘choose you’ you are not being selfish. In fact, you are doing the most natural thing in the world. Most of my clients find it very difficult to pamper and treat themselves. We are conditioned to put ourselves last and for many, thinking about themselves leaves them feeling guilty.
If you don’t look after yourself, how can you be functioning at your best? When we put others first constantly, we can end up run down and exhausted. When we are exhausted and not at our best how can we possibly be the best version of ourselves? We aren’t the best partner we could be nor are we the best possible parent, friend etc
When you put yourself as priority number one, in terms of your health and personal well being, you create a strong foundation from which to operate successfully. It’s common sense.
So make yourself a promise that from today you will schedule in ‘me time’ each week – at least 2-4 hours. Promise yourself too that you will make sure you do something that you enjoy regularly and set up some healthy goals to work towards – short term and long term.
Charity really does start at home – with you!
I have had awful relationships in the past. There seems to be a slightly dysfunctional part to me that assists in focusing my ‘relationship radar’ in the wrong direction. I have had relationships with people that have been controlling and abusive – emotionally and mentally. My own needs and wants have been completely unimportant in my pursuit of love and acceptance – and that was my first big mistake.
I have always had to work at my self worth and there have been many times in the past when I have felt grateful for any small amount of affection and love. The reason for this is that I haven’t loved myself enough. I have never felt worthy of love and have felt inherently unloveable.
My messages to myself were that I was lucky to have attention from someone else and that they were doing me a huge favour. Entering a relationship with this type of inner dialogue was bound to lead to an unequal dynamic where I tried too hard and ended up with a complacent partner.
Once I started seeing myself as a valuable person who would be an asset in someone one else’s life I began to feel that I deserved love and attention. I have spent a lot of time thinking about this and changing my behaviour in order to attract more healthy relationships. Here is some advice from my own experiences:
The more you respect and love yourself, the healthier your relationships will be. Focus on all that is good about you, remind yourself regularly of your strengths. There is someone out there for you who will not expect you to change and will adore you, warts and all.
When life gets overwhelming, it is tempting to want to avoid problems, pretend they aren’t there and numb ourselves with some from of escapism such as alcohol, drugs, excessive spending, illicit affairs and so on.
The problem with this strategy is that avoidance often prolongs the issue that we are running away from, effectively extending our misery. Often we avoid something because we feel it will be unpleasurable – for example – confronting a partner about an unhappy relationship or leaving a job that you are no longer happy in. Running away doesn’t always consist of actively running away – it can also encompass denial and a refusal to tackle life issues.
Examine your attitude to the things you run away from. Instead of fear and avoidance, start telling yourself that embracing and confronting issues head on is where it’s at. Regularly repeat statements to yourself such as, “I am in control and will no longer tolerate unsuitable situations in my life”. “I will not be afraid to change my life circumstances as my goal is to improve my quality of life”. Initial change is scary for anyone but after the initial shock, you will feel the pleasure of knowing you are living a life of integrity and that you are ‘designing’ a life for yourself that is right…don’t settle and definitely don;t avoid out of fear. Be brave, see yourself as a Trojan – someone who isn’t afraid to tackle life and feel alive, even if feeling alive hurts sometimes.
The more you confront issues, the more empowered and confident you will ultimately feel. Don’t fear change, fear staying the same – fear accepting and ‘settling’…that is much more frightening.
A friend showed me this video and I really loved the way they used drinking tea as an analogy for understanding consent in a sexual context . I love the way this video is out together…..Mandy X