You know what’s like when you’re going through a rough spot. Like when nothing seems to be working in your favor. Or it seems like you’re on a treadmill and not getting anywhere. Or feeling angry at someone who disappointed you. Or frustrated at the challenges you have to deal with. Or fearful about the future. In other words, stuck and pretty miserable.
When you’re sitting with all those feelings, it’s real easy to get down on the world and everybody in it. As well as down on yourself. It’s easy to give in to feeling bad because expecting to feel better might just lead to more disappointment, and you’ve already had enough of that. So the wall goes up. While you hunker down with all those low expectation. Life goes on while you suffer alone.
Sure, sooner or later, things get better. Right? But maybe not all that better. Maybe those feelings just kind of hang around and you get used to feeling like your life isn’t going to change.
Well, I have an idea for you. It’s pretty simple. In fact it’s only three words: Open your heart.
As humans, we naturally have a perspective on life that is confined within the boundaries of our own day to day experiences. The result? When your own life circumstances are especially challenging – your health, your relationships, or whatever else you value in life – it’s all too easy to get caught up in negativity, and to stay there. The wall goes up. When you open your heart, you open yourself up to seeing the bigger picture of life, possibilities instead of limitations, and to enjoy the peace of mind that comes from letting go of all that negativity and hopelessness.
How does one go about opening their heart? Here’s how:
Love yourself. The road hasn’t been easy. Start by going easier on yourself and not piling on the self-criticism. Give yourself a few words of encouragement. Do things you enjoy, that promote your wellness, that connect you with people you care about. Have more balance in your life.
Let go of resentment. Sure, you’ve had some big disappointments along the way. And that’s left a lot of hurt behind. But the past is past, but sitting with all that resentment is keeping you stuck there. Make a conscious effort to give up on changing what’s already happened or getting back at someone who caused you pain. Let’s move on.
Stop expecting. Let other people be who they are and not what you would hope they would be. That’s a great way to avoid disappointment and resentment. Think of it this way: Other people are doing the best they can, too.
Be brave. Step outside of your comfort zone when you have an opportunity to stretch and grow. And be willing to take a chance and be the one to reach out and mend a broken relationship. Even if it means saying you’re sorry. Now that’s bravery!
Be kind. Start each day by smiling at someone you come into contact with, even a stranger, and offering a few words of encouragement. Reach out and help someone in need. Look at it this way: giving to others is a great way to distract yourself from your own problems. So be generous with your kindness. It’s like a boomerang, sure to find its way back to you.
Stay optimistic. Back to the big picture. The way things look right now isn’t necessarily the way they will look in the future. Life never stays the same for long. And you’re a resilient person. Remind yourself every day that life is good.
Have a vision. What’s possible in your life? I mean, what’s possible when you stop placing all those limitations on yourself? Be realistic but also have a vision for your future: The kind of person you want to be, how you want to be living, who you want to be to the people you value the most.
So, how do you open your heart? It starts with reminding yourself to open your heart. Especially when feelings like fear, anger, and resentment make you want to try to put a wall up between you and the world around you. Open your heart and let in love, healing, and possibilities.
Now let’s all say it together: Open your heart!