5 Common Habits of Unhappy People

unhappy

 

Most of our un-happiness comes from our own thinking, behaviour and habits. Today I would like to share 5 of the most destructive habits that can create un-happiness in your life.

After each habit I will go over some ways that can help you overcome some of the habits and live a better life.

Negative Friends

If you are surrounded with people that have little or no faith this will start to affect you in the long-term. Who we socialize with, what we read, watch and listen to, has a massive effect on how we feel and think.

It becomes a lot harder to be happier if you let yourself be influenced by negative voices. Voices that tell you that life will always be the way it is, that its better you learn to be happy where you are. Voices that watch life from a negative limited perspective.

How to overcome this habit:

Replace those negative voices with more positive ones. Surround yourself with new people to see the difference it can make. All your old friends will be exactly where you leave them if you ever want to return. This alone can be like a whole new world opening up.

Spend time with positive people, listen to inspiring music and read motivational books, watch movies and TV-shows that make you laugh and think about life in a new way.

What I found very helpful was starting out small. For example, listen to an inspiring audiobook on YouTube while eating breakfast in the morning, rather than listening to the news that is filled with negativity.

Getting Stuck in the Past and Future

Spending much of your time in the past, reliving old painful memories, conflicts, missed opportunities can hurt a lot. Spending your time in the future and imagining how things could go wrong at work, in your relationships and with your health can lead to a lot of un-happiness. Life is about living in the present.

How to overcome this habit:

It is pretty much impossible not to think about the past or the future. And it is of course important to plan for tomorrow and next year and to try to learn from your past, but to dwell on those things rarely helps.

What I found to be very helpful is to focus on what I can do today. I do out a timetable each day of all the things that I need to do. Constantly working towards my bigger longterm goals. If I do find myself thinking of the past or future too much I recite a short prayer to centre my thoughts.

Worry and doubt all stem from dwelling on the past or thinking about the future.

What I find very helpful is going for a walk in nature, or changing my surroundings by visiting a friend or relative. Being at home is the worst place to be if there is something troubling you.

Comparing Yourself To Others

One very common and destructive habit is to compare yourself to other people. People compare cars, houses, jobs, relationships, social popularity and so on. The list can be endless. All this does is create a lot of negative feelings.

How to overcome this habit:

Compare yourself to yourself. Instead of comparing yourself to other people create the habit of comparing yourself to yourself.

See how much you have grown, what you have achieved and what progress you have made towards your goals. Doing this has the benefit of creating gratitude, appreciation and kindness towards yourself as you observe what you have achieved, the obstacles you have overcome and the good stuff you have done.

When we judge ourselves we tend to judge others also. Luke 6:37 “do not judge, and you will not be judged.” Try to only focus on the positives in yourself and those around you. When we judge it’s usually because we have unrealistic expectations of others and ourselves.

By letting this all go and just accepting who you are faults and all, you will be instantly happier and have better relationships with others.

Focusing on the Negative Details in Life

Most people focus on the dark clouds rather than the silver lining. When you look at the negative aspects of a situation that is a sure way to make yourself unhappy. You can even drag down the mood for everyone around you.

How to overcome this habit:

Overcoming this habit can be difficult. Something that has worked for me is to look for the good in the situation, it can be hard to see but it is always there. If things didn’t work out for you, maybe its not the right time, or a better opportunity is around the corner.

What can easily happen if your not careful is you can be so buried in self-pity that you miss out on the reason that you had the setback. For example, you attend an interview and don’t get the job. You take the rejection personally, thinking you haven’t got what it takes and don’t even look for another job when the perfect one is waiting for you.

Overcomplicating Life

Life at times can be complicated but more often than not we can be the ones that make it so. This ultimately creates stress and unhappiness. The world is becoming more complex but that doesn’t stop us from making some new habits to make it easier.

How to overcome this habit:

Splitting your focus and having your attention all over the place is certain to lead to unhappiness. Concentrate on one thing at a time. Have a to-do-list of 4-5 important things that need completed throughout the day.

Work on the first until it is complete then move on to the next. This simple strategy saves time, and will triple your productivity. Plus, at the end of the day you will feel happy.

Another thing that can overcomplicate life is having too much stuff. A solution can be to ask yourself: have I used this in the past year? If not then give it away. This can create so much space within your home. A cluttered living space reflects a cluttered mind.

Relationships can be the most complicated thing in life. What has helped me greatly in this department is communication. Reading minds is impossible. Minimise unnecessary conflicts, misunderstandings and negativity.

When stressed, worried or lost in a problem, breathe with your belly for two minutes and just focus on the air going in and out. This will calm your body and mind.

Then you can start focusing on doing what is most important for you again.

Thanks for reading. Have a good week.
Rev J Martin

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How I Overcome my Fears and Left The Comfort Zone Behind

When you fear— what do you do?

You paint pictures in your mind, sometimes very vivid ones, about how your not smart enough, talented enough or attractive enough.

What are you really doing —You’re telling yourself stories.

You are the main character and fear likes to take you down a dark road, where there is no moon, or lights up ahead. The further you go— the darker it gets. Each step you take is less and less certain— so you slow down, until you stop, retreating back the way you came.

walking down a dark roadIt sure is dark down here…

Then we try to justify our decision with the fact that we didn’t really need the new job, didn’t really need to do the course, or attend the seminar.

I’m happy enough where I am anyway. And where is that?

The comfort zone.

Childhood Fears

Remember when you were a child the stories that you would tell your self. I don’t know if you had the same fear as me but I was afraid of the dark.

Looking back, was it really the dark though?

Not really.

It was the fact that in my imagination it was not an empty room. As children our minds are open, so every monster, vampire or werewolf we have ever seen or read about could possible be in that darkness.

turn_off_the_light_What’s that sound?

I remember turning on the light, reassuring myself that all was ok. Checking all the wardrobes and underneath the bed.

When the light went out again the fear did subside only to return. What was I really doing?

I was telling myself a story, replaying a film or something that I heard or read. I was just told I had a very vivid imagination, and I would grow out of it.

We may grow up but that child remains, we simply tell ourselves a different set of stories, the vampires and the werewolf’s are replaced with, the story, I’m not good enough.

Fears A Good Thing

If you haven’t felt fear in a long time you may think that is a good thing— but its not. Why you may ask?

Because it means that you are living in a comfort zone. The comfort zone is not a happy place, but it’s comfortable.

People work jobs they hate, why?  Because its comfortable.

People stay in relationships they are not happy in, why? Because it is comfortable.

Rather than step out and do their own thing, most people just have a look around and do what other people are doing.

Its like the blind leading the blind.

What I have learnt from experience is this, before you follow other people— LOOK AT WHERE THEIR GOING— because that is where they are taking you.

The average person tiptoes through life hoping to make it safety to the other side. What a dumb game; life is not a practice run, we get one shot at it. Mark twain famously said, do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain.

Usually when we fear something we have a story in our heads of how we think things will play out.

fear gifIts just our shadow. GET ME OUTTA HERE

The story just plays over and over until the fear can turn to anxiety, you can begin to sweat, feel uncomfortable, and start to feel knots in your stomach, maybe even leading to sleepless nights.

When you actually confront your fears you quickly realize that it is never as bad as you first imagined, plus you have a sense of achievement; which drives you on.

Well it may seem like I have taken you down a dark path but there is a light at the end of it.

Just like you tell yourself a story where everything goes wrong— you can start to tell yourself a story where everything goes right.

Next time you step out of our comfort zone, instead of pulling up a chair and listening to Mr Fear’s story, tell him a story of faith. A story where you win. A story where you are the hero.

In time you will realize there was only one story teller. You’ve been looking into a mirror the whole time.

mirror

So I challenge you to face your fears embracing the concept of story telling. So instead of I will probably fall flat on my face, change it to, I will soar above the clouds.

Thanks for reading.

Tell yourself a story of faith today. 🙂

11 Ways To Stress less.

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“Peace is the result of retraining your mind to process life as it is, rather than as you think it should be.
Wayne Dyer

Our daily lives can be busy, hectic and at times overwhelming. It may feel like the idea of a stress free life is just a hopeless wish. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Small changes over time can make a big difference. Today I would like to share 11 of my favorite tips for finding more peace and calmness in everyday life.

  1. Slow down. If you slow down your body you will find that your mind will slow down also. You will start to feel less stressed. Many times people will say, “but I have so much to do?” To them i say, ‘if you get sick things still get done.’

 

  1. Ask instead of guessing. Reading minds is impossible. But we still try it and create  unnecessary anxiety, and uncertainty for ourselves. So ask and communicate instead. It may be hard at first but it can save you and the people around you so much trouble in the long run.

 

  1. Be 10 minutes early. It’s a small habit but it has transformed much of my travel time during the year. From always feeling stress to feeling relaxed and recharged.

 

  1. Remember the 5 little words that’ll help you to stay sane: one thing at a time. By keeping those words in mind and letting them guide you through your day. You will find yourself less stressed and more focused. Not only will it bring you more inner peace but it will also help you to get things done quicker and better.

 

  1. Find a relaxation technique that works for you. By taking time to myself each day, listening to soothing music or a relaxation cd. Link. I find that it releases tension and recharges me. What works for you? Long walks, music, yoga, meditation or going for a swim? Find out and do that.

 

  1. Accept and let go. If there is something negative from the past. Something someone said, or did that replays in your mind. Then accept it and let that feeling and thought in, instead of trying to push it away. When you accept it; that is when it starts to lose power. And while the facts may still be there in your head the negative feelings become a lot less powerful. At this point, let it go and direct your focus to the present moment and something better instead.

 

  1. Disconnect over the weekend. Leave your work – and work phone – where it belongs. Disconnect or at least limit your internet activity. Put your smart phone on silent, stop checking every notification. Spending more time with your family, friends, hobby or out in nature.

 

  1. Unclutter your world, unclutter your mind. De-clutter your workspace or your room. An uncluttered and ordered space brings clarity and order to the mind. And don’t stop there. De-clutter, simplify and organize your home and life too. Live in a more relaxing environment.

 

  1. Don’t make mountains out of molehills. This can create much unnecessary stress. When facing a mountain ask yourself questions like. “Does someone on the planet have it worse than me right now? Will this matter in 5 years?” These questions help you to realize that things may not be that bad.

 

  1. Breathe. Breathing is an excellent way to relax your mind when stressed, lost in the past or future. Keep your attention on the breathe for two minutes and focus on the air going in and out. This will calm your body down and bring your mind back into the present moment.

 

  1. Remember: There’s a day tomorrow too. When you have a bad day. Or life interferes with your plans, stress can kick in and get you down. In my experience the best way to handle such a situation is to tell yourself that there’s a day tomorrow. You can get it done then. Beating yourself up is not a helpful strategy.

 

Thanks for reading. Like or share if this helped you in anyway, so it can help others.

Rev J Martin

 

Be yourself?

be Yourself-1024x683

You probably heard this a thousand times. What does it actually mean?

This question has had me confused for most of my life. I think I get it, but then I lose it again. No one could be harder on me, than me.

I have my moments where I am at peace, but most of the time I am striving to be the person that I think I need to be, never happy with where I am.

Does being yourself actually mean being happy with who you are, focusing all your awareness on what makes you unique. Embracing what makes you, YOU.

I guess it does.

Yes, everything is not the way I want, but will it ever be? I guess being yourself means connecting with the part of you that never changes.

Appearances may change, but the spirit within remains the same.

With the world at my fingertips, It’s so easy to lose focus of who I am.

In the peace and silence, my want to be more subsides.

bee yourself

Is technology taking the upper hand?

a-RESTAURANT-PHONE-facebook

The world is speeding up; no one wants to wait. I am showing my age, but I remember when it would take minutes for the Internet to load. Dial up. The younger generation could not last one day of my childhood, but then again I don’t think I could last a day in theirs.

Often I go for coffee and see a group of friends sitting looking at their phones, occasionally chatting to one another about what someone has posted on Facebook or Snap chat. Sitting at the same table but miles apart.

Is spending time with friends not about spending time with friends?

I am all for technology as a tool, but it is starting to take the upper hand.

Even the way we pay has changed. Now there is contactless, where you can pay by just hovering your card over the card reader. When the assistant asked me the other day, do you want to go contactless?

It dawned on me, that’s what the world is slowly becoming; contact less.

Communication is getting faster, but people are drifting apart. Where is God in all this? Sadly on the sidelines; only to be called on if something goes wrong.

With constant notifications popping up every few minutes, I know too well how hard it is to pull yourself away.

What can we do, well, like all change it starts with you.

It’s so important to take time each day to connect with nature; leave the phone on silent for a while. You will be surprised at what a difference it will make.

When the mind and body is relaxed, pain and tension subside. An idea can come out of nowhere to solve a problem that has been stressing you out for some time.

Even in the writing of this, I realize that I need to take my own advice. There is always something to do; even when I am resting my mind is always active.

It’s a mental break that is needed.

With constant stimulation from morning to night, you can push yourself for weeks and even months without noticing, you are slowly getting run down; to the point that pain or illness sets in.

God has a way of slowing us down; it is for our benefit in the long term— although, it may not seem that way at the time.

Unaware that it is self-inflicted, we go to the doctor, and he gives us some pills, resetting the balance for while.

Then a holiday comes in just the nick of time, but instead of being full of energy to go on adventures and visit friends near and far, we fall exhausted and spend most of the week in bed.

Take a mental break from the madness, start connecting face to face; turn off from the world, and see the difference it can make.

Enjoy your weekend and don’t forget father’s day.

Rev J Martin

Power Of Words

YES I CAN

Words have a great impact on your world. They inform you, educate you and have the power to make you buy one product over the next.

What if you could harness this power.

I have already written a short book on the subject but would like to expand on the topic today as over the last week it has come to my attention that we all need a reminder from time to time.

I know a man that says, I always seem to miss the bus, or it is pulling away as I arrive. His daughter, on the other hand, says, I always seem to arrive just before the bus comes or when it is pulling into the station.

Each of them has made a separate law for themselves. One for success and one for failure.

This is a simple example that may lead to missing a plane from time to time, but often people through their words create many limiting laws for themselves, restricting what they can achieve in life.

I never remember.

I can’t learn anything new.

I don’t have the time to read.

I haven’t got enough education to do that.

If you say any of these things or anything similar you are not alone. It is estimated that by the time a child is 18 years old, it has been told that they can’t or don’t do that, 147000 times.

It is not surprising then as adults we take a negative view on life; avoiding trying anything new. The good news is you can change it all today by harnessing the power of your words.

When faced with a new task or challenge; turn I never, I can’t; I don’t, I haven’t, too – I always, I can, I will, I have.

im-possible

Do not be fooled my the simplicity of changing these words. Simple changes like this in your language can have a massive impact on your life and those around you.

Now changing language is only the first step, you must then put in the ground work of speaking these words of faith regularly; it will change your outlook, which in turn will change your life.

First Steps

This week, make a conscious effort to monitor whenever you say something negative about yourself or towards another; at the end of the week, you will have a list of the words or phrases that may be limiting your life or damaging your relationships.

The next step is to speak the opposite purposely. Example: I will never learn this, too, With practice, I will learn this

Many things we say have almost become a habit, they just roll off the tongue without thought. To break any habit at first may be hard but the fruits of your efforts will be very rewarding.

If you have the habit of saying, I haven’t got the time, make the time. As you would not miss a doctor’s appointment, set an appointment for yourself – to visit an old friend, to read a book or attend the gym.

James 3:2
If anyone can control his tongue, it proves that he has perfect control over himself in every other way.

Thanks for reading, enjoy your Sunday and week ahead.

Rev J Martin

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Eliminate Your Fear And Live the Life You Want

Recently I seen a movie called, Joe and the Volcano. It starred Tom Hanks very early in his career. For those of you that have not seen the film, Tom plays the character, Joe.

Joe does not enjoy his life; he does the same old thing every day in a dead end job; he is miserable, and sees no way out. He had lost all faith in himself and life.

Joe knew he was capable of doing more, but he had given up on himself. We can all identify with this in some way. As he was miserable with his life, he was constantly sick with different ailments he would create for himself to get out of work.

One day he took the morning off to go for an appointment; the doctor seeing the pattern thought he would trick Joe. So he told him he was suffering from a new illness called a brain cloud and had only six months to live.

blue sky cloud banner

Joe believed the doctor.

It worked out that there was a reason the doctor told him this, on a nearby island there was a volcano which was going to erupt soon, but if someone jumped into the volcano and sacrificed their life; all would be ok.

Joe, believing that he only had six months to live was easily convinced that he was the man to save the island.

He was given unlimited credit cards and told to enjoy himself first then he would have to sacrifice himself to the volcano. He was told to live like a king, and die like a man.

Joe’s life now had a purpose; he wanted to do it.

When people have no meaning or purpose to their lives, they will throw themselves into anything. Drink, drugs; a job that doesn’t add any value to their life; a relationship that they know is bad but they stay there anyway because they don’t value themselves enough to walk away.

Well, when the doctor told Joe that he was going to die from this brain cloud, Joe decided to live his life; all fear left him, he didn’t care anymore.

relaxin on beach

It got me thinking about my own life; did I have to be told that I was going to die to do all the things that I wanted to? It’s so easy to put things off, to say, l will visit my friends abroad next year.

We can so easily take life for granted, not realizing that each day is a gift that we must treasure.

When Joe was told, he was going to die his whole world transformed. He went straight from the doctors to work and quit. Then on the way out, he asked the girl that he had fancied for years out for dinner. He wasn’t worried about rejection or what people might say.

When Joe eventually jumped into the volcano with the girl that he fell in love with, he was thrown back out.

For me, the volcano was a symbol of fear. When Joe jumped into his fear, there was nothing there. That’s the way fear is; it looks big, but when you have the courage to turn and face it you will realize that there is nothing much to it.

Joe went from working a dead end job to travelling the world on a magical quest, simply because the fear was removed from his life when he found he had a short time to live.

If you had six months to live what would you do differently?

question-mark

Would you stay in the same job? Would you be worried about the things that you are worried about right now? Would you have the same people in your life?

This film reminded me of a book my friend lend me a couple of years ago, in that book it asked, what would you do if you had three months to live?

My answer was, I would love to write down my thoughts and inspire and motivate others.

On the next page, I got a shock, it said, you could die today, so whatever you wrote on the last page start spending as much time doing that today. So I did.

So what would you do? Well, whatever it may be, decide from today you are going to delegate your life to it.

The main reason Joe stayed in the same job as long as he did, he feared change, most people fear change. A lot of people stay in jobs that make them miserable or relationships that make them unhappy.

Sometimes to see the beauty of life, you have to be willing to change; change cities, change jobs, change relationships, change friends.

We were created to bring so much to life, not to do a job that has no meaning for us for 40 years. God created you to achieve great things, to bring love happiness and joy into the world.

If your life is not the way you want it to be; if you are not living the way that you want to live; if you are not experiencing what you want to experience, you have to ask yourself why?

holding-you-back

In the film when Joe quits his job he says to his boss, I sold my soul to you for $300 a week. He is not alone. Many people work jobs where it’s no longer healthy for them to be there, but because they don’t have faith in themselves and their abilities, they stay there.

They remain there as victims, volunteer victims, because no one is making them do it, they volunteer. They willingly do it.

They volunteer to hide in fear; they volunteer to believe that God gave others unlimited resources, and not them.

Our Heavenly Father asks one thing of us; that we have faith.

Having faith means to go for what you want in life. My grandmother used to say, do what makes you happy, if it means living under an old cart. The older and wiser I get the more I understand the wisdom in those words.

One day of happiness is like 1000 days in misery.

John 8:32
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

The thing about the truth is; people don’t want to hear the truth. People don’t want to hear that if they are not happy, they must change. People don’t want that sense of responsibility.

Don’t be held back in fear, rise up in faith and begin to live the life that you have always wanted to live.

I love to fly, but I also know that some of them planes are coming down quicker than they are going up. It’s dangerous for that plane to fly. You see some ships leave the harbour and sink; it’s dangerous for the ship to be on the ocean. You read about people leasing their homes, and the people that rent the house tear it up; it’s dangerous to let somebody move into your home.

Yet, the engineers will tell you that it is more dangerous for them planes to stay on the ground, that it will rust out faster than it will up in the heavens.

They say that ships will collect more barnacles in the harbour and become unseaworthy faster than they will sailing the high seas, and they say that if that house stays empty, it will deteriorate faster than if you have someone living there.

plane_cruise_ship_fb

Just like a plane was built for flying, and a ship was built for sailing, and houses were built for living in; we too were created for a purpose. We were built for accomplishment; we were engineered for success, we have been graced with the seeds of greatness that we must share with others to see the fruits of life.

The greatest danger we have as human beings is doing nothing at all.

Stop 100 young people on the street and ask them if they are happy at their work, only 5% will say they are. Follow these people until they are 65 and of those that are still living, studies have shown that only 5% will be happy with their lives.

Let today be the day that you decide to be part of that 5%.

Let today be the day that you start to plan your future, start to use the gifts and talents that God has graced you with. Do something that you have always wanted to do but have been putting off.

I wish you, your family and friends happiness health and love.

Thank you for your time.
Rev J Martin

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Free eBook to rekindle Faith

CHOOSE5_opt

Firstly I would like to thank you for following me, I truly appreciate your time, and I want you to know I pray for you each day.

I firmly believe that we all have been given a divine destiny; a special gift that is unique to us. Happiness and fulfilment come when we use that gift to help others; which results in making this world a better place.

Too often we step back in fear, with the attitude that we are not worthy of the new relationship, the new job, the new career. I would like you to know that you are worthy; you have a light within you that you must allow to shine into the world.

If you feel held back in fear at this present moment, my book Power of Choice – Choose faith not fear can help you rekindle your faith. It is free on Amazon until Thursday 11.59pm.

My main aim as an author is to inspire change in the lives of my readers, one verse, one story, one sentence, can be all it takes to open the door to the next level of your destiny. This is one of my daily prayers.

We all work on our fitness; doing the best that we can to keep healthy. Faith is no different, it needs constant work and maintenance.

When you see someone that never seems to get into difficulty or never seems to be stressed, this is not by chance. This person has very little fear in his or her life.

Enjoy the book; may it bring you happiness.

Link – Power Of Choice – Choose Faith Not Fear

Rev J Martin