|There is always a silver lining.|
I began practicing mindfulness a couple of years ago, but I wasn't fully immersing myself in the concept. Up until seven months ago, I was still learning to get a grip on my emotions. Once I realized, finally, that I was in complete control of my life, I grabbed the reigns and started living.
It's been a long journey, but here I am, seven-months later, reaping the rewards of a life-changing decision. Negativity is contagious, but so is positivity. You need to choose which energy you wish to radiate.
Today, I want to share with you the steps I took to regain that control, in hopes that you'll find the same peace that I've worked so hard to achieve. Keep in mind that this is not a "one and done" kind of thing. These steps need to be implemented in your daily life in order to see (and maintain) positive results.
1. Change the way you think."Easier said than done." That's what I hear from most people, and to be honest, they're right. We often let fear, sadness, and other negative emotions prevent us from moving forward in our lives. As a result, we end up stuck in a cycle of negativity that can be difficult to break. Changing your way of thinking is something you have to work on every single day. You have to stomp out that fear and become the master of your own destiny. Whenever you have a negative thought pop into your mind, acknowledge it, but don't harbor it. Let it go and replace it with a positive thought. You'll have slip-ups from time to time, especially in the beginning, and that's okay. Practice makes perfect.
2. Surround yourself with happy people.For quite some time, I lived amongst a group of unhappy, negative people. It took a huge toll on my emotional well-being. I spent many nights crying, and I spent my days worrying about what would happen next. It was no way to live. When I removed myself from that situation, I instantly felt better. It's amazing how tension within a household can be felt. If you find yourself around people who constantly complain, talk badly about others, or generally never have anything good to say, it's time to change your circle. Surround yourself with people who are genuinely happy, and people who can uplift you instead of bring you down.
|Stay around people who make you happy.|
3. Do what you love to do.I knew a man who spent his entire life doing things for other people instead of himself. He was a very selfless man, but you could see his spirit being drained as a result. It's fine to help others, but you have to help yourself, too. Stop avoiding the things you love to do because you're too busy helping others, or too scared to give it a shot. Get out there and just do it! When you do the things you find joy in, you revitalize your spirit. You feel happiness, which radiates positivity. Laugh often, and most of all, be yourself and do what you love.
|Dance whenever you feel like it.|
4. On bad days, occupy your mind.As mentioned previously, you won't just wake up one day and have a brand new outlook on life. You'll have days when negativity will creep up on you, but it's up to you to occupy your mind with positive tasks to prevent that negativity from winning. There are numerous ways to remedy this, including listening to upbeat music, talking to positive people, reading positive books, or involving yourself in a new hobby. If you start to feel angry, upset, or weak, go for a walk and breathe in the fresh air. Don't forget to stop and smell the roses.
|Breathe in the fresh air.|
5. Meditate.I've had numerous people tell me that they feel awkward when they're meditating, so they try to avoid it. Unfortunately, that doesn't help the situation at all. Learning to meditate requires constant, consistent practice, and without it, you'll never learn. Find a quiet place where you won't be disturbed, and sit or lie down. Take deep, conscious breaths, while trying to clear your mind. If a thought pops into your head, whether negative or positive, allow it to "leave" your mind, and get back to focusing on your breathing. The ultimate goal of meditation is to rid your mind of everything--to have one moment of true peace.
|Find inner peace.|
6. Reflect on your life.Every day, you should take at least 5 minutes to look back on your progress. Not only will you be able to see how far you've come, but you'll also be able to take that moment to express your gratitude to the universe for allowing you to appreciate this journey. If you have a slip-up, think about that, too, but consider ways to avoid making the same mistake again. Visualize what you want for your future.
7. Stop caring what other people think.Seriously. It's none of your business. Who cares if others think poorly of you, or talk badly about you. That says nothing about your character, and says quite a bit about theirs. Not that it matters, anyhow, but you understand what I'm saying. Your life is just that. Your life! What others think should have absolutely no bearing on what you choose to do or choose not to do on your journey. Whatever you want to do in life, you should go for it--whether it's something as simple as wearing that little black dress or writing a novel. Don't let anyone's opinion of you slow you down.
|Do what you want without worrying about what other people think.|
8. Stop complaining.We all complain from time to time, but sometimes, you'll come across someone who does nothing but complain. These types of people are toxic and should be avoided at all costs. Maybe you're the kind of person who complains on a regular basis. If so, you need to stamp that out--and quickly! The next time you catch yourself complaining, you need to stop in your tracks. Instead of talking badly about something that has happened, think about solutions to your problem instead. Be grateful for the things that you have, and stop complaining about the "bad sides" of those things. It could always be worse, but you can make it better.
9. Let go of things you cannot control.So many of us spend our time and energy trying to control other people or situations, which leaves us feeling disappointed when things don't pan out. Not only is this a negative way to live, but it doesn't make any sense. Trying to control the uncontrollable is impossible, so the fact that you try means you're setting yourself up for failure. The only thing in your life that you can control is you. Let go of your need to control everything and use that energy to focus on becoming the best you that you can possibly be.
|Learn to feel "free" again.|