Show Yourself some Compassionate Attention.

Show Yourself some Compassionate Attention.

Don’t all of us need some compassionate attention from time to time?

We all have times when feelings are heavy. In these times I deeply believe that being too rough on ourselves isn’t in your or my best interest. What is in our best interests is attending to the emotions so we can back to living as productively as possible.

This is exactly where giving ourselves positive and compassionate attention comes into play. We can all use a little bit more of it. But we don’t have to wait around for others to give it to us, we need to make sure we give this gift to ourselves.

To Give Our Attention.

When we give our attention we are offering up a powerfully creative human faculty. It is truly no joke. What we place our attention on is where our creative energies will flow.

But not all attention is created equal or creates equally. The nature of the emotion and intention given through our attention ultimately decides the nature of our creations.

Our attention can create beauty as well as destruction. It can build-up, as well as tear down.

This is true no matter where we give our attention; whether that be in our jobs, families, friendships, and for the sake of this article, yourself and myself.

Self Compassionate Attention.

Like I said there are all sorts of different types of attention we can give. But in my experience, there is already enough focus in the world today on criticizing and tearing things down. Giving our impulses a little more positive attention can help us have a personal safe haven in a world that is obsessed with focusing on what’s wrong.

To show yourself compassionate attention is show up and attend to the reality of your present state of being. Not just showing up to focus on what is wrong though, but to focus on building yourself up, and taking care of business. It is a posture of our being that embraces bodily impulse with active listening, active blessing, and productive action.

Compassionate attention is about healing. When you heal emotionally you might be surprised at what you are led to do.

Your emotions need your attention. You aren’t weak for having them, in fact, there is a great deal of personal strength to be found through acknowledging and respecting them.

These important pieces of ourselves deserve the respect of our compassionate attention. By respecting them, you will find it much easier to respect yourself and be yourself.

Self-compassion for a Healthy Self-Relationship.

Showing ourselves compassionate attention is a way to develop a healthy relationship with our emotional impulses.

But why should you want to have a healthy relationship with these emotions?

Well, most of all they are great teachers. They hold the lessons of our lives. Without getting in touch with them, we are not able to fully come to know who we are.

Without coming to know ourselves we are left to wander throughout life. Maybe you will stumble your way into a successful situation from time to time without the discernment we achieve through self-knowledge. But from a healthy relationship with these impulses, you will be able to be more intentional and on point with the life decisions you make.

Compassionate Attention

Photo by Darius Bashar on Unsplash

5 Aspects of Showing Yourself Compassionate Attention.

There are some great reasons to practice compassionate attention, but you may be wondering how to do so.

Well lucky you, I have some sound information to help. Just keep reading.

1. Slow Your Roll.

Often times when we come to realize our impulses, they just don’t feel right. We may not feel all that in control of ourselves. Thoughts may be moving through our brains at an uncomfortable speed. You may find yourself being overly critical of self and others.

In this state, we need to slow our damn roll. I have sponsored many addicts throughout my recovery that have a problem with obsessing. Many times I have let one know that “it is time to revoke your thinking pass.” I know the danger of continuing thought processes when obsession is present because I have the same problem to deal with.

Now I know many of you reading this aren’t addicts, but from time to time every human spends some time stuck on being too hard on themselves. So slow your roll, take some deep breathes, put your mind on something else.

Getting back to a healthy place always begins with this act of self-compassion.

2. Surrender Self Directed Anger.

Anger is a natural part of life. But there is most certainly healthy outlets for anger, as well as unhealthy.

Letting the voice in your head put you down when feeling rough may feel difficult to stop. But it is also necessary and brings tremendous value for living a self-respectful life for which we can be truly proud.

To surrender this self-directed anger means doing a couple things.

First of all, you need to stop behaving in ways that are creating bad consequences for yourself and others. Next, you need to watch your mind. You need to keep your mind from getting overly negative. Not allowing it to become trapped in treating yourself and others negatively inside of that brain of yours.

You may believe there are no negative consequences from allowing negative thoughts to flow through your head. Maybe you believe that nobody gets hurt until they come out into reality. Are you kidding me? Negative cycles of thought allowed to fester inside our own heads are the root of all personal problems.

3. Focus on The Positives.

Focusing on the positives is a powerfully self-compassionate tool. Maybe they are the positives about ourselves. But it is also compassionate to our own troubled impulses, to take our attention off of them, and focus on something positive outside of ourselves.

When attempting to give attention to the positives, it may feel highly unnatural. When pissed off or sad, it is usually easier to overdo those emotions than to shift them to something to appreciate or be grateful for.

Everything good in our lives takes work. It doesn’t take much effort to focus on the negative, that comes naturally to many individuals like myself.

4. Give Yourself some Self-care.

To give ourselves self-care can be many different things. Sometimes self-care means detachment from certain responsibilities. Other times it is stepping up to take care of responsibility in a way we have been avoiding. A routine of self-care should be full of both of these aspects.

For our purpose here, to give ourselves compassionate attention is to be with our emotions in a way that fully respects them.

Maybe that comes through meditation, yoga, therapeutic writing or working out. It may come from a walk through nature. Whatever way you keep from judging your emotions too harshly, and appreciating their presence is beautifully self-compassionate.

5. Change what Needs to Change.

Often times though not every time, our troubled emotions are telling us to go forward and get shit done. Neglecting to take care of our responsibilities, in a sense, is a form of punishment performed on ourselves.

When we are able to slow our minds down and get in touch with ourselves, we will come to know what we should be doing. After knowing what we should be doing, the only compassionate thing to do is to get it done!

Not all compassionate attention involves focusing on emotions that are troubled. Much of getting in touch with emotions is to understand what we need to change in our lives. And in my experience, there is always something to change or improve.

Allowing our healthy impulses to live productively through us is a thing of beauty. It creates a sense of great satisfaction to know we are living on purpose and succeeding at being ourselves.

 

Compassionate Attention

Photo by Darius Bashar on Unsplash

Well, that is all we have for today and thank you so much for stopping into My Life Experiment. What is written here has come from struggle and growth.
We sincerely wish you amazing success in regularly showing yourself the compassionate attention that you deserve. I offer you the challenge of applying what you have read here, as well as experimenting with your own healthy ways of attending to yourself compassionately.
We truly believe that if you take today’s lessons to heart and apply them, that you will greatly benefit. If you enjoyed what you read then I would love for you to do a couple things for us.
  1. If you would like to help support this website by offsetting some of the costs of running it. There is a PayPal button below or in the right sidebar, depending on if you are viewing with mobile or by computer.
  2. Join our email list to Enroll in our Free 7 Day Impulse Negotiation Email Course! The course will help you stop pesky unwanted behaviors, as well as develop a healthier relationship with your bodily impulses.

My Life Experiment

Welcome! We are Travis and Casey Hagen, the writer's and owner's of My Life Experiment. As recovering Individuals, we are no strangers to leaving behind dysfunctional ways of living. Over the years we have become adept at managing our intense mental and emotional worlds. Finding healing from the past, peace in the present and new ways to bring about success for our futures. Life is meant to be lived. That is why we promote Healthy Life Experimentation Principles for connecting with ourselves, our relationships, and finding healthier ways of bringing about success in our lives. Stick around and pick up what we have learned. You will not be disappointed.

To see our Terms and Conditions click here

 

To Support My Life Experiment.
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5 Ways to Work Through Being Fixated on Happiness.

5 Ways to Work Through Being Fixated on Happiness.

Finding happiness is not a novel endeavor. It is a feeling that most individuals desire to have a majority of the time, if not all the time. Often times it is being chased in borderline unhealthy to drastically unhealthy levels.

Though many seek this almost ideal state of mental-emotional being, many are missing that mark. So what is wrong? I have a take on this and some ways to alleviate the problem I perceive.

A Poll on Happiness.

In 2017 Harris poll performed their annual survey on Americans that are 18 and over, to get a gauge on how happy the average American is. Of the 2202 individuals surveyed the poll calculated that only 33% of these Americans actually claimed to be happy.

This, of course, is merely a survey and having only 2202 individuals represent the whole of the United States population is questionable. But the survey does speak to a problem that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Of course, there is much more to the world then just the happiness of the citizens of the USA. In the latest World Happiness Report, the United States was still ranked 19th. So with roughly 33% of its population saying they feel happy, for the many countries ranking farther down the happiness list a pretty picture doesn’t seem to be painted.

Very simply far too many people do not feel happy. I certainly don’t have the complete answer to this question. But a happiness fixation is certainly present for many individuals.

The Happiness Fixation in a Highly Pressurized World.

Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash

I have no problem saying that people, at least in the western world, are borderline obsessed with feeling good and don’t know how to let go of it.

The world is moving at a rapid pace, with rising pressures to perform. The middle class is shrinking, debts are growing, the healthcare, political and the world scenes seem to be going crazy.

So with all the rising pressures to perform in an increasingly fast paced world. We also are stuck on needing to feel good.

It can be easy to think that something is wrong because we don’t feel good. Maybe even feeling like we’re failing because of not feeling positive. But nobody is by any means failing because they don’t feel well. What it makes us is human.

We Cant Always Feel Happy.

Let’s face it, life flat out sucks sometimes. When grieving a great loss heavy emotions that don’t feel good may be present for many years or even the rest of our lives.

But most of life’s little inconveniences and unmet expectations, will come and go relatively quickly in the big scheme of things. When these emotions that don’t feel good are present, are we simply doomed for a crappy day, week or month? Certainly not.

Social media and others wanting to be cheerful and feeling good may make it seem like it isn’t okay to not feel okay. It is most certainly is though.

Expecting to be happy all the time quite simply isn’t realistic. But it is also possible to feel okay and comfortable with the fact that we are not currently feeling happiness or it’s close feeling good relatives.

How to be Okay when not Feeling Happiness.

It may not be realistic to feel happiness all the time. But there are some things to be done so that we can spend more time in authentic happiness, and less time fixated and chasing happiness’s shadow.

1. Don’t Chase Down Happiness.

Happiness is not always an easy target to hit. We can have it for one moment. But soon after have it disappear and leave us wondering what went wrong.

It’s obviously entirely okay to search out ways to feel more happy in times that don’t feel good. But seeking a path out of heavy emotions is much different than chasing one.

To chase oftentimes speaks to gratification as soon as possible. And used in this emotional wellness sense, it also implies running away. Running away from the current emotional state, as well as running from ourselves.

This is not ideal because to maintain connection with ourselves or connection with the present moment, we can’t be running away.

Chasing happiness can lead to an obsessive/compulsive cycle. Pain is present so we use this chemical, pain is present so we turn on Netflix, pain is present so we run away from it once again in the many different ways we numb ourselves out to life.

The first step to working through present emotion is to accept their presence and give them a little compassionate attention.

2. Know that Everything Eventually Passes.

If we are taking care of enough of our needs, as described in this needs inventory, happiness WILL find it’s way back. We do not need to find the next quick fix to mimic the feeling of authentic happiness.

Every heavy emotion will eventually pass if we let it. By letting myself know that this emotion that doesn’t feel good, is not going to kill me, and it will get better, I find comfort.

I find it to be profoundly true that when I know this emotion will pass and I will feel better relatively soon, I cause myself less unhealthy stress, and am much more gentle on my close relationships.

A powerful way I use to process emotion and get to the heart of what I need to do is therapeutic writing. Afterward, I generally find myself feeling refreshed, and receiving important information about why I am having a difficult time moving on from the current emotion.

Click here to read about My Life Experiments Therapeutic Writing Technique.

3. Be Careful When Comparing Our Insides to Other’s Outsides.

Do you ever look around when not feeling so hot, and see that everyone else seems so happy? It can be a painful activity to become caught up in.

Can’t it feel like all these other people are normal because they seem to be in good spirits? But here we are, stressed and sad. It can come to seem like there is something fundamentally wrong with us.

We must be careful with this process. If not gotten under control, we can convince ourselves that we are more messed up than we really are.

The truth is that all these people around us have probably felt this exact same way, and thought this exact same thought.

There is nothing wrong with feeling emotionally unwell, even if those around you feel great.

4. Stay Healthily Physically Active.

It can be very difficult to desire physical activity when feeling in rough emotional shape. especially if we are not used to getting enough of it. Others may use physical activity as an escape from feeling out the current emotional state.

We don’t need to use physical activity to chase down happiness, and we don’t need to allow our unhappiness to keep us from getting active. It is all about finding the balance between feeling and doing.

5. Quit Labeling some Emotions as Positive and Others Negative.

It is popular to call emotions that feel good such as happiness, joy, inspiration, and many others, positive emotions.

All of the rest that the average human would rather not be experienced like sadness, anger, lethargy and are then labeled, negative.

But the fact of the emotions that our bodies are capable of producing are for important purposes. Whether they feel good or not, they are necessary. They communicate to us whether we are neglecting bodily impulses or caring for them.

Calling those we don’t care to feel negative doesn’t make much sense at all. Whether they feel good or not, we will be better off be listening to them, respecting them, caring for them, feeling them.

6. Develop Positive Connections with Healthy People.

Other people are incredibly important in helping us work through emotions that don’t feel good.

They don’t need to be used for instant emotional gratification though, to cheer us up when feeling down. It can be just as important to have people that give us their presence while allowing us the emotional space to feel down. Allowing us to feel sad around them without trying to cheer us up or solve our problem.

It is a natural tendency to want to cheer each other up or help solve the current problem. If all you need is the space to feel heavy, communicate that. And fight the urge to complain and blame, that sends the message that we desire more than a simple place to heal.

Closing Thoughts for Working Through the Fixation.

Happiness can be elusive, maybe more elusive for some than others, but the point remains. It and the whole other world of emotions that feel good are also wonderful things for sure.

Sometimes they come in droves, other times it can feel like they are gone forever. But, remember this, the good times won’t last forever, and neither will those times where everything feels like it is falling apart.

It is okay to feel the fullness of our emotion. By doing so we make a much faster trip back to the path towards authentic happiness.

 

happiness

Photo by Jordan Bauer on Unsplash

 
That is all we have for today and thank you so much for stopping into My Life Experiment. What is written here has come from struggle and growth.
We sincerely wish you amazing success in coping with the fixation on happiness to feel emotion, heal faster, and get back to feeling authentically good. I offer you the challenge of applying what you have read here, as well as experimenting with your own healthy ways for finding a healthy path to happiness.
We truly believe that if you take today’s lessons to heart and apply them, that you will greatly benefit. If you enjoyed what you read then I would love for you to do a couple things for us.
  1. If you would like to help support this website by offsetting some of the costs of running it. There is a PayPal button below or in the right sidebar, depending on if you are viewing with mobile or by computer.
  2. Join our email list to Enroll in our Free 7 Day Impulse Negotiation Email Course! The course will help you stop pesky unwanted behaviors, as well as develop a healthier relationship with your bodily impulses.

My Life Experiment

Welcome! We are Travis and Casey Hagen, the writer's and owner's of My Life Experiment. As recovering Individuals, we are no strangers to leaving behind dysfunctional ways of living. Over the years we have become adept at managing our intense mental and emotional worlds. Finding healing from the past, peace in the present and new ways to bring about success for our futures. Life is meant to be lived. That is why we promote Healthy Life Experimentation Principles for connecting with ourselves, our relationships, and finding healthier ways of bringing about success in our lives. Stick around and pick up what we have learned. You will not be disappointed.

To see our Terms and Conditions click here

 

To Support My Life Experiment.

Opening Myself Up With the “Compliment Experiment.”

Recently I was in a car accident with a gal that may or may not have insurance. Afterward, I started realizing that the emotions I was feeling were making it too easy to get snippy with those close to me (such as my wife and a couple of close friends). So I realized that I needed to do something about how I was feeling.

An idea occurred to me to possibly help with these emotions, as well as to find some evidence for a future path through similar aggressive feelings.

I decided that I would roughly concoct a little compliment experiment. An experiment where I would focus on sharing more compliments with whomever I come into contact with, and especially those close to me.

Be Aggressive, Do Nothing Or Compliment?

I once read a psychological study where the researcher set participants up to feel unwanted emotions, and then gave them outlets for processing them.

One group was advised to punch a punching bag, they would then think about blasting someone who angered them with a blow horn. The other group was given a much more low key option, to basically sit and nothing. These were all used to see if one, more than the other were more effective in getting participants out of feelings of aggression.

The study found that acting aggressively did not actually help the emotional processing. They found that doing nothing was actually more effective.

With this information, I have to believe that if doing nothing is more effective at processing anger and other similar emotions, then doing something positive, like complimenting others will be even better.

Complementing Rather more than Critiquing.

I was given the advice one time from my recovery sponsor that “for every critique of a life instance, you should give at least 3 positives.” The relevance of this advice can be seen clearly though, it comes down to building up my relationships instead of tearing them down.

Giving compliments can be an especially difficult thing to do when the energies of painful thoughts and emotions are present. Often times emotions like these are looking to be aggressive, either subtly or blatantly causing trouble for others.

It can be difficult to give compliments when feeling hurt. But it seems that being positive when not feeling positive, can allow for processing of the emotion.

The wisdom of the above psychological study is that emotions aren’t most effectively processed with aggressive intent and action.

What is needed is a better way, which is where complimenting others comes into the picture.

The Compliment Experiment.

Over two weeks time my mission was to be complimenting. I complimented others, myself, and life itself. I ran with the idea of saying 3 complimentary ideas for every critique.

I didn’t perform a study in which I logged each time I gave a compliment or didn’t, or how many were given in each day. No, I simply went out with the mission of giving many more compliments than I was accustomed to and checked in on how I felt at the end of the night.

Results of the Experiment.

Interestingly enough, during the experiment finally found out that the lady that totaled my car in the other week doesn’t have car insurance.

After getting that news, I found it very difficult to give compliments. Offering pleasantries felt against the grain, but I kept the experiment in mind and started looking for opportunities to compliment. I complimented a friend of mine, my wife, and then I just started complimenting myself in my thoughts.

What started out as a very difficult emotional state, eventually worked into me feeling great.

There are some aspects to my impulses that I hadn’t seen quite as clearly before this experiment. First, it is far easier to critique than it is to give compliments. And Second, there is always a compliment to be given if the willingness to do so is there.

This experiment has given a clear method for developing more life satisfaction, and a route to bring me back to being grateful. It taught that it is much easier to feel better when that piece of the brain that is far too critical, gets a chance a shut up.

As well, it showed me that when I’m alone with myself and talking about myself, that it is just as important to be giving myself enough compliments. Quite often, I am my own worst critic, and it is much easier to notice the qualities I enjoy in others when I am grounded in the recognition of my own.

The experiment also showed me a high-quality method for processing my emotions and keeping myself healthy, growing, and becoming more efficient.

That is all we have for today and thank you so much for stopping into My Life Experiment. What is written here has come from struggle and growth.
We sincerely wish you amazing success in getting the benefits of being a complimentary person. I offer you the challenge of applying what you have read here, as well as experimenting with your own healthy process for using compliments to help find your way into feeling better.
We truly believe that if you take today’s lessons to heart and apply them, that you will greatly benefit. If you enjoyed what you read then I would love for you to do a couple things for us.
  1. If you would like to help support this website by offsetting some of the costs of running it. There is a PayPal button below or in the right sidebar, depending on if you are viewing with mobile or by computer.
  2. Join our email list to Enroll in our Free 7 Day Impulse Negotiation Email Course! The course will help you stop pesky unwanted behaviors, as well as develop a healthier relationship with your bodily impulses.

 

 

 

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