The New Year feels like a clean slate. This is a good time to step back, refocus on your life, examine things that are working and those that are not.
In the mix of day to day chores, do your emotions and the control that they have on your overall affect your well-being and your relationships. Three big emotions can take center stage in all of our lives before we even realize it are guilt, fear, and shame. They are all crippling emotions, and I’d be willing to guess that at the end of our lives, ones that we wish we had let go of sooner.
What if you were to let go of the past and focus on what is possible? By creating a path, you have the power to open doors in areas you may not have previously thought about. For instance, by learning to be kind and gentle and loving to yourself, you may well inspire others (yes, including your loved one) to do the same for themselves and towards you.
You don’t necessarily get over past hurts or regrets, but you may find a different emotional place to put them. It doesn’t mean pretending a pain or an event never happened, but it does mean allowing yourself the opportunity to heal. You’ll never truly get over something, but you can get past it. And, grow from it.
In an extensive research study out of Harvard University, Matt Killingsworth and colleagues measured people’s happiness levels at different points throughout the day. The study found that when people are fully engaged in what they’re doing – no matter whether it’s taking out the trash or eating a delicious meal – they tend to be 10-20% happier than people doing the same activity with a wandering mind.
Let go of what should have been including expectations and feeling helpless or hopeless. Retrain your mind and build from the ground up in the year ahead and open the door for possibilities. Practice daily mindfulness to create a smoother path for your life. There will always be days that are out of your control, returning to some sense of emotional balance is your anchor and choice. And, your freedom.