Focus on what you can do!

At present there are many restrictions in place with what we can do, where we can go and who we can visit. Whilst we understand and appreciate the reasons it is frustrating and limiting. The plans we had at the start of 2020 have gone right out of the window and have been replaced with a level of uncertainty.

Worrying, sulking and living in disappointment will do nothing to change our circumstances. We must somehow try to manage our emotions and frustrations. Our world has suddenly become smaller, our social life has being greatly impacted upon and the home is now a place of work and play for many. A lot of changes have taken place in such a short period of time and for some it has been overwhelming and even traumatic. We have been forced to adjust for the present time – we do not know how long the current arrangements will continue.

While we cannot currently fly abroad, have a UK break or enjoy a night out (dining or the theatre), there are still a few activities we are permitted to do. We can exercise outside, cycle, visit local parks, bake and cook at our leisure. Yesterday we took the children for a picnic in our local park and we had an enjoyable time. I know a few people who have hosted an online party for their birthday celebration- different but fun nonetheless.

Finding alternative ways to have fun and enjoy life is important otherwise we can become pessimistic about the future and sink into a state of depression and hopelessness. This would impact on our mental health – not for the better.

Look at what you are able to do and try not to ponder on what is essentially out of your control. It will only serve to steal your joy.

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How accepting are you of others?

Knowing we are accepted by others allows us to be who we truly are. We can reveal our flaws, shortcomings and quirky ways with complete confidence we will continue to be loved and embraced. When we do not feel accepted we tend to a) present ourselves in such a way that others will welcome us or b) draw back from others feeling somewhat rejected. Neither of these circumstances bring any real benefit to an individial.

Accepting others means we acknowledge they have different behaviours and a different mindset to us. We can like and/or love them understanding they are just the way they are. If we find ourselves trying to mould others or get them to see life from our point of view, we are sending a message that ‘our way is the way’. This is simply not true and can impact negatively on the lives of others.

I find people are often themselves when around family. They can be free to ‘let it all out’ because deep down they know they are loved. There is a safety net that cannot easily be broken.

People easily learn they are not accepted by the way in which others relate to them. Sometimes it is by a person’s body language or level of attention they are receiving. On occasions when I believed I was not accepted, I instantly drew back from people. I rarely said why and this later became a method of protecting myself.

As a teenager I was an introvert and had one or two friends at school as opposed to a large group of friends. I felt uncomfortable and out of my depth being in a crowd. In my eyes many of my peers were outspoken, confident, mature and the life and soul of a party. I was not made this way and therefore not easily accepted within social groups because I did not and could not conform. I remained being myself even when it was not perceived as particularly cool.

I believe we all come to a point in life where we learn to accept ourselves. Once we arrive at this place we are less affected when others do not accept us. We are at peace with ourselves and we like who we are as a person so the opinion of others tends to float off of us. We grow to a level of maturity where we are not willing to be tweaked and moulded into something else in order to be accepted. We are happy just as we are.

Communicating and relating to others

 

 

 

 

 

 

The way in which we communicate with others can either strengthen or deteriorate our relationships.

We should ideally choose to fully engage, giving the other person the opportunity to express how they are feeling. Their response will not be as we expect as they are not us and therefore do not process their thoughts and information in the same way.

We can easily fall into the trap of believing we know how someone feels or what they are thinking based on our own thought pattern. The number of times I have listened (at times half listened) to my husband express himself and I wrongly  respond with my take on what I believe he actually thinks and feels. How can I possibly know when we have different thought patterns?   I am learning to accept what my husband is relaying to me even when it does not line up with my own rational.  This helps to keep our lines of communication open and for him to feel respected.

In my various places of employment, I recall reading an email and completely misinterpreted the content because I had made assumptions on the first few lines I had read. I also recall several times being asked to see the director and assuming I knew what they were going to speak to me about. Rather than wait until the meeting I would over analyse past projects I had completed and conversations I had had, in order to feel prepared. What a waste of my energy!

I have an over active mind and it means I often over think scenarios and situations, giving them far more meaning than I ought to.

When we improve our communication with others we are in a better position to understand how they think and why they think in this way. They will find it easier to relate to us meaning they can be who they truly are without the need to over explain or tell us what they believe we want to hear.

Communicating well with others is important in all of our relationships, from marriage to friendships to working relationships. When there is a breakdown in communication, it benefits us to identify why and how we can improve upon this. As painful as this may be (to our egos mostly), this will help to heal the rift. Of course if the person does not wish to meet you halfway, there is little you can do. You have done your part.