1. Stop using your smartphone in social settings.
If someone is near you, and you’re looking at your phone instead of engaging, you’re missing a potentially valuable interaction. And you’re probably being rude.
Watch this inspiring video on the subject:
Since my mom has been sick, I make a point to leave my phone at home or in the car, so while I’m under her roof, I’m focused only on her. It can be refreshing to do the same at dinners, parties…
2. Stop holding your life (& the world around you) to a standard of perfection.
It doesn’t exist. Only in your mind canÂ you build the perfect partner, perfect job. I struggle with this quite a bit – if you know me these are two issues I whine about more than anything.
Everything is a choice, and in a lot of cases, you can’t have everything in one person or one job. Pick your key attributes.
3. Stop living in denial about the food you’re eating.
Read the labels, dissect them. Don’t even think about pulling in a drive-thru.
Whole and unprocessed foods feel so much better, and they’re not hard to find. You only notice a drastic change when you try bad foods again, and feel awful. Like having a food hangover.
4. Stop saying no. Say yes.
Try it, take a chance. I’d rather explore and be let down than always wonder about what might have been…
5. Stop focusing on what you lack. Money, things, children.
What do you have that is great? I heard a story on NPR yesterday about the cyclical nature of poverty, and how it is so hard to break for many. Be thankful for what you do have. You’re leagues ahead of so many.
6. Stop apologizing for who you are (what you can’t control).
Genetics are a done deal, y’all. Why fret about something you can’t work at changing anyway? For everything else, take baby steps to realize your goals.
7. Stop being afraid of vulnerability.
Two truths about being vulnerable: (1) everyone is, and (2) everyone pretends to not be. It means showing your weaknesses, your faults. We’re taught to show all the successes and positive traits, and sweep the rest under the rug. But sharing yourself with others, aka being vulnerable, is catharsis. It feels good. It relieves you of your burdens. You gain respect from others where your pride used to be.
8. Stop living in the past, or the future.
I heard this recently: “If you’re depressed, you’re living in the past. Â If you’re anxious, you’re living in the future.”
Somehow, and I’ve noticed this a lot lately, we are all self-destructing slowly through conditioned behaviors. We weren’t born with them, which means they have crept in over time, products of external influence.
Awareness of these behaviors is the first step in changing them – for better mental health and happiness.