Tag Archives: happiness

Look after your mind

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I listened to this beautiful TED talk yesterday, about emotional hygiene, and it struck me that we actually never learn how to deal with our emotions. We might get taught how to handle our minds at a later stage in our life, if it’s considered necessary. Like if you act out or get depressed. And when we think it is necessary is when our minds finally have had enough, we cant bare it much longer and it starts to show on the outside. Then society thinks that it’s appropriate to teach you how to deal with your emotions. Not if you are just “normal”. When we are young we get taught that all emotions doesn’t fit in everywhere. We get in trouble if we are angry or sad when we are in public. Happiness is for the public; sadness and anger are for loneliness, when no one is there. Be happy and behave is the common ground for kids, that’s where they all should meet. And in school if you are angry and act out, you get written up and yelled at.

It’s not that crazy to understand why the world is crazy. Guy Winch talks about how we get taught as kids to look after our bodies. Brush our teeth and disinfect and put bandage on wounds, but we never get taught how to take care of our minds. What happens if you feel sad but don’t know why you are sad? Or when you feel lonely even when you are surrounded by people? How do you deal with anger and depression? This is foreign ground for so many of us, and we have to try to figure this shit out ourselves. No wonder so many people self medicate with drugs, alcohol or other obsessions. We get taught to nurse a wound with alcohol and bandages. There must be something similar for emotions, right?

You don’t have to be depressed to benefit from knowing how to take care of your mind. If we brush our teeth twice per day, shower with soap and put lotion on once per day, shouldn’t we do the same to our mind? Clean it our, freshen it up, nurse it.

fighting bad body images

IMG_0375I’ve been thinking about body image lately. And how we view our own bodies. I can only speak for myself here, but I can also relate to how my fellow girls speak about their own bodies, and act around the subject. It’s quite frustrating living in a world, in a society where the body is constantly rated. Good bum, big hips, broad shoulders, love handles, thigh gaps etc. I am constantly aware about how I feel in my body, its always on my mind. Do I feel fat or slim, bloated or relaxed. And maybe it’s good to be aware of how you feel, but when the reason you are aware of your body is because of pure looks, you should probably start being aware of your awareness.

We get taught by society to talk our bodies down. If a girl in my school gave another girl a compliment about her body and she said “thank you” and accepted the compliment without saying something negative about herself, she would be looked upon like she was the most arrogant woman in the world. How fucked up is that? I hear it all the time, working in the fitting rooms at work. You give someone a compliment and they quickly raise the compliment with something they hate about their bodies. How can we make this go away? How can we just agree that the body is just a body, that it’s not a measurement that measure how much you are worth as a human. So many times I let my body decide how I’ll feel and show up. If I feel unhappy with my body I wont relax, I shut down and I feel useless. When I’m happy with my body I can handle almost anything. What would happen if there wasn’t a standard body to correct oneself after. What if we all accepted the beauty in difference? Would we find it easier to just love then?

 

How to act as if…

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In all the happiness books I read there is one thing that you simply can’t miss. They all come back to act as how you want to feel, and act as what you want is already in your possession. No doubts it works. Your body language can trick your brain into feeling happy, sad or whatever you want to feel.

But I find this super hard to do sometimes when I’m down. It’s like my body wants to feel down for a little while. And that’s ok I guess. But then, the contrasts might be so clear for me because of the industry I work in. You simply cannot afford to be grumpy at my job. It’s all about happiness and love. No room for sadness and anger. Maybe this is why I feel so frustrated sometimes, because in so many situations at work I have to make that switch when my body don’t want to?

Another thing is living as if you already have your dreams in your possession. Doing this can make you feel like you are on top of everything. That you can make everything happen. But sometimes it can frustrate the shit out of me. I’m a person who wants answers, and when I don’t have them I sometimes don’t believe that they exist. I mean I know that they do, but how will I get those answers. How will I know what to do? Because sometimes I most surely don’t know.

When reverse engineering dreams or plans or goals it all comes back to actions. Frustration will take us nowhere, if we don’t turn that frustration into grit and hunger. If the smallest actions can take you one step closer to your goal, take them.

Sometimes my goals seem so far away, and I wonder if everything I do is just a wast of time. But then I remember that I should only do the things that I truly enjoy even if they don’t go anywhere. I do things that I’ll look back on and know that even if it didn’t turned out how I was hoping it would I at least enjoyed creating it and working on it. And if you enjoy doing something; it’s never a waste of time!

Chasing goals

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It seems like when I need it the most something always forces me to sit down and reset my goals. Today it was at work. I sometimes laugh at my own goals because they can seem a bit hard to achieve from where I’m standing today. I’m planning something of which I have no idea how to even beguine to reach. But that must be what separate us from each other. What you do proceed to chase after until it’s in your possession?

My goals at the moment frustrates me a lot, because I haven’t made anything concrete happen in order for me to move closer to them. I’m stranded. I’m here and scared to take actions. Scared to become a joke. But if it is my dream, should I care if trying to achieve them would turn me into a joke? If I truly try, then that cannot make me a joke, because it would be a joke not to try. After all they are my dreams. Never have anyone regretted that they went for something they truly believed in. ever.

Talking to people around me, friends and colleagues made me understand that I can achieve this if I want to. And to put my goals out there, outside my brain and get others take on my goals opened up new pathways on which I could walk.

So today I’m making plans. Plans for the future and then I’m breaking down my plans into smaller plans. In the next year I will grow my writing business, finish writing my first book and be in charge of selling a new Swedish product here in Australia. They are my one year goals. Oh, and taking that fucking driver’s license that I’m an expert to avoid practising for.

If I finish one chapter a month for my book, I’ll achieve one goal.

If I start networking and connecting to other writers and writing required businesses I will achieve another.

After all, these goals are mine, and no one will achieve them except me. I am the one who has to take actions, I am the one who as to ask for help when I need help. I am the one with these dreams, and I am the one who will live those dreams in the future.

I’ve felt so lost the last couple of days. I haven’t known what I want to do or how to get there. I haven’t known what I identify myself with and how to choose happiness. Sitting down and work out what I want and getting people to help me figure out the next steps really helped me ground myself. I now feel like I’ve gotten back my drive. I want to do this, so I will.

When the power of choice get thrown back in your face

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I do believe in the power of choice. I’ve said it a million times. That you can choose happiness. I’ve believed it even when I didn’t know how. I’ve believed it even when I haven’t believed it.

When I’m frustrated, feeling down or angry and someone tells me to choose, I feel like I sometimes have to choose anger. Or sadness. I don’t know how to choose happiness, in that moment.

Is it true that you have to feel sadness sometimes, in order to be able to feel happiness? Or is it just what society wants us to think? I feel like I always have to choose happiness, because that is what I’m all about. But sometimes it feels kind of nice to be angry, relieving to cry and easy to just be a bit down. I think that I need all of my emotions at some point, but the challenge is to also know how to snap out of it. It can be easy to be stuck there I mean. If you know how to let out your emotions, turn the tap on, but then have the power to say “enough”, that’s the key to choosing.

When someone tells me to choose in a moment of anger or sadness I feel like punching myself and that person in the face at the same time, although I know this is what I believe. What if I want to choose anger. What if I need to choose anger? Then I will do it. I will be angry and sad, so that after that I can genuinely choose happiness again.

Motivation

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Sometimes it can be hard to understand that what keeps me motivated might not be what give someone else his or her drive. It can be frustrating, especially since you spend so much time in your own head.

What used to motivate me was also the thing that drove me crazy. That perfect body. It wasn’t so much a motivator when I think back at it, it wasn’t like I got heaps of energy and willingness to be healthy and move. It steered up more frustration than motivation. The ideal body wasn’t a golden carrot to keep me happily going, it was a panic and frustration since I was convinced that I couldn’t enjoy life unless that body was already in my possession. So the perfect body controlled me, consumed me.

What motivate me now are health, energy and happiness. I want to feel good. It’s amazing to now have got feeling good as a top-motivator. When the perfect body was the only answer to happiness I couldn’t fulfil my health needs, nor my energy needs. I couldn’t eat what gave me energy and fullness because that, ridiculously, contradicted my fight for my ideal body.

I understand now that it’s important to have goals that are aligned with one another. I’ve always thought that my goals in life were supporting each other. But I see now that they were actually contradicting goals. Sometimes there is just the finest of lines between support and something totally working towards what you are investing your time in, your life in.

I understand now that it’s important to be clear with what you actually want, and why you want it. The why has to be as clear as the want, and the how will soon fall into place. When the why and the want are on the same page, how is never a question, because the why and want is enough motivation to kill all confusion. Even when the how is hiding, the motivation is there to make you look through all hidden places, no matter how long it will take. To find that how.

The hormonal hurricane

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This Monday morning was a little harder for me than usual. This monthly hormonal roller-coaster is playing up again. Taking me for a ride. The power of choice, and the fact that I believe that we are in control of our emotions immediately gets questioned. Are we really? Do we really have a choice? When I’m crying over nothing, get fumingly angry over the smallest thing, can I control this? Can I actively choose to be calm? Choose not to get upset? Even when I feel so strongly in my body?

I’ve come to the conclusion that hormonal roller-coasters happen, and I can’t control that. I can’t control my feelings and emotions. I can only be aware of them, and be aware of the fact that I’m in my mid-cycle hurricane of hormones and emotions. When I’m being aware of my surroundings, in this case, an emotional hurricane, I can choose what to focus on, and I can choose how I’ll deal with it.

I panic because I’m scared I’ve lost my passion for life, and my passions in life

A person like me, who constantly try to search for happiness in every situation struggle a bit with this. And my initial feelings towards this hurricane is panic. I panic because this is not how I recognize myself. I panic because I’m scared I’ve lost my passion for life, and my passions in life. Nothing feels magnetic to me. I’m scared because I’m angry. I’m angry because I’m scared.

But then I remember. This happens every month. Although it’s not as strong and windy every month, it happens. Even though it doesn’t feel like I’ll bounce out of bed ever again, or feel those bubbles of happiness in my body and brain, the smart part of my brain knows that this is a temporary storm. This too will pass. Why not try to find some enjoyment and calm in this hormonal chaos?

I might not be able to choose my emotions, or feelings, but I can choose what I’ll do with them

After I’d been angry, I cried. And then I had to get my blood flow up. I knew that I needed to make my heart pump. I could feel it. I think it told me. Immediately after just jumping up and down a little (which was hard to do at start because my brain and tortured face did not feel like bouncing at all) and my heart started pumping and my breath got deeper and faster, I could breathe. I might not be able to choose my emotions, or feelings, but I can choose what I’ll do with them. I can allow them to go through my system, release them, but then also let go of them.

Sometimes it is hard to let go of feelings of anger and sadness, but I’ve learnt that you just have to snap out of it. Change walking pace, change living pace, get in a cold shower, jump up or down a little. Juts chock your body and mind, and then return to that peace of mind that is happy even though you’re emotions might not be. Peace of mind let you experience and allow all emotions, and make the best out of them, with happiness even in sadness or anger. Emotions are all a part of life. All of them equally important. Or happiness might be slightly more important…. I think.

I trust future me

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One of the biggest stress factors in my life is me stressing about the future. Not in a “what if I’ll be struggling in 15 years” way. I stress about the near future. I have something I need to do Friday for example, then my brain rush through heaps of different scenarios, thinking what could go wrong; I start to plan everything in detail, from breakfast to dinner on that day to make everything work smooth… What I don’t realise is that I create so much stress for myself, planning and creating stories.

The unexpected can actually be something I could enjoy

When Friday comes, everything just works out smoothly. The only thing that might make me stressed on the day would be if I tried to stick to the plan that I made up in my head days before. That I created in a stressed state of mind. If I would just go with the flow of the day, stress would be non-excising, and I could instead enjoy the beauty of the day. I could see things. Be spontaneous. Enjoy the unexpected. The unexpected can actually be something I could enjoy. Crazy. The unexpected usually freaks me out. What if. What if. what if. Yes, what if? The world will not end. Worst case I’ll experience something new that I don’t love. But then I’ve learnt that. That I don’t love this. It’s like I think that the unexpected could take me to palaces that I have no idea how to get back from. It could lure me away from my life. My plan.

I think that present me is the idiot in this scenario

In the end it’s just present me, not trusting future me. Present me thinks that it has to plan everything for future me, because she might be stupid and totally uncoordinated. Instead of just focusing on everything present me can focus on in the present moment, Present me live in the future hypothetical moment, and when the future come, there will be another hypothetical experience that present me thinks future me will be too stupid to handle. I don’t know about you, but I think that present me is the idiot in this scenario. Because she is missing out of the beauty of life. When it happens.

I just have to trust that when things happen, good and bad, I will act to the best of my ability then. I won’t become an idiot over a day. I can’t stress about what is about to happen, or what could happen or what could’ve happened, now. It’s pointless. It is. What I can do now, is the only thing I want to focus on. Future me will deal with the rest of my life. I trust her. She cool.

The change from inside

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I don’t know how many times people have told me, begged me, to understand that I don’t need to work out hard every day. That in fact, working out hard without letting your muscles relax is tearing your muscles down, rather than strengthening them and building them up. Probably every person I’ve talked to ever about nutrition has told me not to be afraid of carbs. The good kind. Not sugar, wheat and gluten obviously.

If I had made a nutrition and workout program for someone else I wouldn’t have made anyone live like how I’ve been living the past ten years of my life. My lifestyle has gone from one extreme to another, and even though I’m well informed about what a balanced life would look like I have never followed my own advice. I’ve been hard on myself. Not giving myself any rest. I have been worth nothing if I didn’t follow my strict rules. The funny thing is that none of my rules or extreme ways of living and taking care of myself has taken me to where I want to be, neither physically nor mentally.

Rules apply to everyone but me

What I’ve learnt from this is that how much you want to change other people or yourself you cannot do it simply by telling them what’s right or wrong. I’ve known my whole life what’s good and what’s bad. But when it comes to me, I for some reason think that the rules don’t apply. People shouldn’t lift weights and train the same muscles every day without rest. But I have to because otherwise…. I don’t love myself? People really benefit from eating those good carbs, like the once in beans, vegetables and fruit. But if I eat them I’ll blow up. Rules apply to everyone but me. How can people misguide themselves so much? That to me is a mystery.

It’s also frustrating to try to defend your way of living when deep down you know you wouldn’t recommend someone else to do what you do. Adrian always asks me if I’ve worked out today, and I always say “No, only reformer Pilates” or “No, I just went for a 10km run” or “No, I just did some weight lifting at home”. This used to drive him insane. But it’s like, if I know I should let my body rest, then if I pretend that my workouts are just fluffy I don’t have to count them as a work out. And then I can justify, in my head, to work out the next day too. So that I can love myself every day. So that my brain ghosts can shut up every day. So that my mind can be calm every day.

Don’t get me wrong here. I believe that everybody should move. Every day. The more the better. But moving and being active isn’t the same as having to go up 4.45 am to lift some weights and do some jump squats just so that one can survive the day without feeling guilty, gross useless or totally lost.

I cannot describe the peace I feel inside my body and brain right now

What I’ve learnt from this is that all changes comes from inside. This is something I have been through, and probably had to go through in order to find my balance. I don’t want to blow my own horn to early, but I cannot describe the peace I feel inside my body and brain right now. It’s been a week of no crazy workouts every day. Only walks and one, fucking crazy, boxing session (witch I love for other reasons than to shape-my-body-reasons). I’ve understood that a plant-based diet is what all body’s benefit from and I haven’t been counting any carbs in my meals. I’ve just been eating raw colorful food that I know will make my body and gut laugh with excitement.

Not having to do stuff so that I can then do what I love and love what I do

I sometimes hear a vague voice telling me that I’ll go fat and sluggish and that I need to burn calories or I’ll get no love. But then I calmly tell that silly self-destructive voice that that simply cannot happen if I eat clean raw food and move. Do what I love. Not having to do stuff so that I can then do what I love and love what I do.

I’ve learnt to not satisfy negative brain thoughts, but elevating happy, positive and calm thoughts. If my brain tells me that I have to go for a run or I’ll get fat and unhappy, I shouldn’t listen. But if my legs feel like running and my brain want’s to follow, I’ll run.

Buried with guilt

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For people who have high expectations on themselves, and who live with the belief that other people expect a lot from them, guilt can be a very present feeling. I, myself, experience feelings of guilt on a daily basis. It’s not as bad as it used to be. I think I was born feeling guilty. When I used to unload the dishwasher I could feel so guilty for the glasses I didn’t use as much as the other ones. I apologised to them and tried to make sure that the unused ones ended up in the front of the cabinet. I couldn’t and still cannot bear to lie to people. That guilt can bury me alive.

What can you do with those shitty feelings of guilt? They don’t do any good. No one benefits from them, because they don’t change anything. Guilt is usually about what has happened, therefore feelings of guilt is about the past. The past you cannot change. I suppose guilt can be present in the now, and you can also feel guilty about something that is about to happen, but the emotion is not changing the reality. It’s useless.

I usually feel guilty about the past. About shit I have no control over today. It ties up with forgiveness I believe. If I can forgive myself for things I’ve done in the past the guilt should disappear. I have to forgive myself for not living up to all my own and others expectations. It’s ok. Life happens. If I constantly live my life with guilt, I’m not living in the moment, in the now, and that’s not a life I want to live.

Forgiveness is something I need to work on. I need to understand that things people do has nothing to do with me, even if it can feel quite personal sometimes. I have to forgive myself for not being perfect. I have to celebrate the fact that I’m not perfect. Because that would be boring as fuck. If I can celebrate me not being perfect, then I can understand that other people aren’t perfect, and then we can celebrate together. We can be free together. Love together.