1. Be Patient with Yourself
I put this one first because I think it’s the most important to remember amidst all the chaos. I’m definitely guilty of feeling frustrated about being frustrated, feeling sad about being sad, feeling angry about being angry. Judging ourselves for not being able to control our emotions and our current circumstances leaves us feeling unproductive, unmotivated and unhappy, overall. Allow yourself to feel each emotion—not regarding one as good nor bad. Remind yourself that you’re doing the best you can with what you know and what you have.
2. Assumptions Based on the Past Predict Nothing About the Future
We form assumptions based on our past experiences. These assumptions form our mindset and how we process information. Assumptions lead us to instantaneous conclusions, and this is where the trouble lies. Assuming you know how the story ends before you’ve had time to write the middle leaves you with an empty page. If you assume that your future will be as grim as your past and present, your future will continue to be the same. But you haven’t experienced your future yet—so how much could you really know?
3. Everything Works Out Because You Are Where You Are Now
I like to think of this as the long version of the phrase “everything is temporary.” While I know this saying is true, the way that my mind works requires a bit more of an explanation, so I interpreted “everything is temporary” to “everything will work itself out because I am where I am today.” In other words, I would not be where I am now if things in the past remained unsolvable, incurable and stagnant.
4. Take Pleasure in the Small Things
The big things in life receive the most recognition. They’re often retained in our long-term memories. But what about the small things? The small things go unnoticed, but are one of the most consistent things in our lives, which means that every day we have hundreds of opportunities to be grateful, find happiness and feel content in the present moment. And when everything seems to be going wrong with the big stuff, we could use some of that small stuff to bring us back to a place of peace. Some of my small things are feeling my sheets against my feet in the morning, the stretch when I first wake up, that first sip of coffee—anything and everything around you are opportunities to find gratitude and happiness.
5. Let Go of Your Desire for Control
When everything is going wrong around us, we have a tendency to blame those situations on ourselves. We take partial, if not all, responsibility for these events, as if we have control over these factors. But we don’t. Allow yourself to let go of the clad iron grasp of desire you have to control the future, your present and yourself. Everything that will be, will be—whether you spend time trying to plan for the worst or the best. It’s not your fault for whatever has, has not, or will happen—nor is it your responsibility. Your only responsibility is to be in the present moment and to allow yourself to let go.
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