To put it bluntly, feeling sorry for yourself will send you into a tizzy of dysfunction and depression. Is that what you want for your life?

Life is full of choices. You can choose drama, emotional upheaval and trauma or you can release all struggle and choose a different path of peace and happiness.

If you choose to keep feeling sorry for yourself, you’ll dig a deep black hole of discontentment and disease.

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It’s a fact: negative feelings can affect you physically. Many people who suffer chronic anxiety and sadness develop headaches, indigestion, aches and pains, panic attacks and more serious illnesses.

You are responsible for your life

The ‘stories’ you are spinning are like a masive spider’s web. But while the spider has a basic biological purpose to trap food, your sad thoughts can totally deplete your energies and you’ll just feel horrible. Energy follows attention. So whatever you focus on will feed or exhaust your energy.

Regardless of any challenge or crisis in your life, you can choose to feel beaten down or you can rise up and change what isn’t working for you.

Four basic suggestions to shift from feeling sorry for yourself to feeling inspired:

1. Write down your thoughts or concerns

Without being self-conscious, let your thoughts flow. You can literally journal your worries away. The activity of writing is therapeutic and helps rid yourself of perceived burdens.

It’s also calming and allows you to objectify your concerns in a way that makes them more manageable and helps you release them more effortlessly. Once you write them down, you can let them go even more. Try burning the paper and watch your gloomy list disappear in the flames.

2. Smile, even if you don’t feel like it

It’ll help you put on a happy face. You’ll be more attractive and you’ll ultimately feel better from the anti-aging benefits of exercising your facial muscles. And when you smile at others, they’re likely to smile back which is uplifting.

feeling sorry for yourself_23. Recognize that some situations are beyond your control

You cannot change external situations but you can control your reactions. Be aware of your responses. Stuck in traffic? Lost your job? Not finding the love of your life?

Whether small or mammoth challenges – instead of focusing on anger, frustration or annoyance – shift into thinking about something that gives you joy, is beautiful and calming.

Give yourself permission to shut down the irritation of the moment by introducing a new more positive image into your mind. Reflect on memorable moments: sharing laughter with a friend, the antics of a beloved pet, a breathtaking sunset.

Remember – wherever you focus, there goes the energy. It can be draining or revitalizing. You choose!

4. Avoid taking on other people’s dramas

Sometimes we try to be such good friends or parents or siblings that we take on more than we need to handle. By helping someone too much, we tire ourselves and, in the process, we disempower them and strip away their self-sufficiency.

You can be a good, compassionate listener without having to take on their stories.

You may think of spiders as ugly or creepy, but they’re remarkable creatures.

Consider the magnificently delicate web that they spend their time creating and how the perfect formation delivers what they need for survival.

When you take a moment to see reality as it is, you can be more in tune with the wonder of life. Traffic is just traffic and, by the way, you’re part of it! Or losing your job or a love interest may just open the door to something far better.

Once you stop feeling sorry for yourself, you’ll have an opportunity to practice being happy!

If you’re ready to commit to a 21-day coaching plan, consider using my “Stress-Anxiety Buster” at WatchFit. This plan will train you to create the life you truly want and deserve.

Connect with Expert Peggy Sealfon

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