Happiness

Life is going to take us down many roads, some will be smooth-sailing, some detours, and some roadblocks. No matter what life throws at us, we have the power to look at the situation in the best way possible. This is not easy of course, but can really help create more happiness in your life.

I am the kind of person that needs a goal, something to work towards, something to look forward to in order to be happy. I suppose many, or even most of us are this way. Find something that sets your soul on fire and makes you passionate about life, find something that makes you get out of bed in the morning and that makes you look forward to coming home in the evenings. Happiness in life is one of life’s greatest treasures. Get involved in something new to break the monotony and bring some joy and excitement into your life! I wish you all the happiness in the world and all of your heart’s desires.

Finding Inspiration

If you take a look around you, there are so many things that can spark inspiration and motivation in our everyday lives.  Other individuals and the situations that we encounter in life all have ways of making an impact on us if we choose to let them.

The word inspiration means to be compelled or motivated to do something and the source of our inspiration can literally come from anywhere and anyone.  Inspiration is an idea that sparks something within us and encourages us to act.  Sometimes I actually seek inspiration and other times it just occurs naturally, in fact most of the time it’s the latter.

One of my biggest goals in life is to continuously strive to be the best possible version of myself that I can be.  I am always striving for growth and to change and/or break habits and ways that no longer serve me.  Constantly trying to better myself has brought me peace and has created a better balance and sense of harmony in my life.  There are definitely days that I don’t feel as inspired, but somewhere down the line, something always sparks it again.

inspiration1

When I encounter a rough situation, or hurdle, I try to see how I can learn from it, what meaning that particular situation has for my life.  Though difficult, I try to ask myself what is this challenging time trying to tell me?  What am I to learn from this?  Maybe I was to learn patience, acceptance, boundaries, whatever it may be, it inspires me to want to be and do better.  Unfortunate circumstances can really bring someone down, it’s definitely happened to me before and still does, but I know how powerful the mind is…mind over matter.

Some of you may notice that when I blog, I tend to not put too much personal information into my work.  When you read a blog post of mine, you will see some personal reference here and there, but overall I speak towards the general public.  What may come as a surprise is that every single one of my blog posts is actually closely tied to me in some way.  I indirectly talk about topics that either are happening, or did happen in my life.  Each of my posts is a topic that has touched me in some way.  My biggest inspiration for coming up with blog posts is to write about a recent situation, or encounter with someone else, these help me come up with blog post ideas.

Take some time to look around you.  Take note of the people and situations you encounter, they often have a message for us.  Keep an open mind and an open heart.  Be inspired!

inspiration2

The Secret Behind Triggers

Do you ever feel like you are just going about your day and a certain situation, or person’s actions changes your mood in an instant?  We all have certain triggers in life that evoke a very strong and emotional response from us, these triggers vary greatly from one person to the next, but are very powerful as they are connected deep inside of us.

A trigger is something that evokes a strong emotional response, something that goes way deeper than average.  Triggers are anything that remind us of certain events from out past, they can be arguments, holidays, abandonment, traumas, public speaking, socializing, medical issues, the list is truly endless.  Sometimes we are triggered by something we are not even aware of, but our subconscious picks up on it.

trigger1

I am a pretty even-tempered person, even though my mind is steadily going, I’ve been told that I have a very laid back personality.  Just like anyone else, I have things that trigger me.  For me, the biggest thing that triggers me is when someone disrespects me.  I make every conscious effort in my being to respect others, so when that is not given, or returned, I have a very hard time dealing with it.  I am also triggered by being in a group of people, certain social situations, and being talked down to, or criticized.  These all create a deep emotional response within me.  I know that these things are triggers for me, so I work extra hard to think logically and not let my emotions get the best of me when they arise.  Due to triggers often being tied to past events, it’s even more difficult to control your response, which is often quick and automatic, but by realizing what upsets you and allowing yourself distance from the trigger, you can better manage and reflect.

Knowing your triggers and knowing yourself in general are very beneficial when encountering things that you know set you off.  If you are getting into a situation that you know will cause you stress and anxiety, you can prepare yourself mentally and hope for a better outcome than if you had not prepared.  Often times talking out a series of events, or even journaling can bring about some amazing insight that you may have otherwise not found.

It’s natural to want to avoid what triggers us because we don’t want the unpleasant feelings that come with it, however if we do not push ourselves to go against our fears, we will never conquer them.  Growth happens when you make an effort to challenge what controls you!

trigger2

It’s Not Personal

In our everyday interactions with others, we experience a wide variety of responses, or sometimes even lack thereof from others.  When dealing with other people, there are so many emotions and situations that we face and naturally a lot of the time, we as humans wonder our place in it all.  How much of other’s emotions and actions are a direct result of us?

When we communicate and relate to other people, we are constantly regulating our feelings and perceptions as well as taking in verbal and non-verbal cues from others.  A lot of how we communicate is a reflection of ourselves, or how we perceive ourselves.  As human beings, we put a lot of focus, blame, attention to the things that we do “wrong,” or “right.”  In a lot of cases, we are quick to assume that if someone is upset, or is not acting themselves around us, that it’s somehow possibly our fault. 

How many times can you recall that you have said things like “I wonder what I did wrong?,” “Could I have handled that better?,” “Did I say all the wrong things?,” “Does this person care for me anymore?,”  Lots of questions like these can go through our heads when someone we know acts different towards us.  Most of the time, it actually has nothing to do with us, it’s not personal.

personal2

Say for example, your significant other is being really quiet one day, so many things run through your head and then you start replaying the conversations that you had with them that day to see if you have somehow caused them to be upset.  You later find out after your significant other has a chance to relax and unwind that they just had a really rough day at work.  Another example, you and your best friend talk often, always exchanging text messages and phone calls, one day your texts and calls are not returned like they usually are.  Again your mind wanders and thinks of all the possible reasons why, including the fact that somehow you may be the reason why they have gone distant.  Later on that night, you find out that your best friend had a ton on their plate that day and that they put their phone away most of the day wanting some much needed alone time. 

It is really important to remember that most of the time, other people’s emotions and actions have nothing to do with us.  Even when we are mistreated, that has more to do with how the other person feels about themselves, or their life than it does with us.  We can really drive ourselves crazy taking everything in life personally.  It’s often quite a relief to find out that most of the time it wasn’t about us at all. 

personal1

Hamster Wheel

Our brain is a very interesting and powerful organ. Whatever we feed it can make or break us. Our minds soak up a lot of information including the thoughts that we have and if we are not consciously filtering our thoughts, they can really take over us. Sometimes this process is slow, or we do not recognize how we are shaping our brain, but it truly does eventually have a great impact.

Have you ever been thinking of something, or worried about something and then before you know it you are thinking about that thought over and over again? Or, maybe your mind may have thought up many new thoughts that led to other thoughts and then you forgot the one you were originally thinking about! Our minds can take a thought and run with it if we let it.

thinking1

You may have heard of the terms hamster wheel and snowball effect. Both describe what happens to our brain when we overthink, or think in an anxious manner. The hamster wheel basically describes how someone persistently thinks the same thoughts over and over again, but gets nowhere because their thoughts go around and around in circles like a hamster running on a hamster wheel. The snowball effect states that our thoughts continue to gain momentum and power the more that we keep thinking. Like a snowball that gets bigger as it rolls down a hill, the thoughts keep gaining speed and power as it collects more momentum, our thoughts are fueling more thoughts.

These patterns of thinking happen to all of us, but I feel like they may be more common in individuals that are deep-thinkers, or are prone to anxiety. I know that I fall into both of these categories and once my mind gets going, it can be very hard to get it to stop. I have found ways that have helped though. First, it helps to calm the mind from all of the racing thoughts. Ways to do this include meditation, focusing on your breathing, observing details in the objects around the room you are in, anything that can shift your brain away from the current thoughts you are having. Once your mind is calmer, then you can put your energy into a project, or your to-do list, keeping active to avoid overthinking too much. If your mind was running because you were pondering a decision, or because of a question that you have, once you have relaxed some, try to look at the decision or question at hand logically and try to remove as much emotion as possible. Try to be mindful when your mind starts to wander astray from focusing just on the task at hand, which is to solve your question, or make a decision.

It is definitely easier said than done, but try not to let your mind run away on you! I still struggle with this often, but it really does rob one of a peaceful day. Having some control of the mind makes for a much easier way of life!

thinking2