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Promises, Promises: Who Can You Believe?

Photo courtesy of Mike & Tiffy

A promise holds a lot of power.  Recall how you felt when someone broke a promise they made to you. Broken promises speak volumes about a person’s integrity.

The following is a list of promises you should make today. And the person you’ll be promising is yourself.

1. I promise to live in the moment. I want to notice things about my life that I never noticed before.

2. I promise to let go of my desire to be in control of everything and everyone. By letting go and handing the reigns over to someone else at times, I can take more time for simply enjoying life.

3. I promise to look for enjoyment in situations that might otherwise be seen as dull or even hopeless. Even standing in line can be fun and interesting if I have the right mindset.

4. When it comes to others, I promise to always give them the benefit of the doubt. I don’t want to judge people anymore.

5. I promise to smile more often. I might even manage to laugh more often too!

6. I promise to use nice words as often as I can, to myself and to those around me. You know that saying “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me?” Not true.

7. I promise to do all I can to excel using my strengths. In contrast, I also promise to accept my shortcomings without judgement.

8. If I face a hurdle, I promise to use my strength to get over it. I will not let fear stop me anymore.

9. If I fall down or fail, I promise I will still love myself. I will also get back up again and keep moving toward my goals.

10. I promise to do more of the things that I enjoy doing. It’s my life, and I’m the one living it.

11. I promise that I will be more expressive with how much my family and friends mean to me. I will hug more often too.

12. I promise to keep these promises. If I can’t even trust myself, who can I trust?

In life, it’s extremely important to keep the promises you make to others, and it’s even more important when the promise was made to yourself. Show yourself what you’re made of and start keeping these promises today.

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You Can’t Keep a Bad Day Down. Or Can You?

Photo courtesy of Roy Costello
For me, today was one of those days where it felt like no matter what I did, the world was conspiring against me. I felt almost invisible and powerless to stop the cascading negative events that just kept coming. Now it is nearing evening and I am going to attempt to change course in order to end on a good note. I’m not sure if it’s going to work, but I am really, really hoping it does, mostly because I like feeling happy, but also because I like to feel in control of how my day plays out, and not the other way around.

Let’s face it: for some of us – having a bad day can easily affect our motivation and drive. It’s all too easy to throw in the towel and let one bad day snowball into a serious setback. Without making a conscious effort to pull ourselves out of the funk, the quicksand-like pull of the blahs can easily suck us into an endless case of the drearies. I know some people who never seem to get downhearted, no matter what life throws at them, but I am not so lucky. When I have a crap-tastic day, I need to work hard to improve my mood in order to stop the negative domino effect from ruining an entire week or more.

Over the years, I have developed strategies for rescuing myself from the quicksand before it gets a secure hold on me.  Sometimes, it’s hard to recognize that you’re having a bad day until you’re at your boiling point and about to scream.  Ideally, we want to have enough self-awareness to note that the day is quickly deteriorating, and take steps to improve it before it is a lost cause. Some of the things I do in an attempt to maintain a semblance of sanity might also work for you.

  •  Give yourself a break.
    When good days go bad, don’t expect anything too demanding from yourself, and ask for some time alone if possible.
  • Think about how much worse it could be.
     Picture yourself in a much more hopeless situation, and try to remind yourself that your day really wasn’t a total disaster, and that there are people suffering from much more significant problems than the not-so-awesome day you are having.
  • Don’t rehash.
    Instead of repeating the ill-fated events over and over again, stay in the present.  Try enjoying that time alone I mentioned above without stewing about all of the things that put you in this mood.  If you need to vent, choose one person, let it all out, and then stop talking about it.
  • Release.
    Pay particular attention to your thought process during this time; recognize troubling thoughts as you have them, and simply release them. Tell them they can go away now; you are done with them and they don’t affect you anymore.

It helps to have a plan in place that you can refer to during difficult times.  Try writing down the above steps and anything additional that helps you personally when you’re feeling desperate. On bad days,  consciously take yourself through each step, making a real effort to be mindful of the fact that the person ultimately controlling your mood is you.

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