Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Moving Forward

Life is full of ups and downs, challenges and triumphs. When we are up, everything is the world feels amazing, the world is full of love, people around you are happy, you feel in harmony with life. You feel so high that it seems like nothing can knock you down, and even if someone or something tries, you just let it roll off your back. You feel GREAT and nothing can bother you.

When things become challenging and one thing after another comes at you as you feel unprepared to handle it, people are mean and grouchy, unfortunate things keep happening, and sometimes things can feel so overwhelming that you don't see how you can ever get yourself out of this crazy overwhelming mess of a situation.

Well, once you do get yourself through the overwhelming difficulties, you realize that this is the cycle of life. There are ups, there are downs. There are even in-betweens. Sometimes you are so high nothing can touch you, and other times you feel so low, you can never imagine getting back up again. Life is filled with joy and heartbreak. Being aware of this cycle in life is the key to having perspective. Knowing that nothing in this world is constant, although this is a somewhat scary and unsteady truth, is in some way strangely comforting. Change is the only constant that exists.

When life's frustrations or challenges feel overwhelming, there are some simple, healthy things that you can do. When you feel stuck, there are ways to un-stick yourself. When you feel sad, there are healthy ways to help you deal. The following list is a list I modified from another website. Please feel free to read and try out any of the things on this list. They might help you feel more connected to yourself or something bigger, cultivate inner peace or help you have a positive outlook about your situation and your future.

Let Go and Move Forward in Life

1. Learn a new skill - Instead of dwelling in the past, try something out that you have always wanted to do. Take a class in kickboxing, learn cake decorating, or try a new hobby like ceramics or scrap booking.
2. Change your perception - See your situation in a new light. Maybe the difficulties you went through made you a stronger person, taught you an important lesson you needed to learn, helped heal an old wound or helped you help someone else? Everything happens for a reason, so seeing your situation as a blessing in disguise is a healthy way to view life's challenges.
3. Cry it out, even better, do a "Jog-Cry-Walk" A good friend of mine recommends that people start out with jogging to activate their lungs (where grief and sadness are held) until you burst into tears and then walk it out. I have done this a few times and it has really helped. According to Dr. William Frey II, PH.D., biochemist at the Ramset Medical Center in Minneapolis, crying away your negative feelings releases harmful chemicals that build up in your body due to stress. Combining that with getting yourself outside breathing fresh air and moving your body by alternating between walking and jogging helps you release endorphins which automatically makes you feel better. Also, according to one of my favorite health counselors, Tom Monte, "Exercise is the most important thing to do to deal with fear. Because exercise improves will... Whenever we regularly and vigorously exercise, we feel like we can do anything. The more isolated we become, the more fear based our lives are going to be." 
4. Channel your pain into an immediate positive action - Make some calls about new job opportunities, make plans to do something fun this week, or walk to the community center to volunteer.
5. Use meditation or yoga to bring you into the present moment (instead of dwelling on the past or worrying about the future.)
6.  Pamper yourself - Nurture yourself by taking a bath, doing a body scrub, facial mask, salt scrub, etc., or try cooking yourself a peaceful meal of healthy foods that you enjoy eating. Plate it beautifully. Then eat it slowly, without distraction, and enjoy the care and love you put into the meal and yourself.
7.. Express your feelings through a creative outlet, like blogging, dancing or painting. Add this to your to-do list and cross it off when you’re done. This will be a visual reminder that you have actively chosen to release these feelings.
I hope you find this list helpful. As I was writing it, I already started to feel better :)

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