I don’t know about you, but I have taken a much more optimistic approach towards life than I have in a while. I’ve been open to so many more opportunities and experiences that my past self would have never delved into. If you are currently finding yourself in this predicament, consider these five suggestions to help guide you on the path to your own personal freedom.
Don’t Be Afraid to Do Things Alone
The outside world has so much to offer and experience. Go out and experience it. Even if you must do it alone. This can be a huge step for some people as the idea of doing simple things such as going to a restaurant or seeing a movie is considered something that should be done with at least one other person. Society has put this notion in our heads that these kinds of activities should be done in a social setting. This is so far from the truth. The biggest cause of this fear is people thinking that others will find them “weird” or “lame” for doing things alone. Once you come to realize that their opinions are simply projections of their own insecurities, you’ll learn not to care what others think. This is mostly uncommon though, as most people are not going to care to see you doing something alone.
Forgive Those Yet to Be Forgiven
This is another huge step, but if you can do it, you have the potential to dissipate a large amount of negative energy you may be carrying. Forgiving doesn’t necessarily mean acting as though whatever has happened between you and whoever you resent never happened. You may forgive someone, but you do not have to forget. Forgiving is simply stopping the blame for one’s wrongdoing and granting them a pardon. Grudges are scary and can be held for as long as years, but they can weigh you down. Releasing your inner grudges towards those who have wronged you will open your mind up to more positivity and empathy.
This can be another tricky one for those who very seldom read books. Before I started reading again, I had gone nearly five years without having properly read a full book. Some people have gone longer. Reading almost anything whether it’s a fictional mystery, autobiography of someone you’re influenced by, or – my personal favorite – self-motivational novel, can widen your imagination and even improve your memory. If you’ve never been much of a reader and you don’t really know where to start, think of something that interests you. Anything at all. I promise you there’s plenty of books about it. Do you like watching romantic comedies on TV? Reading about them can be even more entertaining as a novel exudes much more detail.
Take Care of Yourself
Treat yourself at least once a week. I prefer to treat myself on Sundays because that’s the one day a week where I have virtually no errands to run or homework to finish. Indulge in something you really like. Start watching that TV show that’s been catching your interest during commercials. Bake your favorite dessert. Take a bubble bath with your favorite products. Splurge a little bit (if your budget allows it) and purchase that outfit or those pair of shoes you’ve been eyeing. The possibilities are endless, but just do what makes you happy. If you can take at least one day to just enjoy yourself you can alleviate most of the stress you may be carrying around from work, school, relationships, etc.
Give Back & Pay It Forward
Donate to charities, even if it’s as little as $5. There are so many worldwide issues going on around us – the Australian wildfires, earthquakes in Puerto Rico, Flint, Michigan being without clean water, and so much more – and a little can go a long way. Imagine if everyone donated just $5 to a cause. That little $5 then multiplies into millions, which can definitely help make a difference. If you’re feeling particularly generous, pay for the person’s meal behind you at the drive thru. Paying it forward radiates kindness, which is then dispersed among others. You ever see those videos of someone helping another person out and then that person helps another, and so on? This is a true philosophy because helping others and being helped raises our serotonin levels, which increases the chances of these actions being repeated.
Always remember to let the negative things go in your past and learn to love yourself a little more. This isn’t going to dispel all your problems overnight, but it’s going to give you a start. And a start is all you need to pursue your own happiness and freedom.