Monday, December 30, 2013

New Year Attitude

Tomorrow is New Year's Eve. Usually every end of the year, we all make our resolutions and our decisions to help better ourselves and become happier with our lives. We develop a more positive attitude about our futures and all the terrific outcomes that can come if we actually go through with our resolutions--which, from personal experiences, doesn't always work out.

What I've noticed lately is that a lot of people I know have been really negative about the upcoming new year. They make fun of those who say "New year, new me," and call BS. Personally, I don't understand all the negativity shot at those who actually want to make a change for themselves and others around them. First off, it's unnecessary. Let them do what they want. Second off, it's hurtful and can dim down confidence. When I heard my own friends say it, I was offended for myself and for others and I almost decided to not make a change for myself but maybe wait a little while. Now, while writing this, a change at the beginning of the new year is the perfect place to start. 

Change is usually a good thing, but it can be scary. It's hard to adjust to new circumstances when you've been used to the same situations for maybe even a lifetime. But, for the most part, it's totally worth it. Making yourself and others around you happy is the ultimate beneficial change you can commit to and it will shine so much light on your perspective of just about anything. What's so bad about that? 

Unfortunately, there are more things that will make it harder for change than easier. It's hard to try to start eating healthier with more vegetables and fruits when you either can't afford the groceries or your family just plain hates vegetables. It's hard to try to lose weight when you can't stop yourself from eating all of those peanut butter M&M's. And it's hard to be happy when it seems like the whole world prefers you unhappy. No one deserves these hardships, but no matter what the circumstances, they're going to be thrown at you. And truthfully, to be cliche, they make you less susceptible to the hardships you'll no doubt face in the future. 

So as the new year draws in, go ahead and set that standard for yourself and become the person you want to be. Don't worry about what others say about it, and if they call BS on you--well, just know you're better than that. Learn to love yourself this new year and help yourself be truly happy with your life and your person. 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Cleaning is Happiness

Today was cleaning day in my house. And when I say cleaning day, I mean thoroughly clean one room and save the rest for another day. That's one of the main problems here--none of us want to clean the whole house. It's quite a bit of a workout; you're sweating from all the mopping and wiping down, your hands smell intensely of bleach and soap, and carrying that laundry basket of dirty clothes over a span of a month up and down the stairs will really wear you out. But there are a lot of advantages that come out of this.

First off, your house looks at least presentable. I'm usually embarrassed to have people over because our house never seems to get rid of the smell from last night's dinner and our bathroom has my brother's disgusting towels all over the floor. But when your house is neat and inviting, you really get that homely, cozy-fire kind of feeling, and it's great. Second off, a healthy home means a healthy and happy family. You can't expect to be happy in a room you can barely walk in or smells of feet. And it's hard to spend time with family--sometimes when we're playing board games, I'll see a stain on the table or my hand will touch a few crumbs and I go crazy. My reaction to uncleanliness as simple as that creates a bad reaction from my family, putting all of us in a bad mood. And third off, when I clean, it's such a good way to release all of my negative energy. I remember when I was watching a really sad episode of Glee (The one that was about Finn's death--could not even handle it), I was crying so much I didn't know what else to do but clean. And once I finished I had felt a lot better. I was happier because I was in a healthier environment and all of my negative energy had been released.

So never procrastinate on cleaning. It's better to set a schedule and to assign certain people to certain things. It isn't fun cleaning everyone else's messes all the time, so a chart is perfect. Just make sure you're cleaning because you want to, not because you feel like you have to. Cleaning doesn't exactly sound like running through daisies, but you'd be surprised. I personally enjoy it now that I've actually been doing it because I want to. Always remember that a healthy home makes for a healthy and happy family, one of the most important things there is.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Mr. Grouchy-Pants

Sometimes we all get in moods that completely ruin the entire mood for everyone--and don't say you haven't. We may be grumpy because we failed a test, or our plans were cancelled, or maybe we just feel really sick--but to bring everyone else down with us isn't going to make anything better, if not actually make it worse. 
My younger brother is at that age where he's always grumpy and moody--and when it's particularly extreme, it brings everyone else down. For example, tonight we were seeing my mother and he wanted to go to the mall with his friends. My mother wouldn't let him because she wanted to spend time with us while we were there. He proceeded to yell, stomp, proclaim his hate for all of us, and ruin what could have been a great night. However, my mother and I decided to go along as if he wasn't miserable because his plans fell through (as if thirteen year olds actually have real plans--I know I didn't, but that's just my opinion).
When I'm in a bad mood, I try not to make it obvious to anyone and try to still be happy. Unfortunately, if something particularly bothers me, I have an episode of lashing out, but it's always laughed off. And that's the way to get over your bad mood--laugh it off. It's healthy, it's comfortable, and sometimes helps you forget whatever is making you aggravated to begin with.
Another way to deal with grouchiness is meditating and calming yourself down. Sometimes when I'm upset and grumpy, I go to my little happy place, calm down, and think over my situation. What's important to remember is that it's never as bad as it seems, and if all you are is grouchy, it's easy to get over.
So if you're being Mr. or Mrs. Grouchy-Pants, think carefully over your situation and your attitude before you decide to bring everyone else down with you. Because not only do they not deserve it, but it's not worth it to make you and everyone else upset. So chill out and have fun.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Breaking Out of Your Shell

I think one of the things that affected me the most was being too scared to do something different. To break out of my shell and have fun, have some (positive) experiences, get involved in new (legal) activities. This was something that stopped me from doing a lot of things I wish I had done when I had the chance. 

Personally, I believe that people don't do a lot of things they want to do because they're worried about what people will think, or how silly they'll look. I know a lot of people won't try out for a sports team because they feel like those who have been on it all of high school and playing for years will look down on them and judge them. Some may not want to reveal that they can sing because all their lives they've been pretending they can't, leaving people to believe they're god-awful.

Is that really how people want to live their lives?

I know from personal experiences that breaking out of my shell has left me feeling great and with such a positive attitude. I've met new people, I've had my perspective on a lot of situations altered, and now I'm writing a blog that I'm (still) worried will never make much of a difference to anyone--but it makes me happy. In fact a couple weeks ago, I gave someone from one of the other ACE teams my school competes against my number for the very first time in my life. Sure, it didn't go anywhere with him, but now I have the confidence to make such a move. Yes, that's a pretty bad example of bursting the bubble, but my confidence, self-esteem, and attitude have been upped and that always makes a difference. 

So break out of your shell, even if it's just for once. Ask that girl out, try out for that sports team, audition for that talent show--show the world what you're really made of and don't be worried about what they'll think, because in the end, it's only what you think that matters. Just be wise in your decisions.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Embarrassment and Shame

I think it's safe to say that everyone is embarrassed or ashamed of something at least once in his or her lifetime. Today I was ashamed that I thought Hobber painted Nighthawks instead of Hopper at my ACE competition. But feeling embarrassed or ashamed of yourself, or anyone for that matter, is something that will never have a positive effect on you or anyone around you. Usually it hurts and it can easily mess with your confidence. My only advice is to feel more confident about yourself and stop being embarrassed.

I think something I regret was when someone I use to fling with met my father and my stepmother. I was embarrassed because they were both overweight and not nearly as well off as his parents were. His family was a healthy bunch and mine ordered pizza at least once a week. I was actually ashamed. And truthfully, I'm ashamed of myself for being ashamed! But not anymore. For one thing, it was a long time ago--it's over and done with. Second off, I know better now than to be ashamed of my parents. They reared me into the individual I am today. I grew up in above average homes, they always had dinner on the table, and they supported me 90% of the time when I needed it. Just because they're overweight doesn't mean that skinnier people are better than them. It can be unhealthy to be skinny, too! But let's move on.

I've learned that when I'm embarrassed or ashamed of myself, my confidence is busted and I get in a grouchy mood. That makes my scores go down, my self-esteem go down, and also the way I treat others around me becomes worse. There are no benefits to these mindsets. And when you're embarrassed of someone else, imagine if they knew that. That could hurt them so much that now their confidence is ruined, and it could easily be a lasting impact. Especially if it's someone you're close to, because let's face it--no one should be ashamed of someone that person loves and adores and cares for. You can't tell your boyfriend or girlfriend you love them more than anything and they're the best thing to ever happen to you, and then never introduce him or her to your parents. That could easily ruin your relationship and could ruin his or her self-esteem. Is it really worth it?

Always appreciate what you have. Don't take it for granted and then be ashamed of it when you mess up or it's all out in the open. Be proud of who are you, what you love to do, and who you love. These three things are one of the most important things to always remember--and it's one of the very first steps to acceptance of yourself and those around you.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

When Helping Others Helps Yourself

Today while I was driving with my thirteen-year-old brother to Subway, I saw something that made me yell out, "Oh my gosh!" at least five times before understanding what I had taken in--I'm sure we've all had those moments. At a very busy intersection, I saw a young man wearing a grey hoodie roll out of his car having a seizure. The car was stopped and in the turning lane, but still--this man was having a seizure and no one was stopping to help. I won't lie, I almost didn't turn around. But I did, and when I arrived to the car, I saw a dark-skinned male most likely in his late forties talking on the phone. In thirty seconds, the boy I saw rolling out of the car had disappeared, the car's lights were flashing, the trunk was open, and the man was talking on his phone. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. When I asked him if everything was okay, all he said was, and rather rudely, "Yeah, my car's broken down, just go around me." I didn't even know how to take it in. My brother swears I was hallucinating, and I suppose all evidence points to the same conclusion, but I know I couldn't have just not seen it. 

After this event, I felt really good. Sure, there may not be something right with me if I actually did hallucinate something like that, but I felt great. I went out of my way to help a stranger. And although I couldn't do anything for the man, I did something for myself. I decided to stop thinking about myself for once and did a selfless act. I guess you could say I'm being conceited just by saying how good of a person I became for just that split second, but it doesn't change anything. Being there for other people not only makes them feel better, but also makes yourself feel better.

Even simple things like saving that last double chocolate chip cookie for your sibling or splitting your lunch with a friend who forgot theirs can make someone's day all the better. Complimenting on someone's new hairstyle is a great confidence booster for them, and if you're lucky, you'll get a compliment back, which is always welcoming. 

Point is, being selfless is a great feeling with great rewards. You're rewarded with their gratification and a pat on the back from your parent or even yourself. Volunteering in your community is a fantastic way to help others,  because not only does that relieve a special burden off people's backs, you feel like a new person. 

I've noticed that when I help others be happy, I'm also helping myself be happy. When you put aside your own selfish wants and start thinking about what other people need, you're automatically in a more optimistic position in life. Even when the consequences put you down in the dumps, knowing that you've made someone's day, week, month, or even a year so much better, it's enough to keep you satisfied at least for a little bit. 

I think it's healthiest if there's a balance between what you've done for others and what you've done solely for yourself. It isn't good to think doing any selfish act is bad and should be avoided at all costs--you gotta keep yourself happy, too, right? Just try to maintain that balance and life will be so much better. I had a much better night after I stopped for that man. I expected to be in an awful mood because I was visiting my mother, and she and I don't exactly have the best relationship. But when I came back from Subway, we all had a great time together, and we were all happy enough. 

Helping others DOES benefit yourself as well. Every single time.

Monday, December 2, 2013

First Day on the Job

So, this is my first day on the job. Truthfully, I don't have a clue as to how I should start this! I think maybe explaining my blog title should work just fine, eh?

I'm pretty sure most people believe that there's always something missing from their life. Maybe a relationship, a steady job, or just pure happiness. Surely, there's a key that fits all those messy and intricate locks in life, right? Could it be that we all have to reach a certain, for lack of better term, nirvana in order to become completely satisfied with our situation in life? Or is the human race ever truly satisfied? I say yea! I know for a close enough fact that there is a key to all those locks and it's inner peace and acceptance. 

Now, I know that most people who will even read this will hardly agree with me. Let's face it, though: we all have different types of "inner peaces" and such. We feel happier in different places and around different people. We're comforted by different types of music and different types of moods. But we all have a connection with each other and that's that wanting of love and acceptance. 

Today, the Enlightenment Fest began. Sounds corny, right? In a way, it kind of is. But it really got me thinking. Unfortunately, instead of keeping my thoughts on what the speaker was advising, my mind kept wandering to my aspirations--meditating daily, practicing yoga, actually keeping the house clean, breaking out of my shell. As I should probably explain, the Enlightenment Fest is a set of eight sessions that helps you with all sorts of things. Today, the session was "Conscious Awareness in the Present Moment." To be completely honest, I only listened to the introduction audio. But think about how just an introductory audio can inspire to accomplish goals, no matter how minute! Have no worries, I will be waking up very early in the morning to meditate to these sessions. If you've never meditated before, or you think it's a total joke, let me tell you something.

Meditating has been a practice that, although I do not do it routinely, has helped me tremendously, even if just for a day! When I first began well over a year ago, I started by forgiving those who have hurt me in the past and forgiving myself for hurting those around me. It helped me gain a more positive attitude towards life and my surroundings and taught me to be more understanding. I think that's a problem we all face--understanding people and their situations. Meditating is great for lowering stress levels, focusing on goals, and helping you reach those aspirations and dreams. 

Now, I'm afraid it's too late for any of you to obtain these Enlightenment sessions for free like I can--I subscribed over a year ago and have been getting free sessions since. But if you subscribe (I'll post the link at the bottom of the page) or you wish to buy it, go right ahead. It's something that will help all ages and all races and types and whatever freakish stereotype you can possibly think of. 

But like I was saying, there's a key to all those locks in your life. My hope for this blog is to help others become inspired to accomplish their goals, short and long-term. I want everyone to be happy with themselves and more accepting of others--I'm working on that myself, and it's not as easy as it sounds. I do apologize for this rather bland post... I'm hoping to make this blog a real treat for myself and others!

Surprise! You can receive these lessons for free, but only for a limited time!! Jump in the fire, my friends... don't get burned?!?