Read This Before Your Next Birthday

There have been quite a few birthdays lately, which prompted me to write this story. It is interesting how views change over time as we grow.

I had a very different view of my birthday until a few years ago.¬†Growing up, as much as I love being surrounded by people, I didn’t like the idea that everyone was gathering around to celebrate my birthday.

It wasn’t about attention; it was about not wanting people to make a fuss over me.

What I Used to Think

When I was younger, I used to think that it was silly to celebrate my birthday. I really enjoyed celebrating other people’s birthdays, but it felt weird when it came to my own. I didn’t want a gathering just for me. A few people that I know share this feeling.

It wasn’t until a few years ago that my mindset changed about what having a birthday is all about.

Celebrate!

I realize that having a birthday is truly one of life’s greatest gifts. Think about it, a birthday means that you have lived another year and the gift of life is absolutely worth celebrating!

You have experienced one year of trials, growth, lessons, changes, and opportunities. You are still here to tell your story! That is amazing and something worth celebrating.

For those of you that share the same belief that I once did about celebrating your birthday, take note of these things and realize that life is the most precious gift and deserves every bit of acknowledgment. 

Take the day to celebrate the amazing person that you are and don’t forget to make a wish!

One Way to Challenge False Beliefs About Ourselves

If someone were to ask you: “How would you describe yourself?” What would you say? What words would you use? This question can have many answers.

We are good a knowing who we are as an individual. We generally know our strengths and our weaknesses, but did you know that some of the beliefs that you hold about yourself, particularly the negative ones, may be false beliefs?

What Are False Beliefs?

Any belief that you believe to be true about yourself that is actually untrue is called a false belief. Throughout our lives, experiences have shaped us into who we are. Our perceptions of ourselves are a result of these experiences, however, they can be skewed without us even realizing it.

False beliefs can truly negatively impact our lives. We may become self-conscious, lack self-esteem, and our perceived beliefs can hinder our relationships.

Recall a Time

Think of times in your life when you felt a certain way about yourself, yet others have told you otherwise. Maybe you felt unintelligent, that you lacked social skills, felt unorganized, not capable, possibly you felt like you were unable to keep relationships intact, or that the world was out to get you.

As we go through life, we may consciously or even subconsciously look for things in our lives that “prove” our false beliefs to be true. We are extra keen on experiences that validate our false beliefs and sadly this helps keep this belief going.

For Example

Imagine you are having a rough day and your false belief is that “the world is out to get you.” Possibly, you start thinking of the list of things in your head that have happened to you that day and how this truly must mean that the world is against us.

Next, imagine that you have been dating someone and things got off to a pretty good start, however just a few months into the relationship you feel like things are slowly falling apart. You try to make things work, however, sadly the relationship wasn’t meant to be, and it ends. You have a false belief that you are not capable of relationships, so naturally, you feel like this belief continues to be true given what you are experiencing.

How Can We Fix This?

There is one simple way that we can implement in our lives to start melting away the false beliefs that we hold so tightly onto. For every negative belief that you hold onto, challenge it with an experience that proved this belief to be untrue.

If you think that you cannot have a successful relationship, then write down all of the people that you have a good relationship with, this could be your neighbor, friend, or family member. If you feel like the world is out to get you, write down all of the ways that life has blessed you and keep a note of the days when you feel that things went well. You will see that the world, though harsh, is also on your side.

Someone who feels like they lack social skills can write down the times when they had a conversation that meant something to them, or someone else. Think of a time when a casual “hello” was said to someone at the store, that is a success. Some people may think that they are not capable to function in this world. Recall all of the times that you did, possibly without even realizing it. Something as simple as getting out of bed in the morning, going grocery shopping, taking care of family, or completing a project or a goal, you can see that you are capable.

I Challenge You

When you have a moment, grab a pen and paper and divide it into two columns. Write down a list of beliefs in one column that you have about yourself. In the column next to it, write down some experiences that you have that contradict this belief. You may be pleasantly surprised to see that this belief of yours is false!

Our thoughts and beliefs about ourselves tend to be sneaky and it is important to visually see that we may just be perceiving ourselves incorrectly. I hope that you will find this beneficial in regaining confidence in yourself and the world around you!

How I Nip a Bad Mood Quickly

Life doesn’t always go the way that we want it to, unfortunately, and with that, our emotions and mood can change, sometimes dramatically from day to day depending on what is going on.

I am a very sensitive and anxious person by nature and when something happens in my life that is upsetting, it takes quite a toll on me though I am getting much better about this. I have found a few ways that have helped me kick a bad mood to the curb!

Before I Found a Solution

Going back to my younger years, I used to take every negative feeling and situation and internalize it. Getting out of a rut and trying to shake off a bad mood was a very difficult task to do. I seemed to hold onto being in a bad mood for much longer than I wanted to.

I remember feeling lost and not knowing what to do to help myself. I opted for quick fixes like having a dessert to instantly boost my mood, but my problems were not solved. One thing for sure, I knew that I didn’t want to feel this way anymore. I started looking for solutions and I became really into self-help.

My New Approach

I am a huge lover of nature; it has the power to change a mood around quickly and can help us feel like we are so small compared to this big vast open space. Nature has a way of making us feel like our problems have just vanished as we focus on the greenery, the sounds of the birds, or the sight of water flowing down a stream.

Knowing this, I wanted to incorporate nature into my solution. I went to the store and bought a beautiful notebook and some fancy pens to keep the look interesting and vibrant.

Whenever I find myself in a place of discontent, I would go take a walk to calm myself and try to refocus my mind enough to eventually come back inside the house and try to work through the emotions.

After my walk, or even sitting peacefully outside for a bit, it was time to sit down and work through my thoughts and feelings.

Journal in Hand

I have found over the years that a bad mood will last so much longer if we do not talk about it, or let our feelings out in some way, shape, or form. The more that we hold something in, the more it tears us apart. The longer that we shove our thoughts under the rug and hide from them, the longer they haunt us.

I got my journal and my fancy pens, and I created a self-help exercise that I use whenever I am not feeling content. I will share it with you now!

  1. I write down all of my feelings
  2.  I list why I am feeling this way
  3.  I write down what options I have to tackle this feeling
  4.  I choose a solution from the options that I have created
  5.  I note what I can and cannot control in the situation

I have found that writing out my feelings and seeing ways that I can work through processing a negative mood can help tremendously. Just seeing it all on paper is an outlet and lets us realize that things may not be as bad and that we have more control over the situation than we think.

The Biggest Solution

The greatest advice is to speak your mind and let your thoughts and feelings flow freely, whether that be writing them down or telling them to a trusted someone. Sometimes our biggest issue and roadblock on our way to happiness is not having an outlet to share what is on our minds. We sit and fester in the thoughts that take over our minds instead of letting them out.

Being able to talk, or at the very least write about your feelings is of great importance. One needs to be able to vent and clear their mind to move past negative emotions.

I have found writing to be extremely therapeutic as are the journal exercises that I do. Whether you talk your feelings out or write them, it is a very critical step to moving past a bad mood!

Seeking Comfort

The fall season is loved by many people including myself. Fall is my absolute favorite for many reasons including the beautiful changing leaves, the crisp autumn air, the stillness of nature, and the cozy feeling that it elicits.

Fall is just a beautiful season to enjoy all around and this lovely season invites us to start looking inward and building warmth.

From Birth

Ever since we were born, we were in need of comfort. We needed the warm embrace of our caregivers, and we needed love. It’s human nature to seek all things that bring us comfort. Possibly it takes us back to when we were young and gives us a sense of security and peace.

As we get older, our need for comfort doesn’t go away. Sometimes people will go to great lengths to feel safe and content. No matter our age, we all love the feeling of being cozy.

Imagine This

Close your eyes for a moment and picture yourself in your bed wrapped in blankets, feel the warmth and softness of your bed and how it keeps you warm. Next, imagine yourself sitting on the couch with a warm cup of tea or coffee, curled up with a blanket, and watching your favorite movie.

Now picture yourself in a big sweater, you feel the warmth and coziness, and the sweater makes you feel safe and protected. We can’t forget about comfort food, something that we turn to when we are stressed, or need a little mood booster.

Human Nature

As human beings, we try very hard to avoid anything that causes us pain and suffering, we will go to great lengths to have our needs met and to feel safe and loved.

We are bound to feel the positive effects of cultivating coziness and comfort in our lives! Try taking a hot bath, embracing a loved one, or cozying up next to a window while watching the rain fall. Notice what a mood booster this is!

Do You Have Time to Be Happy?

I think that most of us would agree that happiness is an utmost priority. Life is very complex, and many factors contribute to one’s level of happiness.

For us to be happy, basic life needs have to be met for us to feel comfortable. We need food, water, shelter, ability to pay bills, we need love, support, and respect. Of course, many other things can bring us happiness, some are considered a luxury, while others are a means of survival.

Happiness Is a Priority 

Above all, your happiness and well-being are priceless. No relationship, job, or situation is worth it if it takes away your happiness and zest for life.

There will be sacrifices when making adjustments in life, however, happiness is the ultimate goal! If you can get past the sacrifices and have the strength and determination to make changes along the way, you are on your way to a happier life.

Start Your Day 

What you expose yourself to first thing in the morning when you wake up sets the tone for the rest of your day. Start your day with positive words, inspirational stories, start with looking yourself in the mirror and saying that you love yourself, and mention some qualities that you love about yourself.

You may want to read religious doctrines, play some calming or upbeat music, write, journal, or even meditate. Anything that brings you happiness, even for just a few minutes is worth it!

It Only Takes a Few Minutes

Often people say that they don’t have time, that they are too busy, or too tired to include any sort of routine like this into their day, but it only takes a moment of your time, and the benefits will be worth it. If someone were to ask you if you have a few minutes in your day to feel happier in life, what would you tell them? Oftentimes the solutions to our problems lies in our own hands!