Let’s face it: most of the times we are just overwhelmed and exhausted, we live our lives rushing through our tasks and we don’t even have a second to stop and realise we are going way too fast. We care only about things and goals, it’s like we need to prove ourselves that we can accomplish something, that we are better than the average person. But the fact is that we live most of our time in our minds rather than in the so called real world: what really matter is not what we have, but the way we perceive it. We should be striving to see the good in any situation, but we keep focusing on what is wrong, on what we don’t have.
This continue self-criticism is of course a positive thing but we should be aware of it, we should define some limits: it’s perfectly ok to want more from ourselves, to keep struggling in order to achieve better results but this path of self-improvement shouldn’t prevent us from savouring what we are experiencing right now. We need balance, we need to understand that both the present moment and our goals are part of ourselves, that both of them define who we are.
From my own experience I can say that most of the people forget about what is good in their lives and as a consequence develop the idea that they are worthless, that they are anything but special. This is just a lie, and you know it. By telling ourselves that we are not good enough, that we are not capable of doing something we just prevent ourselves from doing things or facing situations we are afraid of. Moreover this attitude may overtake our rational mind and so we become unable to appreciate who we are, to pick out what is good about our present life.
To get rid of this unnatural way of thinking I suggest you to reflect upon what you like about yourself, what you should be thankful for and what you are most proud of. Let’s see some examples:
- Think about the People you are important for. We often forget it, but anyone of us is important, anyone has a role in this world. If you think you are worth nothing, that no one cares about what you do and what you think, stop a moment and reflect about all the people that think you are important. We all have someone: a friend, a son, a spouse, a parent, a neighbour. And we are important for them: what we do and what we say is really relevant for them, our presence makes them feel better, our support may help them overcome a bad situation. As soon as you realise that you are important, that your life has a value, you feel better, you feel more realised and so I suggest you to remind it more often.
- Write down what makes you happy. Most of the people can savour happiness just for few moments and then they go back to their normal routine, they think that happiness is so fleeting that we can do nothing to savour it fully. The fact is that we are so busy that we forget to appreciate even the happiest moment of our lives, we are so focused on what we have to do next that we miss the pleasure of the present moment. In order to start appreciating more the little joys we have every day I encourage you to keep a diary in order to keep track of any situation, thing and meeting that makes you happy, that makes you feel well. I am the kind of person that likes writing, but if instead you like taking pictures you could join the 100happydays challenge, I bet it will change your life.
- Be thankful for what you have. Instead of focusing just on what we miss we should start considering what we have. We feel like we miss something only when we look at the things we lack, when we convince ourselves that only by having more we will be able to reach happiness. This is just a mind attitude. There are people all around the world that have much less than you have but still manage to be happy, so why shouldn’t you? From now on, try to be thankful for the things you already have, look toward the ones who have less and you will realise how lucky you are.
- Realise that all you do makes an impact to the world. You might think that you are worthless, that all you do has no reason but you can’t deny that everything we do has an impact to the world. Every job is essential, even the most humble. Any of us is necessary to make this world go on. Even if you don’t have a job or you are still studying your impact can be really important: if you decide to become an happy person you can spread your happiness among the people you live with, if you start respecting others you can be an example for everyone, if you share your knowledge with the people that need it you can help them have a better life. If you think that what you do everyday has no meaning try to reflect upon the impact of your actions on the world around you.. you might be surprised!
- Remember your greatest achievement. We all reached some great result, we all did something that made us feel really satisfied, we all proved ourselves that we are worth something. It is easy to say that we are unable to do anything, that we don’t have the motivation to keep working on some project: we are addicted to pleasure and daily distractions. When you lack the willingness to challenge yourself remember that you already achieved some great results, that you already felt uncomfortable but succeeded. If you did it once, there is no reason to believe that you cannot do it again.
- Understand that every day is a new day. Even if today you feel completely exhausted and you believe that nothing can cheer you up, you should never forget that tomorrow is a completely fresh new day and that you can decide what you want to do with your time. The past is important, it defines how we got to the situation we are right now, but it tells us very little about our future. Remember that we all have this great gift: the freedom to decide how to spend our time.
These are just simple examples and I am sure that you can think about many other strategies to help yourself develop a more enthusiastic view toward your life. If you have any idea please share it in the comments below so that anyone can take advantage of it.
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