I am sure this isn’t the first time you’ve come across an article online, written by someone you don’t know, talking about why you should prioritise your happiness. I have been in your exact position way too many times. For me, every time I read articles that validated the importance of having happiness in your life, the more I would get frustrated. I knew that I would be left with no choice other than to put myself first and say goodbye to many habits/people/choices that were bringing down my energy. But why was I there in the first place?
According to this article on verywellmind.com, Codependency can come in all shapes and sizes and varying levels of severity. “Foundationally, it is due to poor concept of self and poor boundaries, including an inability to have an opinion or say no,”. Codependency can develop in all sorts of relationships, such as parent-child, partner-partner, spouse-spouse, and even coworker-boss.
With the inability to put myself first, I was definitely hurting myself in those many years. But it started to change slowly when I made a promise to myself that I MUST INVEST in my happiness.
Let me rephrase that. I did not voluntarily do it. My situation was staring me in the eyes and I could not ignore it anymore. I knew that I had to reset my time management
Gradually, I started doing so many activities that have completely transformed the way I feel, think and even look.
So these are 3 changes I noticed when I put myself first;
- I started eating better
- I worried LESSER
- I attracted more honest conversations
What truly made it transformational was the powerful combination of the three above; done regularly. The results were astounding.
I started eating better
I’m a big-time foodie. I can talk about food for hours and I kid you not, boredom doesn’t even come close. I’m on the constant lookout for new recipes and dishes to try out in my kitchen. I make a list of dishes to try and restaurants to try (sorted by suburbs, and cuisine). I daydream about eating. You get the drift. 😂
But this wasn’t always the case. Take outs were my best friend for the longest time. No one has the mental energy to make food when they are so drained from life and it’s unexpected turns.
This is what I learnt, life is always going to take unexpected turns and if we were to decide our food habits on this, it is going to potentially give us a disordered eating pattern or in worst case scenarios, an eating disorder.
When I started spending more time in the kitchen, it gave me this rich life experience. The ability to make a dish from ingredients that remotely doesn’t even look close to the final product gave a satisfaction that was unexplainable.
I decided to get into the habit of making breakfast; at least 3 to 4 times a week. With just simple ingredients in my kitchen, I managed to learn to make a decent spread for my family on random weekdays or weekends. Nothing starts the day like a good breakfast.
If this doesn’t convince you enough, may the photos of the food do 😂
I worried LESSER
As an over-thinker, it is almost pointless when you hear advice like,
Don’t think too much, it is going to be okay!
I no longer get triggered by this advice because I do see the intention behind it, which is to assure a person that nothing is permanent in life. I can promise you at that point, it would go in my left ear and leave the body that very next second, cause I LITERALLY cannot stop worrying about it.
I knew that there had to be a remedy for this without denying my mind the right to think. As I started breathing and reading more, I caught myself worrying less. I did not use it as a distraction technique, although it has been proven to have worked. For me, until I get the worst thoughts out of my mind, I could never move past it.
My therapist has this amazing way to deal with this.
Ask yourself this, What is the worst case scenario in every situation?
The logic is very accurate, because one you do get the worst thoughts out of mind, the fear around it will lessen. Your mind will store those thoughts as a pre-warning and when it happens, you would feel a bit more empowered.
So once I write these thoughts down, I would then tell myself, okay when it happens, I will be ready to face it for what it is. 8/10 times this has worked for me. Of course, we are humans and no one is close to achieving a 10/10 times where we pick ourselves up, and listen to the thinking brain.
I will leave you with this, as I worried less, I slept better. But I guess you already knew that!
I attracted more honest conversations
In my previous article, I explored the power of an honest conversation and I stand by it everyday. Honesty is a much feared option for many people. I don’t blame them. Maybe when they tried to be honest, the people on the other side were not receptive. The brain then automatically perceives that it would happen again.
I would like to think that lying and being dishonest are two separate actions. Lying has malicious intent to manipulate, whereas I feel being dishonest is more of a deflection. However, do take note that there are levels and a variety of situations. Not all of it is applicable to the above statement.
The hypothesis of this whole experience is that,
Honesty in your communication to yourself will help you attract people who are also honest to themselves. Hence, when two people of this sort speak, the ego is contained and both parties get to learn.
How do I start this, you ask?
The next time you feel something is bothering you, instead of denying it, ask yourself this,
“Why am I not addressing this?”
It is truly the small steps that can show the biggest impact with the power of consistency and time.
Committing to oneself for a happier life isn’t an easy path. However it can be a simple one.Trust me, there are many things we can do which can make us happy. I’ve learned to do more of what makes me happy, along with doing things .
Remember, you are your most valuable asset!