A life of Happiness and Fulfilment

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This was my second course on Coursera. The title speaks for itself. But why have I selected this as the second course? 





I have followed the steps which I mentioned in the previous article.

  • Selection of Course: Who does not want to be happy?  But there is more to happiness than just the feeling of being happy. Research shows that there are umpteen number of benefits of being happy. It enhances absorption rate of new content in life. I am in the process making my foundation strong. So improving my happiness is definitely a place to start my exciting journey. If you are already happy, you can still do this course because you can learn a few new things about how happiness works.

  • Contents of the course: The course tells about the seven sins which we usually commit in our everyday life which steals our happiness. Each week ends with a habit which we have to inculcate to nullify the negative effects of our sins. So this course is not just about one way listening, but also helps you inculcate a few good habits.

  • Level of the course: It is a course which requires neither psychology basics nor technical knowledge. It is a course which people from any educational background can do. Even if you don’t have an educational degree, if you just know the language, you can still do this course.

  • Rating and Reviews of the course: It is rated as 4.7 on coursera. There were mixed reviews. Some of them found it useful. Others who were not open to change or who were already happy might not have found it useful.

  • Duration of course: The course was for around 2 hours a week for 6 weeks. That was not too hectic for me.

  • Finding time: I was doing the course for around 20 minutes each day. If I found any lesson interesting, I used to spend a little more time on that.
This was how I selected this course.
Overview of the course:
The author of this course uses balloon as a metaphor for happiness. The way we have to keep pumping air into the balloon to inflate it, we need to add happiness into our lives to have a fulfilled life. Just like the way if there is a small hole in the balloon the air starts leaking outside, the sins we commit in our life also oozes out the happiness. Hence we need to keep inculcating happiness increasing habits the way we plaster the holes of the balloon.
How happy are you? This is the starting point of the course. As I wrote in this article, before you work on improving something, measure your current state. Without knowing where you are, you don’t know if you have moved at all from your origin, leave about reaching the destination. Hence take the happiness survey. But the happiness survey used in this course was a general measure of happiness. The definitions for the terms used in the survey are subjective. And they differ from person to person. So it might not be that useful. But to make the survey useful for you, write down what each statement means to you. For example, one of the statements in the survey says the life I am leading right now is the way I want to live. Make a note of what your ideal life is. Then rate the statement based on your agree-ability to it. After you finish the course, rate the statement based on the same understanding. Suppose if your ideal life now is to have a lot of money and at the end of the course is to have a happy marriage, you will be comparing oranges to apples. So avoid that mistake while measuring it. Once you have measured your happiness, you are ready to start the course.
The following are the seven sins and the respective habits which have to be cultivated.
Sin Habit
Devaluing Happiness Prioritize but don’t pursue happiness
Chasing Superiority Pursuing Flow
Love addict / Avoidant Provide Love
Overly Control seeking Taking Personal responsibility for happiness
Distrusting Others Exercising smart trust and forgiving others
Distrusting Life Dispassionate pursuit of passion
Ignoring ourselves Mindfulness
In the next posts, I will write my experiences with them.
Happy Learning till then! 🙂

The Need to Belong

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I feel so lonely. I just wish I had someone who can understand me. Everyone of us feel this at some point or the other. But what if someone feels this way every day? Is it still considered as normal?

There are a few who feel this almost everyday. They need constant love and attention. If that is denied they try to create problems in their life to get others attention. They are always complaining about petty things. A very few of them realise this as young adults. For a few it becomes a part of their life. As adults they suffer in their marriage. They will not be able to take care of their children. Even though they have good academics, they will struggle to get respect from others. When a needy person does not get love he might even commit suicide.

The root cause of this is not getting enough love as infant. Let’s look at the story of Annie. Annie was put in a care center when she was 9 months old. Her parents loved her but that didn’t reach her as they hardly had any time for her. She didn’t grow an attachment to her mother as a result of this. She used to go hug her aunt but not mother. Situation grew worse once she had a sister. Her parents were completely ignoring her. All she longed for was a kiss or a hug from parents. She was not even getting that. She prayed to God that she should be gifted death if her parents can’t shower love on her. She started doing well at her studies to gain attention of her parents. But her parents still were paying attention to the younger one alone. The problem just grew worse with age for her. She fluctuated between avoidant and neediness based on the people around her. If she had people who would shower love she would show neediness for others she was avoidant. She was having terrible problems in her relations. She was always complaining or falling sick to get complete attention of her partner. She used to feel insecure at times.

The following are a few ways one can deal with it:

1. Practise self compassion:

  When one practises self compassion, it helps one give to oneself the love they need. Humans are more harsh on themselves than on others. Be your own friend. Take care of yourself as you will take care of others.You can download some self compassion videos to start with.

2. Maintain a gratitude journal: 

Write everyday what good the other person has done for you. You will be habituated to look for the positive things when you are not getting enough attention.

3. Discuss your problem with a trusted one:

 When you tell a friend or partner or someone whom you trust, they might remind you of your mental condition when you get into that mode.

4. Meditate: 

Meditation cools your mind. You might not be able to focus well in the beginning. But that helps in identifying that you feel attention in the beginning itself.

5. Pursue a hobby: 

Make sure that you don’t have too much of idle time. Involve yourself in flow like activities.

Happy conquering loneliness!

Beginners Guide: How to make the habit of reading books

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Was there a time when you have not heard about the importance of reading books? The answer is definitely a ‘No’. I don’t have to give you reasons to read books. Everyone knows that books are one of the key habits of highly successful people. But how did they make that habit? What did they read? Did reading made them successful or something more needs to be done?

Common excuses for not reading:


A) Books are expensive:
A lot of people do not want to spend money on a book which they are going to read for one time and keep it aside. You can always borrow books from the library or read them online.
        
B) Books are difficult to maintain:
“I buy a lot of books. But they get dusty easily. I don’t know how to maintain.” You can always hire someone who helps you maintain them or read about their maintenance.
C) Why books when I can watch:
When you watch, you are only watching what the director wants you to watch. When you read, it is your own screenplay and not what another person has played it for you. The hero of the book looks like the way you want. You need not adjust for something what others want you to see.
         
D) Books are tough to read:
“I come across so many difficult words while reading and can’t comprehend what is written.” Instead of looking at it with pessimism, take it as an opportunity to improve your vocabulary.
E) Language is complex:

“I have trouble understanding the language.” The language might be tough when it is very different from your native language. It is one of the great ways to learn a new language.
F) Books strain my eyes:

“My eyes start hurting after I read a few pages.” Does watching television not hurt your eyes?
G) Books are time consuming:

“My day is totally packed. How do you expect me to find time to read?” Do you find time for social networking sites like Facebook? Then you have definitely got time to read.
H) Books can’t be read beyond a page:

“Whenever I start a book, all I can drag till is one chapter”. This is totally fine. You must have chosen the wrong book or you have not followed the right steps to make it a habit.
I) Book reading speed:

“I am a slow reader”. Are you taking part in the fastest reading contest? You can read at your own pace.
J) Book content is difficult to remember:

“I don’t remember what I read”. No one is testing you on the content. Are you not eating food every day even though it just lasts for a while? Reading is also the same. It is a food for the brain. There is no compulsion to remember. But if you are really interested in remembering, keep making notes and revise them regularly.
K) Books have not changed my life: 

“My life had not changed even a little.” Your life does not change by reading a book. It changes by implementing what you have read. Don’t finish a self-help book overnight and wait for miracles to happen the next morning. Change is a gradual process. Read a chapter a day. Implement them. Become a person which was described in the chapter and them move to the next one.
L) Books are just a way to kill time and there are many ways to do it:

There are many ways to kill time. They might be productive or destructive. A wise person always chooses a productive way to a destructive way.

How to make it a habit?

Step 1: Start with your favourite genre

If you don’t have any favourite genre, read a few book summaries to see what you like better. Start reading a book in that genre.
        
Step 2: Start small

Don’t try to read the entire chapter on the first day. Read only one page each day in the first one week. Then increase it to two pages a day in the second week. Keep increasing the number of pages a day based on your comfort level.
Step 3: Trigger the action

Set a time each day when you are going to read it. If you can’t pull out time in your daily schedule, have a location trigger. You can open book and start reading when you are in a queue or waiting for a friend.
        
Step 4: Reward

Set a reward yourself after reading each page. Reward need not be materialistic. An appreciation for yourself that you have finished a page can also be a reward. You can have a chart where you put a tick mark for doing it today.

How to read in order to retain?


> Write notes while you read. If it is disturbing the flow of reading, read first and then reread it to make notes.

> Write action points for you based on pieces of advice mentioned in the book.

>Discussing the book with your friends and ask their opinion on it. You can   also ask what they would do in the imaginary situations.

>Connect whatever you are reading presently with what you read in the past.     Connections make neural paths stronger.

>Last but not least, implement them to retain the content forever


Happy Reading !

Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy People

Author: Thomas C Corley

Review


The author did not mention anything new which you would not have read in any other articles or books on self-help previously. He just tried to make the book interesting by writing case studies of an insurance salesman, a secretary, a car dealer and an accountant. He mentioned 10 habits of the rich, but he has not gone into details of how to make the habits work for you. Also, some of the habits are overlapping. If you are already aware of habit formation and the basics required to be successful in life, this book acts as a revision or checklist to see where you stand. Instead, if you are at the bottom of your life, where you need a few situations where you can relate yourself to the characters in that situation, then this book is for you. Don’t expect this book to change your life in just one reading. You might have to do further research on how to deal with the obstacles you face while practising these habits and also to learn how to make these habits in the first place.

Summary:

1. I will form good daily habits and follow them daily:

Successful people have more good habits and less bad habits. For every bad habit they have, they write down the opposite of that habit which makes it a good habit. If you are a binge eater, make a habit of eating mindfully.

2. I will set goals for each day, for each month, for each year and for the long term. I will focus on my goals each and every day:

Successful people don’t float in the air but pursue their goals diligently. They have daily to-do lists. They break down their monthly goals into tasks. They envision their long- term goals.

3. I will engage in self-improvement every day:


Successful people read about their industry. They set aside some time each day for their development.

4. I will devote part of each and every day in caring for my health:


Successful people are mindful about the food they eat and have an exercise regimen.

5.I will devote each and every day to forming lifelong relationships:

Successful people know the importance of networking. They return to phone calls immediately. They go out of their way to meet people, but they avoid toxic people.

6.I will live each and every day in a state of moderation:

Successful people live in moderation. They eat, drink and spend moderately. They don’t let emotions affect them too much.

7. I will accomplish my daily tasks each and every day. I will adopt a “do it now” mindset:


Successful people do not procrastinate as they are aware that it leads to poor quality of service.

8. I will engage in rich thinking every day:

Successful people have a well-balanced mind. They have complete control over their emotions. They spend time on positive affirmations.

9.I will save ten percent of my gross income every paycheck:

Successful people set aside some money for savings before paying any other bills.they monitor their retirement plans regularly.

10.I will control my thoughts and emotions each and every day:

Successful people have emotional mastery. They follow the policy of “think, evaluate and react” when faced a difficult situation.


Which of these rich habits do you have? Let me know in the comment section.
Happy making rich habits!




Love yourself

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“I hate him for dumping me. I will hurt him as much as I can.”
“How can she sleep before I return home? I will not let her sleep the entire night”
“I should have picked the call when my grandfather called me. He would not have died if I had picked up the call on time.”
“John has not been inviting me to parties since past few months. But we are still thick friends.”
After a sad incident in life, many go into the self-loathing mode. They can’t accept reality. They can’t accept themselves. They just want to run away from everything.
Well, how is it so easy for some people to move on and for some others difficult? What do happy people do differently?

Accept yourself: 

“My life is in a mess”. Okay, your life is in a mess. Accept that. You can’t improve if you don’t accept your current situation. Accept your weakness. Accept your desires. Let things flow. You are only running away from reality by ignoring your life.

Take responsibility for your actions: 

Mistakes happened. Feel accountable for whatever mistakes happened because of you. Take responsibility for your mistakes. Learn from your mistakes. Fix them. Make necessary changes so that they are not repeated again.

Past is past: 

Whatever happened has happened. Past can’t be changed. People who died can’t come back to live. Lost relations might be difficult to fix. Opportunity once lost might not come again. Do whatever you can today instead of brooding over the past.

Appreciate: 

As soon as you wake up each morning, appreciate the good things about you and your life. This helps you start the day on a good note to notice more positives than negatives.

Do something good: 

Try to help someone for whom you are not responsible. You can help an old person cross the road. Or you can sponsor one month of education for an orphan. It may or may not involve money. But just make sure you make someone happy daily in the however small way it can be.

Replace the negative thoughts with positive thoughts: 

Every time a negative thought comes to your mind, try to replace it with a positive one. Make a list of positive things about you and the good deeds you have done so far. Now when the negative thought or self-blaming happens, refer to the notes and repeat the good deeds you have done. You are not that bad after all.

Life is tough initially. But only our thoughts can make it simpler. Change your thoughts. Change your mind.

Excuse yourself. Love yourself.

Happy loving self!

Course Review: Improve Self-Confidence

Course Name: Self-confidence:  40 minute self-confidence and self-esteem
Website: Udemy

CONTENTS:

  • Handling the fear of rejection
  • Confident Body Language
  • Negative self-talk
  • Daily social interactions
  • Practice gratitude
  • Openness
  • Why I am great list

WHY I CHOSE THIS COURSE?

This is my fourth course. Lately, I have been feeling a little low on my self-esteem and was doing some research on it. That was how I came across this course. I just wanted to do this course to see if there were some new things to learn and the course was for just 40 minutes. It was easy to finish it and remember the points mentioned.

MY TAKE ON THE COURSE:

I spent 40 minutes on this course hoping to learn something new and exciting which I have not come across any time before. Sadly, there was nothing of that sort mentioned. The points mentioned were similar to what I read in different books and articles. A few of the things he mentioned in the course were the things I was already following naturally or were the things which I wanted to do for a long time but I have not made a plan for them.
But if you are a person who has no idea on how to deal with self-confidence issues, the course is great and offers a few points which can be implemented too.

SUMMARY OF THE COURSE:

Everybody has fears. Everyone faces rejections. But how we deal with rejections is what changes our self-esteem.
Fear of rejection:
Rejection has got nothing to do with us. We need to understand this before we understand others. It can be because of the situation or because of the opposite person. You can read more about rejection in this article.
Confident Body language:
One important point the speaker mentions in this course is how we carry ourselves sends signals to our brain. So we need to stand straight and not slouch so that we send the right signals to our brain. Closing our hands would mean that, we are being defensive. While shaking hands with a new person, give a straight handshake. If your hand is above or below the other person’s hand, you are either being dominant or submissive.
Negative Self-talk:
The speaker says that we have to change our thoughts as soon as we catch ourselves doing the negative self-talk. Almost all the articles and books I have read say the same. But implementation of this is not so easy. I have been struggling with this for quite so
me time now. If I can find a solution for this, I will write an article on this in future.
Daily Social Interactions:
The speaker gives us a challenge that we need to talk to talk to at least 3 strangers every day. Just by starting with a ‘hi’ initially and slowly increasing it to talking about our personal lives. I find this exercise difficult. I find it challenging to find strangers in the first place. But once I find someone, since I am already good at making friends with strangers, it wasn’t much of use to me.
Practice gratitude:
I have been practicing gratitude irregularly, hence could not reap any benefits from it yet. But the speaker talks about the feel of positive energy which one gets through practicing gratitude. But he has not mentioned about how to get to that state. Hence, I did not find it useful.
Openness:
Being vulnerable to others makes us improve our confidence. The same point was mentioned by Dushka Zapata in one of her answers on Quora. I was pretty much impressed with her explanation. I buy this idea totally now as I hear its usefulness once again. But there will be certain limitations to this method which have not been mentioned clearly in this course.
Why I am great list:
I had been planning on creating a similar list for quite some time now. One good thing which came out of this course is I finally penned down a few things in my list. I hope even you make your list. One problem which I have been facing since years is when I am low, I don’t really look at the list. Even if I do, I criticize the entire list negatively. The way to infuse positive energy looking at the list has not been clearly mentioned.
If you are a novice, looking forward to learning the basics, go ahead and do the course. Share your learnings in the comment section.
Happy learning!

30-day Challenge – A small step towards our big dreams

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All of us have dreams and resolutions. We start working towards something but quit when things stop going well. We juggle so many dreams. After a few years when we look back, it looks like we tried and we failed. But in the first place we never tried seriously to work on our goals.

What can be the solution for this?

30-day challenges can help us to achieve our goals and resolutions. In order to get good at something, we need to develop habits related to that. A routine takes 21 days to form a habit. This is where a 30-day challenge can be used to make the habits and retain them. The 30th day is not the end of the journey. It is just a milestone in the journey of the new habit. At the end of next 30 days, there will be a different milestone. It is the constant improvement of our lives which provides joy and fulfillment and not just a single milestone.
Why only 30 days? Why not 7 days or 6 months? 

30 days is neither too short as 7 days nor too long as 6 months. It will be an ideal time which covers both the good days when you feel good about your progress and also the bad days when you feel like giving up and also the tough days where you keep waiting when the 30 days will end.

In the past 30 days, I chose two 30-day challenges. One for my health and the other to improve my skills. The one for my health was running. I lead a sedentary lifestyle where I sit for 12 hours a day. Research says that people who sit for more than 6 hours a day are likely to die sooner than those who smoke every day. So this exercise helped me to have some movement in my day. But the 30-days were not a cake walk. The first few days of running gave me terrible cramps. On the 5th day, I was telling myself that it is just 5 more such 5-day sets. On the 10th day, I told myself it is just 2 more such 10-day sets. But today when I went for a run, it just felt like a habit such as brushing. It did not feel a great deal. There were days when I woke up late and did not have enough time to run. I went for a quick 5 minute run on those days. There were days when I was sad or depressed. I did not feel like moving out of my bed. But just to keep up with my 30-day challenge, I went for a run. And there will be a few days like today when it rained. I went for a run after it stopped raining. I have written in this article how helpful running was for me. And this is just the beginning of a habit. I have a lot more miles to run.
The other 30-day challenge which was related to my skills was writing. I took a 30-day challenge to write on Quora.com. I want to be a writer. I am not great at writing. But it gives me immense pleasure. Reading heals my wounds. Hence I want to write and make many others heal themselves through my writing. Like every other habit, I tried and failed in writing too. But doing a 30-day challenge helped me stick to it. And I chose Quora because I need not think every day what to write on. On a few days, I can just write a few words and still consider that I have written and published it. And in the beginning of this year, I thought I should have written 500 answers on Quora. That would have remained just as a dream if I had not written every day for the past 30 days. On this 30th day, I am not going to stop writing there. I will keep blogging regularly and even continue writing there too.
The following are a few guidelines for 30-day challenges:
Choosing a challenge:
Write down the list of things you always wanted to do. Classify them into categories like health, relations, finance, personal skills or any other one you have. Prioritize the categories and goals in each category. Start with the first category for this month.
Accountability:
Tell someone you trust that you are on a 30-day challenge.You will more accountable when they inquire your progress. 
Start Small:
If you take up a challenge of lifting 10kg weight every day when you have not even lifted 1kg any time before, the challenge would be unrealistic and there are higher chances of you giving up on the third day itself. Instead, if you start with 500 gms on the first day. You might be able to lift the 10 kgs on the 30th day.
Gather resources:
30-day challenges are difficult to stick with when you don’t have easy availability of resources. I gave up writing many times when I started them previously because of lack of easy availability of prompts. That is why I chose Quora this time so that I can choose a question from millions of questions out there. I need not waste my energy in deciding what to write on.
At the end of this 30-day challenge, I will be starting with a new set of challenges from tomorrow. The book “Happiness Project” inspired me to take this next set of challenges. The author of the book transformed her life through a set of 12 such 30-day challenges. Comment below what is going to be your first 30-day challenge.
Happy 30-day Challenge !

Recipe for Motivation

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We have new year resolutions, birthday resolutions, short term goals, long term goals so on and so forth. But very few actually succeed in achieving them. Why is it that many of us fail?

We constantly look for motivation. Someone to motivate us. We search for motivational stories and videos. But for how long will we keep looking for something external? Is there a way to make it internal? Habits make the motivation internal. But what about the motivation to make habits? We can use external motivation till we make the motivation internal. The following are a few ways to make use of external motivation:
Clarity of the purpose:
When I am clear about what I want to achieve from my goal or resolution, I tend to stay with it for a longer period till the purpose is realized or defeated. When I was preparing for a competitive exam, I was clear about the end objective. I knew what I would get out of clearing the exam and what if I did not. I kept preparing for it after failing twice because I wanted it then at any cost. But later on, I gave up that goal since the purpose became obsolete. After failing in that goal, I could not stick with any other goal because I didn’t have any clear purpose on the new goals I was setting. So write down the purpose of your goal or resolution and the consequences of not achieving it. On the days you like giving up, go back and read it. If you still feel the need to achieve it, you will take it more seriously. Otherwise, you just trash it.
Availability of resources:
I always loved reading books.I lose track of time. But if I look at the number of books I have read till now, the number is very low compared to the passion I have for it. The reason was obvious. I don’t enjoy reading e-books much and I have a dust allergy because of which I can’t read books which are dusty or ill maintained. So when I started working, I borrowed books from an online library which delivered books home. All I needed to do was select the book online. The result was I read 20 books in 4 months. The same is the case with another hobby of mine.I love oil painting but have not done it in a while because the resources and procedure required for it are not as easy as getting hold of a book. So list down the resources you require and keep them handy.
Planning:
My new goal is massive. I hardly made any progress in the beginning as I didn’t have a written plan on how I will achieve it. I was constantly failing to make any progress. Even though I allocated some time for it on a few days, I used to not know from where to start. I used to work on a task but I did not have a log of what I finished. Then I realised that I need to break into small parts which won’t scare me. I broke down the entire goal into multiple parts – daily, weekly, monthly, yearly level. I made a note of time I can afford to spend on it. Later, I made a note of actual time I spent on it which in turn helps me in assessing the time I take to finish a task. This way planning creates a sense of urgency and accomplishment. So break down your goal into easily doable tasks and have timelines and deadlines for it.
Measure your success:
I keep a track on the number of repetitions I do for each type of exercise and the food I consume daily. Since waiting for a few months to see the end result is a long time, daily tracking gives me motivation towards the end goal.
Declaring your goal to people who keep a check on you:
My new year resolution was to stop complaining about trivial things. Since I spend most of my day at the office, I declared my resolution to my colleagues. They keep reminding me of my goal every time I tend to complain. Since I don’t want to be a person who can’t keep my words, I follow through.
All the above will work as a recip
e for motivation till you form the habit. Once the habit is formed, you will be executing the tasks automatically.

Keystone Habits – Key to chain of Habits

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Keystone habits help you create a lot of other habits without much struggle. It is similar to building a strong foundation which keeps the building strong. So what are the keystone habits which you can start with today?

Waking up early:
Do you feel like jogging when the sun stares into your eyes or when there is a lot of pollution? People don’t like to jog after it gets late in the morning. If you want to exercise outdoors, waking up early becomes a keystone habit. It not only helps in exercising, but also gives you sufficient time to plan for the day. The capacity of brain to make decisions is limited. So if you wake up early, you will be using your brain in productive work when it is most active after a good night’s sleep. If you want to do some reading or writing, mornings are the best. The other habits which follow this keystone habit are
    • Exercise
    • Drinking a glass of water on empty stomach
    • Making task list
    • Reading newspaper
The habits which follow the keystone habit are the next level of keystone habits. Once you start exercising, you start eating healthy. When you make a task list, you tend to be more productive as you attend only the most important tasks for the day and end up being more organised without having to do anything more about it. Your creativity increases because you only think about the task at the hand.
Writing a journal:
It helps you connect with yourself. You can identify your strengths and weaknesses. It makes you better. It includes your goals, relations, career, food, expenses and everything. Hence it is a keystone habit. The other habits which you can develop through this are:
    • Tracking your goals
    • Pursuing whatever you wanted to
    • Self-talk
    • Improving your relations
    • Tracking your emotions
These are the two keystone habits which created a rippling effect in my life. I have started with only two because it is difficult to stick with more than two habits at a time.
Happy keystone habit formation!

Social Relations – Embrace them or Avoid them?

Man is a social animal. Research shows that well-being of a man is dependent on his social circle. At the same time, another research shows that being dependent on others is not a trait of mentally strong people. Are they conflicting?
Well-being of a person depends on healthy relations he maintains. If there are toxic people around you, they drain out your happiness irrespective of how positive you try to be. I had friends who used to contact me only when they had problems. I used to make their problems mine and find solutions for them. But they would not implement them and come back to me again to only complain. People find comfort in complaining. For them friendship is only for complaining. When I started logging the days I broke down or was feeling low, it was because of the toxic people in my life. So I started avoiding those who drain my energy. I just did whatever I could for them instead of taking things to heart. But what if you felt hurt by everyone?
If you are right now in a stage where you feel that everyone out there exists only to hurt you, you must be suffering from low self-esteem which might have been the result of continuous rejections and loneliness. The glasses through which you are looking at the world might have been tinted with negativity. Don’t worry! It is never too late to change, you can do a few exercises to get back to healthy well-being.

COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS FOR DEVELOPING HEALTHY SOCIAL LIFE:

I NEED TO TRUST THEM

Research shows that people are more trustworthy than we perceive their trustworthiness as. Take a chance and trust them. If they are trustworthy, you will get a trustworthy friend for a lifetime. If they are not, you can tell them how you trusted them so that from next time they might be more trustworthy. In either case you nothing much to lose. If you don’t take that chance, you will never be able to build a relationship.

I NEED TO BE VULNERABLE

By being vulnerable, you will be giving the control of your happiness to the other person. You need to just concentrate on adding value to their life. It has got nothing to do with vulnerability.

WE DON’T HAVE COMMON INTERESTS

You need not necessarily have common interests. You can still be friends and respect and accept them for who they are and not on what you expect them to be.

 

EXERCISES:

GIVE MORE THAN YOU TAKE:

Friendship or social relations is not about how much you are getting out of the relation. It is about finding happiness in giving. Your mother does so much for you. She doesn’t do it with an expectation that some day you are going to do something for her. She just does it out of love. She gives more than what she takes. She is just happy seeing you succeed.

CREATIVE ALTRUISM:

I came across this term on a course on happiness (A life of happiness and fulfillment).  Altruism, in general, is just about giving. You might give some money to a beggar and it counts as altruism. But creative altruism is about giving it to someone who need not necessarily requires what you are giving. You need to just surprise them.
One day, my colleagues were busy and could not take time off for a break. Even though I was busy, I could finish my work earlier than them. Since it was festival time, I bought sweets for them. They were more than happy as they were hungry and got something tasty to eat. There was a transformation in their behaviour post that incident. You can also try some experiment like this once in a while.

CHANGE YOUR VIEW:

Identify your negative thoughts as soon as they pop up and change them to positive.
Thought 1: My friends did not invite me for lunch.
Thought 2: I informed my friends last week about my new project. They were considerate enough to not disturb me.
Don’t try to verify if the second thought. But just believe it. Change your thoughts, change your life.
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Happy developing relations !