What are you feeling right now? Can you pinpoint what made you feel that way? The better we know ourselves, the better we are at making ourselves happy. If we’re aware of our negative emotional triggers, we can learn to take the power away from them. Once you start paying attention to your patterns, you will be shocked by how strongly the smallest thing can instantly affect your emotional state.
To illustrate my point – spend 5 minutes thinking about a bad memory. Notice how you feel, how your posture changes and what thoughts that memory trigger. Now spend 5 minutes thinking about a nice memory. Notice the immense difference in your mind and body. Our thoughts trigger our feelings, which in turn trigger our behaviour. When we write a day off as ‘one of those’ days, what we’re really doing is sabotaging our day. In that mindset, we will inevitably pay more attention to the negative aspects, and we miss out on the good stuff.
Far too often, we hide from our feelings, forget about our needs and postpone making our dreams come true. We can be our own worst enemies. This rings particularly true to women. From birth we’re taught to care for and help others. What a shame that we’re not equally taught to do this for ourselves!
The only thing we know for certain is that we will spend our whole lives with ourselves. And if we don’t know and love ourselves, it’s going to be a rough ride. So, here are three ways to help you bond with yourself.
Make sense of your feelings
To get to know yourself, you need to spend lots of quality time with yourself. Listen to your thoughts, and notice your emotions and different moods. What makes you feel happy? What makes you feel anxious? What stories are you telling yourself about your life? It sounds so obvious, but sadly, a lot of people spend their entire days avoiding their true feelings out of fear of what they might find.
When you know exactly how the outer world affects your thoughts and in turn your feelings, deciding what and who to let into your life becomes easier. Establish your boundaries – learn what you are okay with and what you are not okay with. Our own narratives create our lives, so when you want change, you have to start by amending your thoughts. Stop telling yourself the victim story. Everyone’s broken in their own unique way, and life is random with never-ending ups and downs. Rather than forcing positive thinking, adopt realistic thinking with an emphasis on the good stuff. Be prepared for the good, and the bad.
Clarify your needs
Are all your needs being met? Not only is it within your control, it is in fact, completely up to you to make yourself feel safe and happy. No one else is responsible for your happiness. Apart from basic needs such as food and security, we also have personal needs. Maybe you need a bit of quiet time to yourself after work, or maybe you need an impromptu dancing session in your living room when you feel down. No matter what it is, make time for it.
Peer pressure often makes us do things we don’t really want to do. As social creatures, we want to avoid disappointing or upsetting our clowder (Yes, I said ‘clowder’), even if it’s at our own expense. It takes practise to break this self destructive behavioural pattern without feeling guilty, but it’s very much possible. There is no reason to justify yourself if you don’t want to do something. ‘No’ is a complete sentence.
Manifest your dreams
Search deep within your core for your dreams. Not what others think you should do, but what you want to do. Your heart knows what it wants. The confusion occurs when your brain starts over-analysing and categorising as it’s prone to do. What activity did you lose yourself in when you were a child? What do you genuinely love doing? Do that.
Life is only as complicated as you make it. There is always a way, even if it takes a long time to get to where you want to be, or fail a million times. Failure shouldn’t be feared because it’s how we learn. No path is free from stumble blocks. Work towards your dream life, but don’t forget that you are alive now, in this very moment. Make your present enjoyable. Do more of what makes you happy, every day.