Tag Archives: criticism

5 Reasons Why You’re Unhappy — and How You Can Start Being Happy Today

So maybe you have the awesome house or apartment, a great relationship, and an amazing job.  But despite the fact that everything in your life looks so great on “paper” or upon someone viewing your Facebook or Instagram accounts, for some reason, somehow your just not happy.

What I’ve come to realize that while our societal views on what constitutes a happy and successful person, it’s rare that someone who actually fulfills all of those things are going to be genuinely happy.  Our true happiness is not determined by our external circumstances, but rather our internal focus.

So here are 5 reasons why you may be unhappy — and how you can start being happy today:

#1 – You’re living in the past or future

Out of all the reasons in this list, I think this one is the most impactful of our level of happiness than all of them. 

You’re focused on what you did have in the past or what you could have in the future rather than what you have right now.  Your mind is focused on how things were so great back in “the good ol’ days”.  Or, you’re focused on the idea of how things will be great “someday” in the future.

The reality is that by focusing our attention on the past and the future, all it does is prevent us from really living in and enjoying the present moment, which is the key to really living and being from a place of true joy and happiness.

So when you catch yourself thinking about how things were great in the past or how they could become great in the future, take a deep breath, feel your feet on the floor and look around you.  Notice what you have right now in this moment and how amazing it is to simply be living right here, right now.

#2 – You’re caught up in thoughts of judgement and criticism

Are you caught up in judging yourself about not being “good enough”?  Are you often trying to, somehow, be “perfect”?

Or, on the flip side, do you get up in judging and criticizing other people?  Do you get caught up in criticizing the way a co-worker dresses?  Are you often getting caught up in judging others for their own life choices?

When it comes to judgement and criticism I think it’s important to remember this: When I am judging others, I am judging myself, because we are all intricately connected.

When we are judging and criticizing, its a sign that our ego mind is bringing out our inner critic.  All this does is block us from being able to truly experience love, happiness and joy in the present moment.

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Click to Tweet: When I am judging others, I am judging myself, because we are all intricately connected. @jenilyn8705

#3 – You’re seeking fulfillment in material things

Do you find yourself thinking things like: When I’m able to get that house then I’ll be happy, when I’m making six figures I’ll be happy, or when I can get that new car I’ll be happy?

One of the biggest fabrications that our ego mind likes to tell us is that being rich, famous and successful we are somehow going to be living the best lives ever.

While getting a new car, house, and make more money may certainly make our lives easier, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re going to be happy when we get these things.  True happiness comes through our mindset and how we choose to live and be in the world — not a pair of Manolos and some Gucci.

#4 – You’re focused on what you’re getting rather than what you’re giving

To you tend to get caught up in thinking that if you did X favor for Sally then she better give Y favor for you?  Or, do you tend to get caught up in thinking about how much money you’re getting from your employer rather than how much you’re giving at work?

It’s interesting, but often when we’re focused on a mindset of always thinking about what we’re “getting” then there never seems to be enough — there’s always lack.  However, when we shift our mindset and start to focus more on what we’re giving, then we are able to see what we are actually receiving.  In turn, we can then find ourselves more grateful and content with what it is that we do have right here, right now.

#5 – You’re trying to push your feelings of sadness, worry, and anger away

In the world of self-help and personal growth, there’s a lot of talk out there about a need to be positive so that you can be happy and joyful and live the best life possible.

Well, I’m going to tell you right now: Thinking that we need to be positive all the time is BS. 

Honestly, it’s not even remotely realistic.  We all have our good days and our bad days.  People die.  Pets die.  Relationships end.  Health issues happen.  We lose jobs.  We move.

And as a result, we cry, we scream, and we worry.  Someone does or says something to hurt us and we struggle to forgive.  We have wounds, addictions, and disorders.

And you know what?  It’s all normal and perfectly okay.  In fact, we need it.  Why?  Because we can’t have light without darkness.  We need both to be whole and to feel complete.

We all have wounds because we’ve all been hurt in various ways and those wounds need our love and attention.  We have to give ourselves time to really truly feel and process those emotions.  When we don’t, this is where other problems can emerge, such as an addiction, an eating disorder, or maybe even a case of depression.

So allow yourself to really truly feel — both the good and the bad, because it is all a part of you, and by loving and accepting it, you can start to tap into your own true authentic happiness.

How to Take Care of Yourself When You Fear Rejection and Criticism

A few months back, I wrote an article in response to a blog post that had gone viral. Though I certainly wanted other views of this article to be shared and heard, what I did not expect was to have the tweet of my response article on the front page of google.

Even though a person hearing this may give responses like “Good for you!” This certainly wasn’t my initial reaction. My immediate reaction was more like::

“Oh my gosh, why did that have to be on the front page of yahoo? If they would’ve just posted my article then people would understand my perspective better!”

“Shit, a lot of people are going to see that – friends, family, old classmates, old coworkers, and ex-boyfriends. They might get the wrong impression and be mad.”

“What if [insert person’s name] sees it? They might be thinking I’m a hypocrite.”

My immediate thoughts are the classic reaction that many of us have: Rather than focus on the GOOD things that can come of it, we focus on the bad.

I’ve experienced this many times in personal relationships as well. Like, sharing a view that may be different from my friend or partner at the time. I don’t want to ruffle anyone’s “feathers” and cause a fight but I also don’t want to repress what is true for me just to please someone else. It’s not real, it’s not genuine – and all it does is prevent the relationship from becoming deeper, more meaningful, and more intimate.

So what is one to do when we find ourselves afraid of receiving rejection from others?

Realize and accept that this is a natural response.

Our natural reaction to fear rejection and criticism is not just psychological but primitive. It’s the fight or flight response in the works. As humans, our bodies are hardwired to either act or run away when we feel there may be danger. The interesting thing though is that in today’s modern world there isn’t much physical danger that we need to be concerned about. Therefore, the fight or flight response is triggered by our own thoughts. We begin to feel that any form of criticism or rejection is an attack – when it’s truly just a different view.

That being said, we not only have to take into consideration of our own fight or flight response, but the fight or flight response of OTHERS as well. In many cases (especially on the internet it seems) people begin get very offensive or defensive due to this fight or flight response. So if we stop and see their criticism for what it truly is (a mere primitive response rather than anything of real essence), then it is easier to let go of our rejection fears.

Stop to focus on you.

Because of this fight or flight response to attack, its only natural to get worked up over fears of rejection. Heart rate increases, we may begin to feel anxious or nervous, or we may not be able to sit still. During this time it is very important to stop and look within. Notice how you are feeling and what you are experiencing and ask yourself “What do I need right now in this moment?”

Find a healthy physical outlet to that energy.

The problem is that most people don’t do this part and because we don’t do this part, we may create arguments and tension in our relationships and/or cause ourselves a lot of unnecessary stress. The body doesn’t know that we are truly not in danger, so we have to find a way to let that energy out of the body. Go for a walk or run, lift weights, go kickboxing, dance, or do yoga. You might also want to get a massage, acupuncture, or Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). This is actually why tapping techniques like EFT work – it focuses on the locations in the body that we store our emotions in reaction do this common fight or flight response. By tapping or putting pressure on the area it allows the body to release it.

Nurture yourself.

After you find a way to let it out physically, find a way to nurture yourself as well. Journal, sing, paint, or make a craft. Take a bath with bath salts or read a good book. I’d also highly recommend doing some short informal meditations where you just focus on your breath and how you feel in your body as you do these activities.

Ultimately, the key thing to remember when you notice a lot of fear of rejection and/or criticism from others is to really stop and focus on you. Take care of yourself. Take the time to really love yourself, because nobody else can really love you better than you.

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