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I couldn’t get through the heaviness of it all.
My life, my responsibilities, my divorce. I just felt overwhelmed and like I didn’t deserve anything good in my life.
Do you ever feel like that?
Hopeless, worthless, undeserving? I felt so alone in all these feelings.
I know I shouldn’t feel like that, but I couldn’t help it. It was probably the fifth night I spent crying myself to sleep. The gamut of horrible thoughts ran through my head like a stampede.
When you’re in an abusive relationship (read my story of domestic violence here), you get used to the outside voices dragging you down. So use to it that the inner voices start to mimic those voices.
20 years of listening to those voices and you soon realize that this endeavor of silencing those inner voices is going to take some serious work. However, if I’m going to survive this thing called life I need to work on my own happiness and pronto!
Step One: Decide
Make the decision to get better.
I know this seems super simple and in theory, it totally should be. However, when we’re on that negative freight train that has no breaks, just making a decision can be an accomplishment.
Once you get this first step down, next it’s time to implement.
Step 2: Affirmations
I’ve tried these in the past to no avail. I just felt ridiculous doing them. Plus the things I was saying I didn’t believe.
Now I know the whole point of doing affirmations is to tell yourself things over and over again until you believe them. But after 20 years of self-depreciation, I didn’t believe myself.
I didn’t feel like I deserved it.
But the secret is to find affirmations your brain can agree with. I found affirmations that were true or at least that I could believe and then work up to bigger and better affirmations.
For example, I had this recurring guilt that I wasn’t a good enough mom. At first, I tried “I am an amazing mom and my kids love me.” But I wasn’t believing it, no matter how hard I tried. I mean, I knew my kids loved me, but I wasn’t near the place where I thought I was an “amazing mom”.
So I started with something completely factual.
“I’m a mom and I’m doing my best”.
[click_to_tweet tweet=”‘I’m a mom and I’m doing my best.’ Read why you deserve to be happy and 5 steps to get there. #mentalhealthawareness” quote=”‘I’m a mom and I’m doing my best.’ ” theme=”style4″]
I kept repeating that to myself. I even said it during those trying times where I was struggling with being a parent. Kids don’t always make that easy for us, especially when we’re struggling with personal issues of our own and have a hard time taking care of ourselves. Let alone a tiny whiny person demanding your attention 24/7.
Saying a factual affirmation, totally worked. Eventually, I worked my way up to “I’m an amazing mom doing my best to raise decent young beings”.
Click below to get a free download of affirmations you could use.
Step 3: Forgive Yourself
Holy crap this was THE MOST DIFFICULT thing to do! I didn’t cut myself any slack in this department.
I think it was how I was raised. No wait, it was EXACTLY how I was raised. This was a survival pattern.
I saw all the adults around me being hard on me, hard on themselves, hard on others, bringing up past grudges, not letting go of things someone else may have done to them.
The translation to me was that I needed to be hard on myself and stay stuck in my guilt of things that I had done wrong.
You can always hear wise people tell you, forgive those even if they don’t ask for forgiveness.
You’re not doing it for them, you’re doing it for you.
Well, the same goes in forgiving yourself.
Except you ARE doing this for yourself. You need to let go of whatever crap you’re holding on to.
Forgive yourself, move on and live in the now. If you need some help with this you should read this post.
Step 4: Live in the Present
I heard a quote recently that really resonated with me.
“If you are depressed you are living in the past and if you’re anxious you’re living in the future. If you have peace, you are living in the present.” ~Lao Tzu
[click_to_tweet tweet=”‘If you are depressed you are living in the past and if you’re anxious you’re living in the future. If you have peace, you are living in the present.’ ~Lao Tzu” quote=”‘If you are depressed you are living in the past and if you’re anxious you’re living in the future. If you have peace, you are living in the present.’ ~Lao Tzu” theme=”style3″]
Of course, depression and anxiety can be more than just that.
In the last few years, I’ve learned a lot about depression and anxiety. The best way to heal these mental illnesses is to heal the emotional trauma that caused them. I’ve come to view depression and anxiety as symptoms of something much bigger…
Once you realize the truth in this, it’s easier to deal with both depression and anxiety. You may have just used coping mechanisms to get past those things so you can live in peace, aka the present.
However, coping mechanisms are only a temporary solution.
The happiness you seek exists right now. The life you want, the money you want to make, the relationships you want to have. They already exist in the universe right now, you just need to wake up to them to realize how to get those things.
I’m sure you’re wondering how?
The best way to dissolve these “symptoms” (aka depression and anxiety) is by healing your past emotional trauma.
Once you’ve healed your trauma the more practiced you become to live in the present. You can be focused on looking for opportunities for the future instead of dwelling in the past.
Step 5: Gratitude
It can be difficult to be grateful when so many things in your life may be going wrong.
But I want to point out something to you. Do you ever notice that when bad things happen they seem to snowball?
Do you know why that is?
It’s because we’re focusing on all those negatives, therefore, attracting more negativity.
Have you noticed the opposite happen? Where did things start to go right in our life?
We get married, get a new house, get a new car, get a raise at work and all of it can happen in a short period of time. It’s because that’s where our energy is focused.
To be able to attract awesome things we need to redirect our focus to positive things so that we can attract more positive energy to us.
How do we switch our focus to positive when bad things are happening?
It seems simple, right? Well, it is. And yet, we simply just forget to do it.
That’s why I highly suggest starting a gratitude journal or working it into your current planner.
Make this a priority daily.
Reflect on these things you are grateful for and the awesome things that happened each week.
Take some actionable steps in your own happiness and join our 5 Day Bliss Challenge!! You will learn …
- Brain dumping
- Goal Setting
- Taking time for yourself
- The one trick I use to beat anxiety
- Paying it forward
- Gratitude (with a free printable Brainstorm Guide)