Someone I love dearly reached out to me wanting to hear more about this topic, and I think it is perfect…something we all need.
We all live in a world where it is easy to compare. We can find ourselves trapped in it, wishing for that “greener grass”. This can also bring on guilt and frustration when we know we have countless blessings to be grateful for and that we should be completely happy with where we are. We may wonder why we can’t be happy with what we have and wish that we could live in the moment a little more…sound familiar?
You may feel frustrated and alone in this, but you aren’t. We all experience these feelings of comparison, guilt, and wondering how we can let go and be happy in the moment. First, you must know that it is okay to experience these things and that it is OKAY to feel this way. We are human, and these feelings will happen…It is about how we react to these thoughts and feelings that matters and knowing how to channel and control them in the right way.
These thoughts and feelings may be a daily battle for all of us. Like any new skill of development, it takes a lot of effort, practice, and learning. As we build up that positive channel and control, those trapped feelings and thoughts become smaller and smaller, and less important. I know for me and my various OCD thoughts, I have seen this process first hand and it is amazing. Sure, it’s not perfect and thoughts don’t always quickly disappear, but I know through different techniques, a greater sense of control, understanding, and peace can be gained…it really is so cool.
So, first and foremost… don’t be too hard on yourself or let that frustration take over. Be patient and know that with practice, you can find that happiness in the moment and continue to minimize those those natural man tendencies. Here is how:
I definitely don’t have all of the answers, but here are a few things that have helped me, and a little article to help too…
- Know Your Limits & Triggers. Are you feeling a little more tired or down about your life in some way? Probably not the best time to scroll through FB or Instagram and compare your life to everyone else’s. Take a deep breath, say a little prayer for help (I literally do this multiple times a day), and try to engage yourself in something positive. Call up a friend, go do a small act of service, take a nap…and leave social media for later. Minimizing your social media time and time on your phone in general is a great way to stay in the moment.
2. Make Time. Make time in your schedule to be around friends and family that love you and life you up. I know that being around those that know me best gives me a boost! …it reminds me of my blessings.
3. Service. Also make some time to “forget yourself and go to work”. By doing small acts of service or getting involved in your community, you become more aware of others and what they go through. It helps you take a step back, forget your struggles, and see things with a bigger perspective.
4. You. Participate in an action or activity that you can practice and that can help you improve:
– read a self help book like Present Over Perfect or The Happiness Project and practice it daily..even 1 idea.
– do something for you! Something to make you more present–a work out or yoga class, meditation (check out the Head Space app), sip on your favorite drink while you watch the sunset…these little things really do help.
– write down 3 things you are grateful for…everyday…for 21 days.
-pray & and ask for help in developing these new skills… skills to let go of comparison and live in the moment. God really does help. You may want to seek help from a therapist too! I think everyone can benefit from seeing a therapist, whether you feel like you have particular struggles or not. They can help you stay on track, gain a better understanding, and accomplish goals…they help you see things in a different light.
I think is is also important to get out and do something fun and new! It is refreshing! Plan a trip, take a cooking class, see a new movie with your best friend, find something new that you love. By soaking up as much in life as you can, and making time for it, you begin see all that you are…all that your life is…and all that it can be.
What works for you when these thoughts and feelings creep up? Maybe all you need is a little pep talk from yourself! Sometimes that helps me….I let the moment be there and accept it, but remind myself that a moment is all it is. I know the truth and know that it will pass…practice being mindful.
Remember that you aren’t alone in this. That learning to not compare yourself and living more in the moment is a process and takes daily action. Remember that those you may compare yourself to, struggle and compare themselves too…even if it seems like they don’t. By trying a little everyday, we can develop a greater sense of gratitude, and let go of that “grass is greener” mentality. We truly can soak up more of the beauty in life and all that we have…and ALL that we are. It is a pretty amazing knowing that, even through those ups and downs, if we continue to TRY, we DO become stronger and a little bit better..even if we can’t always see it.
“To love is to stop comparing.” – Bernard Grasset