Listen! We all have messes in our lives― messes that, at times, can leave us feeling stuck. Some of us have overcome our messes and some of us may still be struggling, which is ok too. However, I strongly believe that it is time for our messes to stop defining us, so we can stop getting mentally and emotionally lost in them. Some of us have been circling the same mountain for too long. Although I am not a natural born expert, having the courage to seek a therapist for my own life messes has aided me in being able to share a few easy tips on how to become mentally strong while refining our mess so that more joy and peace can reside within and around us, and so that our lives can shift into a new, hopeful direction.
- Don’t take people too seriously. The decisions people make rarely have anything to do with you. Most people have their own mental stuff going on, things that they have yet to deal with, heal from and get help for. Hence, their unwillingness to want to be better while showing up in their own lives has absolutely nothing to do with you and should never be your burden to bear. People’s decisions or their need to want things different in their lives do not take away from you being the great person you are.
- Don’t focus on a solution. When things are hectic in our lives and out of whack, we want a solution quick, fast and in a hurry! However, trying to figure life out is one of the most exhausting things to date (at least from my lens). Focusing on how you want something to turn out can be draining as well as self-depleting. So, in order to be mentally strong when life is troubling you, spend time focusing on just being okay instead of focusing on a solution. Focusing on just being okay helps slow your mind down and puts the focus back on you and not on an outcome or millions of solutions that might not even occur or be the best one for you. Just let time do its thing and go with the flow.
- Don’t create outlandish, negative stories. Assumptions and jumping to conclusions without clarity will run anyone crazy! They will wear your mind out especially when you can’t see the bigger picture. No peace resides when you spend time thinking and worrying about things that hold no truth due to lack of clarity, understanding or fear. Speaking up when something is not giving you peace is better than creating stories because when we are not clear on what we are trying to figure out we create the worst stories ever. I mean the WORST! If you have problems gaining clarity in uncomfortable situations due to fear, you can take the truth that you already have while looking at it through several perspectives until you are ready to address it head on.
- Don’t refuse help. According to my therapist, people love to help! People get a certain type of fulfillment when they can help someone, but if you are anything like me, you don’t like to be a burden, so you rarely ask for assistance. As people we tend to think that we don’t need any help whatsoever, physically, mentally, or in our everyday minds. We spend countless days trying to do everything alone, which causes unnecessary strain on our brains. Instead, be greedy with any amount of help that is given and don’t be afraid to ask for help. The worst someone can say when we ask them for help is no.
- Don’t let fear consume you. We all, at times, operate out of fear. I strongly do not believe that it is wrong to fear things because that simply means you are considering change in your life and the desire to act out of courage. However, don’t let the fear consume you to the point where you’re stagnant and afraid to leap, allowing your mind to play tricks on you. Leap, and believe it or not, if you fall, you are probably well equipped with enough life experiences to get back up and try again! Don’t let fear make you overthink and worry about things that aren’t even going to happen. Silence the mental chatter, take fear off center stage, watch it all work out and let fear teach you something. You can be a little afraid or big afraid, but remember, courage is being afraid but going on anyhow while still showing up in all your splendor and pizzazz!
- Don’t let anyone tell you about you! Get to know yourself on a more emotional and spiritual level. Commit to knowing yourself well enough so that other people’s negative opinions have no room in your life or in your mind. When you really and truly know who you are, no one can tell you about you. When you know who you truly are, you can make the best, sound decisions for yourself that benefit you and your well-being, undoubtedly ensuring no one is making them for you.
- Don’t trade your experiences. Appreciate your hard lessons. Why? One day you will be glad that you experienced them. Now grant it, you will not like the feelings of the hard lesson as you experience them, sit in them and process them; however, during the times of chaos and sorting out the lessons, you will eventually be glad they happened. Who knows what life would look like if we didn’t have our experiences―the good, the bad, and the ugly ones!
- Don’t neglect your needs. We all have needs that need to be fulfilled. Whether they are simple ones such as the need to laugh, the need to have peace, the need for rest or the need to just be left alone, the need fulfilling. No matter the needs or the circumstances that cause the needs, make sure that they are met, and as previously stated, don’t ever be afraid to ask for what you need. Your needs are just as important as anyone else’s because they fuel you and generate a force of energy that you can then abundantly return to others when needed. You can’t pour from an empty cup, which is mentally exhausting when you try to!
- Don’t run from your problems. Deal with them! Deal with them! Deal with them! Be as uncomfortable as you can while it suffocates the life out of you—that’s how you know you are dealing with them. When you run, you just end up doing things out of a desperate and void feeling, which sometimes ends up with us hurting other people. Just slow down and don’t look to escape your shadow. Learn to love yourself while there.
These are just a few valuable tips that I learned in therapy while cleaning up my own mess and working on my mental health ‘cause, baby, I was all over the place. You hear me?! I could not find balance for anything in the world! However, these tips helped me overcome and still currently aid me when I feel an overload rising. I hope these tips are helpful to you, and even if you just pick one to practice, you are way ahead of someone who refuses to let go and seemingly enjoys a clogged-up mind.
Now, go. Be happy!
Please share in the comments which tip you think is the most useful for you as you refine the messes in your life.