FINDING THE BEAUTY IN THE UGLY
Grief can be the garden of compassion. If you keep your heart open through everything, your pain can become your greatest ally in your life's search for love and wisdom. ~Rumi
When you get caught up in life, especially during troublesome periods, you may not be able to see a way past intense thoughts. It may seem as though your life is always going to be challengingly painful and it may feel like there’s no way out. The following 3 things can help remove you from your funk and back into living happier and in the present.
1. UNDERSTAND THAT THIS WILL PASS
"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." -Confucius
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “Nothing lasts forever”, but have you stopped to analyze what that means to you? Having an understanding of your life cycles and patterns will help you get through uncomfortable thoughts.
Knowing that life feels difficult now, but won't feel like this forever will help you power through the tough times. Life is full of emotions- since you can't possibly control how others act, it's impossible to expect to feel good, positive, or stable all the time. What you can control, however, is your reaction to their actions.
It’s also important to realize that even more pleasant feelings will fade, along with the unpleasant. It’s imperative to find the balance between managing both and to avoid the expectation of feeling good all the time.
2. UNDERSTAND THAT MINDFULNESS CAN HELP
“A major factor in determining how our lives turn out is the way we choose to think. Everything that goes on inside the human mind in the form of thoughts, ideas, and information forms our personal philosophy.” ~Jim Rohn, The Five Major Pieces to the Life Puzzle
If you’ve never tried practicing mindfulness, it can seem a bit intimidating or boring. You may experience a mix of emotions: boredom, happiness, sadness, frustration. All are fine to experience, but the goal is to encounter emotions in a non-judgemental way.
Here’s the benefit behind mindfulness: practicing mind control calms down the parts of your brain that largely have an effect on stress, both from not reacting as strongly to stress and also, helping your body recover more quickly once stress has occurred.
It won’t come easy at first, but with practice, you’ll notice a decrease in “automatic” reaction time. The purpose of practicing mindfulness is to stay in the present and allow your feelings to connect, rather than having an emotional response to your thoughts.
3. UNDERSTAND THAT YOU STILL NEED TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
”Yoga means addition – addition of energy, strength and beauty to body, mind and soul.” –Amit Ray
Focusing on maintaining a positive outlook is a great start, but it is simply not enough. If you don’t maintain proper exercise, a healthy diet, and periods of rest, your body won't be capable of wholly feeling better- mind, body, and spirit. Yes, keeping in sync with becoming aware of what your body and mind are feeling, then working on ways to calm your spirit are all important, but you also need to take care of your physical body and spiritual state.
Listen to your body. If you’re tired, rest. If your hungry, eat. If you feel antsy, go for a walk. Pay attention to what you need to do. Your brain will tell you- you just need to listen.
It’s critical to focus on the beauty of what’s around you, rather than concentrate on the negative things in life, but it takes work. Life will fluctuate with happy and unpleasant moments, but your ability to see the beauty in the ugly will be your key to maintaining more long term positivity. Accept it, then leave it.
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