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.

Photo by Natalia Figueredo on Unsplash
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.

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.

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 Essential Ideas for Letting Things Go.

Letting go is not always an easy thing to do. Sometimes it’s the most painful thing we have to do, that is also necessary.

But what is it to let go, and how can we make this process easier on ourselves. Well, that is exactly what we are going to look into this article.

Letting Things Go?

To need to let go, obviously implies that we are holding onto something. There is an aspect of life, whether real or in our minds that we are trying to keep alive, and it is causing difficulty. If it wasn’t causing difficulty, then why give it up?

I find that letting go, is an action as well as a feeling. When holding onto something that isn’t right, it doesn’t feel good. Stress builds up, as well as mental-emotional disorientation.

But when we can finally shake loose from the experience, there is finally the possibility to find the feeling of freedom.

Letting go is something that only we can do for ourselves. Only by releasing our personal emotional attachment, can we free the energy our impulses have been pumping into it.

The things the Might Need to be Let go.

Us human beings are creatures that are very similar to one another. Though we may not be similar in the aspects of life which we need to let go. But rest assured, there are many things that each of us would do well to release. Some of those may be releasing themselves for our grasp as we speak.

To adapt and grow in this world, we need to find a connection. That could be a connection to others, to ourselves, to belief systems, to hobbies, to animals, to whatever. When we find a connection it provides stability, it allows us to find a place in this world we live in.

Maybe for a while these aspects of life we have found connection with, work well for us. But oftentimes their usefulness or presence fades, and we are forced to make a decision. To let them be in our lives, or let them go. Allowing ourselves to move on with our lives or deal with the consequences of holding onto what is now a fantasy, for too long.

What is needed to be released might be certain worrisome thoughts, certain opportunities, certain relationships, certain expectations, certain past times, certain areas that provided us with the feeling of sanity and protection amongst many other things.

It can be extremely difficult to let things go, but we can make it easier by having ways to work through this process.

Ways to Work Through the Process of Letting Things Go.

Life continues to move on, whether we like it or not. There is much to lose over the span of a lifetime. But holding onto what doesn’t work anymore, holds ourselves back from the beauty of this fluidly moving world.

The first step we need to take in letting things go is to stop engaging the thing that we must lose or have already lost.

1. Stop Engaging what Needs to go.

To stop engaging the things we are letting of means letting go on multiple levels. On the levels of physical interaction, mental interaction, and emotional interaction.

To physically stop involving ourselves with a person, a place, a thing, or an activity is, of course, an incredibly important step. By continuing to physically engage what needs to go, emotions that need processing, continue to be revved up.

Though when discontinuing contact, our mental-emotional worlds will still certainly need attention. Even if we can keep ourselves away physically, our thoughts, memories, and emotions will continue to remind us of what we think we are missing.

The more we allow these thoughts and emotions to pass, the more these impulses can begin interacting with new areas to grow. Instead of once again getting hooked into the strong “need” to reacquaint with the old.

2. Letting Go of Hope.

When focused on aspects of life that are good for us, hope is a tremendously beautiful, visionary, and important state of mind. It gives us reasons to keep working, even though we can’t yet see the results

But when hope is linked in with unworkable scenarios, the beauty of hope mutates into a potentially dark and delusional state.

Grieving is an essential piece of letting go. Especially if what we are having to send off into the sunset is deeply important to us. For grief to do its important work, we must give up hope for what getting back what is lost. But must also develop hope that our situation will once again get better.

Letting Things Go
Photo by Matt Lamers on Unsplash
3. Find New Areas to Place our Energies.

There is a great deal of energy left over when leaving unworkable situations behind. The more attached and committed we were to the relationship, the more energy that will be begging to be used.

This energy needs new homes, new things to do. Maybe that is getting back in touch with relationships and hobbies that have always been around. It also might be about embarking on entirely new journeys, with new hobbies and relationships.

It may be very difficult to want to do new things with energy that used to be dedicated to someone or something else. All of that energy could easily turn into a depressive state.

Whether it is easy for you to move on from what is being lost or not, staying active with healthy activities and people we help the process of letting things go, immensely.

4. Stay Focused on the Beauty of the Present.

When letting things go, it can be easy to get caught in regret and resentment. And why wouldn’t that be the case?

Time, energy, and effort were all given, and for some reason, in the end, it all didn’t work out. Don’t get me wrong, letting things go can flat out suck.

But even when going through the emotions of letting go, the world around us is full of life, beauty, and great possibilities. In times where I am needing to move on, I often remind myself that this present moment is perfect as it is. This reminder can help me realize that just because I am hurting, there is good all around me.

Giving some effort to being grateful for the present moment, life, relationships, health and anything else I can think of, is a worthwhile effort.

5. Look at the Loss with a Growth Mentality.

When having to let go, it can be easy to feel like time as entirely been wasted. Perhaps from time to time, we wind up spending too much time in a go-nowhere situation. But I assure you that the efforts can and at all costs should be learned from.

A long-time friend often says that we need to have the experience, learn the lesson, gain the wisdom, and do the next thing that is right for our own lives.

It is pointless in getting locked into anger, self-pity, regret, and resentment for what didn’t work. Every situation in our lives, whether it worked out or not, will teach us valuable lessons, if we remain teachable.

It is important to learn these lessons so that we don’t have to repeat them. Then we can better use our energy in the future, making new mistakes, and stumbling our way into success.

Getting on with Life.

Whether you are having trouble letting go of something, someone, some experience, or not, getting on with life is a good motto.

If you are having trouble, I feel you. In the worst cases like coping with death and long term relationship breakups, it can feel like life is all ending. There is always more to our stories though.

Pain in the short term will be alleviated by taking care of ourselves over the long-term. Life is short, so spending as little time as possible letting go is ideal. Just because life moves on, doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy it. In fact, I think that gives all the more reason to enjoy it! Don’t you?

Letting Things Go
Photo by averie woodard 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 letting go of people, places and experiences that no longer work for you. I offer you the challenge of applying what you have read here, as well as experimenting with your own healthy ways for letting things go.
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

Guide for Living with Healthy Expectations.

A crucial part of living a healthy life is living with healthy expectations. We cannot escape having expectations. We have them for ourselves, for others and essentially every aspect of life that affects us.

These expectations we carry are both an unavoidable part of life, a potential pain inducing one, and one with important benefits. Let’s find some ways to make these expectations as healthy as possible.

Having Expectations.

Developing expectations is an unavoidable part of our existence. These expectations are grown as we and our brains get busy putting a life together.

Our brains formulate plans naturally and when we start wanting such and such they get concocting. They say, “okay if we do X+Y then I am pretty sure we will get Z.” The more convinced we become that this equation is correct, the more we expect it to happen.

The only ones that can build our lives the way we can live with, is ourselves. But there are many more aspects of life that we will have to rely on others or sometimes sheer luck to bring about the best lives we can. So with the way our brains formulate, it also may have to say that X is the spouse, the colleague, the child, the parent, or our understanding of how an aspect of life works.

Inevitable Disappointment.

Just as expectations are unavoidable, as are the inevitable disappointment we will experience as many of these expectations are unmet. Being disappointed generally doesn’t feel good. But does that mean that all expectations should be avoided so we can avoid that feeling altogether? Absolutely not.

Some would actually say that the way to a healthy life is to have no expectations at all. That this state of not expecting anything would be the ultimate peaceful way. But sorry, there is going to be a lot of disappointment while learning to not expect. Even anticipation of peace from not expecting anything becomes an expectation we will likely be disappointed by.

A Life without Expectation.

What would life be like without expectation? If you didn’t expect to get in trouble for not showing up to work on time, would you? If your spouse or friends didn’t require good treatment to build a healthy relationship, would you treat them the same or more poorly? When you were a child if you hadn’t come to expect that the hot stove will burn you, would you have stopped messing with it?

Of course, the list goes on and on about how our expectations are useful. When we come to learn about the world and how it works, we anticipate at least to a certain degree that it will continue as such. Our expectations can save us from pain, help us predict future becoming’s, and allow us to develop healthy relationships.

Expectations are of course not created equal and we don’t have to live in a consistent state of disappointment because we have them. A big part of this is learning how to lessen the amount of unhealthy expectation in our routine, and developing more of the healthy variety.

Healthy and Unhealthy Expectations.

These ways that we expect, affect all aspects of our lives. They affect our relationship with ourselves, our relationship to life, and relationships with other people. There is tremendous value in taking great care in the way we create these expectations. Our healthy connection to all of these relationships depends on this.

I hope you are getting my point that there are healthy and unhealthy expectations. We could call them necessary or unnecessary expectations. Sometimes they are referred to as reasonable and unreasonable, sometimes realistic and unrealistic. Learning to differentiate between the two is critical for our ability to have an enjoyable life.

So how do we? How do we expect in healthy ways and avoid expecting in ways that could be self and relationship damaging?

Guidance for Creating Healthy Expectations.

1. Set Personal Standards and Purpose for how We Expect.

You have probably heard the old adage that “If we stand for nothing, we will fall for anything.”  This is the statement that rings true when we do not have purpose and standards, guiding our bodily impulses.

To have healthy relationships we have to set personal standards and purpose for how we expect. We need to formulate a go-to way that we will allow ourselves to expect, and for how we do it. Otherwise, we leave our expectations up to chance, maybe it will come out healthy, or maybe a little crazy.

The remaining points here are suggested standards to be placed on how we expect, with the purpose of creating trusting healthy relationships, and reducing personal pain.

2. Communicate Expectations.

Communication is a vital part of developing healthy relationships. That goes for ourselves and our relationships with others.

We need to make sure that we stay informed about what we are expecting. Reminding ourselves of those expectations in some manner. The same goes for our relationships with others, uncommunicated expectations can put great strain on our relations with others.

Without communicating what is expected we will likely be disappointed that those around us or even ourselves are not respecting our wishes. Well, they aren’t respecting our wishes because they probably don’t know our wishes!

We have every right in the world, and even obligation to communicate what and why we expect something. Communicating these expectations may be uncomfortable at first but in the long run, it can save a great deal of unnecessary disappointment and sore feelings.

3. Experience and Knowledge are Key.

The knowledge and experience that we have is the key to developing healthy expectations. A well-informed mind will have a much more keen sense for what to expect than one that is misinformed or uninformed.

As we learn that certain ways of behaving will lead to pain, we learn to expect that pain. So we can have the opportunity to avoid it. On the flipside, when we come to expect positive results by learning what brings those results, then we can engage in more of those behaviors to help our lives out.

Studied experience teaches us reasonable expectations. No there is no substitute for personal experience. But, learning from the experiences of others is very important as well.

4. Practice Intellectual Humility.

Experience and knowledge are essential in living with healthy expectations, but even with these, we can’t always expect them to be accurate. To expect that is foolhardy as all hell.

Life is going to surprise us with curveballs. None of us have all the information, or time to study all the aspects that can affect us. We need to leave ourselves open to be surprised. Being in the habit of closed-mindedness and overconfidence in our personal knowledge is not a good use of our mental and emotional life.

Expectations that are left open to change are expectations that will hurt less when they are not met.

5. Learn a Healthy Level of Emotional Detachment.

Emotional detachment as I am calling it isn’t about separating ourselves from our emotions. That is actually a recipe for losing touch with ourselves when maintaining connection with self is ideal. Instead, it is about separating our emotions from expected outcomes.

The more emotionally attached we are to an expectation, the more disappointment is likely when it is not met. This is not a message to try and get you to rid yourself of excitement for hopes and dreams coming true. But I do recommend being careful.

Life is an ever-changing thing, that being said, our expectations need to be flexible. Our thoughts and emotions also need to remain as agile as possible to deal with the onslaught of life changes in a healthy way. The more attached we are to a certain expectation needing to come true, in a certain way, the harder it will be to let go of when it is no longer useful.

But the more we are able to allow our expectations to adapt and flow, our lives will be filled with the benefits of being grateful.

Expectation
Photo by Hannah Busing on Unsplash

Closing Thoughts.

With as difficult as the realm of expectations can be, with some work, anyone with the capacity for rational thought can learn to have healthy ones.

The guidelines in this article are intentionally held vague, use the ideas in it to fill in the blanks with the specific ways you will put these ideas into action.

If you have any ideas and would like to share them, please share them in the comment section below.

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 living with healthy expectations.
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 Essentials for Balanced and Responsible Daydreaming.

Daydreaming is something that we all do. Although some individuals do so more than others.

So is there anything wrong with day-dreaming? And maybe even more importantly, is there anything good about it?

Daydreaming.

I don’t know about you but throughout my life, daydreaming has been a consistent partner. Sometimes for the better, but even more often, not so much.

To daydream is to have our minds wander. It is not to be confused with active visualization of events and problem-solving. No, to daydream our minds lead the way. Most of the time it is difficult to notice that we have even slipped into this mental activity.

Our daydreaming is driven by both our natural drive for making sense of our lives, as well as for plotting a path for accomplishing what we desire. In a sense, much of daydreaming comes from our desire to have life be different from what it is. This could be because we are having trouble dealing with stress, we’re highly ambitious people or both.

Mind Wandering can be Bad for Our Happiness.

Another problem that comes with daydreaming is from doing it too often. Even when it is about thoughts that elicit initially positive feelings, according to research out of Harvard.

A researcher developed an iPhone application for participants that randomly pinged them throughout the day. Doing so to ask them brief questions that had to do with their state of happiness, what they were currently engaged in, and if they were paying attention to what was happening.

What they found was that the more the participants of the study daydreamed, the more unhappy they were. The study also makes another point. That is that the more unhappy the participants were, the more their minds wandered.

A vicious cycle of daydreaming and unhappiness can develop if we are not careful. But the research does make the point that it is because of our current unhappiness that our minds wander, not the other way around.

When we find ourselves in a present moment in which we are struggling, sliding into daydreams will likely be more frequent.

Unpleasant Emotion and Daydreaming.

The state of our daydreaming is deeply affected by the state of our emotions. When in a rather pleasant state of emotion we may not feel the need to daydream. We may feel contented to stay in the moment, staying connected with the world around us.

Though as was written above, sliding into daydreams may happen more frequently when the present moment isn’t to our liking.

Life is obviously not always a pleasant thing. The more unpleasant it feels, the more difficult it is to desire to be where we are. Our minds do have the ability to at least mentally take us to another, more likable place. But of course, our bodies are left to hang out here in “reality.”

There is an obvious downside to daydreaming too much. Maladaptive daydreaming is an actual mental health disorder to show that it can get in the way of living a healthy life.

But even though daydreaming comes with some difficulties, there is at least one positive aspect of daydreaming worth understanding.

Creative Nature of Daydreaming.

The daydreaming that we do, isn’t disconnected from our lives. Whether it is about the past, the future, or even the present, our brains are working things out. They are seeking healing from the past and best path to take to what we desire for the future.

Too much daydreaming may have negative effects on the amount of happiness we feel. But daydreaming is also highly creative, meaning that it helps develop and recognize new ways to get things done. Neglecting to reap benefit from this natural process in our brains is just silly.

Our brains are going to daydream, there is no escaping this fact. Daydreaming is going to happen and with the benefits this process can give, we should want it to. What we need is to find a balanced approach to help get the benefit from this natural brain process. As well as for limiting the possible negative effects.

Daydreaming
Photo by Allef Vinicius on Unsplash

 

 

How to Be Responsible Daydreamers.

Being a responsible daydreamer also means being a balanced daydreamer. In other words, a daydreamer that doesn’t allow the activity to get out of control. But also doesn’t completely reject and stay away from its creative potential.

We have a few tips for you to help you find this daydream balance. This will help guide you to the realm of the responsible.

1. Take Care of Priorities.

Often times when we fall behind on taking care of our priorities, stress builds. The more we allow that stress to build up the more we are likely to allow our minds to wander too much.

By taking care of our priorities, we can help ensure that the daydreaming we do is healthy. So when we sit back to relax and allow our mind to wander, there isn’t a backlog of tasks that our minds have to obsess about. This frees our minds creative abilities, making it more likely that we can have a pleasant experience rather than a troubled one.

2. Stay Connected with the Present Moment as much as Possible.

There are plenty of reasons to not want to be awake in the present moment. Maybe the way things are don’t meet our standards. Possibly our jobs or our families are expecting more than we care to deal with.

But by staying connected to the moment throughout our day, when it is time to allow our minds to wander, it will be much more enjoyable.

3. Set Aside Time to let the Mind Wander.

Setting aside time tells the our brains that we are making a commitment. It allows us to know what to expect. There are several physiological benefits from daydreaming. If the areas of the brain that trigger daydreaming know they will get what they need later this evening, they may be less forceful in triggering daydreaming when it is inappropriate.

The same goes for ourselves. Knowing that we have time set aside for letting our minds wander later, will make it easier to stay focused throughout the rest of the day.

4. Being of Guidance to Daydreaming but not Controlling.

To daydream is to allow our minds to wander. Though our minds aren’t wandering if we are trying to make it wander where we want it to.

But if our minds continually wander to places that are overly negative or stress-inducing, it’s okay to gently guide it back on track. For me, I actually say “I love you” to my mind, then give my mind another option. That or I just do my best to ignore what it is trying to show me and allow it to pass.

If it won’t pass we may have to find other avenues to take.

5. If Content is Compulsively Negative, Find Something Else to do.

Sometimes when sitting down to allow the mind to wander, it can my be stuck on rather unpleasant events. In this case it may be best to find something else to do. Maybe this is happening because we aren’t taking care of our needs and priorities, or spending too much time daydreaming outside of our set time. It could also be because our emotional energies are too busy trying to figure something out.

As far as what to do instead, it should probably be something to wear off some energy like exercising or having some laughs with a friend. That or an act that helps make sense of our emotional state, like therapeutic writing, or doing some mindful breathing.

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 daydreaming in ways that are balanced and responsible. We truly believe that if you take today’s lessons to heart and apply them, that you will greatly benefit.

 

The Struggle is Real?

They say that “The Struggle is Real.”

Urban Dictionary defines the statement as “The hardness and difficulties of everyday life being unbearable and apparent.”

It is usually used to describe fairly simple problems that the average “first world” human being goes through. Like having a tire get a flat, only getting a half nights sleep or the countless times where expectations are not met. Which are fairly simple problems compared to the number of people that are suffering greatly all over the world.

Hearing the statement lately I came to think of the statement at another angle. How much time do we spend struggling with problems that don’t really exist?

Homeless struggleOf Course, the Struggle is Real.

Yes, there is struggle in the world, there is pain and there is suffering. I would imagine that is something we can all agree on.

Honestly, I cannot imagine the horror that many “first world” citizens go through, as well as a much higher percentage that is found in the “third world.”

I live in Fargo, North Dakota. Compared to probably over 90% of the world’s population I exist in the spoiled zone. No, I don’t have loads of money or a flashy car. But I have a growing family in a nice house, running water, and a decent job. Considering that roughly 60% of the world doesn’t even have running water, I would say that I am in pretty damn good shape.

Though of course I do struggle, have pain, and yes the occasional suffering. It may not be as much as others struggle. Though even though I may not struggle as much as others, does not make mine less important. The obstacles that enter my path, whether big or small, must be negotiated none the less. I say the same goes for every one of you if there is struggle, it needs to be dealt with in some manner or another.

Real Struggles with Fantasized Problems?

There are real problems and of course many issues to find ourselves struggling with. But how much of the struggle is stemming from problems that aren’t really problems at all?

Let me ask you a few questions. Have you ever worked yourself up, worrying over a problem you were sure was going to harm you or others? Planning and plotting to respond, so sure that a messy situation that required swift action was going to take place? One more question. Have you ever had the time come when this problem was going to erupt and you realize nothing is happening? The problem that was expected, didn’t show up after all.

How much of our struggles do we bring onto ourselves by fantasizing problems that never show up? Or over-dramatizing something that could be a little struggle into a big one? Of course, I cannot answer this question for you. It is hard enough to answer this question for myself.

The process to Lessen the Amount that We Struggle.

Life, of course, brings about great amounts of pain. For example, we can’t control that loved ones pass away. We also can’t control all sorts of other curveballs the world throws at us. Many problems are ones that cannot be ignored, and if we do they will haunt our consciousness until we deal with them. I repeat. The real problems that we don’t deal with will haunt us until we deal with them. And inevitably will only bring more struggle than would have taken place had we dealt with them in the first place.

With all of the real problems life inevitably brings do you really want to waste all sorts of time and energy on those that aren’t even real? I know I don’t.

The trick to limiting the amount of fantasized problems, and taking care of the real is not a simple one.  It takes hard work and vigilance to keep ourselves in reality in this way. Though the years I have spent in recovery with this brain that is prone to worry and fantasy have learned a great deal. Here are some essential tips that I have come to live by.

1. Staying Emotionally Balanced.

Staying on our emotional A-game is so important to keep our problems and our struggles in reality. Past emotions have a way of creeping into the present. Leading us to believe that history is going to repeat itself. Thus projecting a fantasy of our own creation onto our future selves.

To keep problems and struggles in reality our emotions need to be in reality. Checking in to settle down our emotions in times of struggle can save a lot of suffering. For me, I generally do this through meditation, therapeutic writing, or chatting with healthy people I trust.

Struggle Friend2. Being Connected to Healthy People.

Being connected to these people that will not allow me to complain but will respect my emotions has been so important. Without the support of all the people around me from friends, family and colleagues I would spend an absurd amount of time with unnecessary struggles. The Philosopher Aristotle said that we “are by nature social animals.” I couldn’t agree more, we are not meant to do this life thing on our own.

When running our troubles by our trusted people we may be surprised or even pissed off when told we are wasting our time and energy. They can point out the real problem that we are not seeing, or emotion that is clouding our judgment. They could point out that we are obsessing about a situation that doesn’t exist. Hell, sometimes they even let us know that we aren’t crazy and they actually agree! Their insights are invaluable.

3. Deal with Real Problems as Soon as Possible.

As much as we might like them to go away, there is no amount of denying the real problems in our lives that will make them fantasies. If we feel we need to take care of a problem and the stakes don’t feel risky, then I am generally safe to go ahead and do it. But if the stakes seem a little risky and we are confused in any way about what we should be taking care of. Then I take some time out to go back to Steps 1 and 2.

As soon as I find out to the best of my and my trusted people’s abilities that my problem needs dealing with, I do it. Taking prompt actions with our real problems keep our struggles from growing unnecessarily. I also find that I find myself creating problems out of thin air, while I am procrastinating something else that actually needs my care

4. Let Fantasized Problems Fade Away

The more strongly convinced we are that our fantasized problems are real, the more difficult it is to let them go. But to quit wasting our time with them and get busy living in the real, we need to let them go. Or else we will just spend our time struggling with these problems in a fruitless attempt to make them a reality.

There is a grieving process that goes along with letting our fantasized problems fade away. Letting our belief in a fake problem go can actually be painful. We may think that we are putting ourselves in a dangerous situation. Dealing with the emotions that come out of this process has to happen to let them go. That emotion that may stem from who knows when can now get some much-needed attention. And we can move forward with a little less struggle in our lives and more energy on creative ways to bring success into our lives.

 

Managing Feelings of Rejection.

Any individual that is making an effort at building a life worth fighting for is going to have to face rejection.

We are going to have our efforts pushed back in our faces from time to time. Maybe in ways that are meant to hurt, possibly in gentle ways. The rejection could just be from simple misunderstandings.

Lets look a little closer at rejection and see if we can discover some ideas for how the feeling begins. As well as find some helpful solutions for moving through it as smoothly as possible.

Any Relationship Offers up a Good Deal of Rejection.

Whether the relationship is with family, lovers, children, co-workers or whatever form the relationship has, the feelings of rejection are going to happen. There is no way around it.

Life is always changing and that is the nature of relationships as well. Everybody has their own worlds of creative energy coming to the surface. The truth is that we won’t always have the same ideas in mind on how to move forward in our relationships.

Sometimes rejection is flat out rejection. Simply put, not everyone in this world wants our time, our thoughts, or our presence. We offer ourselves up, and individuals say “get out of here with that!” Other times the rejection may not be so simple.

Relationships are such a difficult thing to manage, they are complex. They require negotiation, compromise, hard work, and continuous communication. We agree on terms for the relationship, then the terms change.

Growth is needed to keep relationships alive. Boredom happens, making it necessary to leave some of the old behind. We may end up expressing ourselves in different ways, forcing others into the position to respond.

They may play along or they may decide not to play along. Not playing along can be a retreat to the old by the rejected, or a refusal to move into the new by the rejecter. Too much rejection and not enough growth can be the death of a relationship. In any relationship we are a part of this is the case.

Another time that rejection may occur in a relationship is when the other person or we are just not in the mood. In this case, even every day expected actions may not be acceptable. Most everything may be annoying and all others may need is the look on our faces to feel rejected.

A close friend told me that it’s okay for one person in a relationship to be in too sensitive state for a little bit, but not both. Probably because there ends up being too many rejections for a relationship to handle in a healthy way.

Rejection man

The Feelings of Rejection.

What it really comes down to is that anytime we introduce ourselves, speak our minds, offer or request support, give a gift or give a damn, there is the possibility of being rejected. So beware and remember that certain emotions may follow.

Powerful feelings may be triggered when we feel rejected. They can range from deep agony and loneliness to all-out blind rage. The feelings could also be as subtle as a little irritation, to really no problematic feeling at all. Some of these emotions can bring great pain. Especially if there was a great emotional investment in and great expectations for the relationship.

When we offer up our needs, desires, and assistance we are putting ourselves out on a limb of sorts. These efforts are an investment toward a way of life that we may want. As well as a bit of a lifeline at times to see that we aren’t alone in this world. It can suck to have our efforts rejected since other people are so important for our successful personal development and often times our survival.

The pain from rejection is very real. In this Psychology today article it talks about how feelings of rejection piggyback on physical pain pathways in the brain. Another hint at this is that pain relievers like Tylenol have actually been shown to dull the pain of rejection.

The feelings of rejection don’t seem to be just in our heads. They stem from somewhere. It’s very possible that a strong rejection I feel today could stem from a situation that happened in the past. It could have taken place many years ago and here I am feeling as if it is all has to do with this very moment. Or it could be that we just had a proverbial knife stabbed into our backs, or maybe right in our faces.

Risk personThe Importance of Risking Rejection.

In any relationship, in order for it to grow and ourselves to grow in it, we must risk rejection. We must confront issues that arise and offer new ideas and new efforts to continue adapting to the changing world.

If there are too many problems in a relationship eating up our conscious or unconscious energy we are missing out on further adaptation. The energy that would be better-used tackling issues heads on tends to fester into anger, worry, resentment. The relationship risks rotting from the inside out.

Problems in relationships need swift action to remedy them. But when confronting problems in a relationship there is always a risk of rejection. It is almost as if we need to be willing to risk losing the relationship at times when confronting tough issues. But I have found that it is the avoidance of the issues, that is even more damaging.

I have lost many relationships and great opportunities throughout my life because I was not willing and possibly not able to deal with rejection. I am truly grateful that over the years I have learned a great deal about this process.

Dealing With The Feelings of Rejection and Finding Healthy Ways to Risk.

1. Know What We are Risking Ahead of Time.

Taking risks in relationships is critical to their growth and personal growth. But we should try to understand the risks we are taking before we take them. This can help curb undesired consequences and maybe save some pain.

Of course, rejection can be felt any time new little risks are taken that we don’t even think about. If someone doesn’t laugh at a silly joke of mine I sometimes feel rejected. Though life wouldn’t be much fun if I constantly measured my risk of rejection before every time I opened my mouth.

What I am talking about here is not constant monitoring, but just having some awareness of the big moves that are coming up in life. Thinking about them in a healthy way and preparing accordingly. It is also important to have an awareness of when the fear of rejection comes up.

2. Understand the Level of Risk Aversion and Test for Balance.

Some people are completely cool with taking crazy risk after risk. Others like myself need to come out of the shell to balance out high-risk aversion. Some people may risk too much, and others are way too uptight.

If you are on the too risky side and are troubled with feeling a lot of rejection, maybe slow down a bit. And if you are too risk-averse, finding yourself feeling stuck in life, jump out there and get your feelings hurt a little bit. It’s going to be alright. It is entirely possible for people with both tendencies to find a balance.

Some individuals recommend going out and actively seeking opportunities for rejection to help squelch the fear of rejection. This is not something I have actively tried. But over the decade I have spent in recovery from addiction I understand the need to take risks and prove our fears of rejection wrong.

3. Have Healthy People Around Often.

Without healthy people around to talk to we are essentially swimming around in an ocean of uncertainty all alone. It is more difficult to see our personal strengths and weaknesses. They can help us see the pieces of our reality that we currently may be blinded from.

Having healthy people around to bounce ideas and emotions off of has many benefits. They can keep us in finding solutions instead of allowing us to complain. As well as build us up and remind us of how capable we are when we are doubting ourselves. And they may be able to point out when we are in way over our heads and don’t see it.

4. Timing is very Important.

Not every time we want to make a change in our lives and in our relationships is the right time. Sometimes striking when emotion is high is the answer. Other times waiting for the emotion to cool down can keep us from overwhelming those we wish to grow with. Acting too fast or too slow may snuff out the fire of a new opportunity.

I like to take time out to meditate, talk to my trusted people and then meditate some more. Then I generally find that balance I am looking for. But don’t get me wrong, sometimes decisions need to be made quickly and that’s why it’s important that my thoughts and emotions are in a good place as often as possible.

5. Keeping Our Thoughts and Emotions in Check.

Life is unpredictable and without keeping ourselves in healthy mental and emotional states we can get tossed around like ragdolls. The feelings of rejection are much easier to handle if we are in stable mood states. We will not be able to predict all of the times that people will not be emotionally, mentally or physically available to us. Nor can we predict when someone will decide to maliciously attack our characters.

Of course, even if we are mentally and emotionally stable, rejection can hurt. But maybe we can stop that hurt in its place, then feel the rejection responsibly. Allowing us to keep the rejection from hurting us more, or winding up hurting others.

Closing Thoughts.

So yes, rejection is unavoidable. But this is no reason to avoid living our lives. Life goes on after rejection, coming with many more opportunities for interpersonal connection and personal growth. Step up and take some of those upcoming risks everything is going to be okay.

I wish you well on your path of navigating the feelings of rejection. This article was written out of what was learned from personal struggle and growth. We truly believe that if you take what was written here that it will benefit you greatly.

 

 

 

 

 

Worrying: What is it Good for?

Right off the bat, I have a question for you. How often do you find yourself worrying? I don’t care if it is worrying about your children, family, lover, finances, or the many other items in your life and mind.

Now just one more question. Is the worry worth it?

These are two questions that I hope linger in your minds as we dive into the topic of worry. Now let’s look closer to find the possible good, bad, and purpose of worrying. As well as some ways to help smooth out this stressful process.

Things we Worry about.

The reasons that we worry seem to be endless. Though there seems to be a common theme among this endless list of worrisome subjects. The theme is that we care about them, or we believe they are going to harm what we care for. If we didn’t care about losing something if we didn’t feel something we cared about was threatened, what reason would we have to worry about it?

To care about something is to be emotionally invested. It is a very human thing to care. It is also quite human to worry about losing something that we care for. The world is an unpredictable place, full of unknowns that could potentially be dangerous. Our minds project a fantasy into that world of unknowns to up the survival chances of the things that have our care. Sometimes we predict well and ward off potential threats, and other times there is nothing we can do about it.

But let’s back up a bit here. What is worry anyway? By clicking to read this article I am guessing that you are someone who has at some point worried. Like me, you know exactly what it feels like. You know the mind begins coming up with all sorts of stories to predict the future. I’m quite sure you also have felt the relief that comes from when the thing that’s worried about turns out to be completely fine. And you have probably had your worry be true.

To understand worry a little deeper, we need to talk briefly about its relationship to fear.

Worry and Fear.

At the heart of worry, I see fear. I see a natural process that is preparing us for change. This energizes our creative process, accelerating our minds to problem solve and get our bodies to take action. In this process, our minds and bodies are fighting change as well as preparing for the new, brewing up an incredible amount of creative energy. If the fear response is allowed to go on for too long it has negative consequences for the health of our bodies and our relationships.

You have probably heard of the bodies fight, flight or freeze response. This is a physical response in the body that is brought up by fear of potential threat. The brain begins cutting off the flow of energy to bodily processes that seem unnecessary for protecting itself from attack. That energy flows to the places in the body that will better protect us from said threat.

This response is a tricky bugger to deal with. Because the thing we are fearing doesn’t even need to be real for it to kick up this process. Our brains and bodies can direct us to put out fires that don’t even exist. We can perceive threats that are not even there. And if we have a history of trauma, hidden internal damage can easily be mistaken as external threats.

The fear response is and has been extremely important for our species ability to move forward through time. And still important in relatively safe times today. Though for individuals that have made a habit out of worry, the response is left to lay waste to eat away at our bodies from the inside out. For not very good reasons at all.

When Worry Gets Dysfunctional.

It is difficult to look into the lives of others and say worry is dysfunctional for them. Maybe we can only figure out what type of worry is dysfunctional for ourselves.

Today I realize worry is getting out of hand when I am feeling unproductive stress and not doing much to solve the problem that my life faces. When my mind has been going in circles and the stress builds, I know I need to slow down and reevaluate my thinking. I need to find out if I am actively and productively problem solving or just driving myself crazy.

Finding Relief from Worry.

It is highly important to learn how to shut down worry. This is whether the fear and possible paranoia are about a real or imagined scenario. Even though each of these can feel equally real.

If we continue to feed the fear, threats that are not there are more likely to be dreamed up. And the longer we feed the fear the more easily it is to convince ourselves that we should be worrying. It is like a car that is stuck in the mud, only digging itself in deeper when attempting to free itself.

So let’s work on finding our way out of the fear of worrying to get our creative energies directed into the right places.

1. Slow down to Feel the Fear and Other Emotions Present.

The old saying is that “cooler minds prevail.” To me, this means that we can find better courses of action when we slow down our worrying fear-based minds, emotions, and actions. When we cut off the worrying we can find better solutions than we could while being directed by our fear. Studies have shown that when too much fear is present, our IQ’s actually shrink.

Where there is worry there is fear and there is also pain. Maybe it is pain from a loss that is anticipated but not real. Or maybe it’s the pain in ourselves that is connected to the loss in the past. Whether the pain comes from anticipating our loss, re-feeling a past loss or experiencing loss in the present, it’s best to feel what is there.

Once the emotion is felt, the energy that is fueling the worry just might get a chance to dissipate. Feeling these emotions isn’t always easy, there may be fear, sadness, anger, and much else to feel. This obviously isn’t going to magically fix a real fear induced situation, but it will put us in a better place to act from a more sane self. We may find that the fear we are sensing has nothing to do with the world outside ourselves.

Worry Perception2. Remind Ourselves of Times that Worry and Our Perceptions have been Wrong.

Have you ever worked yourself up into a mess of worry and had the relief that comes from having it not be true? I sure have. This reminds me of when I was younger and would get spooked by a shape in a dark room. Only to turn on the light and have the monster be a couple jackets hanging on the wall. Well, I find this can still happen pretty easily in life, whether the fear is finances, politics or what have you. Not to say that all fears about these things are unfounded, but they don’t have to seem like such immediate dangers that have no hope.

These days I get a sense of peace from telling my worrying mind that all this fear right now may be full of crap. Reality is not always as it seems. I am truly grateful to understand that my world is much safer than my mind can lead me to believe.

3. Take Productive Action.

Worry can be a sign that some action needs to be taken. Maybe it is a clear action like getting out of the way of that moving vehicle or paying the electric bill. Though maybe the needed action is not so clear. The needed action might actually be to stop taking actions because we are creating unnecessary problems.

We need to find something to do with the energy that drives worry. If all I do is worry, I am not accomplishing a damn thing. But if I use my worry as a sign that helps me make an important change, then we are getting somewhere.

4. Let Go of the Need to Control.

Learning how to let go and trust is a beautiful thing. Now I am not telling anyone to put their head in the sand, not protecting themselves and loved ones. But when we find out that we cannot do anything about the situation, we can let it go. When we find out that our worry was unfounded, we can let it go. And after we have taken the proper actions to make it through the fearful situation, we can now let that go too.

Who in their right minds desires to stress themselves out with worry when they don’t have to. There is freedom in letting go of control.

5. Let our Trusted People Help with this Entire Process.

Talking to our trusted friends when worrying can have many benefits. They may be able to help us calm down if we can’t do that by ourselves. As well as help us come to terms with what is real in what we are fearing, and what we have some control over. They can help guide us into the next right action to take. If we are not able to come to terms with what to do on our own, we need healthy and trustworthy people to help us.

Some people run absolutely everything in their lives through the minds of those around them. This doesn’t happen to be my approach. For me, I am much more comfortable doing what I can do and then enlisting the support of others when my efforts prove to not be enough. Whichever level of support you require or desire, the truth remains that healthy relationships are essential

Worry ReliefConclusion.

The question I care to answer here is in the title of this article. What is worrying good for?

I cannot say that worry is good for absolutely nothing. Because there is something important happening for us when worry arises. It is telling us that something is not right with our world with a lot of energy to solve the issue.

Worry may be telling us there something wrong with our outside world or our inside world. Which one it is isn’t always so clear but by implementing the list above, you may find your way to the answer. That worry is present is an important sign to fix a problem, correct. But finding a way out of the worry is of even greater importance.

To be worrying is to be unproductively stressing out. It is a thief of creative energies when left to its own devices. But worry does not have control over us if we can catch ourselves in it. And it is possible to find gratitude and healthy solutions even in times where it feels uncontrollably powerful. Relieving ourselves of the habit of worry is a very real thing.

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 truly believe that if you take today’s lessons to heart and apply them, that you will greatly benefit.

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Anger: An Unsung Emotion for Moving Forward.

Anger has a bit of a bad reputation. And many of us do not have a healthy relationship with anger but it is never too late to turn that around. We can develop a healthy relationship with the emotion and learn how to use the energy it carries in healthy ways. In ways that will free our healthy ambitions, enhance mental health, and lead us to our best lives possible.

So What is Anger?

I believe that at the very heart of anger is a being’s ambitious and creative bodily impulses seeking to find it’s way. When the energy doesn’t find it’s way into the world, it gets built up. This only generates more persistence to find liberation from the resistance against it. It means more anger to push us to get moving.

Anger is not necessarily pleasant energy to deal with. It is also not an energy that will be easily ignored. It is not just going to go away. At first, these angry thoughts and impulses may gently ask for our attention. With the asking turning to forceful demands as we neglect to respond and take action.

When we don’t take the actions we need to for too long the energy may take action into its own hands. It may create all sorts of problems internally and with our relationships.

The Battle with my Anger.

Anger Face

I would love to say that my history with anger has been rooted in nothing but a healthy expression of the emotion. But no, it has been loaded with dysfunction and pain.

I had no clue that I simply had an abundance of creative energy that had nowhere to go.

Because of my lack of awareness of the crazy amount of energy in me and the anger I developed I damaged or destroyed many relationships and opportunities for success. It wasn’t until I began my journey of recovery that I began healing relationships and learning about the source of my anger. As well as doing work to heal the past that exists inside of myself.

Today, the ways I deal with my anger has mostly entered the world of the sane. My anger only sneaks in and causes problems once in a while, and to a much lesser degree than in the past. Because over the years I have found a new way to live.

Anger

Lessening the Danger in Anger.

The danger in anger is clear. I am sure we all know someone or have been someone who has spilled this energy out in ways that cause embarrassment, humiliation, relationship loss or even jail time.

Dealing with anger irresponsibly doesn’t process the emotion. And unprocessed energy in anger leads to excess stress, anxiety, and diminished mental health

The Buddha likened holding onto anger to “holding onto hot coals.” So in order to process it, we must find healthy ways to let this sometimes painful energy find its way out of us and into the world. To me, this doesn’t mean that any form of acting on or communicating anger is harmful. But we do need to find the right ways.

In this study, individuals were asked to respond in an either aggressive or non-aggressive way to a situation. The researchers wanted to see if either way of responding would lessen the amount of anger felt in those individuals. The study found that not acting did a better job of lessening anger than trying to vent the anger aggressively.

The findings may run contrary to what our anger might tell us will work to release our tension. Anger may say I better yell at this person because they pissed me off. It might also say I need to quit this job because I don’t like the way the boss looked at me. There are an endless supply of probably dangerously silly decisions the thoughts that go along with anger can lead us to make.

Healthy Ways to Deal with Anger.

The study above may have said that not acting did a better job than acting aggressively. Though doing nothing too often, can lead us to be pushovers or to be in denial of issues we need to deal with. And acting out on anger in rash ways usually causes more problems than we started with. So what is the answer here?

We have compiled a list of healthy ways of dealing with the possibly misguided thoughts and impulses of being angry that don’t involve aggression or doing nothing. We hope they can help you process your anger and develop a better relationship with it.

1. Don’t make hasty decisions.

Far too often when I am feeling angry I think that something needs to be done right here and right now. Though more often than not, taking actions in haste when angry has created unnecessary problems.

If you are angry and the job, spouse or whatever else is the target of those possibly violent thoughts, please take some deep breathes and don’t quit. Don’t abandon the relationship just yet. Our judgment may be clouded and we need to step back to find out what is REAL! Then if you find out you actually are being taken advantage of then find a healthy way to leave or stay.

2. Chat with trusted friends.

After holding off on making quick decisions while too pissed off, allow a close friend to chat with. A trusted friend can help us calm down and may help us see the next course of action. But remember too much venting with the friend may actually not make things better so try and keep a cool head.

Keeping a cool head with your trusted people will allow them to give more sound advice. Otherwise, they may just be pressured into agreeing with angry demands.

3. Do some Therapeutic Writing.

A lot of the time when I am angry I will turn to therapeutic writing. This is a process that has helped me keep from making many silly angry decisions. I sit down with a pen, paper and calming music. I write to find my responsibility, not to simply vent my frustrations. I seek real feeling, and healing.

Sometimes simply jotting down a bunch of things I am grateful does great things for slowing my anger down.

4. Let go of Some Expectations.

The World not meeting my expectations for it can be a great source of my anger. This definitely isn’t to say that all expectations are unnecessary. Though some can be realistic and others just setting ourselves up to be pissed off. It is good to take a break from what we are doing and examine our expectations for ourselves and others when angry. Then we can let go of those expectations that are reasonable to let go of.

5. Get some Exercise.

It always amazes me what a half hour pushing it hard on the elliptical can do for my anger and stress levels. By exercising, anger gets a nice outlet, though I recommend not thinking too angry of thoughts while working out. Then it just becomes an aggressive outlet which as I said above may be less effective than doing nothing.

Here is an article of “10 Exercises to Help Reduce Anger.”

6. Meditate.

When attempting meditation in an angry state, it may take a little time for the mind to slow down. There will likely be a phase where meditating is the last we want to do. Our thoughts and energy may scream at us to get up and quit this stupid silence crap. Soon that voice and those impulses will subside and we will be returned to a more sensible state.

There have been many meditations that have completely melted away that anger I was once feeling. It is one of the most freeing feelings I have experienced.

7. Take a Nap.

Sometimes a nap may help immensely. Although naps may not be the easiest thing to have for someone that lives a busy life. Just a little nap can help me settle down the emotion I am feeling. This can give me a better perspective on what I currently see as a problem. And if the issue does need attention, I now may have a little more energy to take care of it!

8. Get a Bite to Eat.

I find it crazy to think about how many times I have gotten angry from things that seem like no real big deal then go have a bite to eat and have the aggression just melt away. Getting hangry is a real thing. So who knows maybe your not mad that an individual called you the wrong name at work, you may just be hungry!

9. Take Some Time to Stretch.

I am not talking about doing a bunch of yoga poses or anything like that! Sitting too much throughout the day builds up excess tension in the body. Tension and anger go hand in hand with one another.

Just taking a little bit of time to bend down to touch my toes and stretch my back goes a long way to help me get some relief from feeling angry. It takes no time at all but I don’t remember a time my body didn’t appreciate it.

10. Pray.

Taking some time out to thank a higher power can help lift the stress of anger. Whether you believe in god, a helpful universe, your subconscious or whatever. Stopping to ask for some assistance or to express gratitude can be a productive solution.

The Creative in Anger.

creative anger

The list above is meant to get us back into a state of mind that isn’t having us controlled by our anger. It is to get us back in control of ourselves. When we are back in control of ourselves, we are much less likely to make destructive decisions. We will be in a position to allow that energy that is coursing through our bodies to do something productive.

Anger often leads the way in my creative process. I work on something, which could be anything complex, then I get confused. Then I get frustrated and then pissed. After I use some of the healthy ways of dealing with my anger from the list above, I generally find myself feeling something and then moving on. Dealing with my anger in healthy ways has healed and enhanced relationships and brought me the success I once never thought possible.

Anger is full of creative energy. Once we can get our thoughts and impulses under the guidance of our more sane self we can use them and the energy to create responsibly.

My relationship with my anger is not always a comfortable one. But I feel life isn’t meant for staying comfortable. Life is meant for creativity and growth, and anger will help us blaze new trails that will lead to amazing opportunities.

So I ask you today. If you are scared of your anger or are misusing it in ways that are hurting yourself and others, please join me in developing a healthy relationship with anger. Your stress levels and mental health will appreciate your decision. And you just may find that the deepest parts of yourself are using it to help you find the best your life can be.

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 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

Finding Our own Calling.

Everybody wants to have and feel their calling. And I’m going out on a limb here and stating that I believe we all have a calling, whether we are aware of it or not.

Though just because I believe there we each have a calling, feeling that calling is not a gift everyone finds. But even if that calling is not being felt there is hope for something better.

The Pain of Not Feeling A Calling.

After writing my last article for My Life Experiment I came to realize something. Not feeling that we are doing what we feel like we came to this Earth to do, flat out sucks. It hurts.

I feel what really turns the knife is witnessing other people have theirs while we don’t feel ours. Without a doubt, this can be a source of incredible pain. 

The pain can lead to certain thoughts like:

  • Why does everyone else find good opportunities for success?
  • When is my break going to come along?
  • Am I just incompetent?
  • Maybe I will always be lost.

Lost of Calling

Through my life of battling addiction, I constantly felt the shame of not living up to my potential. I at least hoped that the best I could do was not killing myself with the chemicals I used, and let people down.

I say hoped because I couldn’t actually convince myself that I did have the potential to do something with my life.

Now that I have been in recovery from addiction for the last decade, I have come a long way. But that sinking feeling that this moment is where my potential has dried up still hits me to this day. Then as I think about the future, I don’t see relationships getting better, the financial situation getting better, or anything else for that matter.

It is not in Our Calling to Wreck Ourselves.

Even though I have experienced success after success in the last decade amnesia hits and it all is forgotten, but thank goodness only momentarily.

There are some weeks when I feel entirely on my game, firing on all cylinders. In this mindset, almost everything in life makes sense. And most everything that doesn’t make sense, isn’t that big of a deal.

But….. other weeks I have the feeling that I am lost in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and there is no land to be seen. In this mindset, practically nothing makes sense and life feels like this great struggle that is never going to change for the better.

When it all just doesn’t make sense, these are the times where I need to check myself before I wreck myself.

You may be thinking, okay, Travis, how does one check their self? And maybe even, how does one wreck their self?

I don’t know about you, but when I am in a not so good mindset, my thoughts can get a bit whacky. Whacky is a nice term for me to describe highly energized and destructive. Coming in like a wrecking ball that seems to aim at knocking out the supports I have built for my life. To wreck myself, starts with listening to these thoughts and actively replaying them in my head.

Controlling our Behavioral Currency.

Things can seem innocent enough when they go on in our own heads, we may think thoughts don’t have consequences. But thoughts are a type of Behavioral Currency.

What I mean is this. Think of the destructive action as a bottle of pop in a pop machine, and each time we think the destructive thought is a Quarter. Therefore if I think that thought 8 times then I am probably going to be acting out on the behavior. And I will probably wonder “why in the world did I do some so stupid?”

This leads me to answer the “How does one check their self” Question. Well, you quit putting the damn quarters in the machine!

Experimenting with New Paths.

I just said that we can think of a destructive action as a bottle of pop, and if we don’t want that bottle then we better stop putting the thoughts into buying it.

The same goes for the actions that may lead to staying in contact with our “Calling.” Meaning we must feed the machine with the right thoughts that put a cold bottle of positive action in our hands!

It is called setting ourselves up for success.

But as the old saying goes, “We can’t think our way into a new way of living.” We must personally take responsibility for our lives and take action with a new path!

There are an immense amount of paths to take right at this moment. Experimenting with the paths that make the most sense at the moment opens us up to learn what they have to teach us.

They open us up to new thoughts and behaviors. There is no way to open ourselves up to these without making a decision to engage the path.

Calling Paths
Photo by Martin Reisch on Unsplash

Feeling Out and Researching New Paths.

I am the kind of person that strongly desires something to make sense before engaging it. Though over the last decade I have found something out.

It is through engagement with a path that I come to understand more about it. And until I engage it, all the thinking I can do may just end up hurting rather than helping me understand it.

The safest way to engage a path without committing to it is by doing some research.

So what are some ways of Researching a path?:

  • Talk to someone currently on the path.
  • Read about the path.
  • Practice behaviors needed on the path.

If what I am learning feels right and isn’t dangerous then I dig deeper. But if it doesn’t feel right or is dangerous then I move on.

There are a crazy amount of paths available right at this moment. Sometimes I jump on them after doing some research. Other times I don’t need them to make sense, I already know they are perfect for me.

Sometimes I feel they are a good fit, and sometimes not. And you best believe I have felt disappointed with my judgment on many occasions.

But it is through these lapses in judgment and my learning from them that have brought me more in line with my “Calling.”

It is Not Just About Career.

Having a Calling is not just about a career, though certainly includes a career. It also isn’t about money or attainment power, though can include these things as well.

This is what a Calling is all about to me:

  • Feeling that I am acting in line with my core principles.
  • Engaging in life activities that speak loudly to me.
  • Using my energy for the activities I enjoy.
  • Having meaningful relationships that challenge and sustain me.
  • Creating value for these relationships.
  • Not wasting my precious time here on Earth.

But what is a Calling?

Honestly, I don’t think I can pinpoint my definition of a calling for you. Maybe it is something we all must define for ourselves. Or maybe it is something that is etched into our genetics. Whatever it is we are each valuable. Whether or not we feel that value is another issue.

If you are not feeling that your life is valuable or meaningful at this moment, maybe some changes need to be made. Maybe some gratitude lists need to be written, or meditation practiced. If things are getting serious in your head like substance abuse or self-harm, then please talk to a professional. Maybe some sort of Mental Health Treatment is necessary.

The writers of My Life Experiment know very well how lonely and painful it can be to feel purposeless in this world. But we also are both testaments to the message that no matter how lost a person can get, there is still hope for positive life paths to be lived.

If you are feeling the value of your life, then great, I hope you decide to show other people that they have value as well!

Helping find Calling
Photo by Matt Collamer 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 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