7 Ways to Get Unstuck

Everybody experiences rough patches in life. Perhaps you had a less-than-ideal childhood or endured challenging situations as an adult. If letting go of your past has been difficult, living in the present will bring more joy and fulfillment to your life and set you up for a brighter future.

Regardless of your past experiences, you have the ability to move forward and begin living in the present. Admittedly, this will require some time and effort, but you can practice any time you like.

Try these suggestions to inspire your desire to stay in the moment:

1. Accept the past. Whatever the situation that has you stuck, now’s the time to make peace with it. The event has already happened.

• Maybe it was something you couldn’t control. Perhaps you were a victim or survivor. Or maybe you made a mistake. How did the situation make you feel at the time? How do you feel about it now? Once your feelings are clear to you, you can move forward.

2. Recognize that your past doesn’t define you. We’ve all heard people who’ve experienced a challenging event say, “It’s made me who I am.” If taking that stance works for you and you can move on with your life, that’s great. If not, know that the situation doesn’t have to make you who you are.

• You have the power to define your own existence. From now on, you can be whomever you choose.

3. Let go. Allow thoughts and feelings about the situation to float away. Use visualization to imagine a large black balloon filled with the troublesome event. Let that situation and your feelings float away from your world.

4. Take a detailed look at your life. Do you live where you want to live? Are you doing the kind of work you want to do? Maybe you’ve spent enough time wishing, hoping and researching. On the other hand, maybe when you examine your existence, you’ll realize you already have all the elements of a great life.

5. Right now, start to create the life you want. If you’ve already got what you want, great! You’ll have less work to do. If you’re unsure, read on.

• We’ve all heard a story about how someone saved the good china to use for special occasions. Years passed, the china stayed in the cupboard, and guess what? The china wasn’t ever used. No occasion was ever gauged as “special” enough.

• Do you regard your life in the same way? Are you waiting for the future to come so you can live in the place of your dreams, pursue your beloved goals and take part in the activities you want to do? There’s no time like the present to live the life you want.

6. Immerse yourself in each moment. Regardless of the list of things you have to do, spend your moments fully engaged in whatever you’re doing right now. You’ve probably experienced the frustration and irritation of being involved in one activity while you’re actually thinking about another task or activity you need to complete.

• Make a special effort to focus on whatever’s going on at any given time. If you’re watching a movie, totally focus on the plot, scenes and characters. If you’re working on a project for work, screen out everything else and put your all into it.

7. Consciously connect with your emotions. Examine how you feel. Are you energized? Is your mood melancholy? How do you feel about what you’re doing right now? Increase awareness of your own emotions throughout the day as you go from task to task. Living in the present means living consciously.

When you live in the present, you’ll enjoy your life more. So wherever you are, be there in body, mind and soul.

When you allow yourself to feel however you do about an event, task or situation, you’re acknowledging to yourself you deserve the time to live your life to its fullest. Learning to live in the present will empower you to experience the fulfilling life you desire.

Four Tips for Triumphing Over Emotional Setbacks

There’s a saying that goes, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” If this rings true to you, even a little bit, you can apply the expression to any emotional setback you experience. Each challenge can serve as both a learning tool and a growing experience if you let it!

Maybe you’re trying to recover from a breakup, or perhaps you’re learning to cope with the passing of a loved one. Whatever your situation, it’s possible to take action to enable you to feel less overwhelmed by these emotions.

The route you take to healing can help you gain valuable benefits from your challenging experiences.

Try these tips to triumph over emotional setbacks and get back to the happy, healthy life you’re accustomed to:

  1. Help someone in need. There’s always someone who’s worse off than you are! Chances are, if you spend time trying to help that person out of the slump they’re in, you’ll feel fulfilled and capable. In turn, this will help you rise above your own emotional setback.
    • Emphasize their strengths. Show them that they have what it takes to overcome.
    • Provide the emotional support they need. A listening ear can do wonders!
    • Allow yourself to lose yourself in that person’s cause.
  2. Get in tune with your spiritual side. Reaching inward is a very effective way to build the strength you need to recover emotionally. Whether you’re into meditation or spiritual guidance from a higher power, you can gain strength by drawing on your internal resources.
    • Try praying for emotional healing.
    • Spend time contemplating prior experiences that showed you the power of faith.
    • Most of all, believe in your abilities to overcome. If this seems hard to put faith in, ask for help from a trusted counselor. Or go straight to your higher power.
  3. Sign up for a project. Sometimes putting aside your personal feelings and focusing on a worthy cause can help you heal without you even knowing it! Your project could be a charitable feeding program to help others. Or perhaps you’d feel engaged by a sculpting course that brings out your creative side.
    • Disconnect from the source of your emotional downfall and focus on making a positive impact elsewhere.
    • Put your heart into your new project so that your emotions are engaged in something other than your sadness.
    • Share your fulfillment with friends and family.
  4. Confront your issue. Beyond all else, the most effective way to get over emotional setbacks is to look the issue right in the face. That way, you can handle the issue for what it really is. Sometimes, coming to terms with an unfortunate reality is the best remedy!
  • Are you feeling challenged by a breakup? Take an honest look at the outcome. Are there any ways that you’re better off without that person in your life?
  • Is the issue the passing of a loved one? Regardless of what you believe about what happens after death, chances are good that they’re in a much better place!
  • Did you lose your job? Take a step back and look at yourself. Which of your untapped resources can you use to turn your dilemma into a beneficial situation? Are you sitting on a talent you never explored?

We’re all designed to feel emotions, both good and bad. But we’re also made to learn from them and allow them to connect us to our true purpose in life. You’re no different!

Embrace your emotions for what they are. Accept them. Then move forward, knowing that what you learn now will help sustain you through a lifetime of challenges and joys.

6 Ways to Develop Greater Optimism for Your Future

Do you struggle to believe that good things are coming your way? Cultivating optimism when you’re feeling depleted from life can seem exhausting, or even impossible. But all is not lost! Even in your darkest times, you can look forward with anticipation to a bright future.

Keep these ideas in mind to help you recover your optimism: 

  1. What does reality indicate? It’s easier to be most optimistic when a positive outcome is likely, but sometimes you need to know when to let go or to make a change. 
    • Taking positive action to produce a better outcome also boosts your optimism because you cease being a helpless victim of life’s circumstances.
  2. Prioritize. Start by determining the most appropriate issues, situations and times to be optimistic about. Instead of chasing after many things, some of which may be unlikely, try focusing your energy on what’s most important.
  3. None of us knows the future. How many times in your past has a situation yielded an unexpected outcome? Plenty of times! And many of those were probably positive experiences, too.
    • Even if life seems full of situations that look less-than-promising, you never know what may actually end up happening. When you open your mind, you’re in a better emotional position to find optimism. And you’re wise to expect the best, because new possibilities lay around every corner.
  4. Stay intent on your own passions. When we do what we love, we feel joy, and joy generates optimism.
    • Whether you play a musical instrument, love working on cars, or enjoy pursuing any other activity, be sure to set aside time in your week for your hobby. If you can, enjoy some “me” time each day.
    • Practicing your craft, hobby, or passion will help prevent you from hanging your hopes on another person, place, or thing. All the joy you need is within you and you’ll rediscover this moment by moment as you do what you love.
    • Following your bliss also helps keep you in the present. The past has already passed. And the future hasn’t come yet. All you have this moment. Don’t you want to make the most of it? When you do, your future almost invariably turns out to be more to your liking also!
  5. Open your mind to new possibilities. Maybe you were expecting a promotion that never came. Or perhaps you even lost your job. Now is a great time to explore other opportunities.
    • Although you undoubtedly were looking forward to whatever didn’t happen, or were happy to avoid what did, the truth is that the future is in your hands.
    • Maybe you always wanted to try freelancing, or making something with your hands for a living. Now is the time to run in that direction. Nothing is stopping you anymore, not even waiting around for a different dream to come to pass.
  6. Remember, there’s always help. Whether you make use of your social network or see a licensed counselor, other people are there to support you as you move toward your next adventure.
  • If you find yourself really feeling depressed, and nothing seems to work to banish it, you may want to check out professional counseling services. Therapists are trained to walk people through all sorts of life transitions and can definitely assist with yours.

Although Alexander Pope wrote, “Hope springs eternal,” you may also find it wise to recognize where to place your optimism and how to rediscover that feeling when you’re down.

If you open your mind to new possibilities and explore the tips above, you’ll be pleased to find that, once again, you’re looking toward the future with optimism and excitement!

7 Ways That Blogging Can Heal

Blogging serves many purposes. You may have a lot to say and want to share it. Or perhaps you like to lighten others’ lives with your sense of humor or educate them with your knowledge. Maybe your main aim is to make money with your blog.

Whatever your reason for starting your blog, there’s another great reason to blog as well. Blogging your thoughts, feelings, and ideas can promote healing for you and those who read your blog.

In many ways, blogging can facilitate discovering solutions for emotional challenges and working through whatever life brings:

  1. Journaling. Blogging provides you with an opportunity to journal about how you feel. If you don’t typically journal or keep a diary, writing about your life provides you with the “space” to record life’s events. This, in turn, can help you heal.
  2. Mental processing. Blogging encourages you to process your emotions and thoughts. As you write, you take the time to think about your experiences.
  3. Seeking solutions. Writing a blog often involves reviewing a situation and discussing possible options. Whether you blog about an event before it occurs or afterward, you’ll likely take a closer look at the situation than you normally would.
  4. Helping others. In addition to healing yourself with blogging, you can also contribute to the lives of others. When we read a blog, we learn about what another person experienced.
    • Whether the blog is about trying something new for the first time, going through a difficult life situation, or having an epiphany, we take in all the information a blogger offers to us.
    • Also, blogging promotes healing as others read about your struggles and your eventual rise above those challenges. Your readers may find your experiences inspiring. Plus, much to your readers’ delight, they might also find that your ideas help them solve their own dilemmas.
  5. Regular blogging builds confidence. Let’s face it: the more you blog, the better writer you become. Likewise, the more you evaluate your life and how to address challenging situations, the better you get at doing so.
  6. Blogging keeps you connected to something bigger than yourself. Have you ever felt lost or “free-floating,” like you weren’t attached to anyone or anything? Writing a blog can help you reconnect.
    • If you’re looking for an audience, new internet friends, or just the possibility of getting feedback on your own writing, blogging can provide these healing events.
    • When you blog, you become a member of another community: the internet. This can be healing if you feel alone or are seeking camaraderie.
  7. Blogging frees you. Being honest and telling the truth about how you feel is liberating. Throughout life, many of us have learned (or were taught) to keep our feelings and emotions under wraps. However, releasing feelings in nondestructive ways can contribute to a healthy, contented life.

As you can see, blogging will bring greater peace and contentment to you as you process your experiences. And when you blog, you also stand to touch the lives of others through your online writing. Perhaps the best part of all, though, is that you can start today!

Manage Self-Talk and Improve Your Life

Self-talk is an integral constant in your life. You start talking to yourself when you wake up in the morning and don’t stop until you fall asleep at night. Who would’ve thought you had so much to say? Right? But you do!

When self-talk is positive and helpful, amazing things can happen. When self-talk is negative, life can be much more challenging than it has to be.

Like much of who you are, your style of self-talk is a habit that has been molded by your experiences and environment. Imagine how your life could change for the better if you were able to alter your self-talk into something more supporting and encouraging.

You can start living that life today! Just follow these simple steps to get started:

1. Make a list of your negative self-talk phrases and attitudes. For 24 hours, record everything you say to yourself that isn’t supportive, regardless of whether or not you think it’s true. Here are a few examples to get you thinking:

• “He would never want to talk to me.”
• “I’m not good enough for that.”
• “I could never do that.”
• “Things will never get better.”

2. Prioritize your list. Which items have the greatest negative impact on your life and your sense of happiness? Put the list in order, from greatest negative impact to least.

• Prioritizing is important because it will naturally force you to spend your time on the most important items.

3. Create a new list. Now that you’ve made your list, you’re going to improve it. Convert at least the first 10 items on your list into positive thoughts. If you’re feeling motivated, you can rewrite as many more as you like.

Even if you don’t believe the new, positive idea, just change it into a positive version. For example, “I could never do that” changes to, “I can do anything I set my mind to.”

4. Change your thinking. Now, for the challenging part. Each time you catch yourself engaging in self-talk matching an item from your list, substitute the new self-talk expression.

• Be diligent at all times. Considering how many times you may have said the negative item to yourself, this new practice will require a lot of attention. The good news is that over time, the positive things you say to yourself will become a habit, too!

5. Move further down the list. After you’ve conquered the 10 most negative items, look at the list and consider how it would improve your life to change those remaining negative self-talk items. You may have formed such positive habits with your first 10 items that the rest of them might not really be applicable anymore!

Self-talk will always be there, so it will benefit you to exercise some control over it. Anything you hear over and over again, you start to believe. That’s the way our minds work.

The first step to gaining that control is to monitor your thoughts and feelings. Then the necessary steps can be taken to change it for the better. As with all habits, these self-talk patterns can be challenging to change, but doing so will really boost your happiness. Get started today!