How Talking About Things Can Actually Worsen Your Mood

“Does reliving the issues of the day serve any real purpose?”

Recently I met up with a few co-workers for happy hour. Yet moments, after we clocked out and headed to our destination I had a sneaky suspicion this hour, wasn’t going to be very happy….

We weren’t even out of the building before the talk turned to our annoyances: co-workers that weren’t pulling their weight; customers that were demanding things we couldn’t do; workloads too big to manage. And before I knew it a conversation that started out as a mere recollection of events turned into an exchange that had all the makings of an argument (elevated voices, sharp speech, aggravated movements)… only, we weren’t arguing.

And here’s the sad truth:

YOUR BODY CANNOT TELL THE DIFFERENCE.

Your body cannot tell the difference between the first time the THING happened, and your re-telling of the THING that happened, especially if the same emotions resurface. Your body goes through everything all over again. As long as you remain emotionally invested in the re-telling of the THING… you’re going to suffer.

Let’s say you come home from work and your spouse asks, “How was your day honey?” You start by telling him about an argument you had with a customer and then the emotion you thought you left at work is now sitting on the couch right between you and your spouse. You haven’t seen your spouse all day, and he just wanted to know how your day was – but now you’re fighting because you got offended that he didn’t want to listen to your story, or that he was taking the customer’s side.

Your fuse is much shorter because your body doesn’t understand that you aren’t arguing. And instead of getting over the issue you had, you’ve now given it more power. You’re no better than you were…

“There is a fine line between processing the experience to make it manageable, and reliving it and re-traumatizing yourself.” – Philippa Perry

Want some advice on what you can do to save yourself (and your spouse)?

LET IT STAY WHERE IT STARTED.  

You give that issue, that person, that thing more life when you continue to revisit and rehash your situation. You’ve “fanned the flames” by re-telling the story and allowing the emotion take over.

Remember most humans are empathetic and if your spouse is like mine he will take on your pain, your anger, your frustration, and your sadness. Then BOTH of you are affected by whatever it was that originally had only happened to you.

When you get home don’t even acknowledge that it happened. Because… I ask again, “does reliving the issues of the day serve any real purpose?”

Tell me about it: Why do you re-tell stories of frustration to other people?


(Image courtesy of: https://www.flickr.com/photos/lentzstudios/)

Avoiding Fear… Only Breeds More Fear

You avoid being uncomfortable. You shy away from new situations because you don’t like the uneasy feeling.

That’s fear. That’s what fear DOES.

It reminds you that what you are about to do might not work out the way you want. And if you aren’t okay with that, if you can’t accept that some things turn out differently than planned – you should walk away. You shouldn’t even try.

FEAR.

What happens then?  Nothing. Except for another situation inevitably comes along and you go through the same process all over again. You are introduced to fear once more… over and over again. It will become a cycle for you. I promise. (And that’s not a promise I like to make!)

Let’s imagine for a moment you are ready to tell fear to take a hike. You’re about to enter a new situation and you want to do so with courage instead of fear (that voice telling you that it’s not going to work out so run, run for your life). So here’s what you do: you tell yourself, “I’m okay with things as they will be, good or bad.” You power through and in the end, things turn out pretty good for you. All of a sudden you’re on top of the world – you did it. You are accomplished.

YOU WON.

Let’s also imagine, for the sake of argument, you did everything as I said above but things didn’t turn out well… it’s okay. Because you told yourself before you took that leap, “it’s fine no matter what the outcome might be.” And you are, okay with how things ended up.  You succeeded by simply telling fear to bite it.

YOU STILL WON.

“Expectations are the enemy. Detachment is the ally.” – William Whitecloud

When you have expectations you’re giving something else control of the situation, and when you don’t have control, you are fearful. If you detach yourself from the outcome by saying something like, “it’s fine. I will decide how I feel about it no matter what happens,” all of a sudden you are in complete control and there is no fear.

Face your fears, because if you don’t they will keep showing up until you do. Imagine the amount of time you will have to do really amazing things, now that you aren’t fighting with your fears.

Can you remember a time that you told fear to take a hike? Tell me about it. Comment Below!

 

(Image Courtesy of: https://www.flickr.com/photos/alexsnaps/)

Living Without Regrets

When you’re on your deathbed don’t let the story of your life begin like this;

I wish…

Most people are scared to die because of regrets… I wish I had; I wish I hadn’t; I wish I could have; I wish someone would… We tell ourselves every day that we can’t do what we want to do (or we’ve done what we’ve done) because the timing wasn’t right.

IMG_5230I posted this image on Instagram and Facebook a while back and some of the responses I received were, “I’m not afraid to die, or I’m not scared of death.”  then you are fully living.”

“Then you are the rare few that are fully living,” I said.

But it made me think; I wasn’t talking about people being afraid to die – I was talking about people living (and then dying) with regrets.

Most days we navigate on auto-pilot, telling ourselves we are doing what we need to do to survive, or that we don’t have enough time to make the “big moves,” necessary to do what we want. Watching TV for 60 minutes – instead of painting, creating, researching, talking… is that surviving? I’m pretty sure you can do a lot in 60 minutes. Things that would lead to down the path of getting what you want. Success stories aren’t based on a miraculous things happening all of a sudden, they are based on people creating situations because they manage their time well.

That little kid inside you who knew when she grew up she was going to be great… is not surviving. She could have grown stronger if you fed her flame but instead, you got distracted by a funny cat video.  We think we will have all the time in the world to do what we want to do. “How is a cat video hurting me,” you ask.

It’s not hurting YOU; it’s hurting the person you could become!

“Do what you love, be who you are… so if your life were to end tomorrow your story won’t start with, I WISH.” (Tweet This)


(Image Courtesy of: https://www.flickr.com/photos/benperrin/https://www.flickr.com/photos/benperrin/)

How Feelings Determine Your Happiness, and Not The Other Way Around

What came first:

THE CHICKEN OR THE EGG?

I read an article recently that proposed a similar question only it wasn’t about food; it was about our success…

What comes first:

HAPPINESS OR SUCCESS?

I’m sure if I were to take a poll, we’d be sitting at 50/50 – but I want to explain why it’s critical that we all subscribe to the same answer:

If happiness doesn’t come first, success is fleeting.

No matter how successful we become, if we are not happy independently of that success, eventually we will find a way to discredit even the most esteemed successes.

WHY DO WE SET GOALS?

We set them because we want to be successful – we want to HAVE, POSSES or BE something… but beyond that…we want to feel a certain way.

The desire for an emotion is far greater than the desire for the actual thing. (Tweet This)

We want to feel [insert emotion here]. Examples: happy, confident, connected, inspired….

So why do we wait? Why do we put off being happy, confident and contected? Why do we believe that until we have, possess or are something we don’t get to feel the way we want to feel.

Let’s say you want to back a cake…you need ingredients first: you need the sugar, the flour, and the eggs. Once you have all of those items together, along with your efforts, you are able to produce the cake. Your feelings are the ingredients you need to produce your happiness.

WHAT IF WE LIVED WITH DELIBERATE HAPPINESS?

I have this system at work. It’s an automated system that runs every hour. Each hour it pulls documents from a folder that resides on a server. The folder contains orders that have been entered by outside sales reps. The system will pull anything in the folder. It doesn’t know (or care) if the orders are entered correctly; it pulls the order because it’s what’s in the folder. Which in turn drops into our system, and we on the inside carry out the demands of the order. If the order is entered incorrectly – then the product is produced incorrectly.

That’s what the universe does; the universe scans your folder (which in your case contains feelings and vibrations instead of orders) and whatever it finds it uses as ingredients to construct the situations and circumstances of your life. So why on earth would you give the universe bad ingredients?

BAD INGREDIENTS = BAD CIRCUMSTANCES

In every possible moment of the day we need to be thinking about, and feeling the way we hope to feel once we “get what we want,” because…

It’s highly likely that if we FEEL the way we want to feel…the byproduct of that feeling will be the realization of the thing we want. 


(Image Courtesy of: https://www.flickr.com/photos/thebokeeffect/)

10 Inspiring Life Lessons by Dr. Wayne Dyer

Dr. Wayne Dyer has been a beacon in my life for a few years. His words of wisdom have guided me through tough times, internally and externally. I credit him with helping me see that not everything in life has to be so serious. After his passing, he’s still inspiring me! I recently re-read 10 Inspiring Life Lessons We Can Learn From Wayne Dyer over at LifeHack and I’m reassured that his message will stay with me, even though he is gone.

4. Only you can change your life

“If love and joy are what you want to give and receive, change your life by changing what’s inside.”

“Be the change you want to see.”

“How others treat me is their path, how I react is mine.”

“Everyone is either an opportunity to grow or an obstacle to keep you from growing. You get to choose.”

“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

“You must be what it is you’re seeking – that is, you need to put forth what you want to attract.”

“Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice.”

These were my favorite – funny how they all fell under the category: Only You Can Change Your Life. 

Go forth today and remember:

You are the only one who has the power to change how you are currently reacting to the situations and circumstances in you life. I personally believe we can control the circumstances and situations that are happening, but if you don’t – then you must remember…it’s up to you to control how you react to them.

– Pieces of Happiness

How to Become a Success

Happy New Year everybody! I hope you had a restful, rejuvenating holiday filled with reflection and contemplation. Now, let’s stop analyzing and get out there and make 2017 the best, most LIVED year of our lives!

Let’s get started!!!! I’ve devised what I call THE PRINCIPLES OF PROGRESS for 2017. Stay tuned this year for more in this series on how to make your dream come true.


The first step to success is being able to define success. What does it mean to YOU?

The second step is being able to see yourself doing/having/being the things you associate with success.

The third step is the belief that you are all of those things already.

Then, when you least expect it a person, a situation, an opportunity will show up in your life – not just as a coincidental happenstance, but as a guide. Think of this person, situation or opportunity as your boarding pass – it gets you on the train towards your destination.

If you are a person who believes in hard work and action – then listen up:

THAT IS YOUR ACTION

Take the ticket, board the train – wherever you end up, do whatever it is you have to do to keep coasting down the tracks.

Once upon a time trains didn’t move unless there was coal in the furnace… your actions are the coals in the furnace, the fuel to the fire.

 DEFINE. ENVISION. BELIEVE. ACTION.


(Image Courtesy of: https://www.flickr.com/photos/pustovit/)

Extend the Life of Your Happiness

Think about how quick we are, when we’re angry, to share that story with our friends. We think it helps us get through the situation – but really – all we are doing is EXTENDING THE LIFE OF OUR ANGER. Think of it like a flame. The more we feed the fire, the bigger it gets.

Now think about how often you get really excited about something but you’re too scared to share it with others?  Why don’t we share it? Why don’t we let people get excited with us?

SHARE IT. LET OTHERS FEEL YOUR EXCITEMENT.

Let’s work to extend the life of our happiness instead of our anger.

I believe there is a part of us that becomes whatever emotion is conveyed to us when we converse with other people. We become what others are willing to share.

Think of it as a gift; what gift are you giving?

Happiness and Excitement, or Anger and Frustration? 

I have shied away from telling people about my excitement. I’m not sure how they will react. But if people react negatively to something positive that you are sharing, it could be because they don’t have anything in their lives right now that makes them feel the way you are feeling. Or they don’t understand. That’s okay! It’s not your job to make them understand, it’s your job to be happy and to share that with others.

Learning to be impenetrable by negative emotions, but impacted by positive ones is a lofty challenge. We are what we say. Right? So start talking… about what makes you happy!

The world needs it!


Image courtesy of: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wewiorka/

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You Can Never Run Out of Compassion

I’ve been thinking an awful lot about compassion. With the world in an uproar over what’s happening in politics right now, I can’t help but consider who I need to have compassion for – the people I know who are hurting and immediately affected by the outcome; or the people who hurt them?

But how can I have compassion for people who knowingly opened the gates through which evil is bellowing through?

Recently during a team meeting at my job , we discussed encounters we’ve had – as consumers –  where the service was beyond our expectations. We discussed what made the experience memorable and briefly touched upon the subject of judgment. I walked out of our meeting with the thought of judgment sitting firmly on my shoulder. I need to think about this further, I thought.

“It’s not our job to determine whether or not the requests of the customers are worthy, our responsibility is to make sure the customers are satisfied.”

Almost everyone I know has been in customer service at some point in their lives. You’ve had to: save face, bite your tongue, go against your nature, in an attempt to satisfy your responsibility as a service provider.

It’s not fun. Sometimes people ask for outrageous things, or they take advantage, or they have unrealistic expectations. But here’s the thing;

THEIR EXPECTATIONS ARE NOT UNREALISTIC – TO THEM.

Who are we to decide whether or not someone deserves to “get away with something.”

But how do we forgive the people in our lives that have hurt us with their actions? I don’t necessary know how, but I know why.

If we don’t learn to have compassion and to forgive, the seed of resentment is planted and eventually becomes a full-blown tree suffocating our best efforts to be a good human.

I use to have this photo album when I was little, about eight years old. It was bubble gum pink with a sketch of a little girl on the cover. It said, “Dear God if I give all my love away, can I have a refill?”

STOP HOARDING YOUR COMPASSION

You can’t run out of compassion. You don’t have limited access to it. Giving it to someone who might not necessarily be worthy of it, won’t deplete your supply.

Are you struggling to forgive someone, or are you finding it hard to be compassionate these days? Let’s talk about it! Comment below because discussion is the key to change.


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The Only Action You Need to Take to Change Your Life

Many times in our lives things don’t go the way we want them to, or even the way we plan. Human beings WANT to be happy, so we want things to be exactly how we envision them. And when they aren’t, we give all of our energy to it. We tell everyone we know (that will listen) what happened and how we feel.

It’s natural to want other people’s support; we want to feel allied in our circumstances, we want to feel like we’re not alone. We want to know that people feel bad for us and that someone cares. It ultimately makes us feel better. But that mentality limits you. The more we focus on the negative – the less room there is for the positive. It limits your ability to take action and create change. 

We all know a person like that – we all have one in our lives – a person who complains about everything. But what they don’t realize is this: sympathizing with you, and respecting you are two different things.

“There is no victory in being the victim.” 

You didn’t win because you lost. Unless, it forces you to want to change.

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(image courtesy of Robert Couse-Baker https://www.flickr.com/photos/29233640@N07/)

A situation doesn’t change because you talk about it, it doesn’t get better because someone sympathizes with you, a situation gets better when you take action.

So what actions can you take? You only need one… and the rest will fall into place. Are you ready for it? This is the only action you step you need to take:

Decide that you will not be a victim.

Don’t give a situation more power than it deserves. Change is inevitable, but it doesn’t have to be permanent.

Now is not forever…


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Flashback: Take the Risk Even If Nobody Is Holding Your Hand!

Original Post Date: July 2014

“and then I discovered that if there is something that ‘nobody wants to do’ that is a great opportunity to really rise to the challenge and make a difference.”

I have an interview today. It’s an interview for a department transfer and subsequently,  a promotion.

In the weeks preceding this one, I discussed this interview with a lot of people; I wanted their advice and their support. Sadly I was met with a lot of discouraging conversation. The first words out of my boss’ mouth were, “Oh, that job is really hard… Stacy* hated it. She was really unhappy.” Really?

She then told me with a shrug, “maybe they’ve changed the position since she left – you never know.” I hate when people shrug. It makes me feel like they are calling me stupid.

Another co-worker had the same reaction, “Yah, that job – it made Stacy so unhappy. She hated it.” At first, I started to question my decision. Maybe I didn’t want the job, maybe it wasn’t for me.

However, on my way to work this morning I had an epiphany: maybe I had been thinking about this too minimally – focusing on individual things about my current position – the trivial, monotonous things that everyone in my position hates doing…

Instead, maybe the thing that ‘nobody wants to do,’ is actually an entire POSITION.

Everyone’s breaking point is different. Maybe Stacy didn’t like the job, but maybe she was lazy and didn’t want to work very hard, or maybe she didn’t understand the purpose of her job in the grand scheme of things, or maybe she just didn’t care at all.

Either way, I’m not Stacy. I could love this job or I could hate it, but at least I am taking a chance on something.

Wish me luck!

Edited to Update: I KILLED IT. No matter what happens now, I feel 100% confident with HOW I interviewed.

Additional Update: I did not get the job. But instead, got a promotion within my current position, and additional responsibilities.


(image courtesy of: https://www.flickr.com/photos/smithser/)