Psychological well-being is something which most of us have a right to. Depression, anxiety, and stress appear to be the significant obstacles to just feeling great – judging from the amount of visits to doctors for help with these issues. It does not really matter what the tag is for your specific issue, if you follow the seven steps, there’ll be an improvement on your general sense of wellbeing.
They have to be taken in sequence. Total mastery isn’t required, but the opportunity to proceed is when you are feeling, or find a feeling, that some movement has occurred inside your mind.
- Acceptance is the single most important step to take. Acceptance is giving up being a victim. Acceptance is giving up giving up. Acceptance is a statement of intent to proceed with life as opposed to continue to stagnate and blame individuals or circumstances for how things are.
- Acceptance is the shift towards accepting that whatever is happening in your life is your duty. It’s recognising that you’re where you are because of the choices you’ve made in life. And if this means you need to accept the mad idea that you made a decision to suffer from a physical illness, you then do precisely that – take it.
- Acceptance is no more fighting. Once you no longer struggle, you do not resist. Once you do not resist you can proceed with the flow. Each and every thing, large or small, good or bad, you just say to yourself “I accept that this is going on for me right now”.
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You do not have to like it. You don’t need to maintain it forever. You just need to accept it at the present moment if it is there. The fact remains that it is there whether you take it. So by accepting you’re not making matters worse, as you have already got it. You’re only changing your position in regard to it. Accept also that the thinking that got you where you are is not likely to get you out – it might have already done so. You want to believe differently. Acceptance is believing differently.
Acceptance is approaching the issue with wisdom. If you’re so frightened you can not go outside without a companion, and even then you’re terrified, then just accept that that’s how you are right now. You don’t need to understand why you’re like that, you only have to acknowledge it. You could always find something to say to yourself that’s accepting. Guilt is something we’re taught to experience. Whatever you did or did not do would be done or not done.
Feeling bad about it can not undo it. This manner of guilt is a belief in a Time Machine. It’s engaging in fantasy. What’s in the past is in the past. Either own up and take the consequences, or do not. Choose which it is to be and then consign the encounter to the past where it belongs and shift your attention into the present moment.
Emotional blackmail is another way guilt is usually experienced. Just quit playing that game. If you take responsibility for your own feelings, then you have to allow others to do the same. Do what you would like to do and so long as you’re not emotionally or physically harming others then that is ok. Someone sulking because you’re having more fun than them won’t do them any injury. When you give in to emotional blackmail you’re effectively walking around with a big sign on your back saying – Abuse me, I do not mind.
This is among the most troublesome measures to master, so remember mastery isn’t the objective. The actual difficulty with expressing appreciation is that many folks feel uneasy when appreciation is expressed for something they’ve done “it was nothing”, “do not mention it”, “anyone could have done it”. Let’s say you choose to get a present for someone you love (not a sexual partner, a friend) just so that they know how important they are in your lifetime. You spend a whole lot of time choosing the present. You wrap it beautifully and present it to them. They take one look and hand it back.
How would you feel?
Most people would feel at least a bit hurt. Appreciation is a gift. Appreciation is a gift of love. When somebody does something for you that you like – tell them. Money is a excellent way to express appreciation. Buy from those that you appreciate. Send donations. Offer payment where none is anticipated. And as you begin to express appreciation increasingly more in your lifetime you may find one day that when someone provides that gift of appreciation to you, you won’t reject it you’ll accept it with “thanks, that’s really nice of you to say”. However much exercise you get you can always increase it.
There’s a lot of truth in the old adage – A healthy mind in a healthy body. Exercise is your expression of admiration for your body. Your body is such a miraculous creation – so complicated, so unbelievably amazing – it would be a rejection in the deepest level for one to dismiss its physical well-being. It doesn’t matter how unfit you are.
You may always exercise more than you’re doing. Exercise releases endorphins. You feel better after exercise. The benefits are cumulative. It supplies more oxygen to the brain, creates more alertness, awakens the immune system and so makes it much easier to fight pathogens. But first and foremost it establishes a subject and routine that’s often lacking when mental health is poor. This change alone will improve the circumstance. Should you have any physical health problems then seek your doctor’s advice about exercise.
Everyone is a creative being. Stifling our creative outlet contributes to poor mental health Our imagination is often stifled long before we realise what’s going on, then it seems too late since we think what we’ve been told about ourselves. Creativity is all about expressing yourself on earth. If you make a simple, poorly written story with atrocious spelling and bad grammar, then you’ve expressed yourself creatively. Your creative works do not need to be viewed by others. Others are inclined to judge, and should you choose to create in a place where others have much greater experience then your creation won’t initially withstand comparison. But that does not mean that you should not do it.
Photography and gardening have been loves of mine since I was 14. I chose to combine both interests and my photos developed a clearly horticultural slant. At one stage I wanted to share them with the world and offered them for sale. It was a while before I made my first sale, and some time before one of my pictures adorned the cover of a magazine. One day I looked back at those first photos I offered. I felt ashamed at the bad quality – compared to my work. But it was only by taking a growing number of pictures, considering what was being printed, and constantly improving I achieved my dream of a picture on a magazine cover. But the important thing was that I liked what I was doing.
I didn’t need to reveal them to the world. I didn’t need to set them in the marketplace compared with other people that had much greater skill and experience than I. But I did need to take the pictures. It was a part of who I was and how I had to express myself. My pleasure stems in the picture taking, taking a look at the images, and always seeking ways to become more proficient at my craft.
Express yourself in something which you like to do. Show it only in case you would like to, but do not stop doing this while you love what you do. In a sense that follows on from the previous step. It’s the logical result of expressing yourself through everything you love to do. Now lest you’re becoming worried that I might ask you to do something that you can not do – like find another job – I never ask anyone to do what they can not do. I might, however, ask you to ask yourself what exactly is it that’s stopping you from doing this.
At least that way you can move towards an endorsement of the barrier to happiness. From time to time I ask that the people I experience”If you could do whatever you wanted to do, do you choose your present livelihood?” . I’ve yet to meet somebody who answered’yes’ to this question. Those folks are out there. They simply don’t have to come back to see me. People tend to either despise what they do, but it is all they could get in the way of work; or their job is fine, but they are getting too much money to give it up and do something interesting for a living.
Look to how you feel when you wake up in the morning on a workday. Is there some excitement or feeling of anticipation or excited about the challenges of the day ahead? This is an excellent sign. If there’s dread, a wishing for the day to be over, fatigue, or a general lack of excitement – then something needs to change, either the job or the attitude towards it. Return to step one and accept whatever it is that you are engaged in right now.
Accept that you want to do something more fun but you don’t know how to cause the change, or you’re fearful of taking the necessary actions. That’s all. As best you can find little pleasures in what you do – even if it’s only the appreciation for the way the income makes life better than life could be without that income; or appreciation for the fantastic feeling that comes from making a donation that benefits someone, somewhere. And then create a list of all of the things you love to do.
Then write a dream job description for an income-generating job doing all those items on your list. Then find a way to do one of those things you like to do for free. Meditation is a mind/body regenerating exercise. Aim originally for 10 minutes after a day at a regular time and place. If you’ve got such a busy schedule that you haven’t got 10 minutes to spare then I’ll let you know how you can make 10 minutes from nothing.
But I know you won’t do it, because”I have not got time for 10 minutes meditation daily” is just an excuse to avoid coming face to face with yourself. There are loads of articles and books on meditation so I won’t enter the technique here. But I would also like you to think about this in part I’m suggesting quiet space for one to unwind and give up the busy-ness in your thoughts for a couple of minutes on a daily basis. This is a regenerating action.