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7 Ways to Stop Feeling so Guilty

 

Feeling guilty about something can really bring you down and make life feel like you have a cloud following you around.

Some guilt is caused by something that you feel bad about that you did in the past. It could also be from something you didn’t do and should have. Sometimes you might even be feeling guilty for something that wasn’t even your fault.

There are different levels of guilt and sometimes it’s harder to let go of depending on the situation. You might always think about what could have been, but the key is to deal with it and then let it go and move on. It’s easier said than done, but here are some ways to help you stop feeling so guilty.

 

1. Do something about it if you can
If you feel guilty about something that you can fix or improve, do something to improve it or fix it. There are many little things you can do to improve a situation.

Are you not spending enough time with your kids? Do something easy like schedule a weekly game night so you get some guaranteed time. Or maybe a big action is needed that you’ve been thinking about for a while.

Once you do something about it, you will actually feel better and less guilty about the situation and sometimes all it takes is just a small action that can make a big difference.

 

2. Forgive yourself
Everyone makes mistakes and in order to stop feeling so guilty about the situation you need to forgive yourself. No one is perfect and the biggest thing is that you learn from your mistakes. Sometimes you just didn’t know any better. As Maya Angelou said,

“When you know better, you do better.”

Once you forgive yourself for what happened or didn’t happen, you will feel a weight lifted off of you. You’ll stop beating yourself up about something you did in the past and be able to look towards the future easier.

 

3. Stop thinking about things you can’t change
Sometimes when you feel guilty about something you’ll think about it constantly. By doing this it usually makes you feel worse about the situation. Whatever happened in the past can’t be changed. Overthinking it will just make things worse.

Many people do this when someone dies. They will think,

“If only I had just ….. been there a few minutes earlier, forced him to go to the doctor sooner, called her more often.”

There are so many “what ifs” we can beat ourselves up about but the truth is it’s in the past and nothing is changing that. There’s no real point in spending your time making yourself feel bad about something you can’t change.

 

4. Realize guilt can be both healthy and unhealthy
Feeling guilty is mostly a negative emotion, but it can be used in a healthy way. If you are feeling guilt about something, it’s probably because you think the situation could have ended up differently and maybe there’s something that you could have done or not done.

Use it to realize mistakes that were made or just were things could have been done a different way. Use it to learn and do things differently next time.

However,if you spend all day feeling guilty about something that is when it becomes unhealthy. You end up beating yourself up about it or thinking of tons of scenarios that could have happened. This makes you feel even worse than you already do about everything. Why keep thinking about things that make you feel bad?

The best way to use guilt is to feel it, realize why you are feeling it, learn from it, and let it go.

 

5. Learn from it
One of the best things you can do with guilt is learn from it. If you feel like you should have done something differently, well then next time do it differently. If it still doesn’t work out the way you hoped, don’t get down, just try another way until you get it right.

If you feel guilty about something take a moment to examine why you feel that way. What could you have done or not done? What can you do differently next time?

The best way to make guilt a useful emotion is to find something to learn from it.

 

6. Let it go
After you’ve examined why you are feeling guilty and learned from it, then you have to let the negative feelings go. You have to stop thinking about it over and over and over again.

Realize you did what you could and forgive yourself. Allow yourself to truly let go of the emotions that come with guilt. Realize that it’s okay to feel happy again, in fact you deserve to feel happy.

 

7. Move on with your life
This can be a hard one but when the time is right it’s a necessary one. Especially if you feel guilty over something you can’t change like a death or something that happened in the past, it’s part of being healthy to deal with it and then move on.

After you have done whatever you need to do to deal with your guilt, then it’s time to start living again. Many times when people feel guilty they don’t go out much, do fun things, or even take good care of themselves. They might not feel they deserve it or maybe are depressed. There are many possibilities but once you overcome the obstacles you can move on with your life and start living a good and happy life.

How To Deal with People Who Are Compulsive Complainers

We’ve all had to deal with people who are compulsive complainers at some point in time. They come in many forms; the unhappy co-worker, the annoying family member, or the friend who just can’t see the positive side of life. Sometimes walking away just isn’t an option, so here are some tips on how to cope.

1. Agree with them
Many times people who complain are just looking for someone to see eye to eye with and let them know they are justified in their feelings. If you agree with them then they won’t have to keep complaining and trying to prove their point.

For example: If your friend complains about her job all the time, you can say “Yeah, I know what you mean. Work sucks sometimes.” You have just validated her point and now that she knows someone understands she may see this as a good place to end the complaining. There is a chance she may rant a little bit more, but in that case she probably just wants someone to vent to. You can listen, let her get it all out, and then move on to a new topic.

If the person happens to say something that you don’t agree with, you can simply say “I’m sorry, that sucks.” This way you haven’t really agreed with something you don’t want to while still making the person feel validated.

For example: if your brother is always talking about punching the neighbor in the face; telling your brother that he’s stupid is going to start a fight, but if you say “I’m sorry, that sucks he makes you so mad”, then he has no reason to be upset at you and hopefully he’ll calm down and not want to punch anyone anymore after venting.

2. Change the subject
Once the person in question has done their fair share (or most likely more than their fair share) of complaining and venting, then change the subject. They may try to veer the conversation back to what they were talking about but stay firm and change the topic to a happier, mutual subject. An easy way to do is this is once they have taken a breather from their rant, pick up on something they said and roll with that.

3. Realize that you can’t change them
Trying to make a person change when they don’t want to is just a waste of time. You can give helpful advice but it usually isn’t really listened to or wanted unless it is asked for. If they ask for advice, go for it; help them as much as you can. Just know that the only person you can control or change is you.

Let’s go back to the brother from above example (#1), if he wants to punch the neighbor in the face, you can plead with him, tell him he’s stupid, reason with him, etc, but if he really wants to knock out the neighbor, no matter what you do he’s inevitably going to do what he wants to do. There is a chance that your voice of reason will spark a new thought into him and help set him on a new path, so telling him how you feel about the situation and the probable outcomes (getting beat up or cops being called) is a nice thing to do; but realize he is the only one who can ultimately change himself.

4. Be Happy
Let your positivity be contagious. Make that the strongest force in the room. If you’re happy, a good friend doesn’t want to bring you down no matter how bad they are feeling. However, sometimes the person doesn’t really care about your happiness (family, coworkers, etc.) or doesn’t realize the effect their mood has on others. In that case still be happy and make sure that you don’t catch their negativity. Once you go negative it’s hard to come back and it can end up in arguing or tears. If you can stay strong and positive then you have avoided the trap complainers unknowingly set. Hopefully you will bring up them instead of them bringing you down.

Instant Mood Boosters!

Having a bad day or feeling a little down? Try one of these 7 Instant Mood Boosters to make yourself feel a little bit better in no time!

1. Positive Quotes
Reading a few quotes can give you a fresh perspective on life or simply make you smile.

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” – Maya Angelou

“For every minute you are angry, you lose sixty seconds of happiness” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time” – Marthe Troly-Curtin

2. Upbeat Music
You can’t help but smile and want to dance while listening to “Happy” by Pharrell or “I’m a Believer” by Smash Mouth. Get up and dance and sing your favorite upbeat song!

3. Genuine Laugh
Laughter truly is the best medicine! Do whatever you need to make yourself laugh. Watch a funny YouTube video, call a hilarious friend, look at funny memes, as along as it’s a genuine laugh your good.

4. Fun Physical Activity
Get up and move, but make sure it’s fun! Do you enjoy yoga? Hiking? Basketball? Great, do one of those.

If you hate jogging, don’t go out for a jog just because it’s good for you, find something you enjoy and look forward to and you will feel so much better before, during and after. It won’t even feel like you’re exercising!

5. Go Outside
Step outside and take a breath of fresh air and soak up some of the warm sun. It’s hard not to feel a little better after a moment enjoying the wonders of nature.

Take a walk, go to a park, or head to the beach. Find a way to spend some time outside enjoying all that the world has to offer.

6. Play with Your Pet
Pets are great to have around and have a lot of love to give. If you have a pet, especially a dog or a cat, spend some time playing with them.

Seeing a dog’s tail wag and knowing they are happy and having a good time makes you instantly feel better. When your cat gets excited and starts doing silly things, it makes you laugh and instantly feel better.

7. Change Your Thinking
Self-fulfilling prophecies happen all the time and there is definitely power in our thoughts. If you are thinking about how bad everything is and how much your life sucks, you;re not going to feel very good. Stop for a moment, and flip it. Think about how good everything is and how awesome your life really is.

Example: Jon got just a new job. His first day was very busy. He made a lot of mistakes and kept asking his coworkers a lot of questions.

Negative Mindset: Wow, I suck at my job. I can’t do anything right. And I bet everyone hates me for bothering them so much. I think I might quit. Tomorrow is going to suck.

Positive Mindset: Wow, today I learned so much! I made some mistakes, but I won’t do that tomorrow. I met so many nice coworkers who helped me out a lot, I should thank them!

See what a big difference your mindset can make in a situation? And you can control your thoughts! If you’re having trouble, try another mood booster and then try again.

Which one was your favorite? What other mood boosters do you use? Reply below in the comments! 

10 Ways to Cope with Grief

Losing loved ones is one of the hardest things you’ll ever experience. The closer your relationship to them, the harder it is.

Everyone deals with grief differently so there isn’t one absolute way to cope with it and truly you will always feel a little bit of grief. You’ll shed a tear when you hear a song that reminds you of them, you’ll want to call them when something great happens or you’ll order a dish they used to love when you go to out to eat because it reminds you of them.

Everyone deals differently and needs various amounts of time for various levels of healing. Here are 10 things you can do to help you cope during your time of grief.

1. Take a break
Right after you lose someone you love the shock can take a while to set in. You might feel fine at first, but know that it will hit you.

If you are financially able to, take some time off from your job. If you’re in school, explain what your going through to your teachers and most likely they will be more than willing to work with you.

The amount of time can vary from a few days to even a few years. The time needed is different for everyone and what type of break you need is also different for everyone. You might just need a couple of days in a hotel by yourself to figure things out. Or you might need break from life for a few months.

After losing my mom, I went to school the next day. All my friends were shocked to see me but the truth was, I was in shock and didn’t know what to do, so I just went on with my day. At lunch time though, I broke down in tears in the middle of the cafeteria and went home early. I took a few days off after that.

When my Dad died I knew I needed a break. I knew there was no way I could handle work and being around people, especially happy people. So I took a 7 month break. I didn’t go to work or school. I did end up doing other things though which aided in my healing.

This should go without saying but I’ve seen it happen time and time again so… the only thing you can’t take a break from is being a parent. That is something that you have to keep doing no matter what happens. Seek help if you need it. Don’t let your children suffer because you are suffering. In many cases, they are grieving too.

2. Allow yourself to feel
Many people understandably go numb after the death of a loved one. It’s hard to dealing with all the feelings that come with grief so many people find ways to block their emotions. There are many different ways to avoid your feelings like throwing yourself into work, drinking and smoking too much, comfort eating, etc. Sometimes you might not even realize that you are blocking your feelings. You might just think you’re being “strong”.

Well you don’t have to be strong all the time. It’s okay to cry, yell, scream, or even laugh. It’s okay to be sad. It’s also okay to allow yourself to be happy again.

Allow yourself to express your emotions as much as you need. Sit and cry in your room if that’s what you need. Go outside and scream. Talk to someone about how you feel. Get your emotions out and allow yourself to feel them no matter how painful.

3. Turn to your spiritual or religious side
What do you believe happens after you die?

If you believe that your loved ones are in heaven, that can give you a sense of hope. If you believe their spirit is still around, maybe you’ll be able to sense their presence which can give you a comforting feeling. Maybe you’re loved one is an angel now and is looking over you and protecting you up above?

Allow your beliefs to bring you comfort. 

On the flip side, if you are mad at God or whatever/whoever you believe in, tell him. Tell God how unfair it is that you had to lose your loved one. Ask him why it happened and yell at him for allowing it. God can handle it and he already knows how you feel so there’s no point in hiding it. Plus sometimes God answers your questions or will reach out to you in some way.

4. Spend a lot of time with people you love
When you are going through difficult times people will show you their true colors. The people who love you will show you they care. Make sure to accept their offers of love and support.

One of the things that helped me the most after my Dad died was my house was full of people. All of my siblings were there and I had friends who would visit daily. Having so many people around allows you to grieve a little easier. They probably share in your pain and can be a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen. Suffering alone can be very painful and grief is hard enough as it is.

5. Spend some time alone
As good as it is to be around people, make sure to carve out some time for yourself to sort through your feelings and maybe even figure out how your life is going to change.

Lots can change when people pass away. Your life my be dramatically different now and you might have to figure out what your going to do. You may be the breadwinner of your family now and have to get a new job or a second one. Maybe you suddenly have to care for children you didn’t give birth to. Or maybe your best friend is gone and now you have to get through the rest of life without them.

Take some time with a pen a paper, a book, or even a Bible, whatever you need to sort out your emotions and help you make the adjustments you need.

6. Don’t forget about your friends
Between funeral arrangements, money concerns, legal paperwork, and everything else that comes along with someone passing away, it’s easy to get so caught up in day to day task that we forget we have people in our lives who care and would love to spend some time with us.

Did you even tell your friends what happened? There are many times when there are friends who weren’t close to our loved one so we don’t call to tell them what happened. We probably should though just because they can be supportive of us.

With social media if you make a post, most people will respond with their condolences, but if someone reaches out more and offers to go out for lunch, force yourself to say yes. You might not want to, you might not feel like you have time, but take one hour to get out and spend some time with a friend. It’s important to your mental health to keep healthy relationships and don’t allow yourself to become isolated.

7. Take care of yourself
Many people forget to eat when their grieving. Others will overeat. Many will smoke more often or start smoking. Drinking can be an issue. It’s easy to stop caring or taking care of yourself. Don’t let this happen. Remember that you will feel better one day and when that day comes you’ll want to be healthy.

Make sure you are eating well, getting enough sleep, limiting excess behavior, spending time with loved ones, making time for yourself, and having some fun in between. Don’t let grief take over your life.

8. If you feel like you need help, get it
Everyone and every situation is different but if you feel you need help get it. Don’t wait for things to get really bad either. There is no shame in talking to a therapist or grief counselor, in fact it can be really helpful. They can give you good tips on how to deal, help you work through some issues, or just be someone to talk to.

If professional help isn’t an option then ask a friend, relative or a neighbor for help. If that’s not an option either there are multiple organizations that are there to help you. There are churches, support groups, and resources through some jobs like EAP (employee assistance program) or schools.

There is help for you, but you might have to go find it.

If you are having trouble finding resources or feel like you have no one to turn to, feel free to email me at yourhappyfilledlife@gmail.com.

9. Realize that the pain will never go away, but it does get easier to deal with
The saying “Time heals all” is a lie. Time doesn’t heal anything, it just makes things easier to deal with.

There is no healing a death. You can never replace that person. You still wish you could call them and tell them what’s happening in your life. You’ll always wonder what could have been if they were still here.

It’s been 15 years since my mom died and I still cry for her. I still miss her and wish things were different. I picture how my life might have been if she was still alive but I know it will never be that way.

However, time makes grief easier to deal with. I no longer cry everyday. Grief doesn’t consume my life like it did at one point. I can enjoy holidays again. I don’t have to request certain days off because it’s someone’s birthday or the day they died. The loss just becomes a part of your life and you learn to make adjustments and deal with it.

10. Take your time
There is no set time frame for grieving. You aren’t going to grieve for 2 months and then be fine. It takes time. Depending on how close you were or what part they played in your life, it can take a lot of time to adjust and accept your new way of life.

Sometimes it can even take years to fully accept life for what is it. It’s so hard to move on with your life when you never wanted things to change. When things were so good and then one day it’s all gone. What do you do? How do you deal?

Just keep going day by day. Keep on moving forward. One day you’ll realize that you didn’t cry. Then one day you’ll be able to throw away something that belonged to them because it doesn’t make sense to keep it anymore. Then finally one day, you’ll look at their picture and smile. Yes, tears may still fall down your cheek, but you will grateful for the memories and the time that you had with them.

Dating Sucks

 

I’m starting to understand why so many people say that dating sucks. When I started dating, it was a lot of fun. I got to go places I’d never been before and meet interesting people. Lots of dates were really fun and I had a great time. The relationship part though just didn’t work out for one reason or another, but it was okay because I could just find someone else to date.

 

But, now that I’ve been dating for a while… it’s losing it’s fun appeal. Dates are getting repetitive. You ask the same questions and have the same conversations. Early dating questions include:

 

Where are you from?
How long have you lived here?
What do you do for work?
Do you enjoy your work?
What do you do for fun?
What kind of food do you like?
What are some of your goals?

 

They are all pretty much basic get to know you questions. This can be the exciting part or this can also be really boring. I guess it just depends on the person. If you’re connecting and the conversation is flowing then these questions are actually really fun to answer. On the other hand I’ve been on dates where the conversation is kinda forced or one-sided. Those usually don’t result in more dates.

 

I think the worst part about dating is when you meet someone you really like and you think to yourself “This could be it…”. Things go great for a little while but then there is just something… there is some reason why it just doesn’t work out. Maybe we work opposite schedules or maybe we are looking for different things. Sometimes, I just don’t really like the guy after all; even though he’s great, he’s just not for me.

 

So then after getting excited about the guy it didn’t work out with, I have to start all over again. Sure, there’s a couple of guys I haven’t talked to in a while that I could send an out of the blue “Hey, how have you been?” message to, but there’s probably a reason I picked the other guy over them.

 

And so the cycle starts again…. It’s getting old.

 

Each time I go out on a date with a new guy I hope it’s the last first date I’ll ever go on. I just want something to work out with someone who has similar goals, values, I’m attracted to, and I have a connection with. I want it to feel easy and natural. I want both of us to just like spending time together and want to spend time together.

 

I want a deep connection. I want someone to build memories with. I want to talk about plans for the future like traveling and buying a house. I want to talk about our hopes and dreams. I want to feel a sense of joy by just being with each other.

 

I feel what I need is someone to fight for. Someone to wake up in the morning and be excited to see. Someone to make dinner for. Someone to think about throughout the day. Someone to plan things with. That someone who is going to be there for me no matter what.

 

Honestly, I do feel like it’s possible. I know that next week my life could be completely different. I could meet an amazing man today and next week we could be dating. We could be spending a bunch of time together and enjoying every minute of it.

 

But to get there, I have to go dates.

 

Lots of dates.

 

And overall dates do have their positives, I’m glad I went on pretty much all the dates I’ve been on. At the very least I got to check out a cool place or have some good food and drinks. Many of them were a lot of fun with cool or interesting people.

 

But even with all of the positives, dating still sucks.

 

Obviously bad dates suck, but even if you have a good date it kinda sucks too because you leave wondering, “Did he feel the same way?”



Even if he told you he liked you it doesn’t necessarily mean a relationship is around the corner, he might not even want a relationship. Or opposite if you don’t want a relationship and he does. If you want different things it just doesn’t work out.

 

So-so dates are the worst though. At least with a bad date you both know it sucked and can move on. With a so-so date, you weren’t really feelin’ it and you know they probably aren’t the one for you, but at the same time they were really nice and maybe had a lot of qualities you are looking for. It’s worth at least one or two more dates, right?

 

But, so-so dates at best turn into so-so relationships….. sure, maybe they were just nervous or had a rough day? It’s good to give it a second or third chance sometimes. Keep in mind though, the first few dates are the time when both people are trying to impress each other and put their best foot forward. So, even if he’s a really good guy and you like a lot of things about him, sometimes you just know that he’s not what you want. It just doesn’t work. It’s just not the right match.

 

The truth is, I’ve gone on too many dates where I’m just not that excited about it and they usually don’t go all that well.

 

I keep meeting all these good guys…. They have their lives together for the most part and have goals they are striving for. They are usually nice, kind and have a sense of humor. They are good guys and there’s nothing wrong with them, it’s just, we just didn’t hit it off. I just didn’t feel it, the spark. The connection.

 

I know it’s out there because I’ve felt it. There are dates I get really excited for. There are people who just get you. People you just want to spend more time with. The best dates last forever but seem like the time flew by.

 

I don’t want good, I want awesome. I want amazing. Yeah, maybe I’m picky and maybe I’m asking for a lot, but maybe I’m not. Don’t I deserve an awesome and amazing life which includes an awesome and amazing relationship? Why should I just settle for good or so-so, when I could have so much more?