Many of the tools I suggest have been practiced by me for more years than the age of the young man submitting his story to me. I read an article about Chris Degenaars a 19 year old in the June issue of Success magazine.
He gives me hope that living a life of abundance is possible for anyone that is willing to put into practice positive tools for success.
The 2 Things That Changed My Life
by Christopher Degenaars
From suffering from depression and suicidal thoughts to being genuinely happy with my life.
More and more I have found comfort in talking about what I have gone through mentally for a long time. It has become a big part in who I am now and also in how I have been able to talk with friends who suffer from similar situations. It hasn't been an easy path to this genuine happiness, but I don't think anything worthwhile is "easy" and it shouldn't be. I have had my setbacks and struggles, but the fact I don't fear waking up to the reality I am living is well worth the trip.
There were two main things that allowed me to open up and let myself actually be happy. Self-Awareness and practicing Mindfulness It started with being aware of who I am, what I can do, and what I can't. Something like a self-audit almost, realizing what I was good at and what I wasn't, and being able to accept that. I always loved writing and always loved helping others, combining these 2 things have allowed me to connect better with people and grow a better relationship with them.
I also had to realize in this process of being more self-aware that I cannot rely on other people to make me happy nor can I worry about making them happy. The only way for me to be happy and to make other people happy, was to focus on making myself genuinely happy. Which is a process that was and is scary, because it means focusing on you and not spending so much time on everyone else? For me, that was hard, because I was used to always helping other people.
When I was able to truly understand myself, I was able to be mindful of my situations.
I do a lot of meditating to help practice mindfulness, sometimes up to 3 times per day when stress and anxiety are overtaking me. This has allowed me to better connect to myself and also to better understand my circumstances. I was no longer letting little things bother me, because I understood that there was a bigger meaning behind it all.
All things are connected. When we realize that we are not just a person, but the physical being of something much larger that connects with all things in life, we think very differently.
When you realize and truly believe that your thoughts today will directly impact the circumstances in your life forever, you are willing to make a point to be a better person.
I was very lucky to have the mindset to adapt to these things easily, I know how hard it can be feeling like there is no hope. That is just an endless dark hole that you are just trying not to open your eyes in, and wishing you would just hit the bottom. I was able to take these mindset shifts into my life easily and make a full 360 to how I thought which allowed me to actually go out and live my life.
Until you are willing to find the thing in your life that is holding you back from actually living - then acting to change it, you will never be happy. You have two options in life: to run your life or let your life runs you. The choice is yours.
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