“My life has been full of terrible misfortunes, most of which never happened.” – Michel de Montaigne
Everyone spends a lot of time thinking about worst-case scenarios or perceived sleights in their head. And it adds a lot of negativity. A big focus of my personal self-care is choosing not to add that negativity to my life. I don’t want it to poison what could otherwise be peaceful, happy moments. Mindfulness is a great tool to catch those negative thoughts when they pop up and let them go. It’s really important that we not let our thoughts define us.
Simplicity, Patience, Compassion – Tao Te Ching
The longer version of this quote is “Simple in thought and action, patient with friend and enemy, compassion towards the self.” This really sums up self care to me because the most important things aren’t that complicated, we just have to stick with them. And patience during conflict prevents us from creating barriers between ourselves and others. This takes practice though, so have some compassion for yourself. If you can build some discipline with these habits, it creates a lot of freedom.
Do not defend, do not control, do not resist. – Eckhart Tolle
Honestly most of my pain is not from the world, but rather my reaction to the world. So good self care for me often takes the form of avoiding unhelpful reactions. Getting defensive is almost never helpful. Trying to control things is very risky because then you feel awful if things don’t go how you expect. And resisting change is like trying to control the whole world. Accepting things as they are and not trying to control the world is incredibly freeing. My life gets a lot better when I remember not everything is about me.
When you release expectations, you’re free to enjoy things for what they are instead of what you think they should be. – Mandy Hale
The fact of the matter is there is a LOT of things in life we can’t control. And because of that, many things don’t turn out how we expect. It is very hard on us emotionally to be disappointed or upset each time things don’t go according to our plans. And judging ourselves by other people’s expectations is a version of that too. What if today you released all expectations? Just take life as it comes and try to appreciate things for what they are. How does that feel?
We see chaos if we look close. We see order if we look from afar. – Unknown
The things you were stressed out about a month ago are probably not as scary now. The same is true for 6 months ago. Do you even remember what panic attacks you had a year ago? Well, that’s how you’ll feel in a year about your current stressors. It’s okay. This is how humans feel when uncertainty and danger feels close. But knowing that we can zoom out and realize that these things have usually worked out in the past. Most “failures” are actually unrealistic expectations.