Our day to day is unfortunately stressful, whether we invite it into our life or not. Stressed individuals surround us on the road, in the grocery store line, at work, pretty much everywhere. We can tell ourselves that outside stress doesn’t affect us, but the truth is that it does. So how do we find peace in an overly anxious world? How do we come to find a life we love that is full of calmness and happiness? Here are 6 steps to living a life you love.
A Clean Space Matters
We are enamored by Marie Kondo because her ways of clearing space and organizing show that the simple act of letting things go can change someone’s life overnight. If you haven’t watched her show, you should check it out on Netflix. It will give you some inspiration because it’s time to clean up!
Closets can be our dirty little secrets. We smash as much crap into them as possible. And then we go into the guest room and the hallway and keep cramming stuff into those closets. I know that a lot of you live in seasonal places, you need the coats for Winter, the snow boots, and so on. I get that a lot of our closets are filled with these necessary items. But, this step goes for all the non-seasonal clothing.
A trick that I’ve always used is the ‘wear it or it’s out’ rule. Every six months, you turn all of your hangers the opposite way. When you wear an item, put it back on the hanger the right way. At the six month deadline, you can see which clothes you didn’t turn the hanger for and donate those items!
Donate to Causes You Love
A lot of us donate to big places like Goodwill. But it’s a very impersonal donation. When it comes to donating your well-earned and well-kept items, finding a charity that hits close to home will make you feel happy to donate. If you were a young mom, finding a charity that donates to teen moms would be exciting! Or maybe a small local charity that supports food banks or animal shelters. Passing along your nice things to those who you can relate to is a great feeling.
Lastly, don’t let the kids closets get out of hand. Their catch-all can stress you out, too. I love The Container Store for this reason. Head over to their kid’s section and grab the cube shelf unit plus a couple of big bins. Organize the toys in the cubes; whatever doesn’t fit or isn’t played with anymore can be donated. When donating toys – remember that it’s going to another kid. Clean them up and donate with respect. You wouldn’t want your little one to play with broken dirty toys, so try to make sure you’re passing along something that still works and has the pieces!
Start the Morning with Gratitude
Sounds easy, right? But the first thing most of us do when we wake up is…check our phone. It’s going to hit you with stress and set the tone for the rest of your day. Instead, create a phone charging station in another part of your house for the night. I know alarm clocks seem like something from The Flintstones, but you need one. They even have fancy ones that give off aromatherapy and lights that wake you in a calm way!
If you really can’t do without your phone in the room, put it on the other side of the room where you would have to physically get out of bed to get it. Remove the ease of accessibility best you can and use this step to start your morning in a new way.
The Big Three
Begin by thinking of three things you are grateful for. They can be simple – your health, your family, a roof over your head. Or you can use this as part of your manifesting time. To do this, be very specific with your gratitude. For example ‘I’m grateful to have the means to take my family out to a nice dinner tonight’. If you’re healing an injury, you can use something like ‘I’m grateful that my ___ is feeling better today and will continue feeling better as the day goes on’.
By intertwining gratitude and the outcomes we are searching for, our lives get closer and closer to the versions we love. Gratitude is super powerful, it starts our day with positive thoughts, which set the pace for a life full of good.
Leave the Past Behind You
We tend to hold on to physical reminders of the past. The strangest part of our psyche is that we will hold on to things that remind of us of bad times. We sometimes justify this as a reminder of something so we don’t do it again. Or the item becomes a trophy, as if we got through hardship and that item resembles us getting through it and therefore ‘winning’. We really are able to turn things around and justify almost anything.
We all go through bad break-ups, loss of loved ones, financial hard times, accidents, injuries and so on. And we tend to hold on to a souvenir or two from those events. Something that we can tie that memory to trying not to lose it. But the reality is that the good memories stay positioned in our minds and the bad ones get put in the back. This is not me just saying this, it’s actual fact that our brains have a coping mechanism that does this naturally for us. It allows us as a species to move forward. Even if us females have horrific births, we have hormones that kick in after the baby is born so we forget about it and continue having babies!
We need to learn lessons from the hard times in order to grow. If we go through a sour business partnership that leaves us broke at the end, we now have learned a lesson to take a different approach with the next opportunity. We don’t need to hang on to that box of 5000 business cards we made for that business to remember the lessons. Do you see what I’m saying? It’s a souvenir of a negative experience. But we throw the box in the closet and justify it as if it’s something to remind us to not make that mistake again. Throw the box out. (Well, recycle it).
Before we end on this step, let’s chat about losing a loved one. I know most of us have gone through it, and it’s the hardest one. It takes time to get rid of things from loved ones, and there is an emotional link that some of us need in order to keep that loved one alive in our minds. Something that has helped me in the past is knowing that the person was more than the item you’re keeping for the reminder. We sometimes keep clothing, personal items like perfumes or their full set of old pots and pans. We tie the memory of the person to the way they smelled or the sweater they wore – but this was just something to their exterior.
The memory of their laughter and kind heart is embedded in your thoughts and much more powerful than the pots and pans you store in the back of the cabinet. If you’re holding on to items that remind you of the outside of the person who has passed on, start to look at those things and realize they are not that person. They were just things they owned. Keep the stuff that really matters, the photos, the special hand-made item, or the family quilt they wanted you to have. Start to let go of the rest and let yourself find true healing.
Kicking the Habits
This step is about embracing hardships and taking yourself out of your comfort zone. It’s a shorter step in the sense that you really just have to stop doing and start being. We do a lot of things that suck for way longer than we should. I’m guilty of going along the same routine even when I hate it. I’m a creature of habit and habits will be the death of me.
You don’t want to be 75 years old and look back on your life wishing you had taken a risk instead of working that shitty job all your life. Or perhaps wishing you had traveled more or spent more time with your kids. Tomorrow is not guaranteed, we have to kick the habits that feel comfortable in order to live a life we love.
The 1930’s depression generation has taught us this lesson through their actions. So many of them were scared that another depression was going to hit that they stayed in their terrible jobs until retirement. Never having taken days off for fear they would be let go. Working sun up to sun down and missing their kid’s lives unfold just to get a little extra over-time. It’s a wonderful thing to work hard and save money – but what is the real cost of that decision?
Yes – save up, but also spend while you’re still alive and well! Take the family on that big vacay, quit that job you hate driving to every morning, take risks and better your life.
Shift Your Mood
Your mind controls you. The mood you are in will literally change your life moment by moment. Take this into consideration, positive and negative energy have a weighted effect on our sub-conscious. We are attracted to negative news more than positive news due to our natural survival reactions. If we see or hear about danger, our brains go into survival mode to quickly respond so that we keep out of harm’s way. It’s our challenge in modern-day to override that natural attraction to negativity. We have to decide to find the positive side of things and strive for optimism.
Shifting your mood or mindset gets easier the more often you do it. As you find more positivity, it will start to flow. Things that you looked at as negative before, will naturally come to you as positive thoughts.
Breathe to inflate your belly, fan your arms, and repeat “all is well – I’m at ease”
When you’ve tried a mindset shift, but it just doesn’t work, get to the physical stuff. Take a moment to break and repeat this action:
- Breathe to inflate your belly
- Fan your arms out
- Say out loud “all is well, I am at ease”.
- Repeat as many times as necessary until your zen is back
A Healthy Social Life
I’m talking about social media. We have come to the day-in-age where we have our real life and our social life. One has a pretty filter, maybe even a preset…it has a well thought out description and storyline. And then…There’s real life. The one where you put a white t-shirt on a 7 am and it’s got a stain on it by the time you get to work. Damn, can’t put an Inkwell filter on that to blend it in!
The false reality of social can sometimes bring us down in real life. This one is hard for me. It’s so easy to get caught up in the comparison game. “Well she has a nice house and I don’t” or “He has big muscles but I bet he doesn’t have a real job or responsibilities” Instead of following others that seem to bring along these thoughts of jealousy, follow those who bring happiness to your social feed. Look at the reasons why you love social media and only allow positivity into your feed.
My Relationship with Social
Personally I love connecting with you all. I love that because of social media I have friends all over the world who give me tips, encouragement, and I just enjoy talking to you all. I have come to create a healthy relationship with social media and it just meshes into my life that I love so much. It’s important to check in with my friends and family on social, but I also call, text, and meet up with them regularly to really get their real ‘status updates’.
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