Sally retired after working for over 50 years and now suffers from depression. She feels as though she is in a black hole and just cannot get out. Jasmine is a single mother of three beautiful children, yet she finds her life a struggle. Rick is a successful business man, yet he feels that there is something missing in his life. He blocks out the emptiness by being a
All these people are simply not happy. They want to be more satisfied but just do not know how to go about it. Many people buy ‘stuff’ in an attempt to feel good but this high only lasts for a short period. To be truly satisfied we need to first focus on ourselves.
Here are some suggestions of what you can do to lead a more joyful life:
* Let go of your past – Many people go through their day reliving their past memories. Constantly thinking about your past is not going to change anything now. It is wasted energy. You need to stop blaming your parents, your ex-partner and your past. Instead focus on your life now and what you can do to be more blissful.
For instance, Sally sits in her home and thinks about all the things that people did to her. She gets angry at the way her parents ‘failed’ her. How her ex-husband cheated on her. How her sister took her favourite dress when she was 15 and ruined it. Sally is so caught up in her past that she is unable to enjoy her life today.
* Bring yourself back to the present – Whenever you find that your mind is drifting to the past, bring your attention back to the present. Your mind wanders naturally all over the place and the reality is that you probably do not even realise that you are thinking about previous experiences. However as soon as you catch yourself going back in time, focus on what is in front of you. It might be a tree by the side of the road. Your child playing in the backyard. The key is to stop the drifting and bringing yourself back to the present.
Sally finds that when she is cooking her mind starts to wander. She developed the technique of looking at the clock in the kitchen whenever she found herself drifting back. Sally then thinks of something funny her daughter did and this memory brings a smile to her face.
* Choose your thoughts – Your mind is always thinking, so you have to choose your thoughts rather than let it wander around. Think of something that just makes you smile or even laugh.
Sally started to focus on her new hobby of painting and started to plan her next masterpiece.
* Exercise daily – Our body releases endorphins whenever we exercise. Endorphins are basically natures feel good chemicals. When we exercise we start to feel good and better about ourselves. It does not mean you have to join a gym. A simple walk around your neighbourhood is enough.
Sally started to go for a 30 minute walk every day. She found that it helped her to feel energised and satisfied within herself. Whenever her mind wandered back to the past, she focused on a tree and realigned her thoughts to her art work.
* Eat well – Try and change your diet so that you are eating more fresh vegetables, meat, fruit and drinking lots of water. If your diet consists of a lot of artificial foods and drinks, then your body may be reacting to the chemicals in your system. Focus on eating healthy food and drinking lots of water. You may also find that you are intolerant to certain foods and this may also be affecting your moods. More people are finding themselves intolerant to gluten and dairy. You will know immediately if the change in your diet is making a difference in how you feel about yourself. If there is no change after a few weeks then try something different. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
* Sleep - It is important to have a good night’s sleep. If you find that you tend to have sleepless nights then exercise may help tire your body. Also have set times when you sleep and get up. Do not have naps in the evening as this may affect your night’s sleep.
* Find your passion – Everyone has a hobby or an activity that they love. Make time for you to go out and do it. Plan it into your week. Life is about enjoyment, so do what puts a smile on your face.
Sally loved to paint but she found that between her work and taking care of her children and work, she had not painted in years. So Sally went out and bought some art supplies. Each night, she would put the kids in bed and then paint. This simple activity brought her enjoyment each day.
* Choose to be happy - Everyone has a choice in their life. They can choose to make the changes in their life, to be happier. Or they can wallow in their misery and come up with excuses about why their life is so awful. Remember you are the only one who can make a difference in your life.
Sally realised that she had been complaining about her life for years. She believed that she did not have the power to make her life any better. However, after my chat with her, she realised, that she really could make a difference in her own life. She did not have to go through life feeling lost and depressed. Sally finally recognised that she had the power to feel better if she made a few changes.
* No one is perfect – Remember that we are all human. Everyone has their good days and bad days. So if you find that you are having a bad day, do not beat yourself up about it. Try and do something to lift yourself out of the feeling. However if you find that you just want to feel awful, let the feeling go for a time period. Then pick yourself up and do something that makes you feel better.
* It is ok to be sad about something happening now - A situation may occur one day which will make you sad. This is a normal reaction to a situation. Allow yourself a set time to grieve over the situation and then let it go. For instance, a death of a loved one will take you a longer time to recover than finding out your kids have eaten all the chocolate in the house. So after being upset for a set period, pick yourself up.
Everyone is different and has to find out what makes them blissful. There is no one solution that fits everybody. The main idea is make the decision to lead a more fulfilling life and then go and find out what changes you need to make to achieve the lifestyle you want. You can do it. Just believe in yourself and realise that you are worth it.
Until next time, stay safe and do something for yourself.
Have an awesome day.