How to Use Mental Surrender When the Mind is Freaking Out.

Have you found yourself at the point where a mental surrender of your thoughts is the only sane thing to do? I know I have and frequently arrive at this type of scenario. In your gut, you may know that you need to let the thoughts go, but for your mind, it may not be that simple.

Learning to surrender current stressed out thinking is an essential part of maintaining a sane mind. So if you have a hard time letting go of thoughts that are amplifying worry, anxiety, stick around and I will teach you what I know.

We Drive Ourselves Crazy?

How many times have you found yourself ripe with anxiety, stressed and obsessing over crap you cannot control? Whether you answered once, many times or that you do it nonstop, I have another question for you. Who’s fault or problem do you think that is?

Well, I am here to tell you that whether someone else, genetics or whatever else “that seems” like the cause, that isn’t reality my friend; You yourself are actually the root cause of this very personal struggle. Of course, I do understand that this is a difficult pill for many to swallow, but that doesn’t negate its reality.

The good news about being the cause of driving yourself crazy is that you then can be the one to bring yourself back to sanity. Sure, maybe you can’t control the economy, the government or your family from acting in ways that may trigger your worry. But it means that you can take back control of your mind, and if you can do that you are in control of everything you need.

Don’t get it messed up now. I understand the difficulty of cutting off our minds from the process of worry and anxiety. When stopping this self-fulfilling process It can feel like you are having to bring a freight train to a halt. You hit the breaks and that sucker doesn’t stop immediately. No, about a mile down the tracks it finally expends all of its forward momentum.

For many of us that are prone to anxiety what hasn’t been realized is that we have this ability to mentally surrender. This is a sad fact. But no need to lament over what hasn’t been known. Instead, let’s use that energy to do something that will help us take our minds back.

What is Mental Surrender?

It seems that generally surrender is talked about in the sense of someone giving up their personal freedom. That the stakes of continuing the current mission have risen too high, and it is time to lay down the struggle. Maybe it is about soldiers that lay down their guns in hopes their lives be spared. Or maybe a criminal on the run that decides they are done running and turns themselves into the police.

Many have a negative connotation of what surrender is. I get it though, in the examples of surrender given above, those individuals are losing their personal freedom. This is a scary thing, who in their right minds desires to have their freedom taken away?

But rest assured, you will lose no freedom by dropping the fearful thoughts that you are freaking yourself out over. In fact, it can be the very act that breaks us out of a personal mental prison, back into a state where we can be mentally free.

But what is it, to mentally surrender? Well, Intuitively we all know what it means, and we know how to do it. But that would require us to let go of what we think is “so damn important” at this moment. To mentally surrender is to drop it. Drop the argument, drop the cleverness, drop the self-pity, drop the fear, drop it all. Doing this because continuing with the current thought process is causing anxiety and will continue to cause anxiety that is entirely unnecessary. Only after dropping all the shit and allowing a mental surrender will we get to the source of why we are freaking ourselves out.

How you can Mentally Surrender Your Thoughts to the Moment.

I would say that the vast majority of people are capable of surrendering themselves to the moment. Since you have the capability of searching the internet for an article such as this than I am quite confident that you have that ability as well.

Having the ability for mental surrender and knowing how to use it are, of course, two very different things. So what I will teach you here is how to drop the shit when you are freaking yourself out.

1. Catch Yourself Freaking out and Decide to Knock it off.

As you may probably already realize, you likely will not stop freaking out if you don’t know you are. So if you are able to realize that you are in this nasty mental/emotional space, that is a reason for gratitude. Why? Because if you are able to come to know that your mind is out of control, you then have a platform from which to stop it.

Of course just because I know I am obsessing on a thought, doesn’t mean it will just magically disappear. I and also you will need to make the decision to let that thought, that worry, that fear, go. Don’t think about letting it go forever, just until the mental freak out blows over.

It is cliche to say just breathe when stressed out, but it is cliche for a reason. Because it is important, and it is important because it works. Let go of the thoughts no matter how important they seem at the moment, breath, and relax into the moment. The mental surrender of anxiety-causing thoughts will reveal emotions but also lead to peace.

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2. Commit to Staying Awake.

When you are freaking yourself out, you are most likely in a living dream. You are probably lost in thoughts of future bad things happening, or past things that have already happened. And hell, maybe something bad will be happening in the future or already happened in the past. But dwelling in the past about junk that we can’t change won’t do any good. And as studies have found out, we lose a considerable amount of IQ points while we are stuck in fearful thinking. Therefore, even if there is trouble coming or has gone, freaking out about those troubles will not assist you in any positive manner.

The thing is that the only way you will ever be able to respond positively to what’s coming is to have your head securely attached to your shoulders. Not floating off in some nightmarish thoughts that you habitually haunt yourself with. The possibility of the bad is real, but your thoughts about them, sorry, but not so much. Those thoughts are all just a best guess, maybe they will come true, maybe not. But either way, wake the hell up and face the moment like the intensely strong individual that you deep down are.

If you have been able to give your troubled thoughts up to a mental surrender you are in good shape to handle what life gives. Having gotten your head out of worry and into the present moment gives you the opportunity to actually live. Commit to staying awake, don’t waste this opportunity.

3. Stay Awake By Spreading the Vibes.

To worry and obsess expends a great amount of energy. When all of that energy is used positively in other places, then TADA there is much less energy to torture yourself with.

There are of course a tremendous amount of ways for you to use your energy positively. It is important to use that energy for taking care of our daily affairs, but it is also extremely important to spread good vibes as we do. The recovery program I frequent says that “we only keep what we have by giving it away.” What this means to me is that the only way to keep my sanity is to spread my sanity. The only way to feel loved is the spread the love. To keep my calm and relaxation, you guessed it, spread it around.

To spread the positive vibes consciously we must be mentally/emotionally awake. We need to be present in our bodies, not floating off in our minds. It requires dropping our negative judgments about what we are seeing and hearing. And instead, replacing those judgments with blessings of goodwill.

This may be difficult to do at times when our minds are having trouble with excess stress. But I guarantee regular practice will bring the positive results of being mentally/emotionally lighter and better able to deal with anything life hands us.

Well, that is all we have for today and thank you so much for stopping into My Life Experiment. What is written here has come from struggle and growth.
We sincerely wish you amazing success in letting go of troublesome thoughts and emotions through mental surrender. We realize surrendering to the moment is a simple process but not necessarily an easy one. Your success will show in the sanity and positive vibes you feel.
I offer you the challenge of applying what you have read here, as well as experimenting with your own healthy ways of taking back your energy from anxiety. If you take today’s lessons to heart and apply them, you will greatly benefit.

Reclaiming Your Ambition from Feelings of Anxiety.

Anxiety is a problem for a great deal of our fellow human beings. But what if I told you that what is hidden inside that anxiety is the creative energy of our ambition. The home of “strong desires to do or achieve”, as ambition is defined.

We all have ambition, from the people with the greatest amount of excited energy to the most stoic and subdued individuals that exist. There is a bubbling of creative impulses in all of us. And yes that means you as well.

If you respect and live right by this ambition it is possible to bring about the life of your dreams. But neglect it or use it irresponsibly, and find yourself in a world that is starving with meaning and ripe with anxiety.

Anxiety and Stress.

You don’t have to be a Psychiatrist to understand what anxiety is. It is an uncomfortable pest that enhances fearful thinking, distorting the way we see the world. Anxiety will leave a person feeling worried, unsafe and doubtful of abilities, as well as overly leary of the intentions of others.

Anxiety is not the same as stress but it is built upon stress. Meaning that the more stress builds, the more prone to the anxiety we will be.

This, of course, isn’t to say that stress is bad. In fact, a certain amount of stress is essential to having a life that is challenging and rewarding.

When we feel stressed it means there is a challenge at hand. It means our current skills have met up with a situation where we may not believe they are up to the task. That stress can be a motivator, it is the energy coming from inside of us to wrestle success out of the current opportunity. But if that potential motivator is resisted too often, gnawing anxiety will begin to grow.

A healthy you is destined for stress and a reasonable amount of struggle. It is how you learn, and how you grow and shape yourself into a well-rounded individual. But if you wish to keep this stress from growing into anxious feelings you better learn to listen to the impulses that are at the heart of the growing stress.

Anxiety Hints at Your Ambition.

When it comes to anxiety, like anything else in this world, it is made of pieces. You know, old unused energy over here, a bunch of moments of being too hard on yourself for not meeting expectations over there. It grows like a snowball rolling down a snowy hillside.

In this snowball that continues to increase in size is the energy of bodily impulses. It is the energy of ambition, it is the creative energies that lie at the core of you and me.

To feel anxiety is to feel pieces of yourself that are looking for your attention. Wait, not just looking for it, they are begging for it. Like a crowd of starving people waiting to have some food tossed into their vicinity. They are loud, they are needy, and they need your love desperately. Deny them that compassionate attention and they may eventually chase you down and threaten everything you care about.

Each impulse that fuels anxiety has a strong desire to do or achieve something. They are loaded with ambition. Now the important question is this. How do we get in touch with all of this hidden anxious ambition so we can find a productive use for it?

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How to Reclaim Your Ambitious Energy From Anxious Feelings

1. Recognize Anxiety as Such.

Being able to recognize when you’re anxious is critical to being able to get to reclaim its energy for good use. But how do you recognize anxiety? You slow down and give yourself a chance to spot its symptoms.

In an article from, they give a list of physical and emotional symptoms that can be a clue to being anxious. Here are some of the most common.

  • Nausea or dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Muscle tension
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Feelings of apprehension
  • Feeling tense and jittery

If you notice 2 or more of these symptoms going on with yourself it’ll be in your best interest to take stock of what is going on. Why? Because important energy is likely being bottled up. And I guarantee you will not enjoy the uncomfortable mental obsession and depression that will result from not dealing with these feelings.

These feelings may begin subtly enough that you may not even recognize them. But eventually, if the energy within them is not tapped into and used, the subtleness could morph into great pain. After recognizing these feelings the next step is taking responsibility for them.

2. Take Responsibility for Your Anxiety.

After you recognize anxiety it is important to take responsibility for it. By this, I mean that no matter what led us having this anxiety, we need to realize that it is now ours to deal with.

This can be an unnerving but empowering realization to arrive at. You might want to place blame on others for feeling this anxiety. Maybe you want to blame the government, family, the job or whatever relationship you feel has wronged you. Well, I am here to tell you, that is mostly a useless activity. If you find yourself stuck in blaming others for your painful feelings, do yourself a favor and knock that shit off.

The only productive use for blaming is to do so with the intent of taking back power for current feelings and hidden ambition. Then use that power to set healthy boundaries with self and others, feel emotions, and getting all that energy locked onto creative and productive outlets.


Photo by Avi Richards on Unsplash
4. Seek a Creative and Productive Outlet for Ambitious Energy.

We are all creative. Now I don’t mean that all of us know how to draw well, sing or play an instrument well or write well. What I mean is that we can’t avoid having a creative relationship with ourselves and the world around us. Everything we do has an effect.

But just being creative isn’t necessarily a good thing, havoc and pain can, of course, also be something we create. Pain begets anxiety, when causing pain for self and for others it always catches up. It isn’t enough to just do anything with our anxious, creative energy, it should also be productive.

Now you may be thinking that you have no clue what to do with yourself that could help. But I assure you, the amount of creative and productive ways to place the ambition of our anxious energies is limited only by the willingness to do something healthy. Every single day holds a crazy amount of opportunities to put our ambition to good use.

It can certainly be difficult to know exactly what to do when we are anxious. Sometimes we need to use that energy to take care of areas of life we have been neglecting. Other times we may need to use that energy to attack a new and challenging opportunity. And of course, there are many times where the best to do is take the night off, shut down all the electronics and actually allow our brains to relax.

Closing Thoughts.

Listen, I know anxiety is not an easy thing to deal with. For many years of my own life, I was crippled by anxiety. Through those years, I wasn’t aware that I was creating my own anxiety with the lifestyle I was stuck in.

But what I have learned through coming back to my right mind is this. Anxiety is a warning system to tell us that something needs to change and change fast. I also know that many times when anxious, our thoughts and perceptions can be dangerously misguided.

When working with the tips written above, take responsibility for what you’re feeling but don’t be too hard on yourself. Talk to other healthy people, talk to a trained professional if needed.

Now as you move forward in your life, know this, it is going to be okay, even if it doesn’t feel like it. If you listen to the feelings of anxiety, cry the tears, and take the right actions, you will wind up in a better mind and a better life.

The ambition that fuels your anxiety, when used creatively and productively will lighten up your world and the worlds of those around you. Don’t be afraid of it, welcome it. Quit resisting, surrender to the healthy places it desires to go.

Well, that is all we have for today and thank you so much for stopping into My Life Experiment. What is written here has come from struggle and growth.
We sincerely wish you amazing success in reclaiming the energies of your ambition from anxiety. I offer you the challenge of applying what you have read here, as well as experimenting with your own healthy ways of taking back your energy from anxiety. If you take today’s lessons to heart and apply them, you will greatly benefit.


To see our Terms and Conditions click here


Take Responsibility for What You’re Angry about.

Being angry can often be seen as something that is not okay.

But experiencing anger is a completely natural thing. It is a natural emotion but also a potentially troubling one that can cause many problems.

Today I will share with you some understanding for why we get angry, and practical advice for snapping out of it when we really don’t need to be.

Getting Angry is a Natural Protector from Threat.

Anger is an emotion that is completely natural. If it wasn’t natural, we wouldn’t be having it as an experience at all.

So why do you get angry? In the simplest explanation, you perceive that an aspect of yourself (mental, physical, emotional) or relationships are under threat. You feel yourself or the ones you love are exposed, vulnerable, at risk. So your self-protection system kicks into gear to ensure safety.

It can be helpful to think of anger as a protector of boundaries, a guard dog, a watchman. If there is any kind of uninvited threat sensed, we will be alerted. And our energies will rally to find the best way to protect what feels threatened.

The World’s Part in our Problem.

Of course, there are flat out shitty aspects to the world that we live in. Obscenely ridiculous things are going on in the world that would strike anger in most people.

There are a tremendous amount of threats to ourselves and the relationships we most deeply care about. Even aspects of the world that don’t seem to immediately affect us, may affect negatively for years to come. Examples of this are dirty politicians enacting harmful policies, or the weather causing us unwanted problems.

Let’s not forget that there are people that cross our boundaries or those of our loved ones, frequently. For the most part, we cannot control what people do, outside of ending a life in some manner I suppose.

What we do have some control over though, is how we respond to the way the world treats us. Which means learning to communicate with our angry impulses to understand what they were sent to do.

Who is Responsible for Our Being Angry?

If you are feeling angry most of the time or just some of the time, why is that? From my perspective, it is because you don’t feel safe. Maybe you aren’t even aware that you don’t feel safe. You may just think you’re angry and don’t understand why. It must be that idiots fault, or that idiot, right?

We certainly don’t get angry for no reason, even if that reason is unreasonable. But how many people understand that in the majority of circumstances, we are the perpetrators of our own angry feelings?

Often times the first reaction that comes when our anger is provoked is to look for someone to blame. And sure, other people may trigger our anger, but they are not in the least bit responsible for it. The responsibility for our anger lies in ourselves.

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Why and How to Take Responsibility for Being Angry.

Anger is creative energy. If used responsibly it will show us what needs to be done. The emotion doesn’t care that some politician just made it more difficult to make a living, the energy of anger is pushing us to clear a path to make one anyway.

It doesn’t care that someone stole an item that you loved. The energies are merely solving the problem of how it happened and how to keep it from happening again.

With all of the B.S in the world, I hope that it is obvious to you that just because your anger is provoked often, that you are not a victim to the outside world.

1. Seek to Accept Responsibility.

Without accepting responsibility for being angry, we are essentially out of our own control. To seek responsibility is to say “okay that really sparked my anger. Now how did I leave myself open to allow that to happen”?

It certainly may be difficult to ask yourself this question in the heat of the moment. Especially if someone did harm to you. But the more you open yourself to seeking the answer to this question, the better off you will be.

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2. Learn from Anger.

There is always a reason that you’re angry. Even if that reason is completely unreasonable, or even delusional.

Of course, you may also be angry for a completely sound reason as well. If someone harms or is seeking to cause harm to what you feel responsibility for, you should feel angry. Not feeling angry in times like these make it look like you don’t care at all.

But whatever the reason, finding out what the anger has to teach us can take a crappy situation and allow us to get the most out of it.

Maybe you learn that your personal boundaries sucked and allowed you to be taken advantage.

It could be that you will find out you need to work on rejection or need to assert your needs in a way you weren’t aware of. Find the reason for that anger, take responsibility for changing what needs to be changed so that it doesn’t happen again.

3. Solve the Problem that Caused the Anger to Arise.

Anger is not necessarily a pleasant emotion. I think some people get off on it, but for the most part human beings like it much.

But if it is here, it is here to create change. If you can be present for it and take responsibility for its presence you are in good shape.

Gandhi stated that “we need to be the change we want to see in the world”. I believe what he is saying is that pointing the finger at everyone else to change will not be helpful. He is saying that we want something done, we will likely have to bring about that change ourselves. And since this is Gandhi, it should be done with non-violent means.

I repeat, there is always a reason for our being angry. But that doesn’t mean we know what it is or how to change it. That is where doing our due-diligence in self-exploration comes into play.

To figure it out we may have to dig deep within ourselves through therapeutic writing, mediation or whatever other healthy methods you use to make sense of your life. We may have to enlist the support of people we trust or read some books on the area we are struggling in.

But whatever needs to be done, the answer is likely right inside our own skin.

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Closing Thoughts.

To echo the beginning of this article, having our anger triggered is a natural thing. Anger is a natural part of the human condition that will teach how to protect ourselves, and bring about creative solutions to what troubles us.

Much of our life energy lives in our anger, respect it, love it, heal it. It is through this process that we find out who we are and how to best take care of ourselves. But be careful about what is said or done in the heat of an angry moment. Our anger is best used to benefit the world rather than to make ourselves enemies of those who could help us.

Well, that is all we have for today and thank you so much for stopping in to My Life Experiment. What is written here has come from struggle and growth.
We sincerely wish you amazing success in gaining the creative benefits of taking responsibility for what angers you. I offer you the challenge of applying what you have read here, as well as experimenting with your own healthy ways of getting the most out of angry feelings. If you take today’s lessons to heart and apply them, you will greatly benefit.

To see our Terms and Conditions click here


Show Yourself some Compassionate Attention.

Don’t all of us need some compassionate attention from time to time?

We all have times when feelings are heavy. In these times I deeply believe that being too rough on ourselves isn’t in your or my best interest. What is in our best interests is attending to the emotions so we can back to living as productively as possible.

This is exactly where giving ourselves positive and compassionate attention comes into play. We can all use a little bit more of it. But we don’t have to wait around for others to give it to us, we need to make sure we give this gift to ourselves.

To Give Our Attention.

When we give our attention we are offering up a powerfully creative human faculty. It is truly no joke. What we place our attention on is where our creative energies will flow.

But not all attention is created equal or creates equally. The nature of the emotion and intention given through our attention ultimately decides the nature of our creations.

Our attention can create beauty as well as destruction. It can build-up, as well as tear down.

This is true no matter where we give our attention; whether that be in our jobs, families, friendships, and for the sake of this article, yourself and myself.

Self Compassionate Attention.

Like I said there are all sorts of different types of attention we can give. But in my experience, there is already enough focus in the world today on criticizing and tearing things down. Giving our impulses a little more positive attention can help us have a personal safe haven in a world that is obsessed with focusing on what’s wrong.

To show yourself compassionate attention is show up and attend to the reality of your present state of being. Not just showing up to focus on what is wrong though, but to focus on building yourself up, and taking care of business. It is a posture of our being that embraces bodily impulse with active listening, active blessing, and productive action.

Compassionate attention is about healing. When you heal emotionally you might be surprised at what you are led to do.

Your emotions need your attention. You aren’t weak for having them, in fact, there is a great deal of personal strength to be found through acknowledging and respecting them.

These important pieces of ourselves deserve the respect of our compassionate attention. By respecting them, you will find it much easier to respect yourself and be yourself.

Self-compassion for a Healthy Self-Relationship.

Showing ourselves compassionate attention is a way to develop a healthy relationship with our emotional impulses.

But why should you want to have a healthy relationship with these emotions?

Well, most of all they are great teachers. They hold the lessons of our lives. Without getting in touch with them, we are not able to fully come to know who we are.

Without coming to know ourselves we are left to wander throughout life. Maybe you will stumble your way into a successful situation from time to time without the discernment we achieve through self-knowledge. But from a healthy relationship with these impulses, you will be able to be more intentional and on point with the life decisions you make.

Compassionate Attention
Photo by Darius Bashar on Unsplash

5 Aspects of Showing Yourself Compassionate Attention.

There are some great reasons to practice compassionate attention, but you may be wondering how to do so.

Well lucky you, I have some sound information to help. Just keep reading.

1. Slow Your Roll.

Often times when we come to realize our impulses, they just don’t feel right. We may not feel all that in control of ourselves. Thoughts may be moving through our brains at an uncomfortable speed. You may find yourself being overly critical of self and others.

In this state, we need to slow our damn roll. I have sponsored many addicts throughout my recovery that have a problem with obsessing. Many times I have let one know that “it is time to revoke your thinking pass.” I know the danger of continuing thought processes when obsession is present because I have the same problem to deal with.

Now I know many of you reading this aren’t addicts, but from time to time every human spends some time stuck on being too hard on themselves. So slow your roll, take some deep breathes, put your mind on something else.

Getting back to a healthy place always begins with this act of self-compassion.

2. Surrender Self Directed Anger.

Anger is a natural part of life. But there is most certainly healthy outlets for anger, as well as unhealthy.

Letting the voice in your head put you down when feeling rough may feel difficult to stop. But it is also necessary and brings tremendous value for living a self-respectful life for which we can be truly proud.

To surrender this self-directed anger means doing a couple things.

First of all, you need to stop behaving in ways that are creating bad consequences for yourself and others. Next, you need to watch your mind. You need to keep your mind from getting overly negative. Not allowing it to become trapped in treating yourself and others negatively inside of that brain of yours.

You may believe there are no negative consequences from allowing negative thoughts to flow through your head. Maybe you believe that nobody gets hurt until they come out into reality. Are you kidding me? Negative cycles of thought allowed to fester inside our own heads are the root of all personal problems.

3. Focus on The Positives.

Focusing on the positives is a powerfully self-compassionate tool. Maybe they are the positives about ourselves. But it is also compassionate to our own troubled impulses, to take our attention off of them, and focus on something positive outside of ourselves.

When attempting to give attention to the positives, it may feel highly unnatural. When pissed off or sad, it is usually easier to overdo those emotions than to shift them to something to appreciate or be grateful for.

Everything good in our lives takes work. It doesn’t take much effort to focus on the negative, that comes naturally to many individuals like myself.

4. Give Yourself some Self-care.

To give ourselves self-care can be many different things. Sometimes self-care means detachment from certain responsibilities. Other times it is stepping up to take care of responsibility in a way we have been avoiding. A routine of self-care should be full of both of these aspects.

For our purpose here, to give ourselves compassionate attention is to be with our emotions in a way that fully respects them.

Maybe that comes through meditation, yoga, therapeutic writing or working out. It may come from a walk through nature. Whatever way you keep from judging your emotions too harshly, and appreciating their presence is beautifully self-compassionate.

5. Change what Needs to Change.

Often times though not every time, our troubled emotions are telling us to go forward and get shit done. Neglecting to take care of our responsibilities, in a sense, is a form of punishment performed on ourselves.

When we are able to slow our minds down and get in touch with ourselves, we will come to know what we should be doing. After knowing what we should be doing, the only compassionate thing to do is to get it done!

Not all compassionate attention involves focusing on emotions that are troubled. Much of getting in touch with emotions is to understand what we need to change in our lives. And in my experience, there is always something to change or improve.

Allowing our healthy impulses to live productively through us is a thing of beauty. It creates a sense of great satisfaction to know we are living on purpose and succeeding at being ourselves.

Compassionate Attention
Photo by Darius Bashar on Unsplash
Well, that is all we have for today and thank you so much for stopping into My Life Experiment. What is written here has come from struggle and growth.
We sincerely wish you amazing success in regularly showing yourself the compassionate attention that you deserve. I offer you the challenge of applying what you have read here, as well as experimenting with your own healthy ways of attending to yourself compassionately.
We truly believe that if you take today’s lessons to heart and apply them, that you will greatly benefit.

To see our Terms and Conditions click here


5 Ways to Work Through Being Fixated on Happiness.

Finding happiness is not a novel endeavor. It is a feeling that most individuals desire to have a majority of the time, if not all the time. Often times it is being chased in borderline unhealthy to drastically unhealthy levels.

Though many seek this almost ideal state of mental-emotional being, many are missing that mark. So what is wrong? I have a take on this and some ways to alleviate the problem I perceive.

A Poll on Happiness.

In 2017 Harris poll performed their annual survey on Americans that are 18 and over, to get a gauge on how happy the average American is. Of the 2202 individuals surveyed the poll calculated that only 33% of these Americans actually claimed to be happy.

This, of course, is merely a survey and having only 2202 individuals represent the whole of the United States population is questionable. But the survey does speak to a problem that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Of course, there is much more to the world then just the happiness of the citizens of the USA. In the latest World Happiness Report, the United States was still ranked 19th. So with roughly 33% of its population saying they feel happy, for the many countries ranking farther down the happiness list a pretty picture doesn’t seem to be painted.

Very simply far too many people do not feel happy. I certainly don’t have the complete answer to this question. But a happiness fixation is certainly present for many individuals.

The Happiness Fixation in a Highly Pressurized World.

Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash

I have no problem saying that people, at least in the western world, are borderline obsessed with feeling good and don’t know how to let go of it.

The world is moving at a rapid pace, with rising pressures to perform. The middle class is shrinking, debts are growing, the healthcare, political and the world scenes seem to be going crazy.

So with all the rising pressures to perform in an increasingly fast paced world. We also are stuck on needing to feel good.

It can be easy to think that something is wrong because we don’t feel good. Maybe even feeling like we’re failing because of not feeling positive. But nobody is by any means failing because they don’t feel well. What it makes us is human.

We Cant Always Feel Happy.

Let’s face it, life flat out sucks sometimes. When grieving a great loss heavy emotions that don’t feel good may be present for many years or even the rest of our lives.

But most of life’s little inconveniences and unmet expectations, will come and go relatively quickly in the big scheme of things. When these emotions that don’t feel good are present, are we simply doomed for a crappy day, week or month? Certainly not.

Social media and others wanting to be cheerful and feeling good may make it seem like it isn’t okay to not feel okay. It is most certainly is though.

Expecting to be happy all the time quite simply isn’t realistic. But it is also possible to feel okay and comfortable with the fact that we are not currently feeling happiness or it’s close feeling good relatives.

How to be Okay when not Feeling Happiness.

It may not be realistic to feel happiness all the time. But there are some things to be done so that we can spend more time in authentic happiness, and less time fixated and chasing happiness’s shadow.

1. Don’t Chase Down Happiness.

Happiness is not always an easy target to hit. We can have it for one moment. But soon after have it disappear and leave us wondering what went wrong.

It’s obviously entirely okay to search out ways to feel more happy in times that don’t feel good. But seeking a path out of heavy emotions is much different than chasing one.

To chase oftentimes speaks to gratification as soon as possible. And used in this emotional wellness sense, it also implies running away. Running away from the current emotional state, as well as running from ourselves.

This is not ideal because to maintain connection with ourselves or connection with the present moment, we can’t be running away.

Chasing happiness can lead to an obsessive/compulsive cycle. Pain is present so we use this chemical, pain is present so we turn on Netflix, pain is present so we run away from it once again in the many different ways we numb ourselves out to life.

The first step to working through present emotion is to accept their presence and give them a little compassionate attention.

2. Know that Everything Eventually Passes.

If we are taking care of enough of our needs, as described in this needs inventory, happiness WILL find it’s way back. We do not need to find the next quick fix to mimic the feeling of authentic happiness.

Every heavy emotion will eventually pass if we let it. By letting myself know that this emotion that doesn’t feel good, is not going to kill me, and it will get better, I find comfort.

I find it to be profoundly true that when I know this emotion will pass and I will feel better relatively soon, I cause myself less unhealthy stress, and am much more gentle on my close relationships.

A powerful way I use to process emotion and get to the heart of what I need to do is therapeutic writing. Afterward, I generally find myself feeling refreshed, and receiving important information about why I am having a difficult time moving on from the current emotion.

Click here to read about My Life Experiments Therapeutic Writing Technique.

3. Be Careful When Comparing Our Insides to Other’s Outsides.

Do you ever look around when not feeling so hot, and see that everyone else seems so happy? It can be a painful activity to become caught up in.

Can’t it feel like all these other people are normal because they seem to be in good spirits? But here we are, stressed and sad. It can come to seem like there is something fundamentally wrong with us.

We must be careful with this process. If not gotten under control, we can convince ourselves that we are more messed up than we really are.

The truth is that all these people around us have probably felt this exact same way, and thought this exact same thought.

There is nothing wrong with feeling emotionally unwell, even if those around you feel great.

4. Stay Healthily Physically Active.

It can be very difficult to desire physical activity when feeling in rough emotional shape. especially if we are not used to getting enough of it. Others may use physical activity as an escape from feeling out the current emotional state.

We don’t need to use physical activity to chase down happiness, and we don’t need to allow our unhappiness to keep us from getting active. It is all about finding the balance between feeling and doing.

5. Quit Labeling some Emotions as Positive and Others Negative.

It is popular to call emotions that feel good such as happiness, joy, inspiration, and many others, positive emotions.

All of the rest that the average human would rather not be experienced like sadness, anger, lethargy and are then labeled, negative.

But the fact of the emotions that our bodies are capable of producing are for important purposes. Whether they feel good or not, they are necessary. They communicate to us whether we are neglecting bodily impulses or caring for them.

Calling those we don’t care to feel negative doesn’t make much sense at all. Whether they feel good or not, we will be better off be listening to them, respecting them, caring for them, feeling them.

6. Develop Positive Connections with Healthy People.

Other people are incredibly important in helping us work through emotions that don’t feel good.

They don’t need to be used for instant emotional gratification though, to cheer us up when feeling down. It can be just as important to have people that give us their presence while allowing us the emotional space to feel down. Allowing us to feel sad around them without trying to cheer us up or solve our problem.

It is a natural tendency to want to cheer each other up or help solve the current problem. If all you need is the space to feel heavy, communicate that. And fight the urge to complain and blame, that sends the message that we desire more than a simple place to heal.

Closing Thoughts for Working Through the Fixation.

Happiness can be elusive, maybe more elusive for some than others, but the point remains. It and the whole other world of emotions that feel good are also wonderful things for sure.

Sometimes they come in droves, other times it can feel like they are gone forever. But, remember this, the good times won’t last forever, and neither will those times where everything feels like it is falling apart.

It is okay to feel the fullness of our emotion. By doing so we make a much faster trip back to the path towards authentic happiness.

Photo by Jordan Bauer on Unsplash
That is all we have for today and thank you so much for stopping into My Life Experiment. What is written here has come from struggle and growth.
We sincerely wish you amazing success in coping with the fixation on happiness to feel emotion, heal faster, and get back to feeling authentically good. I offer you the challenge of applying what you have read here, as well as experimenting with your own healthy ways for finding a healthy path to happiness.
We truly believe that if you take today’s lessons to heart and apply them, that you will greatly benefit.

To see our Terms and Conditions click here


5 Ways to Spend more Time Being Grateful.

Being grateful has amazing benefits. But you better believe that it can also be a struggle to maintain this state of being.

Let’s look at some reasons for we should work towards being grateful more often. As well as some ways to get there.

To be Grateful.

Being grateful is about maintaining a state of gratitude. It is about developing the art of appreciating life, as it is, as it was, and as it may become.

Gratitude as I know it is multiple things. It is a feeling, it is actions we can take, as well as a state of mind.

The feeling of gratitude generally comes when a certain range of actions are taken and our beliefs allow us to be. But it is also a choice that has to be made. We have to choose to be grateful, without a decision for staying grateful it is much more unlikely that we will hit that target.

Not only must staying grateful be chosen though, but it also takes great effort to maintain. It isn’t enough to just say I appreciate the blue sky today. I have to truly feel it! Emotion needs to be invested in the gratitude, the more sincere emotion the greater the feeling.

A state of gratitude is a desirable place to stay as much as possible. Why you ask? Let’s take a look at some of its benefits.

Benefits of Being Grateful.

The benefits of maintaining a state of gratitude are many which make it an entirely practical thing to do.

In my estimation, the benefits far outweigh the effort. Here are a few of those benefits!

1. Better Mental Health.

In many research studies about the effects of practicing gratitude, researchers have sought information on how gratitude affects individuals mental health. But for the most part, these studies focus on individuals that aren’t dealing with troubled mental worlds.

In this study, college students that are set to receive mental health counseling are the subjects of the test. The results of the study found that from the practice of writing letters of gratitude for others, without even sending them, helped these individuals experience better mental health both 4 weeks and 12 weeks after the studies completion.

The results of the study suggest something of high importance. It suggests that not only does gratitude help people with rather stable minds, but also can help some individuals with habitually stressed and anxious minds find better mental spaces.

2. Enhanced Mood.

Emotion and mood are different, though closely related concepts. In one analogy a mood state is thought to be the overall emotional climate an individual is experiencing. While on the other hand, emotions are like the individual instances of weather activity within the current climate.

Therefore mood is thought to determine the types of emotions that will be experienced. So if a person is experiencing a particularly good mood, the emotions they experience will generally follow suit.

There is evidence that making an effort to practice gratitude regularly for about a month will have positive effects on mood states.

They say that around a month is a good amount of time because less than that didn’t have the same effects on our upcoming mood climate. So the longer gratitude has become a habit, the more likely it will affect our emotional worlds positively.

This, of course, isn’t to suggest that mood states that don’t feel good will be eradicated. But it can definitely shorten the amount of time we reside in them, and they probably won’t come around as often.

3. Increase in Emotional Resilience.

To be resilient is to have the ability to bounce back and recover from difficulties. It is being able to have difficult events roll through our lives, and getting through them with a little grace.

We don’t usually get to choose when difficult events or emotions come into our lives. But having a consistent gratitude practice around when trouble does come, is a blessing.

It will help us stay in touch with the aspects of reality that are working in our favor. Which allows our already amped up bodily impulses, to relax. Relaxed bodies are fluid bodies, meaning that our emotions are much better able to show up, teach us what we need, and move on.

4. Sleeping Better.

Practicing gratitude also seems to help individuals catch a better nights sleep. In a research study, it is suggested that 15 minutes of gratitude writing every night before bed can help reduce the amount of worry students experienced. It also helped them sleep better.

The more stress that is present when trying to go to sleep makes it more likely that we will ruminate over whatever is troubling us. Being able to reduce that stress by focusing on aspects of life we are grateful for is a beautiful thing. It will bring us down to reality, settle our troubled minds, and allow us to connect with ourselves and the present moment.

Ideas for Creating a Staying Grateful Routine.

1. In the Morning.

Mornings can be a difficult time to deal with. There is a reason people joke about not being human until they have some coffee in them. As well as for why many of us have trouble not pressing the snooze button multiple times before finally waking up. When waking up our resistances to change are working in full force.

But making gratitude a priority as early as possible in the day is a way to set our attitudes and ourselves up for more enjoyable experiences.

Want to start tomorrow off in a better mood than usual. Set the alarm a half-hour earlier than normal. Then and as you roll out of bed and set your feet on the floor, sincerely say thank you for another day alive. Then do your best to extend the mental effort to stay grateful as the morning goes on.

2. Staying Mindful to Stay Grateful.

Probably the most difficult aspect of staying grateful is remembering to do so. With all the internal and external distractions we face, it is easy to get lost in the chaos.

To stay out of the chaos and in a state of gratitude, we must stay mindful. We must stay aware of our goal to remain in a state where we are appreciating life. This may take many reminders a day.

Pay attention. When that thought comes that has you feeling like life this moment isn’t good enough, let it pass. Just breathe and let all the nonsense pass. Even though some “idiot” did something you can’t stand, look at some aspect of the world you enjoy. There are, of course, many to be found in any given moment.

This isn’t to say that we don’t need to stand up for ourselves when we can do something productive with our situation. When remaining mindful and practicing gratitude, we are very capable of seeking out productive solutions to our problems.


Being Grateful
Photo by Hian Oliveira on Unsplash
3. Share it With Others Throughout the Day.

In the recovery community, I frequent, there is a saying. It states “My gratitude speaks when I care and when I share.” Meaning that when I show that I give a damn about other people I see throughout my day, I am going to feel better. The same goes for when I share with those people what I am grateful for.

Sharing gratitude with others can come in many forms. It could be letting them know we appreciate them by saying it. As well as letting them know by simply showing up with a good attitude and showing respect.

Another form of sharing gratitude doesn’t even have to be done in the other person’s presence. By bringing the person we are grateful for into our minds and offering them sincere gratitude, we reap benefits from this too!

This can actually be a way to learn to be grateful for people our personal boundaries won’t allow us to be around. Helping to get over resentments that we may wind up poisoning ourselves over with anger that feels insurmountable.

4. Writing them down.

Having a gratitude writing practice is a great item to have in our toolbox, for feeling better on a daily basis. Remember above when I said that 15 minutes of gratitude writing over time can help a person sleep better? Well, it can be done anytime throughout the day that permits it. And there are benefits to be found whenever we give ourselves the pleasure of writing 5 to 10 things we are grateful for.

Just going over a list of gratitudes in our heads is beneficial. But writing them brings even more life to them!

Feeling gratitude does take effort. The more effort we put into getting into staying grateful, without being obsessive of course, will bring about more blessings, and more good feelings.

5. Before Going to Sleep.

When going to sleep we are going into a suggestive state that allows processing of the day’s thoughts and activities. What we do before going to sleep has an effect on how our sleep benefits us. Filling our minds with a feeling of appreciation for what has happened and what is coming helps drop the need to problem solve on our way to sleep.

Who enjoys that feeling of trying to work out the issues of the day when it is time to drift off into slumber?

Just thinking about what we have to be grateful for, can take our minds off of this problem-solving. It can ease some of the stress of the day, allowing a nice surrender into the void of sleep.

Being Grateful
Photo by Eli DeFaria on Unsplash

A Call to Gratitude.

Life is not an easy thing much of the time. But practicing gratitude can make life a little more enjoyable, maybe even a lot more. Life will still be life though, hitting us with unexpected troubles and problems to solve.

If we aren’t able to adapt to these problems, even greater trouble is bound to manifest. Striving to be grateful, can keep us closer to the reality of things, focused on solutions instead of creating excess stress from focusing on our problems.

With life being life, and us being human, with all the ambitious bodily impulses, needs, and desires we have, it isn’t easy to remain satisfied all the time. It is easy to become dissatisfied and resentful. And even though these states are bound to happen, to stay there is toxic to healthy living.

Look, none of us are going to be grateful all the time. Though isn’t being grateful as much as possible still something to shoot for? We don’t have to beat ourselves up if we don’t always hit that target. But to leave our gratitude completely up to chance seems like a waste of opportunity.

To wrap this up I will send you off with a mission. Take what you have read here today, please apply it to your life in the upcoming week. Use these ways and please experiment with your own ways to stay grateful as much as possible.

That is all we have for today and thank you so much for stopping in to My Life Experiment. What is written here has come from struggle and growth. We sincerely wish you amazing success in spending more of your life being in a state of gratitude.
We truly believe that if you take today’s lessons to heart and apply them, that you will greatly benefit.

To see our Terms and Conditions click here

Opening up Through a Compliment Experiment.

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How important is it to give compliments? That is exactly what this article is all about.

This was exactly my question after I was in a car accident with a gal that may or may not had insurance. After that accident, I started realizing that the emotions I was feeling were making it too easy to get snippy with those close to me (such as my wife and a couple of close friends). So I realized that I needed to do something about how I was feeling.

An idea occurred to me to possibly help with these emotions, as well as to find some evidence for a future path through similar aggressive feelings.

I decided that I would roughly concoct a little compliment experiment. An experiment where I would focus on sharing more compliments with whomever I come into contact with, and especially those close to me.

Be Aggressive, Do Nothing Or Compliment?

I once read a psychological study where the researcher set participants up to feel unwanted emotions, and then gave them outlets for processing them.

One group was advised to punch a punching bag, they also were advised to think about blasting someone who angered them with a blow horn. The other group was given a much more low key option, to basically sit and do nothing. These were all used to see if one, more than the other were more effective in getting participants out of feelings of aggression.

The study found that acting aggressively did not actually help the emotional processing. They found that doing nothing was actually more effective.

With this information, I have to believe that if doing nothing is more effective at processing anger and other similar emotions, then doing something positive, like complimenting others will be even better.

Complementing Rather more than Critiquing.

I was given the advice one time from my recovery sponsor that “for every critique of a life instance, you should give at least 3 positives.” The relevance of this advice can be seen clearly though, it comes down to building up my relationships instead of tearing them down.

Giving compliments can be an especially difficult thing to do when the energies of painful thoughts and emotions are present. Often times emotions like these are looking to be aggressive, either subtly or blatantly causing trouble for others.

It can be difficult to give compliments when feeling hurt. But it seems that being positive when not feeling positive, can allow for processing of the emotion.

The wisdom of the above psychological study is that emotions aren’t most effectively processed with aggressive intent and action.

What is needed is a better way, which is where complimenting others comes into the picture.

Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

The Compliment Experiment.

Over two weeks time my mission was to be complimenting. I complimented others, myself, and life itself. I ran with the idea of saying 3 complimentary ideas for every critique.

I didn’t perform a study in which I logged each time I gave a compliment or didn’t, or how many were given in each day. No, I simply went out with the mission of giving many more compliments than I was accustomed to and checked in on how I felt at the end of the night.

Results of the Experiment.

Interestingly enough, around the conclusion of this experiment, I finally found out that the lady that totaled my car the week before didn’t have car insurance.

After getting that news, I found it very difficult to give compliments. Offering pleasantries felt against the grain. But I kept the experiment in mind and started looking for opportunities to allow the world around me to know that they are appreciated. I complimented a friend of mine, my wife, and then I just started complimenting myself in my thoughts.

What started out as a very difficult emotional state, eventually worked into me feeling better. I, of course, didn’t walk around crapping rainbows, but I didn’t sink into an mental-emotional turmoil. There were certainly angry feelings to deal with, but they didn’t cause any problems.

There are some aspects to my impulses that I hadn’t seen quite as clearly before this experiment. First, it is far easier to critique than it is to give compliments. And Second, there is always a compliment to be given if the willingness to do so is there.

This experiment has given a clear method for developing more life satisfaction, and a route to bring me back to being grateful. It taught that it is much easier to feel better when that piece of the brain that is far too critical, gets a chance a shut up. The experiment also showed me a high-quality method for processing my emotions and keeping myself healthy, growing, and becoming more efficient.

As well, it showed me that when I’m alone with myself and talking about myself, it is just as important to be giving myself enough compliments. Quite often, we are our own worst critics, and it is much easier to notice the qualities I enjoy in others when I am grounded in the recognition of my own.

Photo by Kenan Buhic on Unsplash
That is all we have for today and thank you so much for stopping in to My Life Experiment. What is written here has come from struggle and growth.
We sincerely wish you amazing success in getting the benefits of being a complimentary person. I offer you the challenge of applying what you have read here, as well as experimenting with your own healthy process for using compliments to help find your way into feeling better.
We truly believe that if you take today’s lessons to heart and apply them, that you will greatly benefit. If you enjoyed what you read then I would love for you to do a couple things for us.
  1. If you would like to help support this website by offsetting some of the costs of running it. There is a PayPal button below or in the right sidebar, depending on if you are viewing with mobile or by computer.
  2. Join our email list to Enroll in our Free 7 Day Impulse Negotiation Email Course! The course will help you stop pesky unwanted behaviors, as well as develop a healthier relationship with your bodily impulses.




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Welcome! We are Travis and Casey Hagen, the writer’s and owner’s of My Life Experiment. As recovering Individuals, we are no strangers to leaving behind dysfunctional ways of living. Over the years we have become adept at managing our intense mental and emotional worlds. Finding healing from the past, peace in the present and new ways to bring about success for our futures. Life is meant to be lived. That is why we promote Healthy Life Experimentation Principles for connecting with ourselves, our relationships, and finding healthier ways of bringing about success in our lives. Stick around and pick up what we have learned. You will not be disappointed.

To see our Terms and Conditions click here


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