I was browsing Pinterest and came across this image:
Source of Image
These 8 factors were found during a study on happiness by Duke University.
I find these factors quite useful for self reflection and felt a need to share!
Personal take on these factors:
- The absence of suspicion and resentment. I hold grudges for years. Time to let go! This is a big one for me and will most likely take a while for me to master it.
- Not living in the past. I spend too much time in the past. So much time wasted that could instead be spent in the present and planning for the future.
- Not wasting time and energy fighting conditions you cannot change. Yes… Go with the flow, man.
- Force yourself to stay involved with the living world. Yes when I am unhappy I curl into a ball in bed and don’t eat or want to speak to anyone. The last few times I felt down I watched educational and thought provoking videos on YouTube instead. Now that is nice out I will go for more walks!
- Refuse to indulge in self-pity. Hmm.. self-pity. I don’t really pity myself. I am aware that I am lucky to have a roof over my head, food to eat and family and friends that love me. Instead of self-pity I have had a bad habit of just insulting myself for letting negative feelings take over and for wasting so much time being stuck instead of being productive. I’m looking at the definition of self pity and I don’t think it is the same thing. I am aware that I am fortunate and I don’t pity myself. I’ve just been angry and annoyed with myself.
- Cultivate the old-fashioned virtues–love, humor, compassion and loyalty. Yes I will continue to improve on them as well as other virtues; assertiveness, confidence, courage, creativity, peacefulness, purposefulness, responsibility, and self-discipline. I’m overall trying to work on becoming a more virtuous individual.
- Do not expect too much of yourself. Yes, this one will be important when I go back to school in the Fall. I am too hard on myself if I don’t get an A.
- Find something bigger than yourself to believe in. I have some ideas but I will have to think about this one some more. 🙂
*Updated April 18th; Video added at the end of the post, Enjoy.*
Bad experiences are not an excuse to become a bad person.
We are a product of the choices we make, not the circumstances that we face. – Roger Crawford
When you are born into and/or face unfortunate and difficult circumstances in your life you have two choices on how you can deal with these experiences:
First, you can allow these experiences to consume you and to hold you back. You cause harm to yourself and to others. You allow anything difficult and painful that happened to you turn you into a unfavorable person. A person unable to take action, make changes and take responsibility. You become toxic.
Or, you can use these obstacles as stepping stones to become someone great, to rise above them and to not let them hold you back. You acknowledge what happened, break the chain and move on. You seek help when needed and perhaps even take the extra step to help others who faced the same challenges as you. You become strong.
The road is tougher when you are faced with obstacles and perhaps in some cases it is a bit more limited. However those who face the toughest battles are still capable of being the best they can be. These are people we admire.
Your circumstances set the stage but your choices determine the show.
I just ended a break from Facebook for a week. This is one of many many breaks I’ve taken from it. Now that it is back on my phone I am trying not to use it. I browsed it twice today. I’m thinking of deactivating it again but keeping messenger, not even sure if I’ll do that though. Anyone who I do speak to on a regular basis knows how to get in touch with me. Life without Facebook is pretty nice. I recommend you try it out at least once to see the difference and gain a better understanding of the role of social media in your daily routine. I especially recommend deactivating to those who haven’t done it before. Facebook has been around for over a decade now, and a lot of us have had it for most of that time. Are you someone who has had it consistently during that time? For years? If so you should try going without it for a week. If the only thing that is holding you back is to be able to message people please know that you can deactivate Facebook yet continue using messenger. Instructions here.
My best friend hasn’t been on Facebook for years… what a brave gal! My boyfriend recently decided to stop using Facebook and is enjoying life without it. He reads a lot these days. I have done it before for a few months; I lived in an apartment with no internet for a couple of seasons. I really enjoyed that time. Without internet, (only had basic mobile data on an old phone and didn’t use it much) I felt freer. I read and socialized more during that time and was more relaxed and happier.
I appreciate social media but like anything else if it is used excessively it is bad for you. It is still being researched on whether or not there is a link and/or relationship between mental health and social media. I can tell you from personal experience that this link does exist for me. If you are one of those people who can have social media but don’t have the urge to check it constantly and use it in moderation you’re probably fine. But if you are like me and check frequently during the day then it will most likely become a problem if it isn’t already. Looking at pretty pictures of things and people can lead me to feeling incompetent. It’s a strange thing to do when I think about it. Looking at other peoples lives on a tiny screen instead of doing much with mine. How sad. I pretty much only use Facebook and Instagram but have spent a significant amount of time on these platforms.
As I have mentioned before I am trying to make changes. Last night was the first time in two weeks that I did not write in my journal. I better write in it tonight. At least I am writing here. I have been reading every day, but some days I read for less than an hour. Overall though I am happy with my very little progress so far. I do expect the complete transformation into a happier human to take a few years. It’s only been a couple of weeks but I am still optimistic.