How often do you sit and complain or moan about your life? About how miserable you are with your job, relationship or weight?
To be honest, we’ve all done it and it’s a little comforting when we have people around us that will listen and perhaps take that burdening feeling off our shoulders. It’s important to have a support network these days, especially when the pressures of life get too much.
But the purpose of this article was, is there such a thing as too much moaning or complaining? Where and when does it stop? How do we fix our minds to perhaps look at the positives instead of the negatives? Constantly being negative is draining and whether we realise it or not, it affects our daily life and wellbeing. Have you ever entered into a conversation and left it feeling more frustrated than you did before you spoke to that person? It’s irritating isn’t it, especially when you thought “a good chat with_____ will be great today!!”
So what do we do? Well, I don’t have all the answers but here are a few things I did to get rid of some of my negative feelings and create a more positive and manageable mindset to do and be better and can hopefully help someone do the same.
January 1st 2017 I decided to completely stop speaking negatively about myself or ending up in conversations where negative talk/gossip was the order of the day. Leaving the convos was easy but the self talk was the hardest part. It was tough because I’m my own worst critic when it comes to anything I want to do be it exercise, writing an article or even picking an outfit for the day. I always had that “you’re not good enough to do this” voice shout just a bit too loudly. I had to stop this as I didn’t want to continue as I was. I stopped and that was the start.
I bought a Happiness Planner. Now, I know most people will read this and think “you can’t really plan your happiness” and you’re right, you absolutely can’t. But what you can do is learn how to be grateful everyday and that’s exactly what this planner does. The questions really do make you think about everything be it good or bad and you really have to be honest with yourself too otherwise, it’s pointless getting one. I won’t go into too much detail about it but it has changed my whole way of thinking. I’ve added a few pictures to show what you get in the package and also left a link for those that would like to purchase one. They are worth every penny.
Learn to say NO. This was another tough one for me. From a young age I always thought if I made people happy they would be nice to me. This stems from my childhood environment. But after having my son, I just couldn’t do it anymore and I had to learn to use this word, this two letter powerful sentence that I feared so much and let me tell you, it became my new favourite word. Just say it. No to negative folks that make you feel stuck. No to fear hoarders. No to the things that don’t help you find solutions. No to repetitive patterns that are destructive. Just NO, politely or assertively.
I increased my gym attendance. There is nothing more powerful than an exercise routine. I’ll admit, I put on quite a bit of weight last year without even realising it, I was a chunky little mama. I didn’t have the best year but I wasn’t going to carry the physical or mental weight from 2016, just NO!! So 28th December, I joined up at the gym again and added a few classes along with my home training and there’s no turning back. I’m feeling a lot stronger physically and mentally as the determination is back better than ever.
I got my finances together. In 2014, I made a terrible financial decision with a potential business partner and it knocked me for six. I was dealing with betrayal and financial loss caused by a person I considered a friend. That made me go into a downward spiral as I didn’t know how to fix it. I was hoping this person would finally do the right thing but it didn’t happen and I have a feeling it never will. But I had to get back up and try all over again. So the self pity stopped and I got everything back on track. It took about two years to recover but I’m glad I sorted it and can make new financial decisions in the coming years. People often say it’s not about money but when you make a loss like that, it’s very much about money and I learnt the hard way that it can destroy friendships/relationships etc. What I also learnt was some people were raised without a moral compass and there is nothing you can do about it. You have to carry on being the trustworthy person you are and not become bitter which can eventually turn you into them. It’s not worth dwelling over and it will get better, it will also make you more resilient and wiser which is always a good thing.
I started making more time for the little things that made me. Sometimes when you’re going through a tough time, it’s difficult to remember how good you felt before the trauma of your sadness kicked in and most of us just stop doing those things as they now feel worthless. But it’s important to re-connect with the good part of yourself, baby steps. I started with solo dates, days out when it’s really just about me and it sounds selfish but sometimes that’s just how things have to be done. It could be as simple as going to the cinema alone, spending the day pampering yourself at home or at the beauticians, having a good sleep or rest at the weekend by delegating chores to others, booking a table for one, going to a really fancy restaurant and ordering everything on the menu and of course wearing that feel good outfit while you’re at it. Do these at least once a month or when you just feel a little overwhelmed with everything going on.Being alone makes you realise that your true happiness truly comes from within. This is a great way to declutter your mind and press your RESET button.
Spend time with loved ones. We often take this for granted as we get older but it’s very important to do this. Once you’ve reconnected with yourself and are at your best, it’s easier to bring out the best in others. Create fun days with the family when you can and just check up on everyone. It’s becoming easier to forget to physically see each other thanks to social media and our various communication apps, but there is nothing like a comforting hug and smile from a loved one to make you feel that everything is ok. That’s why step 5 is so important because we don’t always get the time to see others, we must learn to connect with ourselves and be ok with that.
Become a person of action. Those positive things you wish could happen, start making steps towards them. You really hate that job, dust off the CV and go and try to get a new one. You want to create that app, start sending out emails to developers or take a course in programming. You want that summer body, start sweating it out at home or at the gym, no excuses. Your relationship isn’t going well, speak to your partner (not your friends) about what you can do to change it and if you can’t resolve it, perhaps moving on will be a good thing too (never be afraid to make positive changes).
Travel more. I’ll end this article here because this is so vital for the soul. I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to take a break from your environment, your borough, your city. It’s important to get out there and just hear a new accent, taste different foods and embrace new cultures. It’s not about just doing the same things year after year, the monotony will eat you up. Travel with your family when you can, travel with a friend with similar interests and make it a regular thing. Travel alone, this scares a lot of people but it’s single handedly one of the most liberating things you will ever do in your lifetime. I remember I took my first solo trip to London for a weekend. Booked a beautiful apartment and enjoyed 3 days of just being in a different city and enjoying it’s diversity. Then it was Paris, Portugal, Cambodia, Australia and I ain’t done yet!! Be very careful though, it can become addictive because you’ll find yourself making more connections while you’re on your own than you will in a crowd and it’s honestly so much fun. Another thing is why wait for others? Why are you so afraid of your own personality that you think your trip will only be amazing if you’re with them or her or him? Yes, make plans with friends or family but if they really can’t make it, you get on that flight and make the most of that moment.
Well, I’ll end by saying this. Do what truly makes you happy and your idea of happiness is individual and personal. Don’t be afraid to try and make the most of your beautiful life. I hope one of these notes has been crucial to helping someone out there get out and give things a go x