A 30-Day Journey Exploring a Heart-Healthy Lifestyle
We discussed quite thoroughly in Day 12 Cultivating Happiness and Day 13 Skills to Cultivate Happiness as part of the theme: Training Your Mind. But when we are confronted with especially difficult situations which can seriously challenge our emotions, we may feel that all the insights, skills and tools we have learned to cultivate core happiness seem to no longer apply.
For example, we may have family members or co-workers who are toxic and we can’t escape them, not completely anyway. However, we can learn to manage them and keep our happiness quotient levels higher. Always remember, we are not talking about being joyous all the time but finding an inner balance and return to serenity we can be happy about as opposed to being unduly consumed with negative emotions that take over our life.
Managing Difficult People
Sometimes we can certainly choose to keep toxic people out of our life. Other times, not so much. We have to work, network, and mingle with family members and co-workers, as well as others frequently. So, that means we have to take responsibility for managing our circles. If we don’t manage them, we fall into the trap and get sucked in by them.
Where to place toxic people in your life – For those you can remove gracefully, go ahead and do so in a kind and gentle manner. For those you have to tolerate, try to make arrangements to interact with them in a group setting.
For example, if it is a family function, a meeting, an office setting or a networking event, make sure you talk with several people, therefore limiting your exposure to the one toxic person among many fine and intriguing ones.
When you are face to face with someone you feel uncomfortable with, just smile and nod a lot as this keeps interaction at bay. Avoid counter arguments.
Shower difficult or toxic people with kindness – it’s a very powerful weapon!
How to Manage Relationships Better
Another point I like to add is managing relationships. In-numerous books have been written on this subject. But here I just to raise an awareness for self-reflection as part of cultivating happiness.
Happiness depends a lot on the quality of your relationships. When you take 100 percent responsibility for your part, you can bring all of yourself openly to the table in relationships. It strengthens your communication power which, as you know, is key in relationships.
You can communicate sometimes by being better at listening. Relationships are powerful parts of your life and your happiness might only be as good as your relationships. So, it’s important to do your part in keeping relationships alive and healthy by being open to more listening and communicating.
Take time outs for yourself and give yourself a break in order to be happy. It’s important to notice when you are feeling drained and fizzling out. It’s your responsibility to take care of yourself and that could mean taking a nap, saying no or just taking a time out to daydream, get fresh air or hydrate yourself.
Breaking through the martyr/victim cycle. If you write a story that you are a martyr or a victim, you give others permission to treat you that way. Rewrite a different story and start asserting yourself a little bit here and there. It’s not as scary as you think it is. What does this have to do with happiness? You will cultivate happiness when you send a message about how you want to be treated. Going forward, people will automatically know how to treat you and you will be that much happier. And, you will have less work for yourself to do in maintaining boundaries.
Take responsibility for your life.
You’re not a victim. Stop making excuses.
Having a better life starts with your decision to create it.