At one point in my life, I felt like something was not working the way I wanted it to. I had struggled with addiction, stress and anxiety, and had to go through a painful divorce. Once I was finally ready to make a change in my life, the question became: “How?”
Having the desire to change was an important first step because it led me to begin a search for answers. However, in seeking change, we are embarking on a journey. There are answers, but there is no magic that will instantly fix everything in life.
With that said, I discovered a few tips to help get through making a life change that will offer a taste of the positive things to come as you progress through trying to feel more fulfilled in your life.
1) Shift Your Perspective
Try this exercise initially for one day. Every time a negative emotion is triggered within you, stop yourself from criticizing, judging, attacking or reacting out behaviorally.
Focus on your thoughts, your emotions and your actions as you encounter people and circumstances that trigger any negative thoughts. When those feelings come up, and you are tempted to speak harshly or act out of anger and frustration, catch yourself and take a breath.
Instead of the response you would instinctively make, attempt to make a conscious effort to shift your perspective from negative to positive.
Watch what happens when you make a conscious choice to see circumstances differently. You will certainly notice a shift in your perception and outlook. You will also notice a shift in those around you. Indulge only in loving thoughts and your day will be beautiful.
2) Practice Forgiveness
The next step in the process is forgiveness. Forgiveness means that we choose to release any anger or bitterness towards the person we believe has caused our unease. That can be difficult to do, so here is a way to start.
When you feel resentment, anger or grievances, replace these feelings with the thought, “I love you, (name) and I accept you as you are.”
Repeat this each time you feel a change of mental state that results in an uneasy feeling.
Identify the thought and at whom this negative energy is projected. Forgive, using loving words and affirmations. Repeat the words above until you are free of any negative energy and unease.
Forgive yourself for your reactions, and if you’re carrying the shame of the past with you. Know that those who you reacted to have helped you recognize and release the part of your past that kept you prisoner within your mind and body.
3) Release Negative Feelings
As with any skill, learning to respond with love in potentially difficult situations takes practice.
When you next feel that a negative thought or emotion has been triggered inside of you, take note of where you feel it in your body. It may be pain that you don’t readily associate with an emotional issue, or it may be emotional distress that you can now associate with a physical manifestation, such as stomachache, headache or tension in your neck. Either way, when you feel pain, be aware that it is a sign that you are out of alignment with your true values; you are disconnected from your inner you.
When this happens, try sitting quietly and focus on your pain. Say what you’re feeling – for example, state if you’re feeling grief, anger, resentment or loneliness. Separate the feelings from the pain. Release the emotion and simply be aware once again of the physical pain.
Breathe deeply in and out, and allow the breath to carry this pain with it.
Now that you have isolated the negative energy that fed your thoughts, when the thoughts come, simply observe them without judgment and continue to sit quietly and breathe. Ask yourself, whilst in the inner silence of Self, “What part of my past caused me to feel this way?” Remember that your negative thoughts stem from your past traumas – large and small.
4) Use Positive Affirmations
Positive affirmations are an excellent way to remind yourself throughout the day to check your emotional state and redirect or reframe any negative thoughts or feelings. Here are a few examples:
- “I am now in control of my life.”
- “I forgive those I now recognize for holding me in their shame, and I forgive myself for carrying it for so long. I send them love and offer myself love.”
- “I am okay in Self.”
As you practice each of these exercises, keep in mind that the real miracle (the major shift) will come when you are ready to create your life consciously. Consider this to be a small miracle and an opportunity to invite bliss, calm and joy into your life. Let go of your fear, and give it a try!
These are the most effective techniques I’ve found to bring about change and fulfillment in my life, what are some of yours? I’d love to hear what’s worked for you.