Lately, it seems as if life is more overwhelming than it is enjoyable. And of course, seems is the key word here. With our responsibilities increasing almost daily and the deluge of negativity in the world, it can feel as if we’re on a hamster wheel.
Life moves along at a seemingly fast pace and we’re all expected to keep up with the mania. We are, right? Not really. Life can seem overwhelming if we let it and keeping pace with the cascade of frenzy is really a choice. The reality is, while it may not be easy to do so, ultimately, we can hop off that wacky hamster wheel any time we choose and live the life we were meant to.
In a world in which some people expect us to ‘keep up” with the Kardashians, I’d like to tell them this: “No, my friend, we don’t need to keep up with them — we don’t even need to acknowledge them.”
We all need a boost of inspiration to keep us motivated and hopefully the following tips and life advice will help keep you going in trying times.
Learn to love yourself. We can’t forget to take care of ourselves and that includes having self-love and self-respect — not a hedonistic type of self-love, but a wholesome form. Respect yourself, care for yourself, believe in yourself and don’t put yourself down. You matter in this world and you should embrace your uniqueness and let your true self shine through. Once we learn to accept and love ourselves for who we are, others will love us too.
“Don’t rely on someone else for your happiness and self-worth. Only you can be responsible for that. If you can’t love and respect yourself – no one else will be able to make that happen. Accept who you are – completely; the good and the bad – and make changes as YOU see fit – not because you think someone else wants you to be different.” – Stacey Charter
Love and accept other people as they are
We want people to love and accept us for who we are, so why is it we find it so hard to do the same for other people? When we judge others harshly, we’re engaging in a form of cruelty. Learning to love and accept other people for who they are is a freeing experience — our anger, jealousy and cruelty melt away and we feel happier and more alive.
“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” – Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
Focus on lifting people up, not pushing them down
We don’t know what travails other people may be experiencing. No one is perfect and that includes ourselves. To uplift another person (or animal) should always be our goal in life. Make someone feel good, be the kind stranger with a warm smile, give encouragement, offer words of healing – help to raise the spirits of another soul and you’ll find your outlook on life brightening by the day.
“Always show kindness and love to others. Your words might be filling the empty places in someone’s heart.” – Mandy Hale
“Strong people don’t put others down… They lift them up.” – Michael P. Watson
Be thankful for what you have. Having an attitude of gratitude makes us happier, improves our relationships and certainly makes us more positive. Next time you’re feeling down, count your blessings.
Distance yourself from the negative
Life can seem overwhelming and it can appear that we’re on a hamster wheel to nowhere, but often, that’s because we’re surrounded by negativity. We don’t need to watch the news all the time. We’re not compelled to say yes to every invitation or demand on our time. No one forces us to hang out with naysayer. A good deal of the time, we allow the causes of our stress to continue feeding on our energy and ultimately, we can stop it. Identify your causes of stress and aggravation and work to reduce or eliminate them. Cleaning out the negative leaves more room for the positive.
Expand your mind
Being idle is one of the greatest threats to our physical and mental health. When we expand our knowledge, even in small ways, we open our minds and stimulate our interest in life. Wanting to learn and try new fulfilling things motivates us and keeps us busy in a productive way. Consider taking a class, joining a book discussion group, learning how to knit, taking a dance class — do something that you love and that passion will help to sustain your level of positivity.
Don’t over-think or ruminate
Dwelling on things can be a real danger to our health. Ruminating over the past or obsessing about the future means we’re not living in the present. When you find yourself doing it, use techniques to get back into the present. One important technique is to recognize when you’re ruminating and to figure out why — once we’re aware of it, we can often snap ourselves back into reality — to stay there, try deep breathing exercises or journaling to write out what it was that caused your distraction.
“The combination of rumination and negative mood is toxic. Research shows that people who ruminate while sad or distraught are likely to feel besieged, powerless, self-critical, pessimistic, and generally negatively biased.” – Sonja Lyubomirsky
Life can kick us in the teeth if we let it, so don’t let it. Happiness isn’t found – it’s realized.
“Stay true to yourself, yet always be open to learn. Work hard, and never give up on your dreams, even when nobody else believes they can come true but you. These are not cliches but real tools you need no matter what you do in life to stay focused on your path.” – Phillip Sweet
It’s your life and only you can truly navigate the paths that come before you. Trust, respect and care for yourself and remember that as our bodies need nourishment, so too do our minds.
“This life is for loving, sharing, learning, smiling, caring, forgiving, laughing, hugging, helping, dancing, wondering, healing, and even more loving. I choose to live life this way. I want to live my life in such a way that when I get out of bed in the morning, the devil says, ‘aw shit, he’s up!” – Steve Maraboli