I use seven science-backed happiness hacks to change mindsets and encourage a resilience tipping toward joy. I’ll let you in on a secret- one of the seven seems to have more power than all the others. It’s forgiveness.
Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured. Mark Twain
When we hold on we impact our own health at a cellular level. The production of hormones is thrown off and the ability to fight infection drops. People with higher self-esteem find it easier to forgive. And this isn’t just about anger. Many people choose sadness over anger but guess what- sadness is just anger with less intensity.
Have you ever had a relationship where the break up lasted longer than the time you spent together? Do you still have a nemesis from your childhood? Do you stop trusting people easily? If you answer yes to any of these, you may need to strengthen your forgiveness muscle!
Take the forgiveness quiz.
A few things to remember that can help you as you get better at forgiving.
- Forgiving does not mean you condone the action
- You don’t have to forget when you forgive.
- You don’t need to relate to the person you forgive.
- When you forgive you give up all hope of a better past.
- When you let go of the past you are free to open up to a new future.
Deep healing occurs with time. Or it can happen overnight. There isn’t a way that is better. Whatever works for you works for you!
Every day we are faced with choice; what to wear, what to eat, who to lunch with, when to work out. We have practiced making choices our entire lives. Nothing else we do requires such constant effort with such varying results. Sometimes choices are simple, sometimes they aren’t. What is the difference and how can you make every decision with as much ease as possible?
Tools for making any Decisions
– Your choice must fit in with your most positive emotions and avoid negative ones.
EGO – Your decision must match who you are as a person.
HEAD – Your decision must accord with your long-term goals.
SURROUNDINGS – Your decision must be compatible with the situation you find yourself in.
When 1 or more of the tools are at odds, then what?
Every gut instinct comes with a physical sensation. Our challenge is correctly interpreting the sensation; knowing whether that butterfly in your stomach is telling you to back off from something truly scary or telling you that something exciting is about to happen.
Good decisions feel expansive and optimistic. They’re not based in fear, anger, or greed.
Successful choicemaking depends much more on who you are than what you do so if your decision is compromising who you are it’s ultimately not going to be the right choice. This can become a challenge is when someone else is involved.
What can you do when your decision involves others whose opinion is different or even opposing?
And when that difference comes down to a core belief belief about love self-worth safety and feeling a whole conflict resolution can become difficult.
If one partner is prioritizing money where another is prioritizing lifestyle or one person needs adventure where another prefers stability, who gets their way?
Listen, list make, leave it
Have a conversation when you have plenty of time in a place that is free of distractions.
- Each partner takes a turn to explain why their choice is best for themselves. (E.g. I want to live in the suburbs because we can have a bigger house for less money and the schools are better.)
- Each partner takes a turn to explain why they think their choice is best for their partner. (E.g. Our mortgage would be smaller so you could work less overtime and we would be in the same place financially. You wOuld see the kids more)
- Each partner suggests a compromise. (We could live in a townhouse close to your office and get rid of one car or we could move midway between your work and the suburbs)
Make a pro and con list together. Tally up your pluses and minuses.
The rule- things can only make the list that you both agree on.
Example- Choosing between public school and private school.
Private School Pros
small class size
cutting edge facility
strong preparation for college
Private School Cons
not in our neighborhood
Things That Get Left Off The List
feels elitist (only to one partner)
better sports teams (debatable by one partner)
better University Counselling (debatable by one partner)
If you have the luxury of time, let your emotions settle for a few days. Allowing emotions to settle can help you to discuss your options with less of an emotional charge.
If after all the debate, you have to agree to disagree, setting up a system where one partner gets their way this time but that means the other partner automatically gets their way the next time can be an option.
I choose to live in the country over the city but you get to choose our house.
A thought from Brene Brown…
When emotions flare, Brene advises her readers to ask what is the story I am telling myself.
Write down what you imagine will happen if you don’t get your way. Quite often this can help to uncover fear that is lurking below our rational thinking and hijacking our ability to see the other person’s perspective.
If you just can’t choose?
Flip a coin. At the moment right before it lands, you will wish for an outcome- that’s what you truly want- so go for it!
I’d love to hear what choices you find most challenging. Comment below, email me or weigh in on my Facebook page.