Tag Archives: happiness

Never give up on hope

hope photo

Never give up on hope

Hope is an old friend of mine. Every time I thought she’d given up on me, she would surprise me and show her friendly face again. She’d give me a big hug and remind me that having her in my life is far better than giving up on her. I have nothing to lose by allowing hope to stay in my life even when it seems she has deserted me forever.

I have hated life at times. I have felt desperately alone and misunderstood. It’s easy to lose hope when life grinds you down. I think we have all been there at some time in our lives. That dark place where it looks like life has got it in for you and is laughing at all your misfortune.

Looking back though, I have the added insight of knowing that life eases up on you eventually, it always does. When life feels like it’s not on your side, try doing this:

Sit tight

Stop resisting what is going on. It is happening. Accept it and work with it as if you had chosen it. Instead of resisting, try to go with the flow more. When you resist, it’s like sitting on a small sail boat on a lake, completely stuck because there’s no wind at all. When we don’t accept what is happening and resist we exhaust ourselves. We blow on the sails will all our might but we still don’t get anywhere. Instead of resisting with “Why me?” or “It’s so unfair”…try dealing with what’s going on. You will be a lot less stressed.

Take life one day at a time

Something that really screws with my head and my emotions are matters of the heart. A break up for instance is hugely crushing and affects me immensely. I feel deeply and give a lot of myself. When going through a break up, I wish with every part of my being that I could fast forward time, skipping out on a portion of life just to feel better. When you feel lost and life seems unbearable, take life one day at a time. Take it one hour at a time if that’s all you can face. Keep moving forward, toe by toe – you will be moving toward a better place. Change is inevitable and that’s a good thing when you feel you are at rock bottom and can’t sink any lower. You are not alone, there are millions of others hiding under their duvets feeling just as bad as you are and you are all moving forward together, slowly. There is light at the end of the tunnel – it’s called hope.

Distract yourself

Get out of your head. when you are in your head you are often in enemy territory. When we feel sad and low, our thoughts never work for us. See them as thoughts – they are not real, they are just in your head. Ignore the negative ones, change the channel. Keep busy – watch box sets or even better, go to the gym, do some exercise. Exercise is great for releasing endorphins – feel good hormones.

hope photo

Focus on your strengths

Work on the positives – what are you good at? What’s amazing about you? Work on the positive self talk. You need to fight the negatives as they will hound you especially when you feel low. Remind yourself that hope is always there…even if she feels temporarily lost at times.

Mandy X

 

Happiness is an inside job

 

happiness photo

Happiness is an inside job

I have the words “Happiness is an inside job” on a plaque in my office. Whilst happiness can be influenced by external events – what we think about the world has far more power over our ability to be happy. Too many people believe that it takes something artificial to create happiness. For example – some believe that if they have more money or a romantic partner or a private yacht they would be happy. The truth is that happiness is a mental and spiritual state.

Start each day with positive affirmations like this, “Today is going to be a good day and I am going to be happy. The world is working in my favour and my life is unfolding as it is meant to”. Sending positive ‘primers’ to your subconscious helps nurture the positive energy and keep you on the right track mentally. Your subconscious has infinite intelligence – trust it. Discipline your mind and feed yourself with positivity rather than words such as “I can’t do that” etc

Experiments by psychologists have repeatedly shown that the subconscious will accept whatever it is ‘told’ and does not have the ability, like the conscious mind  does, to tell the difference between what is real and what isn’t. You can use this to benefit you. Your subconscious mind cannot argue controversially. Hence if you give it wrong suggestions, it will accept them as true and proceed to bring them to pass as conditions, experiences and events. All things that have happened to you are based on thoughts impressed on your subconscious mind through belief. Your subconscious mind is very amenable to suggestion – let this work for you.

Is fear and worry holding you back?Remember that fear is a thought in your mind. You have the power to think something different and feel less fear. Believe in yourself and talk to yourself in a positive encouraging way. Happiness comes from a quiet wise mind – anchor your thoughts on peace, poise, security and divine guidance and your mind will produce happiness. Keep your thoughts positive, loving and constructive and this will manifest in your life.

Mandy X

Recommended Reading: The Power of your subconscious mind and step to success – Dr Joseph Murphy

The difference between achievement and success

 

success achievement

The difference between achievement and success

Have you ever taken a moment to think about these two terms – achievement and success? There is a difference between achievement and success and the danger comes about when we see the two concepts as one and the same.

I see many clients who are perfectionists and for them, constant achievement equals success. The immense pressure this places upon them creates anxiety and does lead to depression in some cases. This occurs  where clients fail to keep up their strenuous and unrealistic goals to achieve. Sadly, people too hung up and obsessed with achievement only see themselves as worthy and valuable when they are achieving – making money, closing business deals etc They completely miss the point when it comes to looking at their inner characteristics such as tolerance, kindness, being a good partner, father and so on…this gets lost in the obsessive need to achieve.

Achievement does not necessarily mean success. Success can mean different things to different people. Those that are rigid in their thinking and believe success is the act of achieving are more unhappy with themselves and their lives than those who see success in many other areas as well. For well balanced individuals – success is seen as a wider concept. Achievement is only a small element of success. Success can also involve carving out a life that works well for you – whether that’s living on a hut on a beach or just being true to yourself – this type of success will be longer lasting and more fulfilling than a life where success is narrowly defined as achieving. Achievement works on the premise that you must DO something but success doesn’t always involve doing or acting. For me, relaxing and taking time out from a busy schedule is success – working against how we are brainwashed to keep doing and achieving. Sometimes, resisting this is a good thing!

Be careful of your interpretation of achievement and success. Allow yourself to see success in many areas of life, that don’t necessarily have to include achievement.

Mandy X

 

 

Change is inevitable

 

 

change photo

Change is inevitable

An indisputable fact of life is that change is a continuous process that we all have to adapt to. Life moves on and we get older. The seasons come and go and people come and go from our lives too. Sometimes change is positive  such as the arrival of a new baby or moving into a bigger house but it can also be negative like a relationship that ends or someone passing away.

Change is inevitable and our attitude to change is what makes the situation easier when the change is negative.

Tips for dealing with change

Focus on what you can control

When we focus on what we can’t control we create unnecessary anxiety and stress in our lives. We cannot control the thoughts and actions of others, all we can control is our own thoughts and actions. This is where your power lies, bring your focus back to yourself. Always ask yourself whether what you are worrying about is within your control. If it isn’t, learn to let it go.

Practice ‘non-attachment’

Everything in life is temporary – your possessions and even the people in your life. This idea provokes anxiety for a lot of people but use this to your advantage. Learn to really appreciate what you have now as it won’t be there forever. Practicing a certain amount of non-attachment is a good thing as it is a worldly reminder that life is transient and that we should never take for granted the people in our lives. The less attachment we have to physical possessions, the happier we are. Being too attached to material possessions brings with it anxiety and a desire to exert control. This control is something many people chase but it is a waste of energy in the long run.

Live in the moment as much as possible

We all scare ourselves unnecessarily with fearful thoughts about the future. “What if this happens or what if that becomes a reality?”. More often than not the fearful thoughts are far worse than the reality would be and it is our inability to cope with uncertainty that leads many of us to feel anxious. Practising mindfulness is a great way to allay fears and to enjoy the moment more. When we are living inside our heads and worrying about the future, we are losing precious moments to feel happy and content. Try to focus your attention on what is going on around you. Practise focusing your attention in the present moment. If you catch your mind wandering to the future, refocus on your environment – what can you see, hear, touch…? This does take practise but keep at it!

Goals and purpose

Committing to a purpose that is greater than ourselves is a wonderful way to bring meaning into life. What are your long term and short term goals? Create a visualisation board with images of where you would like to be in a year or two years…what do you see?

Having something to work towards can help you to feel stronger when you are experiencing moments of self doubt. A bigger picture can help you to stay on track.

Change is inevitable but it doesn’t have to be something we fear. Instead of resisting it, learn to work with it as if you have chosen that change on purpose. There is a lesson in every life experience and change we go through.

Mandy X

 

 

How to promote emotional wellbeing

 

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How to promote emotional well being

Looking after yourself on a physical level is important if you want to keep your mind healthy and protect your emotional well being. The body and the mind are closely linked and both need to be working well and be looked after in order for a person to function well. An unhealthy body won’t help promote a healthy mind.

Think of the acronym “PLEASE” to help you remember important aspects of this connection:

PL           Treat Physical Illness

E              Eat healthy

A              Avoid mood altering drugs

S              Sleep well

E               Exercise

FOCUS

Monitor what you focus on. Humans tend to focus more on what isn’t going right instead of looking at what is working.If you hear ten compliments and one criticism, you’ll probably focus on the criticism. Work on having an attitude of gratitude and appreciation.

Watch your thinking and let the negative thoughts float by. Thoughts will keep coming, you don’t have to focus on each one. Pick out the helpful ones and dismiss the negative ones. Self limiting beliefs can be detrimental to emotional well being.

OPPOSITE ACTION

Do the opposite of what you normally do. What we resist persists. If you normally get angry and shout, try walking away or whisper instead of yelling. Try force a smile. If you normally avoid people when you feel down, force yourself to call a friend or visit someone.

Doing the opposite can help you to change your emotion.

CHECK THE FACTS

Are there times in your life when you have overreacted or where you have assumed something and been wrong? Always check the facts – thoughts are not facts. Looking for evidence can reduce the intensity of emotions. Ask yourself what triggered your emotion? What interpretations and assumptions are you making? Does your emotion and its intensity match the facts of the situation?

Always stop and take time out before reacting to something, especially if your emotions are running high. A little bit of time is always a good way to add perspective to a situation.

Mandy X

 

 

Control, Resistance and Acceptance

 

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Control, Resistance and Acceptance

Peace of mind and contentment doesn’t come from control. We all fool ourselves by thinking that if we can control our worlds and environments we will be happier. This is a myth. Firstly, there is no such thing as 100% control.The very nature of life on earth is uncertain. Trying to obtain control is wasted energy and although it helps us temporarily to feel safer (and soothes our minds), the reality is that we are no more safe with or without seeking ultimate control.

I have observed people spending inordinate amounts of time trying to control people and things in their lives. They avoid uncertainty and resist whatever threatens them in life. Be that new experiences or events that they fear such as a new relationship or making important and necessary changes in their lives. Resisting ‘what is’ is similar to being stuck in a yacht on a lake with no wind and trying to blow at the sales with your own breath. It won’t get you very far and will leave you exhausted.

If instead, you accept that at the present moment you’re in a spot of trouble but that if you relax and give it some time, things may very well correct themselves naturally, sending a gust of wind to help you out. Accepting a situation and ‘sitting with it’ for a while can often bring you the clarity you lack when you are trying to control outcomes that are actually beyond your control.

When we hit a snag in life, we immediately go into control mode, instead of waiting and  being patient that little bit longer. Try it. Not everything needs to be controlled. Trust in the natural order of life at times and let this guide you as to how to move forward.

Mandy X

 

How to Promote peace and contentment

 

peace and contentment

How to promote peace and contentment

Be realistically positive

Sure, life has horrible bits, very horrible bits in fact, but you CAN learn the skill of looking for solutions rather than pessimistically going over the same things in your mind. When we churn the same information over in our minds without looking for possible solutions, we end up downtrodden and miserable. If there is no present solution to a problem, possibly due to the fact that it is something beyond your control, it is also possible to learn the skill of ‘mental shelving’. Put it aside, distract yourself but be firm with yourself when there is no longer any action you can take towards a situation. For example – someone has betrayed you and left you feeling hurt. If there is an action to be taken to alleviate or rectify the situation, do it. If you have done your bit and you are now waiting for a response or there is no action you can take, it is a waste of your mental and emotional energy to spend too much time dwelling on it. Focus back on the present moment and on what is within your immediate control. This takes practise and isn’t an exact science but it is a skill that can be learned and improved upon and it WILL lead you closer to peace and contentment.

You have choices

This may seem a harsh and blunt statement but you can CHOOSE how much you want a situation to affect you. The thoughts in your head and your attitude are your choice. Think about it. It is for you to decide what is important in your life and what isn’t. If you don’t want something to overwhelm you and be overly important, it doesn’t have to be. There is always a way to look at something, or a story you can tell yourself to make a situation appear less threatening or upsetting. The thoughts and beliefs we choose will affect the level an intensity of the attached emotions. Learn to challenge your thoughts, they are perceptions of reality, not reality itself and there can be a VAST difference between them. I see how clients get upset over situations and torture themselves for ages with their thinking, only to find out later that the way they viewed the situation was completely inaccurate and that they made faulty assumptions. They have therefore spent precious moments of their lives unhappy and sad when there was no reason for it. Be selective with the thoughts you decide to believe and focus on. There will always, always be another way to view a situation that will lead you to feeling more peace and contentment.

Limit time brooding

Ask yourself how long you want to spend thinking about something and letting it get the better of you. Ask yourself if this type of mental activity is helpful. Allowing negative, worrisome thoughts to stay for longer than necessary is purely a form of masochism.

Don’t take yourself so seriously

Learn to see the humorous side of life and never take yourself too seriously. See your time on this earth as a chance to experiment and have fun. The end result is the same and whilst you are here on this ‘physical plane’ you have the chance to affect those around you, when you are gone that opportunity is lost. Lose your fear, get out there and do what you want. Embrace fear and uncertainty and have a good laugh at the same time. If you take yourself too seriously you can reduce your chance for peace and contentment.

Be proactive

No one likes risking it, especially in relationships where we risk rejection and abandonment (one of my greatest fears!). Learn to be brave and express yourself in relationships when there is ambiguity. Put yourself out there a little, the other person may be just as scared as you are.

Test the waters gently if need be but dip your toe in. Live a life full of life lessons than one where you look back and feel you lost many opportunities. Instead of constantly reacting to another person’s moods, learn to set the tone and express your wants and wishes too.

Being proactive helps us to feel like masters over our destinies…we can sometimes be in the lead rather than passively going with the flow.

There are many clever ways to protect your mood and buffer yourself from the wild elements of life. This is goes on internally – it really is true: happiness is an inside job.

Mandy X