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5 Things Mentally Well People Do Differently?

Updated: Jun 12, 2018

You spend time focusing on going to the doctor when there is a cough or a fever but what about your mental health. While more people are seeing therapy, more than 30 percent of people who suffer from depression, still do not receive treatment. By simply purging your past, you can reduce stress and anxiety which can also alleviate some of the physical issues you may be experiencing.

What I mean by purging your past is not simply to “move on”. That is what a lot of articles would tell you but you have to do the work.

1. Forgive your wrong doers (including yourself)
The first thing you must do is make a list of all the people you feel have wronged you and why. Then, it is important to forgive them. In my book, 28 Days to Happy, I recommend writing them a letter and then burning the letters. (send them if you dare) It is also important that you forgive yourself for anything and everything up to today. Start the next phase off with a clean slate and let your past experiences be the lessons that help you make different decisions going forward.

2. Set Realistic Goals
When setting goals, it is easy to focus on what you want to accomplish but the first step is actually to acknowledge where you currently are. REALLY ARE! Here is where the “H” in the H.A.P.P.Y. principle is useful. When you Hear Your Truth, you admit where you really are personally, professionally, financially, and spiritually and build a plan from your true reality. Goal setting on a false reality will only produce false results. Success will come when you plan based on a solid foundation.

3. Say No
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again….No is a complete sentence. We get caught up in trying to spare someone’s feelings by explaining our decisions but no explanation is required. You do what you do for your reasons. However, to make things easier, if you use the ACT method, you may feel better about saying no. Acknowledge their request, Communicate your situation and what you need to do first, then Tell them when/if you can help them.

4. Avoid Self Medicating
It is easy to over eat, over drink, get every OTC medication on the market to quickly achieve whatever you are trying to achieve but stop it. The best medicine on the market today is sleep, exercise, and laughter.
You may think you don’t need eight hours of sleep per night and maybe you don’t but chances are you need more than you are getting. A great way to catch up is to have one day when you sleep until your eyes open. Exercise is another one that even I say Yuk Yuk Yuk! To this I say, just move around. Dance while you clean, walk further to the door, or simply walk a couple of miles a day and let that be the end of it. Lastly, laugh. Comedy shows, comedy television, YouTube, and really just laugh at all the silliness that happens out in the world. The next time you want to get mad at something stupid someone did, just laugh at it. It’s good for your health.

5. Ask What and Why?
Before committing to something or someone, ask yourself, what do I want to get out of it and why am I doing it. I recently signed up for an event and as the date approached, I asked myself, why am I going? What do I want to get out of the experience? Is it personal, professional, or simply fun and social? I couldn’t answer the question. I even researched the event to remind myself why I opted to go. Still no spark. I ultimately decided not to go and worked on some things that were on my mind. I felt great. I got to relax at home and I was productive in the process. Don’t be afraid to change your mind, especially if there is no financial investment.

In addition to these five habits, mentally well people also seek help when they need it. Confiding in a good friend or going all the way and getting a good therapist is extremely important. In today’s climate, it is mission critical that you incorporate good mental well being as much as you include balanced eating and exercise in your routine.

To learn other tools or discuss coaching, go to www.thehabitofhappy.com and see all the upcoming live events and other opportunities coming soon.

Two Kinds of Change

There are two kinds of change. The change you choose and change that is thrust upon you.

When I was about eight years old change was thrust upon me when my daddy dropped us off here in LA – at least that is how it seemed to me. No one explained what was happening and as a result, I grew into a very angry and spiteful child and later a very angry and resentful young adult. One minute we are living in Texas and the next, after a cross-country drive, we are being dropped off and my daddy is leaving us behind. I have since discovered, that moment was the catalyst to what became my quest for my happy.

When change is thrust upon you in the skin of a layoff, divorce, or for some of us, an elected president, we need to focus on the plans we already have in place. I hear so many people complaining about our president-elect that I just want to jam a pencil in my ear – it would hurt less.

First, that is wasted energy. Second, have your say. The day after the election, I wore black, I had my say on Facebook, go to https://www.facebook.com/pg/habitofhappy/posts/, (November 9th post) and I kept it pushin’. On inauguration day, I will wear black and keep it pushin’. Here’s why…life goes on. That little eight year old girl was broken-hearted and confused in the moment, but she grew up to use that experience and the many others that followed to handle the events that happen in this human experience. Focus on all the things you have control over and choose how you want it to play out. When I got laid off, I started a business, when I got divorced, I remarried, when I lost all my money, I found a way to make more. When change is thrust upon you, it is never an ending; it is always the beginning to the next phase of your life growth. Show up and you will always win!

Then there is the change we choose. I chose both of my husbands but for sake of discussion I will focus on the second one, although the first one was a doozy too. I chose him with my eyes open but, unbeknownst to me, I was not in an emotional place to make a logical decision. I thought I was so clear that I was even able to convince other people that selling everything I own and moving to Wisconsin to marry a red-headed Mexican that I met online only two months prior was a good idea. I had people high fiving and applauding my courage. What they should have been saying is, “get the rope, we are gonna hog tie you because you are crazy and clearly a danger to yourself and others!”

Our choices are made from so many factors. I was at a place in my life when I just needed someone, anyone to love me. I was disconnected from my family, I was divorced, and in a city I loved but didn’t pick. After a string of men I used to get over my first husband, I found myself empty and alone. This person courted me from across the US. He did more for me from a distance than the jokers I was dating did face to face. Of course I thought I was in love.

No one makes a choice with the expectation of failure. That would be ridiculous. We always look for the win. When it goes south, we are thrown and ask, “why me?” especially, if this seems to be the pattern. Just know that you have to look deeper. Every choice is not going to be a winner but, it is vital to know who you are in that moment. The “H” in HAPPY represents “hear your truth.” Until you are honest with yourself about where you really are and how you really feel about the things in your life, you will continue to make plans on a false positive that can only end badly because it is not your true reality. You are trying to build a life on a distorted foundation. All the vision boarding and list making in the world is not going to help because you are writing on white paper with a white crayon. It’s there but you can’t see it because you really don’t want to…yet. When you are ready to face the beast that is your true reality, it’s like getting a shot. That initial prick hurts a bit but the rest is just procedure. Honor yourself enough to go through the steps. Really look at your choices right down to what you want for dinner. Is it what you REALLY want? If not, say no. Don’t worry about missing out on anything. This life is abundant. You will always be able to do that thing you want, when you are really ready for it.

I’ve talked a lot about the challenging choices but let’s be real for a second. While the good changes are easier to handle, even when you choose to grow your business or you finally get that thing you have worked toward, that change can still feel overwhelming.

What we often miss is that with every change that happens in our life, there is a loss or a passing away of a previous situation. Very often, we skip the mourning process of that thing that we have moved away from. It’s so much easier to spot when it is something traumatic or impacts you in a negative way. When the change is good, and suddenly you feel sad or you just want to shut down and don’t know why…it means you haven’t taken a second to mourn what you’ve moved on from. Take that moment. Again, honor you and don’t deny yourself the applause you’ve earned, especially if the people around you aren’t quite in their happy. Honor the work you’ve done to live your bestest life. You earned it!

Now Go! Be! Do!

You’re not Scarlet O’Hara – You Just a Little Black Girl

My second favorite movie of all time is Gone With the Wind and I often joke that I’m like Scarlet O’Hara. I often say, “I won’t think about that now, I’ll think about that tomorrow!” I never like to be uncomfortable, I always like to be the center of attention, and I’m used to getting my way and what I want. But like Scarlet, that can come with some ridicule.

However, if anyone that has seen Gone With the Wind paid attention, they saw that Scarlet was an amazingly strong woman. She always did what was necessary when it really counted. She took care of her family after the War and even after she was rich. She was true to her word, she was a savvy business woman, she always went after what she wanted even if she was in a little bit of danger, and she wasn’t afraid to stand up for herself; in the words of Ret Butler, “what a woman!”
But, because she is white and slaves are involved, most people of color look at me with the side eye when I make that comparison; most of which haven’t and won’t even see the movie.

Scarlet exemplifies a strong and brave woman, no matter what color. She survived war, starvation, displacement, personal attack, widowhood, poverty, ridicule, loss of a child, and what turned out to be the love of her life. She was a daughter, a sister, a wife, and a mother. She had a deep faith in God and love of the land, aka Tara. She was there for her friends and family and was never afraid to just be herself. That is why I identify with Scarlet O’Hara; plus the southern thang. I’m half city and half southern. I gotta say, I embrace my southern most of all. But I digress…..

When some people see others who are comfortable in their skin, they may try to project their own insecurities onto them. The name calling, the cutting digs, and the passive aggressive conversations are all a neon sign that you are dealing with someone that is not at your level. Depending on what you need to do, you may have to continue to deal with that person. If you don’t, they will fall away organically. However, like the first “P” in your HAPPY, give yourself permission to stay true to you and meet them where they are. In other words, you don’t need to cut them back, just extract what you need from the interaction and move on.

Most of all remember this – at the end of the day, it’s not what they call you, it’s what you answer to.

Now Go! Be! Do!

www.thehabitofhappy.com