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/)

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/)

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.


(Image courtesy of: https://www.flickr.com/photos/53558245@N02/)

Don’t forget to like us on Facebook!

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.

14859431605_5c42d17168_o
(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…


Don’t forget to like Pieces of Happiness on Facebook!

Two Sides to Every Story: How Knowing Both Sides Can Change Your Reaction

There are two sides to every story. The side you can see, and the side you cannot. Are you willing to find out what the other side of the story is? The reaction you have might change drastically if you know… and the last thing we want in life is unnecessary reactions (more on that later this month)

Last week I got an email from my manager asking if my “assistant” (a girl from another department who works with me for 4 hours because of workload) would have some time to assist on a new project.

I was upset. Just weeks before I had discussed with my manager the goals I had for the coming year and how I wanted to take on new responsibilities. Now, she was giving the opportunity to someone else.

How could she do this? How could she have no regard for me?

I went from zero to sixty in 4 seconds flat…

But after talking with my friends I realized there was an alternate approach I had missed in the midst of my anger; rather than take it personally maybe I just needed to reach out. I needed to tell her what I wanted. So I did….

“If at all possible, I’d like to learn this as well. Do you think I could be trained too?”

“I don’t see why not.”

In the end, it wasn’t about my manager overlooking me. “We didn’t want to overwhelm you is all…” 

So the moral of the story is:

  • Find out the other side of the story.
  • Try to give situations & people the benefit of the doubt.
  • Reduce your anger; it will cloud your judgment (and you might never find out the other side of the story!
  • Digest what has happened and quickly come up with an alternative (if needed) that will satisfy your wishes and desires.
  • SAY WHAT YOU WANT. (Sometimes saying what you want, actually exposes the other side of the story – WIN, WIN!)

Has there been a situation in your life where you had an unnecessary reaction because you didn’t know the other side of the story? How did you feel, and how did you make it right? Let talk about it!

What You Should Be Doing To Unlock Your Success

Ever wonder why it’s not happening for you? How come you’re still sitting on the sidelines while the rest of the world is makin’ shit happen?

Commitment.  Follow Through.  Confidence.  Success.

Are these words and ideas something you are focusing on? Well, you should be because they are…What you need to do in order to be a winner! 

Let’s entertain the idea that “getting something” is the key to our happiness. Let’s NOT discuss how WRONG that statement is… but with that in mind….

YOU NEED TO COMMIT. Don’t spread yourself thin. If you know you want something it should be the only thing you focus on. It’s the ONLY route you’re willing to take.

FOLLOW THROUGH. You can’t just expect that your wishing – you’re putting it out into the universe – is enough to make something happen.You have to WORK for it. Take action.

KNOW YOU DESERVE IT.  Anytime you have a goal you need to believe you deserve it; it’s something you are supposed to have and the only reason you don’t is because you haven’t done enough yet.

And if you have all of those things – eventually what you want will be yours right?

Well, again, kind of.

The true test is how we react when we get (or don’t get) what we want. Or rather, what we get differs from what we started out wanting. SUCCESS.

“Happiness lies in seeing the situation for what it is, not what you want it to be.”

Success doesn’t always come from getting what we want, but going after what we want… and being okay with what we do eventually achieve.

Do you know the difference?

What did you want and go after – AND most importantly did you get what you wanted, or did you get something else? Were you happy with it even though it wasn’t what you originally set out to get?


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

Don’t forget to like Pieces of Happiness on Facebook!