How to fall back in love with your life
When was the last time that you thought, “I love my life”? Do you look at people who seem to love their lives and think, “damn, I wish that was me”?
Well well well….I have some news for you. You TOO can be one of those people! You CAN love your life. I know, a few years ago, I would have said, “sure, whatever.” I mean, it’s not like my life was horrible. But I felt “meh” about it, for sure. I had been in counseling for years and thought that I had done all I could to heal, so I assumed that nothing else could be done. And, life would continue to be “just ok” for me, with a few highs here and there.
Then, as time went by and I was approaching 50, I worried about the empty nest and retirement and running out of time to do things I had always wanted to do. Nothing major changed in my life, but I gained a lot of insight around this time. Insight that helped me find happiness and confidence and a sense of peace.
I want to share the things with you that have led to me actually loving my life. Because, I know that you can have the same feeling about your life. You CAN truly love your life!
In this post, I’ll explain:
- What might be keeping you from loving your life.
- Things that I did (and still do) to fall back in love with my life.
- Three things you can start doing today that will get you on the path to loving your life too.
WHY YOU MIGHT NOT BE LOVING YOUR LIFE
Did you know that women tend to be unhappier than men for their entire lives? An article on The Guardian says, “for everyday misery, women beat men every time.” And, it goes on to say that women are the unhappiest in the middle years.
Without getting into the nitty gritty of the fact that women were treated as second class citizens for so long, and still are in many cultures and in many ways throughout the world, we can acknowledge that we are unhappy and realize that there are a lot of underlying reasons for this unhappiness.
Today, however, I want to focus on a few things I have found that a lot of women/moms in our middle age years tend to have in common.
We take care of others and leave no time for taking care of ourselves.
Women were built to nurture and care for others. It’s in our DNA. And, we take that shit seriously! We put tons of pressure on ourselves to make sure we do all the things and take care of others so much that we neglect ourselves. We don’t listen to what our bodies are telling us. We ignore our intuition. We push away our own dreams so that we can make sure others needs are met and everyone around us is happy.
And, what ends up happening is we become overwhelmed, resentful, and physically and emotionally exhausted. And, sadly, this doesn’t add up to loving our lives.
And, when we get to the point of being really overwhelmed and neglect our own well-being, we can end up snapping or even worse – “losing it” – “flipping out” – you know what I mean, right? Then the guilt sets in afterwards. (Here’s a post about moving past those slip ups.)
We allow fear to hold us back.
Human brains were created to keep us safe – so that we could survive – you know, back in the day. The day of needing to stay safe from a tiger in the jungle. Today, there are no tigers and we aren’t in the jungle (most of us aren’t).
So, today, when we fear something in our minds, we get those same feelings in our body. Feelings that tell us to run or do whatever we can to avoid all pain or difficulty.
We might feel a tightness in the chest, rapid heart rate, shortness of breath, a drop or sinking feeling in the stomach, or all of the above. These feelings tell our brains to protect ourselves. But, in most circumstances, it’s not a life or death situation.
There are a lot of ways that fear shows up in our lives. A few examples that I’ve experienced personally are:
- Perfectionism: never feeling like what we do or say or how we look is good enough. Perfectionism keeps us from putting ourselves out there, pursuing our dreams, and taking risks – things that can contribute to loving our lives. We FEAR that others will notice that we aren’t perfect.
- Procrastination: putting things off because of FEARS surrounding the task, which could be anything from “It will take too much time” to “I don’t have the skills to handle this task.” Not doing the tasks, however, creates more stress (or not loving life).
- Social anxiety: FEAR of putting ourselves out there in social situations can lead to feeling isolated and even depressed. Humans are social beings. Even introverts need social interactions.
There are lots of other ways that fear shows up and most of the time, it just holds us back from fully enjoying and loving our lives.
We don’t love ourselves.
It will be difficult for us to love our lives if we don’t fully love ourselves. Many people don’t even realize that they don’t love themselves. And others just don’t understand WHY it is so important to love themselves.
You might think, well, I don’t hate myself and I feel pretty good about myself as a person. But that’s not really the same as loving yourself.
Years ago, I heard that the things you find irritating about others or the things you judge others for are actually things that you are irritated about in yourself, possibly subconsciously.
I never really liked to admit that, but I have recognized this in myself. So, if that is the case, it might be a clue that you don’t accept things about yourself or that you judge yourself harshly. And, if you don’t accept yourself as you are, so called flaws and all, then you’re not truly loving yourself.
If you find that you don’t trust your own intuition and are looking to others for validation or to make decisions for you, this might be another sign that you don’t fully love yourself.
Of course, getting advice, input, or ideas from other people is beneficial, but always second guessing your own decisions or ideas shows a lack of confidence or trust in yourself.
Loving yourself doesn’t mean that you are egotistical or are always bragging about yourself. It doesn’t mean that you don’t ever need to improve anything about yourself. And, it doesn’t mean that you have it all together or are better than anyone else.
It does mean accepting yourself as the unique and special human being that you are. It means wanting to take care of yourself, have compassion for yourself, and be “on your own side” or having your own back.
We are literally with ourselves 24/7 so if we really do love ourselves, we will feel SO much better about our decisions, give ourselves grace when needed, be kind to ourselves, and treat ourselves well.
That is the kind of positive reinforcement that we all need. We need that support and unconditional love and when we feel that, we will have a sense of peace. Things that we do will be done with ease and we will more fully enjoy, appreciate, and love our lives. It’s all interconnected.
If you love your life, life will love you back.Thapu
THINGS I DID TO FALL BACK IN LOVE WITH MY LIFE
I’m not sure when I fell out of love with my life. Haha, but seriously, like everyone, I have experienced ups and downs throughout my life. There were periods of time where I was very happy and periods where I was down and also clinically depressed.
For many years, I was unfulfilled and although I feel like I had a lot of good in my life, I wasn’t “happy” per se. I was often “on edge” which resulted in me being emotionally and physically exhausted.
And, in my mid-thirties, I was diagnosed with depression, although I’m sure I had been dealing with it for much longer.
My doctor prescribed a variety of different antidepressants until it seemed like things were “ok,” but I never felt like “oh wow, I feel great!”
I attended group counseling and I mostly enjoyed the process, but I never felt like I got to the point of, “yes, this is really helping!”
I was sure there was no quick fix or magic anything that would increase my happiness, peace of mind, or sense of fulfillment.
Until a few years ago… That’s when I became interested in mindfulness and personal development. I took two courses on mindfulness and also began listening to podcasts and reading books on the topic and related topics like happiness, positivity, personal growth, etc. I also began a regular meditation practice.
And, since then, my journey of finding peace within and living with ease (remaining calm no matter what) has been life changing. I’ve learned so much about human behavior and how the brain works. I now realize that there are SUPER SIMPLE things that I can do to feel better overall.
AND FEELING BETTER OVERALL = ME LOVING LIFE!
ACTIONS TO TAKE TODAY TO FALL BACK IN LOVE WITH YOUR LIFE
There are a few simple things you can do to start your journey to loving your life. Basically, this is my formula for success. And, it literally takes no effort (no sweating and minimal time) but the results, like I said, are life changing.
MEDITATION: Meditation is proven to be one of the best ways to achieve a sense of calm, inner peace, and happiness. It can even strengthen your immune system! There are so many variations of meditation; literally something for everyone! Five to ten minutes (once or twice) per day is all it takes! (Oh – and if you think you have to stop your thoughts when you meditate, that’s actually just a myth.)
JOURNALING: (I include Accomplishments, Affirmations, Intention Setting, and Gratitude.) Journaling helps get all those thoughts out of your head; it helps to see things that might be resurfacing; and it is an opportunity to reflect on things including your own happiness and journey. Sometimes it will reveal some pretty cool ideas or insights. Another 5-10 minutes in the morning or before bed is all you need.
PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT PODCASTS AND AUDIOBOOKS: When I’m preparing a meal, chopping vegetables for the salad we will (hopefully) eat for lunches, doing the dishes, folding laundry, or traveling somewhere, I always listen to podcasts or audiobooks. Some of them are for entertainment but mostly I listen to those that are motivational and inspirational.
Gary Vaynerchuck, business owner and motivational speaker, recommends this to his students and even goes so far as to say that you should have these people (uplifting motivational teachers) in your ear all the time.
And, just like affirmations, they get into your head. The positivity and encouragement is so motivating. Especially if you’re not around a lot of people who think like this. It can expand your awareness of “what’s out there” and “what’s possible.” And let me tell you – there is A LOT!
I love learning new things and gaining new insights about myself, others, and the world around me.
YOU CAN FALL BACK IN LOVE WITH YOUR LIFE TOO!
And, it literally takes no effort (no sweating and minimal time) but the results, like I said, are life changing.
Don’t forget to grab your free worksheet with prompts to guide you in putting these tips into action!
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I love hearing from you – email me and let’s chat about how you’re feeling about things and let me know if you have any questions about my formula for FEELING BETTER about you and your life!