Thursday, August 20, 2009

Leaving the Land of Misery

While this is aimed at teens, it is relevant for ALL of us.

Do you tend to assume the worst in how you will be treated? Do you often have thoughts like “People are ALWAYS mean to me,” “NOBODY likes me,” “EVERYBODY is mean to me,” “Why bother? NOTHING EVER goes my way,” etc? None of these thoughts are true and any of these thoughts are guaranteed to make you MISERABLE!

Do you look for being wronged? Do you tend to assume the worst? Or do you look for the best in others? (Some do a good job of hiding the good from you.)

It probably surprises you that you CAN CHOOSE how to feel. Many say things like “But that is how I FEEL” and “That's the way I've ALWAYS been.” Take a moment and decide, “How do I WANT to feel?” If you want to feel miserable, you are already an expert. If you don't want to feel miserable, then you can work on changing your thinking and behavior.

WHY would anyone CHOOSE to be miserable? There are a number of possible reasons:

1) It is habit. An automatic response, requiring nothing to be done;
2) Feeling miserable can prevent you from trying something new;
3) It keeps you from facing that you are anxious about something;
4) It is human to hold on to our hurts when we are wronged;
5) It can be addictive.

Misery usually results from us holding on tightly to how we have been wronged. It can feel like there are no other alternatives but to feel upset. Actually, we can hold our resentments; we can feed our resentments; or we can work on letting them go. Letting go often takes time, along with effort. It usually helps to repeat statements like, “Today, I'll do my best to let go,” or “Today, I'll do my best to take back my power from those who are mean to me.” Some find it helpful to write down the offense and/or offender and then tear that paper up, burn it, or even flush down the toilet. Letting go is a gift you give yourself.

Make lists of:

1) Your friends;
2) Your favorite memories;
3) Your favorite possessions;
4) Things you enjoy doing;
5) Anything else that makes you happy.

When you feel badly, look at your lists BEFORE you are miserable. Do some of the things you enjoy instead of dwelling on the negatives. Listen to some music that makes you happy. Don't listen to down or angry music that makes you feel worse.

Misery loves company. Are your friends negative? If so, the two of you will reinforce how lousy the world is. This will keep you stuck in your misery. If some of your friends are more positive, ask them how they would look at a situation that is difficult or upsetting to you.

Does any of this mean that everyone will treat you well? Of course not! Rather, you can choose how you want to respond to being mistreated.

Best wishes,


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