WARNING: If you strongly dislike the word “crap” or “crappy”, please don’t ready any further.
So, I would LOVE to “fix” myself…to develop an invincible shield that would protect my fragile self from any negative comments (mostly of which are my own). Anyone else with me? Sadly, however, that piece of body armor is not currently available, so we need to find other ways to trudge through these difficult times that we all find ourselves in from time to time.
Yesterday morning, I attended the 9:45am service at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio. Max Lucado told us that we select our thoughts…that healing begins with healthy thinking.Satan knows this and that’s why he’s always messing with our minds. He will lie to you. He will tell you that you are unloved and unworthy. He will keep poking at you, reminding you of all the times you’ve messed up, BUT you must remember that YOU are not a “mess-up”. He will do his best to make you feel alone, but you’re not alone. God is on your side. We must remember to focus on the facts…on what is TRUE. Don’t listen to the devil – Just as it is impossible for Jesus to tell a lie, it is impossible for Satan to tell a truth. <— (Max Lucado reference John 8:44 here.)
Anyway, as I was driving home, I was thinking about other helpful things to help me avoid feeling like crap, or help prevent me from falling into a rut. Below, I decided to make a list (I love lists!) of helpful methods that came to mind.
1. STOP with the negative self-talk! When something crappy happens, it’s easy to get on the “I suck” or “I’ll never be good enough” bandwagon, but you must jump off quickly. Be kind to yourself. Practice self-compassion and ditch the self-criticism. That inner voice inside of us is probably our biggest enemy because our mind can barrage us with one insult after another.
Sadly, it’s easy to believe that stuff. So start saying something like, “I am strong. I am loved. I am worthy”. You can make up your own positive mantra so you’re prepared when that hateful little demon whispers destructive things in your ear.
2. Quit the mind-reading crap! This is such a big one for me. It can ruin my day in the blink of an eye. As I’ve learned, you should NEVER try to “guess” how other people are feeling or thinking…it almost never ends well. You don’t know what’s going on inside of them. You think you do, but you really don’t. Just don’t do it.
3. Enjoy the “now”. Stop focusing on the past and worrying about the future. It doesn’t help you.Being immersed in what is currently going on will give you an opportunity for calmness and a chance to savor the moment. Often, we’re so fixated on what’s happened or what’s going to happen that our present slips right past us.
4. Walk away or distance yourself from people who bring you down or suck the life out of you. This may be easier said than done…or basically impossible in my situation when the person I want to get away from at times is myself. We must do what is best for us… Therefore, I shall learn to love myself!
5. Don’t compare yourself to others. Theodore Roosevelt (AKA Teddy) once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Once you go down that road, you’ll never find an end. It’s a waste of your effort and time. Comparisons are unfair, a joy-kill, and detrimental to your self-esteem. It’s a losing battle.
6. Watch or read something inspiring. I’m a quote junkie and have about a million of them saved in my notes on my phone and computer. So recently I made a file, specifically for positive and uplifting quotes, ready to be tapped and opened for instant encouragement.
7. Take care of yourself. Go for a walk, eat a healthy meal, get a massage. Take a “time-out” from stress and clear your head a bit. I also remember reading somewhere once that just brushing your teeth and washing your face can help you feel better. Find simple, quick things that will refresh and rejuvenate your body.
8. Lastly, remember to take deep breaths! In through your nose, out through your mouth. Use relaxation techniques. (I’m not a Zen kind of girl, but I’ve heard meditation and such works for people.)
I’m sure there are many more ways that can help you feel better and empowered. If you have something that works well for you, please share it in the comment section! I’m always looking to add to my personal self-help repertoire. 🙂