How to Bounce Back and Thrive

A recent life event has inspired me to write. An experience filled with disappointments, negative energy and bad decisions. At the time, I would have never thought to write about it because of how awful it made me feel, but as I sit here and reflect, I realize that my words may be able to help others through a difficult time. 

As I stepped back into reality, I was upset, angry, confused and genuinely embarrassed. I was in a rut – but not for long. Resilience is how well a person can adapt to the events in their lives. Over the years, I have actively practiced how to have good resilience which essentially is the ability to bounce back more quickly and with less stress. So here’s how I bounce back and thrive:

Lean on your loved ones. Find comfort in the ones who love you and cherish your relationship. Focus on people who care about you and your well-being and who support you. Value whoever values you. Spend time with them, talk to them about how you’re feeling, and let them listen. They are your support system.

Do something to break the pattern of nasty self-talk and ruminating. After an unpleasant event, we tend to put the blame on ourselves. We think negatively about ourselves and consistently think about what we could have done differently (well I mean, I do). Keep yourself busy. Watch a movie, laugh, call a friend or go to the gym. It’s hard to steer clear of negative thoughts, but give yourself credit for that hour or two that you were able to not think about that shitty thing that happened to you. 

Practice mindfulness daily. Journal or meditate. Focus on the present moment, where you are right now – allow yourself to feel – release those negative emotions, but always remember and be grateful for the beautiful life God has given you. 

Forgive yourself and forgive other people. Even when you didn’t get the closure you needed or an apology, forgive. This may seem silly to other people because everyone deals with things differently, but the act of forgiveness has changed the way I look at shitty things that have happened to me. Forgiveness helps me move on with my life. 

You choose how to react to what has happened. React positively. Choose kindness, choose love, choose happiness. Don’t sit around and sulk. Get back into a routine that makes you feel alive and energized. For me, it was getting a good night’s sleep, heading to the gym, eating healthy meals and making time for self-care.

Accept, learn and MOVE ON from it. Remove yourself from the situation – physically, mentally, and spiritually. Just disconnect from it. Don’t try to control what is out of your control. Being angry, sad, or worrying won’t change the situation. Shitty things happen to good people all the time. Don’t let it be a big deal. Better things are coming for you. Things work themselves out and everything happens for a reason. In a year or so, I’ll probably still think negatively about the situation (hahahaha), but I’ll most likely be able to laugh about it because I’m human and I make mistakes – even really big ones. 

Help someone else in need. Be the best you can be in your professional life. This is huge for me. I’m in a field of work that relies heavily on helping others so I pour my energy into my meaningful career.

Read and listen to motivational, inspirational and encouraging words. I’ve always been a huge fan of reading, but for those who aren’t, there are podcasts and ebooks available everywhere. Reading and listening to another person’s words can be a form of healing for some. Hearing about someone who has been through a difficult time and has dealt with it is reassuring to me that I’ll get through it too. 

Some of my favourite podcast channels:

  • The Skinny Confidential Him & Her Podcast
  • The Health Code
  • Wellness Force Radio

Some of my favourite books: 

  • A Tribe Called Bliss by Lori Harder
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
  • The Ripple Effect by Greg Wells
  • Unfu*k Yourself by Gary John Bishop

Take each bad experience as a lesson learned. Take it as the universe telling you that it wasn’t for you. It wasn’t meant for you and you probably dodged a bullet. A job opportunity lost, a relationship ending, failure, rejection – take it and use it to better yourself. Bounce back fast and make others wonder how the heck you did it. Take your L and make BIG moves.

Bliss & blessings,

S

Feeling is Living: An Empath’s Existence

Are you the person that everyone runs to for advice? When you first meet someone, do they usually feel comfortable enough to tell you all about their life? Instantly, I give off this warm and understanding vibe that allows others to share freely with me. I always considered myself a deep feeler, a helper or a healer. Things just get to me more easily than they get to other people. I labeled myself “emotionally sensitive.” The first time I heard the word ‘empath,’ I was in a meeting with my manager. She was describing me as the empath. I was stunned. All the qualities she mentioned, I embodied. 

An empath is a person who has the ability and capacity to feel what others are feeling. I felt so lost when attempting to explain it to someone because I was unaware that there was a word to describe the deep heartache and heavy burden feeling that I sometimes experience. I would think to myself, “how do I say this without sounding dramatic?” 

I am someone who feels so deeply and intensely. I’ve felt the emotional pain of my family, friends, clients, and strangers. I am sometimes so overwhelmed by my own senses that I just need to take a moment or several moments to just bring myself back to clarity and keep myself grounded. Everywhere I go, I want to find and make meaningful connections. I walk around with an open heart that is sort of like a sponge – taking in everyone’s energies and emotions. I connect and sometimes, heal without the intention of even doing so. 

Being an empath can be very emotionally exhausting at times. The powerful quality of empathy that I embody and my own personal challenges has led me to want to help others. I work in a field where I am constantly surrounded by people, offering support, helping when and where I can and all while trying to remain positive. I sometimes feel like I am carrying a weight (that is not always mine) on my shoulders. My mental and emotional health has suffered because of this. I realize that I must put in the extra effort to take care of myself that others might not find necessary. 

It is important to learn how to manage our empathy in such a way that prevents negative energy and fosters our well-being. A few things that have helped me to lessen the absorption of other people’s energies and focus on my own emotions:

1) Set healthy boundaries for yourself.

  • Know when to take a step back from the situation. Whether that be alone time or letting someone know that other resources are available for their use. You can’t be the superhero every time! We teach ourselves to not rely on others to make us happy, now it’s time to preach our knowledge. 
  • Ask for help, if need be. If you need a break from your job because it’s all just become too much, ask for more support or a day off. 

2) When you notice heavy emotions, start by labeling what you’re feeling. 

  • Ask yourself whether what you’re feeling is yours, someone else’s or a mix of two. 

3) The moment you notice yourself feeling emotions that are not yours, think about what is happening within you.

  • Take a deep breath and notice where in your body you feel the most grounded and let that guide you to a place of release. 
  • Return those emotions to their rightful owner. 

4) Use mindfulness meditation. I write about this all time, but it has truly changed my life. 

  • Stay within the present moment. Reflect on where you are. Breathe. Release.
  • I use this as energy healing. Cleansing my energy to allow for positivity to emerge. Clearing my mind and resetting my mindset. 

Once we learn to properly care for ourselves, we can use our gift and offer it to the world. I believe our biggest gift to the world is learning to trust your intuition more than anything else. Let it guide you to greatness. Deep empathy gives us the ability to relate and connect to others. When we care so genuinely, we are able to understand another person in a way that not everyone can and because we feel what others are feeling, we communicate in a sincere way that others can relate to. This sincerity can help us develop meaningful and fulfilling relationships. All in all, being an empath is a blessing if you know how to use your gift. Remember to spread the kindness not to just everyone else, but to yourself. 

Bliss & blessings, 

S

Embracing the Fear of the Unknown

It is a part of our human nature to fear the unknown. We are predisposed to the idea that not being in control of our lives is scary. We are afraid of the unknown because we don’t know what’s coming or what life has in store for us. Fear stops us from living our best lives – taking risks and exploring new ideas. Sometimes, it makes us put our passions on the back burners which ends in regret. We take the easy, more secure route. We take this route because we know there is stability, we know what the future looks like for us.

I was always really scared of the future, and big decisions I’d have to make regarding my future. I realized thought, that if I’m always letting this fear of the unknown future hold me back, none of my hopes and dreams would ever happen.

I still struggle with that fine line between thoughtful decision and overthinking. Thoughtful decision-making is all about making a pros and cons list and considering how the decision will affect your life. It is something that leads to action. Overthinking is more about contemplating, comparing and analyzing every single thing that could go wrong or right in regards to the situation. I am guilty of stressing myself out by playing out all possible ways in which a scenario could go. I stress myself out to the point where I miss the opportunity to see how the scenario actually plays out. I miss out on things that could have been great because I am overwhelmed with the fear that it could have gone terribly wrong.

You might be afraid of taking a new job because changes in your life may occur and you’re extremely comfortable where you are. You know that these things will be replaced by better things, but your feeling of fear doesn’t know that. It only sees one side of the situation – fear convinces you that things could go wrong.

But honestly, what is the worst thing that can happen if you let go of this fear of the unknown? Rejection? Failure? These things happen to the best of us. I am also a strong believer that things don’t workout because we are meant for something better suited for us.

3 Things that Helped me Overcome my Fear of the Unknown

STOP AND DROP THE OVERTHINKING
Most of your fears won’t manifest, unless you think about them all the time and actually manifest them into your reality. I was told by a dear friend that if you put certain thoughts into the universe (negative or positive), the universe will attract those thoughts or energies back to us.

TRUST IN GOD OR A HIGHER POWER
Whether you believe in something or not, believe that you were destined for greatness. I believe that God has a plan for me and so I leave it in His hands that my life is exactly where it is supposed to be right now. It brings me comfort knowing there is God to rely on. Saint Catherine of Siena said, “Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.”

INVITE THE FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN IN
We may fear those who are different from us but if we don’t learn about things we don’t understand and just fear them, we will forever be afraid of things we do not know. We must make a conscious effort to uncover the unknown outcomes and great possibilities that the unknown may hold. Be curious about your fear!

Life is all about taking chances, conquering your fears and accepting the unknown and all that surrounds it. Take risks, accept the darkness of the unknown and know that you alone have the power to light up the darkness. Leave security behind. Life is meant to be uncertain and it may scare the living heck out of you, just remember that this is YOUR life and the future is so bright – so much is in store for you. Good things, great things! Where you currently are – is the beginning. Think fearless and strong and you will be just that. Embrace the change because the possibilities are endless. Make the unknown a challenge and conquer it.

I get out of bed everyday happy and excited about where I currently am and what the future has in store for me. Be brave, because taking that leap could really change your life.

Bliss & blessings, 

S

Remember to follow my fitness/wellness journey on instagram @smprogress