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The road to recovery is different for everyone. This article does not presume to be the most ideal solution or try to present a simple fix to resolve a troubled psyche. To each his own. What it does try to offer is a set of suggestions that someone may possibly relate to. If it happens help a person move toward a more positive mindset then it has served its purpose.
It is understandable to get derailed from your center every now and then. Nobody is perfect and we are all just human. Despite this knowledge, some people do get hit harder than most. A fall from grace seems to weigh heavier compared to those who fail often. Each person has their own coping mechanism and it may take longer for others to recover from their melancholic state.
Regrettably, there are some who do not make it out at all.
This is a reality that is difficult to accept, especially when you see someone you care about going through it. The most you can do is to be there for the person, offering words of encouragement and support. Your presence and pleasant disposition could easily be a ray of sunshine that could brighten up their day. This is all well and good until you have to say goodbye, then they gradually regress to the negative self-talk that took them to such a state in the first place.
Going further, what if this person was you?
Like the oft-quoted scenario with multiple renditions about a disturbed man visiting a doctor:
“Psychiatrist – Why don’t you go to the comedy show tonight? I heard the clown is in town. He will surely cheer you up and make you laugh.
Man – But doctor, I am that clown.”
It starts with us
That story was brought up to isolate the fact that the only person we can ultimately depend on when it comes to our problems is ourselves. Yes, other people can help guide us towards the solution but it has to be us that chooses to see it. Not even the efforts of the best psychiatrist or funniest comedian in the world can provide lasting significance unless a decision has been made to change. Escapism in the form of substance abuse, overeating, sex or work will not make any psychological problem go away on its own. The clown’s scenario should not be viewed as a sad story, but a turning point in the life of someone who has realized his situation and sought for help to pursue a better state of mind.
The following are some reminders that could possibly jumpstart the process to self-recovery:
If there is something that is bothering you, it is all right to admit that it is. This is an important first step to avoid getting overwhelmed by any negative thoughts. There will be little chance for it to build up because you are actually addressing the issue instead of simply pretending that there is none. Dwelling on it of course will not help the situation. You must find a way to progress past this point though it is crucial to move at your own pace.
Not every problem can be dealt with in the same way. Some truly weigh heavier on the mind than others. Realizing that there is something wrong however and acknowledging its presence will start chipping away at its existence. Eventually, you will be ready to move on to the next step. Just keep believing in yourself and incorporating positive self-talk that you can overcome this obstacle.
With awareness, letting go of the source of the unhappiness must necessarily follow. It is definitely easier said than done but you must find a way to forgive a person or event that has wronged you, especially if that cause is yourself. The author Anne Lamott once said, “Not forgiving is like drinking rat poison and then waiting for the rat to die.”
She is right.
The only person who is feeling bad from all the anger or resentment is the one who took offense or is laying the blame. For all you know, the one who is at fault has no idea of any wrongdoing in the first place. Besides, if being right will not change what has already been said and done then what is the point other than being proven correct? If seeking vindication would neither enhance your life or the opposite party’s then perhaps it would be easier to move forward and accept that past is past.
Gratitude for the peace of mind that will most likely follow is vital. Doing it will build strength of character and will invite more of the same good vibes into your life. By continuously giving heartfelt appreciation, you create a positive mindset that creates stronger self-control to refrain from allowing negative emotions to reclaim its place for longer periods of time.
3. Live in the moment
The famous philosopher Lao Tzu, who is the author of the book Tao Te Ching and founder of Taoism is credited with saying: “If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.”
After awareness and forgiveness comes fortitude or self-control.
You are responsible for your own happiness and must choose to remain positive. By focusing on the here and now, you are able to appreciate events as they unfold. You are released from the prison of your mind because you are not stuck in any past or future event that has no bearing on your current point in time. The past cannot be changed and the future is yet to happen. Only you can dictate what you are going to do and how you are going to feel about it.
No one else. That is your power.
Get to itThese steps are a condensed version of very important precepts towards a positive mindset. It may appear to be simple but a further study into them is recommended in order to have a better appreciation for these concepts. Like any endeavor, you need to keep practicing and using your physical or mental strength in order to get stronger. Keep going in a positive direction. There will always be people rooting for you to succeed, kindly yourself included.