My good friend’s daughter is a competitive swimmer. For years now, swim moms in her community have gotten together to form a car pool to cart their daughters to the swimming pool every day before and after school. Over the years, my friend has done way more than her fair share for the car pool, and the whole experience was leaving both her and her daughter drained, unhappy and full of negativity. She didn’t need this stress, she didn’t need the countless hours on the road, and both her and her daughter didn’t need the drama that takes place in the backseat of a car full of pre-teen girls.
This year, my friend has decided to (gasp) give up the car pool! In this one decision, I’ve never seen my friend happier. She joyfully tells the story of how she is giving up car pool and literally taking back control of her life.
Her life! Her entire life was being negatively affected by a simple car pool! She has finally chosen to rid her life of this time-consuming negative act! What a freeing moment for her (and for her daughter, and her friends that can now revel in her new-found happiness 😊)
So often we give control of our happiness and lives to another person, situation or habit. Jen Sincero writes about these toxic behaviours in her book “You Are A Badass” (link to book at bottom of post).
Giving up car pool was a tangible act for my friend, but how about you and me? What toxic behaviours are we letting creep into our lives and rob our happiness. More importantly, how do we take back control?
- Work satisfaction – I still have friends who are so dissatisfied with their work situations, it makes me so very sad. And guilty! I have work that I love, but it didn’t always be that way. If doing a complete job change is not realistic for you (and I do recommend that you explore this path first – the risk may be there but the reward is sooooo great 😊), try to infuse your job with new responsibilities and habits. Are you exercising your strengths at work? Look into ways of either using your strengths at work each and every day, or finding a career that allows you to exercise your strengths. Making small changes at work can help lessen the frustrations, disappointments and negativity.
- Hobbies and interests – especially as adults and parents, our former hobbies and interests took a backseat to your kid’s interests, or work commitments etc. Spend time on those hobbies again! I’ve always wanted to garden and try new creative things in the kitchen, but I let my work get in the way. Now, I’m channelling my inner Marie Klymchuk (my grandma) and making jams left right and centre. I love it, and it energizes me for the next day when I do have to return to work responsibilities. (that energy could also be all the English muffins smothered in jam talking).
- Meditation – A huge part of my morning routine is taking some quiet time to be grateful and connect with God, my higher power. Whatever your higher power or energy is, taking time to connect with them on daily basis sets your compass a bit straighter and helps you stay focused on your unique calling. Are you new to meditation? Try this simple app from Headspace to get you started!
- Exercise and diet – The foods you put in your body is a direct correlation to how you will feel, both positive and negative. Literally rid your body of negativity and toxins by cleansing them out a few times a year, and eating better. I like the Wildrose cleanse, there are tons of others that achieve the same. You’ll feel better, lighter and more energized.
- Friends – surrounding yourself with positive influences will definitely decrease your stress and increase your energy, but what about the friends that tend to bring you down, or have a perpetual cloud of negativity surrounding them? I’m not referring to when our friends are going through tough times – they need to lean on us for support and us on them in return. I’m referring to those individuals who actually prefer negativity to positivity and have no desire to change their outlook to positivity and happiness. This “doom and gloom” cloud will rub off on you if you’re not careful. Distancing yourself from these people may set you up for more time to spend with people with positive vibes and a healthy energy.
Its impossible to rid our lives completely of stress-inducing moments, but hopefully by surrounding yourself with supportive people, feeding your mind and body with good nutrition and challenges, and spending time getting back to what makes you happy will help in setting you up for a happy, grateful life.
Enjoy the moments!
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