When it comes to balancing hormones, stress is a huge component. Our perception of the world around is one aspect that plays a role in our stress levels. The more negative our view, the more difficult it is for us to turn off the stress hormones that are affecting our health. (cortisol!) According to Go Big Coach Kristen Howe, these thoughts are called "poisoned perceptions".
So, what are Poisoned Perceptions?
When you constantly have negative thoughts and negative or low expectations – your actions will support these and then the negative expectations are realised. You say “I knew this was going to happen” and you now have proof that you were right. Isn't that what you often end up telling yourself?
This type of thinking causes you to repeat negative thinking and actions. Call it an energetic mismatch for achieving your desired outcome. Essentially you become a magnet for unhappiness.
Andrew Matthews, author of "Happiness in Hard Times" advices us to look for the good in every situation.
"We find in life what we look for. If you ask yourself, “What do I HATE about my job, my stupid husband and my life?” you will find things to be unhappy about.
If you ask yourself, “What do I LIKE about my job, my husband and my life?” you will find things to be happy about.
We all have moments of sadness and you have permission to acknowledge these feelings and take time out for yourself. But also try to Look for the good in every situation.
Your happiness depends on where you put your focus.
When you feel down, or when you are feeling insecure about the challenges you have created for yourself or, when you are just feeling fearful – how do you possibly feel positive and create new patterns of thought? We are creatures of habit and we only know "what we know". So, if we have not had the experience of the positive outcome – how do we change our thoughts? The answer comes in 4 steps.
1. Finding the energy to do things that are a risk.
Instead of doing something big, choose tasks that are small. The best way to build confidence is to succeed at a small task that you know you can handle. The small tasks can all be ones that lead to achieving bigger goals, but instead of being overwhelmed by the size of the big goals, focus on what you can do now. Move towards the big goal! Use a diary! Tick those tasks off. They don't have to be physical tasks such as "hanging out the washing". They can be mental tasks, such as "compliment someone", "say hello to your neighbour", or waking up in the morning saying "I choose to be happy" every day for a week.
Gradually learn to increase the size of the task or the nature of the task. Ask yourself: Can I handle this and am I okay if I don't succeed? As long as the answer is yes to both questions, you can proceed. If you feel that it's ok to not succeed then it becomes no big deal – you have nothing to fear and if the control of the task is yours and yours alone, then you also have no fear that someone else will mess things up for you. Remember that failing at the little tasks does not mean you have failed at the big goal. It is just a piece of the plan and may not the right one or the right time. Think about this as you are contemplating your life and what it will take to achieve your goals. What is your mind-set? Do you engage in negative self-talk and what can you do about it? Don’t try to take on too much and keep the tasks small to build your confidence.
2. Letting go of the past
Think of today as day 1. The past does not exist. Stop regretting it and fearing the future. Live in the present. When old thought patterns creep into your mind, tell yourself “today I start Day 1”. There will be many days where you are starting at one again. Depending on how difficult your past has been or how recent a certain event has occurred, you may want to consider doing this with the help of a professional counsellor or health professional. But over time, this process will gradually quieten the ghosts from the past.
If you have experienced the death of a loved one, a relationship breakdown, moved to a new home, (country even!), then remember that these ARE stressful events, and they will make an impact on your life. Grief is a process that takes time, years even, there is no right or wrong way to deal with these things. It is an individual process. Forgiving yourself is the first step in living a happier, healthier life. Letting go of the past doesn't mean you need to forget, it means that you have acknowledged any pain and are ready to move on with living your own life.
3. Make time for things you enjoy
You may be employed in a job you hate, or you are working 12 hour days trying to make ends meet. You may not have a job, you may THINK you don't have a job but you are busy looking after your family. Whatever you do, you can spend some time doing things that make you happy, every day.
If you spend most of your time rushing around trying to get things done, eg kids homework, the housework, preparing dinner, and having no time for yourself, then you will end up with a churning gut full of resentment.
Get up earlier if you have to. If you love to cook but always feel unappreciated, take joy in the fact you are doing something you love. For yourself. If your family doesn't acknowledge it, that is theirs to own, not yours.
Whether your passion is listening to music, learning languages or going to the gym, make some time for it in your daily routine. My own "thing" is reading. I read for 30 minutes (usually more....who needs sleep?) every single night.
4. Stop Complaining and Stop Comparing
Our thoughts control what we talk about. But the reverse is also true, we think about what we talk about.
The more you complain, the more you fill your head with unhappy thoughts. Gossiping is something we can all get caught up with, but do we really need to fuel this? No!
If you want to talk about how to fix a problem, thats great! But mindless complaining sabotages your happiness – and no one really wants to know that you didn’t sleep last night because the neighbours dog was barking, or someone did not say make an effort to acknowledge you. Remember we do not know what other people are going through. That person who just ignored you may be going through a tough time and the last person on their mind is you, and most people would be horrified if they thought they upset you. Whether you imagined this or not....
Attitude is everything. For example, imagine two women, Mary and Jane. Both get divorced. Mary says, “I’ve failed. My life is over.” Jane says, “My life has just begun!” Who will blossom?
Happy people don't compare themselves to others. For example " I wish I was as skinny as her, or as rich as her, is my bum as big as hers?" These are the thoughts of an unhappy person. Happy people are content with their life, and are grateful for the small things, whether they live in a mansion or a tiny home!" You can choose whether or not you are happy.