Life. We all go through it.

Sometimes we have good days and sometimes we have bad days, it’s normal. But one thing you always have to remember is that regardless of how your day is going, you are still alive.

Our perception of life is based on multiple factors which can include where we live, how we are raised, our environment, or life choices, who we surround ourselves with and our education, just to name a few.

What I have come to learn about emotions is that we are in full control of how we feel. Your emotions are also based off your state of mind. Based off research, we have over tens of thousands of thoughts on a daily basis. We are constantly consumed off a variety of thoughts every single day which have a huge impact on your emotional well-being.

Learning how to influence your own state of mind is a huge key in life. It can help you avoid a lot of the pain and suffering that people go through with depression and anxiety. Personally, I am against the medical treatment provided as I feel they do you more harm than good. Instead of using chemicals to treat ourselves, I feel we must first try a holistic approach to overcome our minds because again, you control your thoughts. Not the other way around.

Here are some ways to take back control of your mind.

REDIRECT YOUR FOCUS: What you focus on, on a daily basis has a HUGE impact on your state of mind. When you are sad or depressed it is mainly because you are focused on all the negatives in your life. Bad thoughts consume your mind because that is all you are focusing your energy on. Stop focusing on everything you don’t have. Stop focusing on all your imperfections. Stop focusing on all your weaknesses. Instead, focus on what you do have, on your unique attributes and on all your strengths. Nobody can ever replace you. There is only one of YOU in this world which is what makes each and every one of us special in our own unique way.

STOP COMPARING YOURSELF: We all have imperfections. That’s a fact. There is not one human out there that is perfect or great at everything. As a society, especially with social media, I feel like we make the mistake of comparing our lives to other people.

Never judge someone by where they are in life, because you never know how far they have comeClick To Tweet

Understand that everyone will go through life at a different pace. Some people will succeed in their twenties, others in their forties, or others in their late seventies like the KFC Colonel. Stop trying to race against everyone else and start competing against yourself. The only thing you should be concerned about is becoming a better person than you were the day before. From experience, I have learned that people who are the most successful have failed and endured the most pain. More than the average person chooses to endure. Success is not easy, but it is very much worth it.

BE GRATEFUL: You cannot be grateful and depressed at the same time. This coincides with changing your focus. Wake up every morning with gratitude. Be grateful you have a bed to sleep in, a roof over your head, running water, food to eat and more. Depression comes from feeling that you lack something, that you are missing out, that you are in need of or don’t have. Change that. Find at least 3 things you are grateful for every day and you will see how your depression will start to fade away with time.

CHANGE YOUR PHYSIOLOGY: Emotion is created by motion. When a person is in a bad state of mind you can automatically tell by their body language. They are slouched over with their head down, hands in in their pockets, speaking with a low tone voice and making little to no eye contact. Changing your posture alone can have a huge impact on the way you feel. One tactic used is the superman stance. All you have to do is hold your head up high, chest out, shoulders out, back straight and hands on your hips. Believe it or not, a posture as powerful as this one will make you feel more empowered. At the very least, keep your head held high and keep your shoulders out and back straight. You will literally feel the difference.

BE PRESENT: About two years ago I came across an ancient Chinese philosopher by the name of Lao Tzu who wrote the following quote:

“If you are depressed you are living in the past.

If you are anxious you are living in the future.

If you are at peace you are living in the present.”

– Lao Tzu

This quote alone literally changed my life. I used to always suffer from anxiety because I was too worried about the future. I was so worried about upcoming bills, presentations, deadlines, and what I had to get done tomorrow that I forgot to just be present.

GIVE TO THE LESS FORTUNATE: No matter how bad your life may seem, there is always someone out there who has it worse. Helping others in need makes you realize how good you really have it. Volunteer some of your spare time, even if it’s just an hour to give to the homeless, to mentor a foster child, to care for someone in the hospital with cancer. You will be amazed and how better the one receiving feels as well as who well you will feel. If you want to go the extra mile, travel to a country where poverty is an issue. You will see how the simplest things in your daily life such as running water, food, a home and medicine are a huge necessity in other parts of the world.

BUILD CONFIDENCE: As an introvert, I was never one to put myself out there. I was always shy, quiet, timid and afraid to speak up. Even still I struggle but little by little I pushed myself to get out of my own comfort zone. Even top speakers and presenters get nervous. It is a normal feeling to have but what they do different is that they don’t let it hold them back. They convert their nervousness and fear into excitement and confidence. Having a low self-esteem is a result of not believing in yourself and doubting your every move. Stop. Get out of your own bubble where you are so concerned of what people “might” think about you. Their opinions do not matter. They are obsolete. Focus on building confidence and growing as an individual. People who are confident know their worth and hold themselves to higher standards than the average person. It takes time, but surround yourself with people who encourage you and push you to surpass the limits you set for yourself mentally.

SPEAK UP: You are not alone even though you may feel that way. The worst thing you can do to yourself is keep your emotions to yourself especially if you are going through a painful or traumatic experience. From experience I can tell you that bottling up your emotions does more damage than good. It’s like putting a Band-Aid on a wound that needs stitches. You will only stop the bleeding temporarily. You will never fully heal. My recommendation is to go to someone you trust whether it be a friend, a family member, or even a therapist. And if you believe in a greater power, than prayer and meditation help as well. We are only human and our emotional well-being matters for our own sanity. Regardless of what you may have gone through, someone out there can either relate or help you if you seek the right guidance. Just trust me when I tell you, it is ok to speak up and ask for help.

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Roberto Green Jr
Roberto Green Jr is an avid writer and aspiring author. His work has been featured on The Cover Magazine, Year Up Inc. and MAQTOOB for Entrepreneurs. He is also the founder of Resume Starters where he has helped his clients' find jobs, transfer positions, earn promotions, and gain salary increases through his creative resume writing skills.