We live in a world that is complicated. Daily pressures cause us to try to do way more that we should. We try to pack so many things into 24 hours that we are exhausted at the end of the day. Work, family, daily chores, meetings, sports, other activities….it is all too much for many of us to handle. The stress we feel is handed down to our children when we place our own expectations on their little lives.
Children are not allowed to be children anymore. They are pressured into growing up quickly and filling their time with endless activities. When I was small, life was simple. I spent hours playing by myself and using my creativity to do projects like painting, sewing and knitting. Toys and games did not fill my room and I wasn’t bored. Instead of spending hours playing on a computer or an i-pad, I was outside riding my bicycle or having adventures in my backyard.
I see children today who are involved in so many things that they don’t have time to enjoy their childhood. Their schedules are so full of activities like sports, dancing, martial arts, video games, parties and other events that they don’t have time to use their own creativity. Then when they do have down time, they go to rooms full of toys and games and are bored because they have nothing to do.
Parents often smother their children with too much, thinking it shows love. We all want our children to have nice things but when it is overdone, it can result in emotional problems. Kids feel frustrated, stressed, unsatisfied and feeling entitled to having everything they want. We should give our children less stuff and allow them to have more free time to build their creativity. We should give our children less activities and more family time. More is not better. More is stressful. We need to simplify the lives of ourselves and our children.
Here is a great article I just read that explains more deeply what happens when we simplify life.http://raisedgood.com/extraordinary-things-happen-when-we-simplify-childhood/
Our past consists of situations that have caused us both pain and joy. However, the painful situations are often the ones we remember the most and many people remain stuck in their pain, unable to enjoy anything good that happens in the present. We should use our past as a history lesson and not a guidebook. We can definitely learn something from our past and use our mistakes to make positive changes. What has happened is over and done with and nothing can take away any unkind words that have been said or cut unhappy circumstances from our lives. All we can do is make better choices and try our best to overcome any challenges we may face in a different, more positive way.
Don’t hide the past or try to forget the pain that you experienced. Ignoring things won’t make them better, the pain will still be there and it will surface when you don’t want it to. Your past does not define who you are but if you are able to work through your pain, you will learn valuable lessons that will make you wiser and stronger.
Don’t stay stuck in the past when you can live in the present and enjoy your life. Look at your past and ask yourself if you really want to live there forever. Then make some positive changes in your life and develop a new perspective. You can change your life if you really want to.
Check my website at http://www.imconfident.com for ideas on how to make positive changes in your life.
We have all been hurt at one time or another. Being hurt is unavoidable and just a normal part of life. The problem is, many of us have difficulty processing our hurts in a positive way and our emotions become badly damaged. It is important that we address our hurts and deal with them so they can’t continue to cause pain in our lives.
Here are some steps we can take to heal any damaged emotions:
- Face your problems dead on. If you try to avoid them, deny them or hide them, it won’t work. Pushing the pain away may temporarily relieve the pain, but in the long run, the hurt will keep coming back. Take an honest look at what happened and talk to someone you can trust.
- Take responsibility for what happened. Be totally honest with yourself. Did you play any part in what happened? Most of the time, there can be blame placed on both sides. How did you respond? Did you show anger or did you try to understand the situation?
- Ask yourself if you really want your damaged emotions to heal. Sometimes people use their problems to get attention and to make other people feel sorry for them. They get stuck in a bad habit and become comfortable struggling with their problems. This is really not a good way to live as it never allows any possibility of peace or happiness.
- In order to heal, you must be forgiving. First you need to forgive the people who hurt you. This does not mean that you are telling them it is okay for them to hurt you because it was certainly not okay at all, it means that you are giving up the hold they have on you. As long as you have unforgiveness for a person, you are tied to them and they can continue to hurt you over and over again. Tell the person you forgive them for hurting you and then forgive yourself and move on.
I don’t know how many times I’ve heard people say this statement and I’ve said it myself more times that I can remember. I used to firmly believe that I was unable to do anything about my emotions or change the way I felt and I’ve discovered this is totally wrong. I was allowing my emotions to control me instead of taking control of my emotions. It was time to make some changes!
Actually, you can’t really help the way you feel, but you CAN learn to manage your emotions and work hard to change the way you react. When someone hurts you, you will likely feel angry or upset. When something takes too long, you will likely feel agitated or impatient. When you can’t do something easily, you will likely get frustrated. It is normal to feel these emotions but it is not healthy to respond in a negative way that could be damaging to others and yourself.
When you feel any emotion, you have the choice to respond automatically or you can stop yourself for a few seconds and quickly process a more positive way of dealing with the situation. This takes patience and practice but if you keep working at it, it will become a good habit. Always be consciously aware of how you are feeling and make sure you think before you react.
- First stop, take a deep breath, and don’t react immediately.
- Then do something that will help you calm down. Separate yourself from the person or situation as this will allow you to focus more clearly, take a walk, listen to some calming music or do an activity that you enjoy. Don’t give in to your negative emotions.
- Talk it out with yourself. Ask yourself why you are feeling this way. Is there an underlying issue that needs to be addressed such as depression, anxiety, work-overload, too many pressures?
- Determine what changes need to be made so when difficult situations arise, you can manage your emotions more effectively. How can you deal with things in a more positive way? Write down your thoughts and create a plan of action.
You can’t help the way you feel but you CAN help the way you react. React in positive way!
When we are angry with someone, it is hard to express our emotions to them without making the situation worse. Many times, we just hold our anger inside and try to ignore the situation/person. This is not a positive way of dealing with anger. It is important that we learn to manage our anger, understand why we are angry and make changes in the way we deal with difficult people and situations.
A good way to deal with anger is writing a letter. Getting your thoughts and emotions out in the open will help you process them in a positive way. Write a letter to someone who has hurt you. Do this when you are alone and will have no interruptions. If you have a close friend who is completely supportive and would benefit from their presence, explain what you are doing and allow them to be close by. Turn off your phone, your computer and the TV. Say whatever you need to say. Write down any feelings of anger, hatred, disgust or despair that are causing you to be uncomfortable. Then once the letter is done, sit back and take a deep breath.
When you are ready, read the letter out loud to yourself. Hearing your own words will start the healing process. Remember that I said you need to be alone or with a close, supportive friend. When you have finished reading the letter, allow yourself to scream, cry, punch your pillow. Just don’t do anything to hurt yourself or damage anything around you. Allow yourself to be completely drained, emotionally, physically and spiritually. Now you should be ready to put this anger behind you.
Take the letter, rip it into pieces and throw it away. Just don’t mail the letter as it would likely cause more pain. The letter is strictly for your own eyes.
Now, take some time to relax. This exercise will have taken a lot out of you. A lot of pressure has been released. Listen to some soothing music, read an inspirational book, take a nap.
If you have more anger to deal with, write more letters until you are feeling lighter. Carrying anger with you is a heavy load. Release your anger in a positive way.
Many people believe that they don’t have the power the change something in their lives. They believe that they are stuck in the same unhealthy relationships, the same dead-end job, the same negative way of thinking and that their health will never improve. I used to believe this myself, but the truth is, we CAN change our lives for the better if we really want to and are willing to take action.
You can’t keep doing things the same way over and over and expect a different result. You have to change something in your life: create new habits, develop new ideas, work on some goals. If you just keep thinking about making a change and don’t take action, nothing will ever change. You have to actively get going and do something in order to make positive changes in your life.
Change takes time. You have to be committed to working hard and being patient. Nothing worthwhile comes that quickly. People today want things instantly and are not willing to invest time in their future.
If you want your life to change, here are some steps you can take:
- Sit down with a pen and journal or pad of paper and start brainstorming. Write down your thoughts. Create a simple plan of action. Set some short and long term goals.
- Ask yourself some key questions. What kind of relationships do you want to have? What do you enjoy doing? What do you really want to achieve in life?
- Figure out what needs to be changed in your life. What are some things that are working for you now? What are some things that are not working?
- Determine any roadblocks that are stopping you from moving ahead. What are these roadblocks and how can they be removed?
- Organize your plan of action and post it somewhere so it can be a daily reminder.
- Keep track of your progress in your journal.
- If something isn’t working the way you expected, modify your plan and make any necessary changes.
- Include some trusted family and friends in your plan and allow them to motivate and support you.
- Remember to stay positive. You might not always accomplish what you want, but keep focusing on your plan and keep going.
- Most important. Be patient, persevere and never give up. Change will come if you keep working at it.
We do many things in our lives that we wish we hadn’t done or wish we had done better. Too often we put off doing something with the intention of doing it someday but that day never comes. Or we do things quickly with little or no preparation, thinking that we can do it better the next time. Even worse we do something knowing that it isn’t right and it may even cause problems but we still do it anyway.
Time is precious and we should never waste it. We only have so many hours in a day and we really don’t how many of those days we have. In the big picture of life, we should try to focus on what is important and invest our time wisely.
When a loved one passes away, we are reminded that we can’t go back and do things over again. Our lives are NOT a dress rehearsal for some future event. Our lives are happening RIGHT NOW! We can’t go back and tell that person the things we forgot to say. We can’t go back and do the things we wanted to do with them. We can’t watch the movies that we said we would watch with them and didn’t. We can’t buy that gift that we always thought about getting them.
Are you living your life like it is a dress rehearsal? Stop rehearsing and start living! Time is precious. If you waste your time, you are wasting your life. Make some positive changes:
- spend time with the people you love
- go to your children’s school play or special event
- take that trip you have been planning (just don’t go into debt to do it)
- build meaningful relationships
- take that course you always wanted to take
- tell your spouse that you love them
- manage your time wisely
We are all driven to believe that if we have more stuff, more power, more money, more anything, that we will be happier. When are people going to realize that having more does not bring happiness?
At this time in history, we have access to more choices than ever before. We can have almost anything we want. Yet depression, anxiety and stress are growing. We have more stuff but less happiness. More money but more debt. More power but feel powerless. More toys but less fun.
We need to realize that happiness comes from within. It is how we feel about ourselves and our inner strength. We can’t buy happiness, gain it through other people or create it from things that aren’t real.
If you want more out of life, start focusing on what is important. What do you have that adds joy to your life? What are you passionate about? What are the things that just take up your time and only bring stress? Try to eliminate anything that is basically wasting your time and adding no value to your life. Set your priorities and invest time in those areas.
Life is short. Make the most of the time you have and have more of what is important.
We are almost at the beginning of a New Year. Are you ready for a new beginning?
Think back over the past year. What has happened to shape your life? What memories were made? Were they happy or sad, rewarding or disappointing, powerful or pitiful?
We will always remember the really good times and the really bad times because they make a huge impact on us. The problem is, when we focus on the bad times more than the good times, we are going to feel bad and not live our lives to the fullest. We will hold ourselves back from trying something new or enjoying an event because we fear failure and want to protect ourselves from getting hurt.
Try hard to focus on the good things that have happened and treasure them in your heart. See the bad things from a positive perspective and treat them as learning experiences. What can you change in your life and how can you face these problems with confidence the next time they happen? How can you treat people in a different way and not allow them to hurt you?
Each year we have an opportunity for a new beginning. Start thinking about the changes you can make that will improve your relationships and your outlook on life.