For the most part we inherit our opinions. We are the heirs of habits and mental customs. Our beliefs, like the fashion of our clothes, depend on where we were born. We are molded and fashioned by our surroundings, and can sometimes get locked into the prison of our minds.
Tell me about what your main goal in life is? I’m sure, it’s the same as mine as it is for many people around the world, and that is to be happy.
To be happy is so easy, right? Well, like most things in life it’s never really as easy as it seems – you would think it would be? And if you suffer from a mental illness, it can be a tad harder to achieve that than the average person, regularly.
I know that when I am going through a good, stable and positive flow in my life, and everything is feeling so good around me, and I’m feeling so happy – somehow that little tiny voice at the back of my head decides to echo through to the front and whisper, “I’m feeling so happy right now” I pause at the self-acknowledgement I’ve just made and then another little voice immediately appears and says, “I shouldn’t say that out loud because something will take it away”.
Lo and behold, that little ripple of self-doubt starts to make its way through loud and clear and soon enough that happiness is stolen through a mental habit thought. Arghhhh!
The thoughts that pass through our heads are quite powerful. They can convince us to take risks, to go for our dreams or they can convince us quite easily, to give up and to give into the fear.
So how can we break those mental habits that steal our happiness? Here are some ways that can help you to avoid it or break the chain quicker:
💭 Self-Criticism & Self-Judgement
Since I can remember, I have been the worst critic of my own self. I often tell my husband and close friends, that I am my own worst enemy. I belittle and put myself down and put more pressure on myself more than anyone else.
It doesn’t help that with social media an every-daily strong presence in our life, we are constantly told in conspicuous ways through advertising and the media, that by looking a certain way, we could be happier or if we made more money, we could be even more happier and that to be successful is a true definition of happiness. Bah!
When something in our life goes wrong or it didn’t go a certain way, we immediately blame ourselves that we basically, fucked it all up. That it’s our fault that it all turned to shit. I’m here to tell you, that it’s not.
We all make mistakes, its human nature. No one is perfect – that seriously doesn’t exist. We just need to remember that and not to be so hard on ourselves.
Growing up we are told by teachers, managers, family members, the media – that self-criticism is the only way to learn and to be successful. Perhaps, 20% of that is true but the rest is just a load of bullshit?!
It’s actually quite the complete opposite. Being self-critical we encourage the negativity to flow through our body & soul, which then our brains focus on the negative, and that’s when we start to believe them, and our body then shuts down due to the stress we’ve caused it. Our mind is so strong that it programs itself to think negative.
Stop the self-hating right now. Flick the switch to pick up straight away that negative thought and try to think or say to yourself:
“Fuck off bad thought, you’re full of crap!”
“OK, so it didn’t work out and that’s alright, let me try it a different another way.”
Turn the negative into a positive. Learn to love yourself and more importantly, learn to forgive yourself, and know that you are worthy.
💭 Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda
We all go through some parts in our life, where we ‘should, would or could’ do something – but we don’t end up doing it. Examples such as:
– I should go to the gym
– I should eat more vegetables
– I should go vacuum the house
– I would go the dinner party but I don’t want to get dressed up
– I should get out of bed and clean the house
– I could catch up with so and so, but its too cold
When you get your mindset into beating yourself up because you should have done something better or how you stuffed it up, and you allow yourself to focus on the past, and never move forward.
As the saying goes, the past is in the past. Move on from it, leave it behind, and learn from it.
You really won’t help yourself if you keep thinking, how ‘I should have done it’, or ‘I would have done it a different way’ or ‘I could have done that for sure’. Badgering yourself won’t help you or get you anywhere. Except that you will feel like shit and take away any self-esteem you had left.
Try to change your mid-set and get out of your comfort zone. A-lot of the times when we feel like that, we are afraid of trying and moving forward. Live each day by wanting to improve and embrace it. Embrace the change. Don’t hid behind your fear and your comfort zone, face life and leave the past behind you. And if it didn’t work out, that’s OK – learn from it and move on. Accept it as a challenge.
The moment you let go of the past, is the moment you free yourself and see a world of possibilities.
💭 Comparing Yourself to Others
It’s only human nature that we all compare ourselves to someone at some point in our life. But when constant comparing becomes a regular habit, it’s sure to lead you down to place of low self-esteem and sadness. Even more so in this digital age of social media.
With the click of a social media app, it’s hard not to get sucked into the vault of comparison. Just scrolling through the feeds of the beautiful people, with the designer clothes and accessories, living their ‘seemingly’ perfect life can be demoralising. But for a blogger or influencer, it can be devasting to your work. Comparison steals away your creativity and uniqueness. I have struggled with this myself on a regular basis and I always question myself: “Why bother? It’s been all done before, I have nothing new to offer.”
Well, that couldn’t be more further from the truth. No one has lived your life or experienced the exact same things as you. Also, no one else is YOU.
By comparing ourselves to others we are disregarding the beauty of ourselves. Don’t imitate someone else’s vision for your own as that is creating a sense of false entrapment, and also it’s no good for your own self-esteem, self-growth and self-love – and really, you lose a sense of who you are.
The way to avoid comparing is to take the approach and turn it around, and think to yourself: “Am I inspired by this? What would I have done differently?” The key is to be inspired by others and not to compare ourselves which will then deflate us.
WHAT I'M WEARING
Sunglasses by Zara, frilled short sleeve top by Zara, woollen culottes by Zara and espadrilles by H&M.
Sometimes we can be our own worst enemy and sabotage our own happiness, with false impressions of thoughts. We are able to program our minds into bad behaviour such as: “I’m so ugly”, “I suck at blogging”, “Nobody needs me anymore.”
With comments/thoughts like these, you are programming your brain into believing that you’re inadequate, that you’re a fraud, dumb and/or stupid. When you focus on the negative, you are actually sending out to the universe that you want more of the negativity in your life and pretty much, you are welcoming it into your life.
As I said earlier, a simple change is needed – change the negative into a positive. Start by creating new thoughts and/or affirmations; reprogram your brain and in time, you will get to a place of balance and happiness.
So stop the self-loathing and self-hating, and learn to love yourself more and see that you are truly amazing, and worthy.
Is there a bad mental habit that you have that you would like to break? Do you have any tips that work for you? I’d love to know in the comments below xoxo