Thursday, February 28, 2013

Change Your Mood, Change Your Life: How to Shift Your Energy

With every new moment we have a choice- we can either hold onto the past, brace ourselves for the future, or we can be fully in the moment. In the moment we exist without attachments, without expectations- we experience the moment so fully that the possibilities open up and we can sense the subtleties of life and follow the vibes that resonate with us.

Yet most people forget that they have the choice and opportunity to be in the moment and experience different feelings and energy. People become chronically stressed because they hold on to past mistakes and fears just as tightly as they hold onto worry and anxiety. Stress clouds the heart and mind and separates us from feeling the happiness and peace that is always available.

Although the damage caused by past hurts and chronic stress must be healed in the moment, the healing is also accompanied with peace, happiness, or release. Stress is not accompanied with happiness- neither is fear or worry or depression or insecurity. These draining emotions, although useful for communicating the presence of a problem or issue, can consume one very easily and take over one's mood. Once their mood is taken over, these negative problems spread onto taking over someone's attitude, then their view on life, until it becomes their primary mode of existence. Some people constantly feel these draining emotions.

Yet some people constantly feel energizing emotions. Some people's auras are abundant with happiness, gratitude, and joy- they overflow with positive energy and they are truly happy with themselves and where they are at the moment. These people still come across obstacles and failure, but they choose to learn from these difficulties and adapt with their new knowledge instead of allowing setbacks and stress to take over their existence.

So how do you start allowing these energizing emotions to course through you? How do you put an end to negating thoughts and draining feelings of doubt? 

You choose to.

Instead of allowing yourself to react to situations in your usual pattern, instead decide that you will respond to a situation. Decide whether or not you will allow the situation to make you feel helpless, or decide that you will find opportunities to exert your personal will and effort. 

You must be vigilant in deciding to respond instead of react. You have to commit to the new lifestyle- it truly is a new way of living. Once you stop reacting subconsciously, you will find that you experience life with a fullness and presence you had not thought possible before. 

As you practice being responsible for your emotions and thoughts, you will cultivate emotional strength and wisdom. As you repeatedly exert your self control during otherwise stressful situations, you will find that the small things that used to ruin your mood no longer bother you. You will develop emotional resilience and you will become more adaptive and understand because you will continuously operate with peace of mind.

You will dissolve constant emotional and mental tension and allow your thoughts and feelings to make themselves known to you in a relaxed manner. Do not judge your emotions or thoughts- acknowledge them, but decide whether or not you want to form an attachment to them or if they merely need to be released.

No one can do this for you. No one can decide to live your life in the present except for you. It is simple but it is life changing and completely effective. Your thoughts and emotions create your life- by choosing which thoughts and emotions you wish to respond to and with, you create your life consciously.

When you create your life consciously, you create your happiness and well-being consciously.

Do yourself a favor and exercise your right to respond to situations in the present, instead of reacting based on past worries and future anxieties.

Be well and find insight through self discovery and mindfulness.


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Ask Me Your Questions!

To the readers of my blog,
I thank you for continuing to look here for insight and advice.

I would like to let you know that I would love to answer some of your questions regarding life.

Comment below, or on any post, and I will reply as soon as the best answer I can offer you comes to mind.


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

How to Deal With Hopelessness

Sometimes we feel hopelessness- that sad encompassing feeling which leads you to believe that nothing you do is good enough and that you are trapped in unpleasant and undesired circumstances.

Hopelessness is never enjoyable, but it certainly is preventable and avoidable. Hopelessness, like other feelings which taint our outlook on ourselves and life, is best treated when understood.

Why Do We Feel Hopeless? Stop Seeing the Good or Bad....See the Facts

Our view of a situation is often a collection of the "evidence" we look for during our experiences.

If we look for evidence that imples a situation is negative, pointless, worthless, or shameful, then we will find that evidence and we will come up with a "verdict" based on the material we've collected.

The fault with this method of experiencing the world is that we decide on what qualities a certain situation possess before or after experiencing the situation. Instead of staying in the moment, we are either anxious about the future or disappointed with our past. In order to stay away from feelings of hopelessness, we need to start living in the present and analyzing the scenarios as they come in a manner like that of someone totally unattached to the causes or outcome.

Hopelessness can be just as destructive as foolish optimism, so in order to avoid treading into either extremes, we have to stop thinking about our situations in terms of good of bad. Instead, we need to look at our situation in terms of reality without projecting our expectations or desires.

This does not mean you should not address the way you feel during a situation- feelings and emotions are signs that can guide you throughout your decision making when paired with logical thought and education.
You should definitely try to understand why certain feelings come up during your experience, but do not let these emotions take control of the situation. Emotions are but one aspect of who you are and how you go through life; you must remember to acknowledge and address your rational thought, inuition, and values. These different aspects make up the moods, opinions, and views you have about the world. You must be able to understand and identify them, or else you will be operating subconciously and will lose control.
Don't allow these aspects to take over your power of choice.

Once we analyze why we feel and view a scenario in terms of "inner" reality, we can incorporate the "external" reality into our mindset.

What is actually happening in the moment? Take away the personal narrative, history, fear, and pre-conceived notions surrounding a situation and look at what is left. How little power do these remaining aspects have over your feelings? Can you control these remaining aspects, or will you have to accept them?

Once you begin to look at the world objectively and subjectively, through your inner reality and the external reality, you can utilize your observations to make the best decisions and consciously respond  to a situation instead of merely reacting to it.

Getting Over Your Past

Constant feelings of hopelessness are driven by our preoccupation with the past.

We deem our mistakes as our destiny, and we convince ourselves that we will only keep making these mistakes, or bad things will only continue to happen to us, or we will never be or do anything good enough.

In order to stop allowing the voices of the past to dominate your inner dialogue, you must heal it.

Think back to when these thought patterns were created. When did you start believing in these negative affirmations? Accept that you made mistakes in the past, and allow yourself to heal. Let go of those moment, give yourself the time and attention needed to free yourself from the ties holding you back. Decide that you are no longer going to hold yourself back. Decide that you are no longer going to allow yourself to sabatoge your future.

Be Good to Yourself

During times of hopelessness, we may be feeling extra sensitive and vulnerable. If you feel like the negativity or stress around you is hurting you, give yourself the time and space to recharge privately and nourish yourself.

Sometimes we adopt the atmosphere's or other people's negative energy and it joins our own inner negativity and we begin to feel very sad and hopeless. To combat this, put yourself in an entirely different mood and mindset.

Do a few things that make you really happy, that affirm your strengths or blessings, and that relax you and make you feel safe and nurtured.

Spend extra money on a really healthy meal. Do yoga. Get a massage. Be with loved ones. Stay in bed. Watch your favorite movie. Read a funny or heartwarming novel. Get yourself out of the rut and shake off the bad vibes.

Express Yourself

Sometimes we feel hopeless because we have too much emotional clutter and mental fatigue which we have not released. Although some might say venting to a friend is a wise choice, often times the act of venting reaffirms the accusatory or negative feelings involved in creatin the emotional clutter.

Instead, write about your feelings and explore them privately in a journal. No one will judge you, and try not to judge yourself. Only you can read it, so allow yourself to express all of your thoughts freely, and analyze them freely, and explore different conclusions as you like. Follow your inuition during this process and continue to do this. This process will not only allow you to experience release, it will also teach you more about yourself and thus give you more control so you can respond and not react.

Hopelessness is never fun, but such feelings are reminders for us to look at ourselves and our lives more closely to get to the root of the problem. Never ignore these strong feelings, and never make permanent decision while dealing with these feelings.

Remember, this too shall pass.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

How to Stop Shopping So Much

Why do we shop?

We buy things because we either want them and/or need them.

When does shopping become destructive?

When you spend more than what your budget allows. When you depend on the shopping experience to make you feel better. When you use shopping and material goods to make an identity for yourself. 

How can you tell if your shopping habits are destructive?

You are constantly spending money on non-essentials.

You use retail therapy as a means of making yourself feel happy/distracted/important/etc.

Shopping is your favorite hobby and activity.

You are an impulsive shopper.

Why is shopping a lot destructive? What can I do?

If you spend more than you make, or a majority of what you make, on the constant purchasing of material goods, you will not be able to invest in more important and crucial matters. You will live paycheck to paycheck and you will eventually go broke or live a low quality life. You will not have any spare money reserved for emergencies or retirement, and your home and life will be full of items you don't need.
                          Set a budget. When you get your paycheck, save a certain amount for yourself. Invest in yourself. Then pay your essentials- and if you don't have enough money for essentials then rethink your essentials. Do you really need a satellite dish for your television? Do you really need that unlimited texting and data plan? Do you absolutely have to be a member of various gyms/clubs/organizations? Prioritize.

If you use shopping to make yourself feel better, you are not addressing the root cause of your emotional upheaval. Ignoring the problem only makes the problem bigger. Maybe you're lonely, maybe shopping makes you feel like a part of something. Maybe shopping makes you feel like you're in control. Maybe shopping surrounds you with the objects and atmosphere that makes you feel safe or successful or reminds you of goals or memories you cherish deeply.

                        Address your problems and feelings. Be introspective and contemplative. Ask yourself why you feel the way you feel, why you search for and go after certain stimuli that makes you feel a certain way. Let go of some of those memories and goals for a while- and you will let go of the shopping process you depended on to connect with those memories and goals. 

Using shopping and material goods to make an identity for yourself forces you to depend on external sources for personal validation. You equate your worth with the quality, quantity, or cost of the items you buy. Your level of intelligence, culture, and social standing also depend on the objects you buy and the places you buy them from.

                     Try finding out why you feel the need to prove who you are through your choice and possession of material goods. Find out the reasons behind your desire to be perceived a certain way. Are you not accepting yourself? Do you fear that you are nobody behind the masses of purchased clothes and cars and accessories? Maybe you have a superiority complex which you reinforce with your constant shopping? 
                     Understand that items do not determine your worth as an individual; they do not dictate whether you are good or bad, interesting or boring, desirable or trashy. Sure, the items you buy can sometimes say something about your values- like insisting on fair trade goods or only buying locally. But these reasons are based on true concern for the earth or other people, not on how others perceive you. Stop buying things because your ego tells you to.

Impulsive shopping can be caused by a desire to keep up or outshine your peers, a nagging instinct to hoard items "just in case", or various other justified reasons. 

                    Before you buy something, ask yourself why you want it. Is this reason logical? Rational? Reasonable? Are you trying to fulfill another need or desire through shopping? Keep asking yourself; get into the habit of introspection. 

How do I prevent myself from developing or relapsing into these habits?

Always address your feelings and issues. Do not bury your stress/fear/anger/worry into other activities; you have to face them or they will only spread and grow. Try to find hobbies and interests that don't primarily focus on consuming- learn how to do enjoyable things that are free.

And keep my balance, right?

Shopping can indeed be fun and positive when approached in a balanced manner. Try not to buy too much, and try to only shop when you need to. Avoid temptation and ask yourself if you're going to actually use the item in a month or a year. Will it bring quality and convenience to your life? Or will it bring clutter and complications?

Use your judgement, think it through.