Life advice from a 30-year-old

Posted April 24, 2018 at 11:15 pm

*Brendan Uhl.tif

by Brendan Uhl

Q: “For some time now I have been trying to focus on living a mentally healthy and happier life. Trying to change my negative reactions to positive ones, not sweat the small things, and smile and laugh like I once had. Recently I had a situation drag me down again and getting out of this funk has been difficult. Any tips on how to move past something I cannot control and get back on track to where I was?”

Thanks so much for your question, and the courage that it took to ask it. You’ve already taken the hardest step in asking for help. You’re probably closer to being back on track than you think. So many of us, myself included, tend to keep our problems to ourselves. Some of us don’t want to burden other people with our issues. Some of us don’t feel like our problems are real problems. I read somewhere that our problems grow in the darkness, and they die in the light of awareness. So, congrats on bringing some light to the situation. I hope you continue to open up and connect with healthy people who have weathered the storm you find yourself in; they will be instrumental to your growth.

Changing our lives is no small feat, and the fact that you are making an effort is honorable. Now, I don’t know your story, but based on the way you worded the question, I have a feeling that you’ve already come a long way from where you once were. My suggestion would be to make yourself a list of the improvements that you’ve already made. Get it down on paper; you may be surprised at how far you’ve come already. Ready for the hard part?…Look yourself in the mirror and tell yourself that you’re proud of you. That you love you. Even if you don’t believe it, in time you will.

It sounds wacky, I know, but trust me when I say it works. I wouldn’t ask you to do something I haven’t done myself. Do it every day for a couple of weeks and notice what happens.

My next suggestion would be to take a look at that situation that “drug you down,” and ask yourself what role you played in its creation. There are very few situations that come into our lives that aren’t in some part our responsibility. At the very least, we are responsible for our response to the situation. This is not easy, but I promise you it will yield positive results. By taking full responsibility for our life circumstances, even when it seems radical, we take our power back from circumstance. Find out what it is that you could have done better in this situation. This way you can take a lesson from it before you leave it behind.

As far as how to move past things I can’t control, there is one method that has always worked for me, and that is prayer. I know nothing of your spiritual beliefs, or your comfort level with such things, but I can assure you that if you make an effort, you will see results. There was a time in my life where I wanted nothing to do with these sort of things, but I started with something I was comfortable with. I prayed to the stars, then Mother Nature, and eventually found my way to God of my own understanding.

I wish you the same. My personal favorite for these sort of situations is this: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

brendan.p.uhl@gmail.com

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