We’ve all been here at some point in our lives: bills to pay, mouths to feed, deadlines to meet, basically just going through the rat race we call life.
We are always worrying about where to go to next or what we need to do next, that we often forget about ourselves in the process.
Take a second to breathe
We also forget about the present moment because we are anxious about the future or worrying about the past.
It is impossible to go back and change the past.
We can’t fast forward to the future or stop time either.
The only thing we can control is the present. If you knew that today was your last day alive, would you still spend it doing the things you are doing today?
Just stop for a minute and breathe. Remember the time you thought you couldn’t get something done but you did? Did all that time you spent stressing about it help?
Sometimes we set the bar so high for ourselves that we create unnecessary stress which does absolutely nothing for us.
I want to remind you that mental health is so important. Without our minds, we don’t have anything neither can we do anything.
What value do you get from your negative emotions?
Looking back, I recall when I was waiting for my travel visa which only arrived two days before I could fly out. I stressed every day until I received that visa.
In retrospect, it was really silly for me to do that. No amount of stressing could have changed the result. I was being so hard on myself about something that wasn’t in my control.
I am sure there were times when you have been unreasonably hard on yourself too, but you shouldn’t be. Things will unfold as they are supposed to.
It’s human nature to have negative emotions within you, but what value is negative emotions giving you?
Your thoughts control your actions, so if your thoughts are out of control, it will also impact your actions. The first step to controlling your life is learning how to control your mind.
Here are five ways to stop being so hard on yourself:
- 1. Let go of what happened in the past
Stop beating yourself up for something you cannot change. We all make mistakes and did things we are not proud of. But do you really want to pay for the same mistake over and over again?
We can only begin to heal when we accept and let go.
If you are angry at someone for something they did, the only person that suffers is you. You will lead yourself to overthinking and creating scenarios in your mind that doesn’t exist.
If you are frustrated with yourself about something you could have done differently, forgive yourself for not knowing better and make an effort to do things differently in future.
Being gentle, forgiving and understanding towards ourselves is something that takes practice but is worth our sanity.
- 2. Practice self-compassion
Understand that what others say or do has nothing to do with you.
If someone is being directly or indirectly horrible towards you, that person is probably going through something in their own lives.
Tell yourself that you are not the problem, remind yourself that you are loved and appreciated. Allow yourself to feel the feelings but don’t live in those feelings.
When we learn to understand and practice kindness towards ourselves, we also begin to understand why others do the things they do.
For example, you are more than likely to argue with someone when you are angry rather than when you are excited or happy about something. Hurt people hurt people. Don’t take anything personally.
- 3. Don’t tolerate less than you deserve
Don’t allow people to come into your life and make you feel uncomfortable. Be mindful of the people you surround yourself with.
There will always be those that are negative, let them be negative, but you can choose to walk away.
When you love yourself, you start to let go of everything that drags you down.
In the past, I allowed others to control my mind without realising it. I had low self-esteem and this held me back from doing many things that I thought I couldn’t do.
Now that I stopped judging myself, I never allow anyone else to disrespect me. If people want to judge me, they can because I won’t believe them anyway.
I’m becoming more grounded in my own being and that is something that nobody can take away from me.
- 4. Step out of your comfort zone
Do something you’ve always wanted to do. I’m learning a new language and I can tell you that even though my vocabulary is limited, it is so empowering to be able to understand people when they speak and it’s even more amazing to reply to them in their own language.
Do things that scare you and break your norms. I am not saying that you should out and do something illegal, I am saying that whatever you love but too afraid to do is probably the thing you should be doing.
Too many times, we wait…for more money, less commitments, better circumstances, and before we know it, we are still working in the same job for a decade.
We only get one life.
Using what we have to create our circumstances instead of being a victim of our circumstances will be the hardest thing we do, but it will also give us the highest sense of achievement.
- 5. Live in the moment
This is an important one. Can you feel your heart beating? Take a second to be aware of where you are now and what you are feeling.
This is your life, you will not have it forever, even though it may seem like it now. So, appreciate what you have right now, in this moment. Live your life, make time for things that matter.
Instead of sacrificing your family time for working overtime in job you hate, evaluate your priorities.
Your highest priorities should be what gets the most of your time.
When you die, you will be replaced at your job but your loved ones will never be able to replace you. Appreciate the present moment and all the small moments that, in reality, are actually the big moments.
Don’t live with regrets about not doing what you wanted to do. My point is, we need to start taking better care of ourselves now.
We have lots of other stuff adding pressure to our daily lives, let’s not be the source of our own pressure.