I write this in a difficult place, unfortunately. Don’t get me wrong, there are so many things in my life to be grateful for, but this year perhaps has been one of the toughest in terms of setbacks. Yet if I look at the setbacks, both were from taking necessary risks. Sometimes things don’t pay off, but I can look at the moments and think ‘at least I tried’ as opposed to ‘what if’. I know it will make me stronger if I carry the right attitude and take action.
I’m openly willing to admit that I’ve been suffering from anxiety again, and some panic attacks, which have caused me headaches and pure exhaustion at times. I’ve increased my self-awareness so much this year to identify certain things that cause these.
Bad things will happen to all of us but one key thing I have learnt is to do things that make you feel good and avoid things that make you feel bad. Sounds so easy… Well, as you probably know, it’s not, when you have habits or addictions to things. This could be in the form of eating bad sugary foods or aimlessly looking at negative social media feed.
I was struggling on what subject to write about the other day, but then it hit me; what I am trying to achieve is feeling good at the moment. For example, I went to see a Nutritional Therapist last night to see if I could improve my diet to feel better, which identified some gaps. I want to feel good now, not wait for something to happen to make me feel good. So therefore, I have written about this subject today.
Why focusing on feeling good is the priority
I’ve become quite into the spiritual side of things in the last year, and love to read / watch information from Gabby Bernstein. I think spirituality may be a future blog topic! I was praying for getting a sign to make me feel better again, then Gabby Bernstein’s video on Facebook appeared: ‘If you’re misaligned, watch this’.
The focus was on trying to feel good rather than forcing an outcome. Gabby openly talked about her challenges and how when she let go of it, that was what she wanted came to her. This video was clearly a sign that I should be focusing on feeling good.
When you feel good, things flow a lot easier, rather than waiting miserably for something to happen. When you feel good, you are also more productive, and ideas come to you more easily. Think about a time when you were enjoying yourself or relaxed and then a great idea—without effort—came into your head!
A final point is that when you feel good, you have positive energy. You are able to attract good things better and block out more negativity (whether internally or externally). I’m not sure there is any human on earth who doesn’t authentically want to be happy, but often we just wait for it to come, which is what I’d been doing for so long.
Why the outcome or expectation can be damaging
The outcome or expectation of something is outside of your control. What is in your control is your action and your efforts to achieving something. So, focusing on expecting something to happen can be damaging, whether that’s the job you ‘expect’ to get, the award you ‘expect’ to win or the romantic relationship with someone you ‘expect’ to form. If it goes your way, it can be a great feeling, but soon you’ll want more and more. If it doesn’t go your way, you’ll feel down as you attach yourself to the outcome too much.
Nothing is guaranteed that is outside of your control. Forcing things to happen only drains your energy more and more, rather than increasing through prioritising your own well-being.
Why goal setting is important still
I wanted to emphasise that setting goals for what you want to achieve and always expecting an outcome are two different things. Setting goals (when done with effort and thought) really helps you to identify what it is you actually want. This can help lift your energy and sense of purpose, excite you, drive you, and give you joy.
Chances are, though, you won’t achieve all your goals, whether short, medium or long-term. Goals are there to give you direction and when you don’t achieve them, you can start again. Goals may also change as you grow and discover new things too, which is perfectly fine. It’s important as I’ve stated, to enjoy the journey of the goals and doing what you do in the moment, rather than focusing too much on achieving them as the point for feeling good.
How to focus on feeling good
But how do I feel good, Jonny? you may ask.
Well it’s really about discovering what it is you love to do and achieving the right balance in your life between work, fun, health, socialising, relationships and other areas.
I’ve provided some ideas below, though:
- Make a list of things you genuinely enjoy and make time for them.
- Keep your mind focused on the present (meditation is fantastic for this, ideally 10-20 minutes a day).
- Talk to people about what is troubling you. I’ve found this hard myself, and generally as men, we don’t do this as well. You can talk to family, friends, a free support organisation (such as Samaritans) or even a professional if affordable.
- Journal your thoughts. When you write down your thoughts, it can help so much just to be expressing them rather than building them up and can help with enhanced thought clarity.
- Treat your mind and body with respect. When you eat or drink badly, you are never going to be able to function properly; therefore, look at the right foods and drinks. There are plenty of sources on the Internet to get ideas if you can’t afford a nutritionist or personal trainer. There are also some foods that we may be sensitive too physically, mentally and emotionally, we are all different. So it can be worth doing a food sensitivity test.
- Be very clear on what you want and why. Following a path that you think you ‘should do’ rather than what you want can be extremely damaging. Therefore, make sure you find time to discover what you really do want. I actually invested in a life coach to help me with this, and that’s when I discovered my passion for speaking and coaching alongside writing.
Make feeling good the priority. When you feel good, life flows so much easier and the right things come into your life. Making feeling good into regular habits is vital, and don’t just try and feel good once but make it a constant practice. There will be setbacks in life, I’m afraid, but you will be so much stronger to face them when you focus on feeling good and the positives in your life.
Don’t chase or wait for happiness but make an effort to feel good now!
Photo by Todd Trapani on Unsplash
Jonny Pardoe © November 2019
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