What’s up buttercup?
So many things have happened in the past few months and a lot of it has been heavy on my mind. It has been slowly but surely pulling me down. I wanted to share some small mental habits that I have been doing to keep myself cool, calm, and collected during these trying times.
“Everything in life is a mind game! Whenever we get swept under by life’s dramas, large and small, we are forgetting that no matter how bad the pain gets, no matter how harrowing the torture, all bad things end.”
— David Goggins, Can’t Hurt Me
Don’t allow your circumstances define you.
“Between stimulus and response, there is space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
—Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning
Control what you can, let go of what you can’t. Life, whether we like it or not, will continue—for the good or for the bad. It is something that we cannot change, however, what we can change and control is ourselves. How we choose to move forward from the circumstances that we have been dealt with is what is important. It is what truly defines who we are as a person. This is a mental muscle that we must constantly exercise. No matter what life throws at us, we should know how to move forward without crumbling under the pressures of life.
“at any moment, man must decide, for better or worse, what will be the monument of his existence.”
—Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning
You need to inhale to exhale.
As we all know, to be able to exhale, you must first inhale. I will link you to this comic that I found which better explains this point. Also, it’s cute.
To summarize the message of the comics, we can’t just keep exhaling or dishing out creativity, knowledge, ect. We must also take time to inhale or intake knowledge. By doing this, we don’t just nourish ourselves, we also nourish whatever content we would be feeding others.
Be your own biggest cheerleader
In contrast to “you are your worst critic”, we must also remember to cheer for ourselves. No matter what is happening on the field (life), we must be there cheering. Just because your team (yourself) isn’t winning, it doesn’t mean that you’ll just get up and leave. This also shows unconditional love for yourself and that’s just beautiful.
Manage dichotomous thinking.
Dichotomous is from the word dichotomy which means a division or contrast between two things that are or are represented as being opposed or entirely different. Life isn’t always black and white. There are different shades of the many colors in the spectrum much like life and the other things around us. When we are constantly working at 2 extremes it can get pretty exhausting. The goal is to learn how to manage both ends of the spectrum so we can experience the dynamic values of each side which helps us become better people. At the same time, this also helps us see the dynamics of other people.
Embrace alone time
Give yourself that time to be alone and feel what you need to feel—anger, sadness, joy, etc. Being able to sit in the comfort of your thoughts and the silence within yourself is where you’ll be able to find your most true and authentic self.
“Often people attempt to live their lives backwards: they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want so that they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are, then do what you really need to do, in order to have what you want.”
Put one foot in front of the other
“People often say “I don’t know how you’re doing it,” I tell them that I’m not. I’m not deciding to wake up in the morning. I just do. Then I put one foot in front of the other because there’s nothing else to do. Whether I like it or not, my life is continuing and I have decided to be a part of it.”
—David Kessler, Finding Meaning
This quote is so beautiful because it’s filled with acceptance. “My life is continuing and I have decided to be a part of it”, it shows how life, no matter what, will move forward and the decision to take part in it is the acceptance that we choose to make.
With the little things we do or the little steps we take, eventually, it will compound into something greater. As seen in Atomic Habits by James Clear, if we better ourselves at least 1% each day, it may seem to have little to no effect now but over a few months or even years, the results can be enormous. Being able to put one foot in front of the other is a small step that will amount to something greater in the long run.
Pursue meaning over happiness.
Happiness is something that comes and goes but the meaning is what something—life, loss, anything means to you. The meaning you put behind something is what stays with you throughout your life. It is not fleeting. It will remain even when times get tough and it will be your anchor.
With that, I’ll leave you with a *virtual hug*. Thank you for reading! Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.