It’s a beautiful day on the island. The sun is shining. The sea birds are singing a melodious tune. The fresh, sweet aroma of the ocean is drifting in the air. It’s easy to feel tranquil here. And who doesn’t love tranquility? Who doesn’t crave that feel good state of mind that all is right with the world?
But there’s a saboteur among us – someone intent on shaking things up, on causing undue stress and suffering.
And believe it or not . . . it’s YOU!
We are the ones who upset our serene inner island of bliss and tranquility. More precisely, we sabotage our own peace of mind – the very calm, warm, fuzzy feelings that we crave.
We don’t mean to of course. But whether it’s “human nature” or “just the way we are,” our sabotage tactics can make life harder, less joyful, not as much fun.
I’ve noticed 3 common traps we all unwittingly fall into that can easily sabotage our potential for peaceful tranquility.
See if any of these sound familiar. Do you ever:
1) Resist what is happening right now.
Full of hope and anticipation, you want and expect things to go a certain way – YOUR way. When reality doesn’t match your “ideal” plan, you may complain and even lament how it isn’t fair or if only. Stubborn lack of acceptance is a surefire way to feel miserable and unhappy. And you won’t be any fun to be around either!
Rather than fight what is, mindfully change course. Practice taking a step back and observing the situation as an objective bystander. Ask yourself if it’s really that important that things always go your way. Try just going with the flow and note how freeing that can be.
2) Deny your feelings.
We’re all fragile threads who do not like to feel hurt or pain. Rather than acknowledge and fully feel our emotions, sometimes we try to stuff them deep inside. “Everything is fine,” we tell everyone. And we almost believe it ourselves. But the internal stress of holding things in eventually expresses itself in other, less appropriate ways.
Notice and admit your true feelings. Try not to quash them, but to respect and understand them for what they are. Do nothing to change how you feel, just be with your feelings. Experience them deeply and eventually they will diminish and fade away.
3) Believe your thoughts.
Sometimes just thinking about a situation or problem can make it worse. Thoughts start blowing around in our mind, innocently at first. We really like to analyze things. We like to think about what happened, how it happened, why it happened. Before we know it, we’re ruminating in an endless loop of doubt, negativity and fear.
Slow your mind down. Pay attention to your thoughts. Notice when you fall into the same old negative patterns. Sometimes we have to get out of our head to put things in proper perspective. It may help to keep a journal to explore your thoughts and feelings.
Difficult passages are a natural part of life. There will always be opportunities to sabotage our precious peace of mind. But life situations don’t have to make us miserable. We can choose to view and respond to the adventure of life in a positive and healthy way.
Be gentle with yourself. Don’t let your sabotage tactics disturb your peace and harmony. Nurture and cherish your inner tranquility by getting out of your own way!
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