We tend to think about what we should be doing. Sometimes, we may want to think about what we should STOP doing. Do you want to live happier life? Do you want to reduce stress, negative thoughts, negative feelings? I urge you to pause for a moment and self-reflect. What makes you feel bad?
What makes you feel bad?
- Are interactions with certain people making you feel bad?
- Or looking at a picture when you were 30 pounds lighter?
- Maybe comparing yourself to others (better looking, cooler, richer)
Well, then stop doing those things! It is that simple. Of course, it is easy to say and hard to do. However, the more you do it, the easier it gets.
Let’s take interaction with people, as an example, for the point we are trying to make. Here are a few examples of relationships that you may be better off to stop investing into:
- One sided relationship – those are relationships where you are the only party giving, and the other person is the only party receiving. Try to evaluate the relationship and see if there is any delayed gratification you are expecting that might never come. And if it does come, evaluate if it is worth waiting for it while investing your resources all along
- No relationship – you may want to build a relationship with someone but maybe the other person doesn’t want to for whatever reason. Some people might be at a state of not wanting any relationships at all, or others may just not want a relationship with you. It may be hard at first to acknowledge there is no relationship or that someone doesn’t want to have a relationship with you, but the sooner you face the reality, the sooner you can shift your time and energy into something that might be more fulfilling. Why agonize over why the other person doesn’t want to have a lunch with you, when you can put your energy in searching for someone who does want to have a lunch with you
- Obligation relationships – those relationships might be with relatives or friends of friends. Most of the time you don’t get anything out of those relationships but yet, you feel obligated to maintain them.
- Judgmental relationships – those are relationships where the other party is judging you all the time, making you feel not good enough, a failure, etc.
- Envy relationships – those relationships are where the other party envy you and, for instance, tries to undermine you.
- Pretend relationships – those are hard to detect but with time you may find out that someone just pretends to be your friend until they get what they want and then disappear
Have you had any of the above relationships? How do you feel when interacting with those individuals? Do you feel “bad”, “unsatisfied”, “negative”, “angry”, “helpless”, and other uncomfortable feelings. If so, they are toxic relationships for you and your health. When you notice those feelings ask yourself “why am I going through this”, “why am I doing this to myself”? Evaluate your situation and decide for yourself if it is worth to have that relationship with someone who brings you those feelings. Would you rather be around someone who values you, makes you feel comfortable, happy?
Take action when you don’t feel good
For the relationships you decide it is not worth continuing, just abandon then. There might be relationships where you decide to invest the bare minimum so that you don’t disconnect completely. That will free up your time and energy to invest, concentrate on, and build even stronger relationships with the people who do care about you. Those people who you feel happy around, who give you in return something (such as devoted attention, time, love). It will free up some of your time to go out and search for new fulfilling relationships with people you haven’t met yet and build reciprocal relationships. By re-focusing strategically on what matters and what makes you feel good and happy you are filling two needs with one deed:
- You are stopping/reducing negativism in your life
- You are bringing more happiness into your life
Try out and see how you feel when you click on “decline”, say “no, thank you”, click “unfriend” to the people who brought you consistent unpleasant feelings. The control is in your hands to decide who you will spend your time with, who you will reward with your attention, and where you will put your energy into. It does take time, effort, focus, and self-reflection to build a strong circle of family and friends who you can turn your back to. It is an ongoing exercise to improve your life and make it better and better with every single day.
- Notice and be aware of when you feel bad and what makes you feel bad
- Self-reflect on the situation and determine the root cause
- Take action to stop whatever makes you feel bad
- Celebrate your victories
Why let things spoil our day (and life!) when in most situations the control is in our hands. Try eliminating the things that make you feel bad. Pick one simple and easy thing to stop today and see how it goes. We are also curious to find out how it went so share your adventures!
* Information and statements made by be Healthy be Happy are for education purposes only and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. be Healthy be Happy does not provide medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional advice expressed by be Healthy be Happy are not to replace conventional medical service. Any choices and decisions you are making are at your own risk. If you have a medical condition or health concern, contact your physician.