By Coach Mel
While nerding out on a nutrition podcast the other week this phrase was used. I can’t remember what it was in reference to I just remember thinking: Yes, that. So I thought I would write my take of the phrase because it is important and a good reminder.
Change your situation or change the way you think about it.
This can be applied to so many situations in our lives - work, relationships, family, free time, hobbies, injuries - you name it. It is easy to forget is that we are privileged enough to be able to complain and even more privileged to be able to change our situation if we choose to. Probably if you are reading this blog you own a computer or a phone; you are privileged. You might not be happy with your life, but you live in a world where you can do something about your happiness.
I used to feel guilty for my privilege. Then I realized it was worse to not use it. We need to use the rights we have to make a difference. Even if it seems for something selfish. The happier the people are in a community, the happier the community, and that spreads exponentially.
The great thing is that it is simple to say. The not so great thing is that is down right hard to implement.
We all have that friend (or, let's be honest, are that person) that is constantly complaining about something or the same thing repeatedly and wondering why it doesn’t get any better. If you aren’t a vocal complainer, I’ll bet you still have things about your life you aren’t happy with. We can complain as much as we want but change does not come of complaining.
The first step is easy... What are you unhappy about? What is that thing that bothers you every day? Your job? Your partner? Knee pain? Your mood? The next step is to do something about it... To change the situation. If you don’t like your job don’t do it anymore. Yeah, easy right? The second step is to decide if this is possible and how that might look. Are your monthly bills such that being able to switch careers on a whim isn’t possible? Then change the way you think about it. Changing the way you think about it could actually be to think about your options and find a way to make what you initially thought to be impossible possible. Could you take a night or weekend class to prep you for a different line of work? Could you suck it up during the work-day and, in your free time, search out a different job? Could you start your own business? If this is simply not plausible then reframe your mind. “I hate my job… but I am going to add to my day this other thing I love…” (a class, a gym membership, a really nice coffee). Give yourself something to look forward to, something to talk about other than how you hate whatever you hate.
Some newer buzz words we all hear most days are “wellness” and “quality of life.” There is, in fact, a whole industry around the idea. POINT is one example. There is a reason for this: People are unhappy. People are stressed. The nutritionist in me says people are unhealthy (which has a direct correlation with mood). Bottom line, people are fed up with so many things. This is why something as simple as a shift in your frame of mind is helpful. Modern day life is full of stressors; let’s take into our own hands what we can control. We can control how we think and what are actions are. We always hear about how taking one small step can initiate change; this is your step. How do you picture your ideal life? What can you do to get closer to it? It’s not impossible… Just stop complaining! Life can be great. We have the right and the privilege to be happy.