Go You Good Thing!

elmo

Becoming a better you is one of the most unselfish things you can do for yourself and your loved ones.

Did you notice I used the word “becoming” instead of “become”? We are continually evolving and learning. To our dying day, we have the opportunity to change and expand our reality.

When we have a sense of inner well-being, others can feel that in our presence, and are more apt to reflect that back to us and those around them. If we are tense and bitter, that tension reveals itself, and others may absorb those feelings and reflect them back. Each type of emotion has the ability to grow and build upon itself.

We are all human, and have a broad range of feelings. I’m not advocating becoming a swami that remains in a constant state of contentment, though I’d love to know what that feels like!  It’s just that when we are feeling good about ourselves, those around us seem to soak that up, and it leads to more pleasant and cooperative encounters. Also, when we have a sense of well-being, we are more equipped to handle obstacles that come our way.

Stress, worry and tension zap us of our ability to think creatively. Those emotions impede our thinking process from summoning up new options and solutions.

Having a child with special needs has taught me how to overcome worry. You’d probably think the opposite. Yes, there is a lot to anticipate, and I do have to stay on top of things, but that doesn’t mean I have to worry. Worry is probably the worst thing I could do because it prevents my thought process from creating and discovering alternative options.

My son, Wil, has Down syndrome, so we have goal setting meetings, called IEPs, with his teachers and therapists. As you can imagine, there are many decisions to be made. This can easily cause me to feel overwhelmed. However, if I am mindful of my emotions, I catch myself allowing these overwhelming emotions to take over me, and realize that all these emotions are preventing me from finding options and solutions. The best I thing I can do for my son, is to acknowledge these emotions, then direct my focus instead to creative thought and productive conversations with his teachers and therapists. Depending on the situation, I may have to re-direct my focus from these overwhelming emotions multiple times, but each time I make that effort to do so, the better off we all are.

There is always something we can find to stress about. The economy, problems on the job, family issues, health issues, the list is endless.

Yes, these are all big, important subjects, and yes, we can cry over them or stomp our feet in anger over them and get overwhelmed by them. Crying and stomping can help release some of that built up tension, worry and stress. The only thing is, it won’t solve it. So stomp away, cry your eyes out, then once you’ve got it all out, pull up your big boy/big girl pants, and focus on YOU.

Yes, YOU!

Whatever you have surrounding you, the only thing you can change is your pattern of thought. And you can better handle yourself when you have a sense of internal well-being.

To build this sense of well-being, is something done over time, and as I said earlier,will continue over a lifetime. It starts with taking care of yourself today, and every day. There may be days that are harder to take care of ourselves than others. Stress may overtake us in certain situations, but use those situations as learning experiences.

Exercise is one great way to take care of you.  Your body releases endorphins when you exercise, which lifts the mood. Even walking 10 minutes a day is helpful in clearing your mind and gives you a sense of contentment.

Treating your body well with exercise, leads to better eating habits. Once you start to take care of your body, you begin to notice an increase in energy, and decrease in stress.  That serves to motivate us further to continue our healthy eating and exercise habits. As you nourish your body, you nourish your mind, as well.

Hobbies you enjoy also lift the spirits and build inner contentment. Think of how good you feel after doing something you really love. That feeling lasts well beyond the completion of that activity.

Time by yourself is key to inner peace. I know its hard to do, but even 10 minutes driving in the car by yourself with the radio off is helpful. It gives you time to think and reflect.

Mindfulness is very important in overcoming negative feelings. Be mindful of everything you do. You will catch yourself in negative habits and thoughts. When you are mindful, you are more able to direct these thoughts in different, more positive directions. Being mindful also draws your attention to the small details in life that can bring joy, which, in the stress and rush of the day, you may otherwise overlook.

With my kids, if an issue comes up, my instant reaction is to be concerned and that grows to stress or worry. If I have been practicing the above, I am much more capable of noticing these feelings happening, acknowledging them for what they are, then letting them go so I can open my mind to new options.

It is hard work, and sometimes these feelings overcome me for a time. But, every single time I notice them happening, and literally tell myself to put on the brakes, my mind is much more able to think in a more creative and calm way.

The only way I’m able to put the brakes on these emotions, is if I am being mindful, and have been treating myself well. If I don’t have a strong sense of inner well-being, these feelings can easily overpower me and lead me in a direction that is not productive.

Whatever feelings you have, grow. If you are tense and stressed, more tension and stress will be invited into your life. If you have a sense of well-being, your mind is more capable of creative thought to overcome obstacles. Having a sense of well-being does not mean that you do not encounter problems, it just means you are more able to handle them, and they do not have the power to grow and create more problems within themselves.

Be good to you, and you will create more good around you and more good for your loved ones. Go you good thing!

Christie

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