Make Solid Steps Towards Loving Your LIfe
Forgiveness, gratefulness and doing what you love will move you towards a much happier life!
In order to forgive others, you must first learn to forgive yourself. Mistakes can serve as a good teacher, as long as you are willing to learn from them and don’t beat yourself up. If you have made mistakes along the way, learn to forgive yourself so that you can move on in life. Doing so will bring a level of peace to your life. Don’t think negative thoughts about yourself for taking wrong steps, treating people poorly, or making wrong decisions. This kind of thinking puts your focus on the problem and not the solution. It’s better to discover good things about yourself than to say negative things. Reinforcing your positive traits is a sign that you have forgiven yourself. If you want to make peace with others, you need to be at peace with yourself first.
Forgiving others is also critical. Learn to forgive, forget, and let go of things quickly. No good comes of resentment and holding grudges. Those who hold grudges and resent their past often suffer from cardiac and psychological problems. The easiest way to forgive others is to make a conscious decision to do so. You may decide that they didn’t offend you in the first place, or you may just decide that it was acceptable for them to think or say what they did, and make a choice not to be offended. You may not agree with it but you can let go of the anger or hurt around it. In the innumerable interactions and exchanges within your own brain, your thoughts become things, and you are more in control of your thoughts and beliefs—these “things”—than you might realize.
Knowing that you can take ownership and choose how you feel about yourself or others can help you in the forgiveness process. Here are some steps that can help:
• Consider the value of forgiveness and its importance in your life.
• Reflect on the facts of the situation, how you’ve reacted, and how this has affected your life, health, and well-being.
• When you’re ready, actively choose to forgive the person who offended you.
• Move away from your role as victim, and release the control and power the offending person and situation have had in your life.
Be Grateful & Celebrate Achievements!
Take some personal time to be with yourself and recount the achievements you’ve made and the things you have. Counting one’s blessings and achievements makes one feel fulfilled and happy. We often hate ourselves when we feel we have not achieved anything. The best way to count your blessings is to keep a gratitude journal, and write down whatever you have achieved or have to be thankful for. No matter what happens in our lives, we likely have life, air to breathe, food to eat, friends, family and associates, a measure of wealth, and a measure of health. There was a study done which showed that people who keep gratitude journals are happier overall than those that don’t. The act of writing these things down helps solidify more positive thoughts and feelings.
I keep a grateful journal by my bed, and write in it every night before I go to sleep. I encourage you to do the same. This act alone keeps me more focused on the joy and positive aspects of my life and keeps me facing the right direction. No matter how difficult things are, there are always good things you can find to be thankful for. On tough days, I reach deep, and always find at least five good things in my life or surroundings that I can write about. I always look for blank journals that feel good to me, as it makes it more fun. If you have no time or money to do that, find a notepad or piece of paper, and start this great habit tonight! If you have trouble disciplining yourself to write things you are grateful for, find a friend to exchange your gratitude journal’s with each day and hold each other accountable.
Another great exercise is to write down all the thoughts or dreams you have had in your life that have become a reality. Skip lines as you list them. After you have your list together, fill the spaces in between with your present thoughts and dreams that you want to come true. The act of listing the old with the new will connect them, giving you more hope that they will come true.
Do What You Love!
It is so good to develop a pastime. Spend your free time on reading, listening to music, watching movies, or doing other activities that you love. This enables you to take your mind off the problems you are facing and the thoughts you have about yourself. Another good tip is to get outside as much as you can, and enjoy nature or play with art projects, as both are very healing. Happiness isn’t guaranteed in life, and it is completely up to you! You have to make it happen for yourself by taking the time to do what feels good or right in every situation.
Happiness is different to different people. Some may find true joy and happiness sitting in a serene place enjoying nature, and another may want to be surrounded by people or dance to music that they love. What makes your heart sing? What activities can you build into your life that will increase your level of happiness and joy?
You also may spend a high percentage of your time at work. If so, it will have a major impact on your level of happiness. If you love your job and look forward to going to work each day, keep on doing what you are doing. If not, consider taking a look at what you do love and don’t love about it to see if you can make improvements. If you hate it, consider stepping back and making a list of things you love to do, and see if you can figure out how you can start to make a transition to a job that you love. Malcolm Forbes of Forbes magazine said, “In the United States, only 50 percent of employees say they are satisfied with their work.” You can increase your happiness by identifying what type of work would make you feel good, and beginning to move toward finding work that resonates with you, so you become more engaged. If you are doing what you love all day long, are in a supportive environment, and take pride in what you do, it is so much easier to be happy!