unico_love: (Delight)
Day 12: What might be problematic about wanting perfection? What might be unrealistic about the concept of perfection?
Perfection is unobtainable and the definition would differ person to person. Not to mention it would ultimately seem like nothingness, it would be so beyond definition.

30 Day Self-Esteem Meme )

Be Kind

Jul. 3rd, 2010 09:32 am
unico_love: (Unico)
"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."
-Plato

I really like this quote and will try to keep it in mind when I'm feeling judgmental or harsh. I wanted to record it here so it's easy to find. I do think that being kind is one of the most important things in the world and I wish to be more kind.
unico_love: (childlike empress)
From time to time I am still having negative feelings or judgments, but I am getting better at noticing those thoughts/feelings and reasoning with myself why I shouldn't act on them and how those thoughts/feelings will pass. They always do pass. I go back to feeling happy with my life and the people I know. I don't want to ruin a relationship to spout vitriol which temporarily relieves me. Just reminding myself those negative thoughts and feelings will pass usually works, though a few times I have been caught off-guard and have been unkind back. I get so afraid of being walked all over again. I need to continue working on expressing myself and how something affects me while still being respectful and kind, even if the other person isn't respectful or kind back. I'm still too sensitive about what others' impressions of me might be. Criticism and accusations still give me panic attacks. If someone said something awful about me I'd probably take them too seriously instead of assuming the person saying such negative things probably has a problem they are taking out on me.

Sometimes I still feel powerless, but knowing I can change my perspective of myself and the world and taking steps to live a different lifestyle makes me feel more in-charge of my life and happiness. And my medication helps, too, so the anxiety and bipolar don't rule my life so much and I can make wiser decisions and don't feel bad for no reason. I still have to work on my worrying or focusing on the past or future instead of on the present. I am getting better about worrying about the future, though, and keeping my thoughts more on the present or near-present. The past I'm starting to see as an unfolding story that led me to wear I am now, which is overall a pretty good place, so even the bad things that happened seem purposeful and less destructive. It was a state of great pain and wishing to die that made me want to turn around my communications and focus. Hopefully those incidents in March that made me so desperate and depressed won't repeat themselves. I may feel very negative feelings and have very negative thoughts again at some point, especially due to being bipolar, but hopefully I've learned how to better handle those situations when they arise.
unico_love: (Unico)
I wish I weren't so hypersensitive and didn't take things so personally. I tend to be an overthinker, and I assume other people think/feel like me, so little things people do I assume are planned out and exactly what the person wanted to do/say and it had a deep meaning. Sometimes this leads me to think people don't care much about me, like when friends don't do what they say or contact me less often than usual, etc. I'm working hard on being polite and respectful, no matter what happens (though in fights I will still be rude if someone comes on really strongly -- I hope that I change that). Just because I feel something doesn't make my feelings/thoughts about that topic based on fact. I need to just trust people will like me or do still like me and act naturally and considerately. I can't get too obsessed with people where their reaction to me or little actions that have nothing to do with me greatly impact my emotional state. I have to decide to be happy and not allow other people power over my mood because of what's going on in their life or what they feel toward me (though the latter is very difficult). With kindness and sincerity people I love probably won't abandon me. Sometimes people grow apart for awhile and I just have to accept that and be there for them if they want to be closer to me again.

I also have to think of life's good things existing in abundance and that there's plenty for me and everyone I know to be happy and reach our goals. There's no reason someone else has to have a hard time just because I'm happy or having an easy-ish time. My happiness can make other people happy and other people's happiness can be inspirational and help me be happy. Also there's no reason to compare myself to others -- we each follow our own path and things that are right for us will come along (though I'm usually only jealous/envious of other people if said people are closer to a loved one than I am).
unico_love: (childlike empress)
To help you identify changes in your life that might make you happier, answer the following questions:

1. What makes you feel good? What activities do you find fun, satisfying, or energizing?

Spending time with my family and friends, writing, drawing/painting, bike riding, watching my favorite movies/television programs/anime programs, reading.

2. What makes you feel bad? What are sources of anger, irritation, boredom, frustration, or anxiety in your life?
Arguments, insensitive comments, people leaving me/ignoring me, technology problems, dealing with difficult or unfamiliar people, getting evaluated in some way, physical labor.

3. Is there any way in which you don't feel right about your life? Do you wish you could change jobs, cities, family situation, or other circumstances? Are you living up to your expectations for yourself? Does your life reflect your values?
I feel bad that I don't work and that I haven't progressed more in my areas of interest. I also still have lingering bad memories of certain people and that torments me (It's difficult for me to let go of things). I wish I could work a job, but I know it's not really possible for me, at least for right now. Except for when I lash out at people I'd say my life reflects my values and what I view as important. However, I would like to stop using/consuming all animal products, but I haven't done that, and I think that would be more in-line with my values.

4. Do you have sources of an atmosphere of growth? In what areas of your life do you find progress, learning, challenge, improvement, and increased mastery?
I find like-minded people online that work at improving themselves in the same ways I do. Michael and I both are working on being more environmentally-friendly. My friend April and I are both working on happiness projects. I find the most learning for me has been through social relationships, though I think I slowly improve at art and writing through practice.
unico_love: (Cat mask)
From: http://www.tenthousandquestions.com/

It's not what you think
What is something that people frequently misunderstand or incorrectly assume about you? What do you wish you could tell everyone, to set the record straight?


People often seem to think I expect perfection out of them or dislike them because I lash out. Sometimes when I feel really depressed with racing thoughts I can be quite mean. Sometimes it's reasonable for me to be displeased with something someone does, but I often get too emotional and angry and handle the situation inappropriately. I wish I could convince people I don't really dislike them and can move on past the bad things, however, I also need to work on accepting I can't change people or the past. I do set really high expectations for myself sometimes, which may lead people to think I expect the same of them while I don't. I can forgive and move forward. Even though I try to say nice things to people and do nice things for people, sometimes my temper gets the best of me. I definitely don't put myself on a pedestal even though I can be critical of people at times. Though at other times I'm very accepting and get upset when others sound judgmental. I really do want everyone to just get along and respect each other. It's easier for me to work towards this goal personally when my mental issues are under control.
unico_love: (Cat mask)
The combination of my increase of Zyprexa and my new obsession on positive psychology has led me to be happier and more stable. I still get anxiety problems sometimes, but they are less focused on certain problems. It's getting easier for me to "let go" of problems or let unpleasant thoughts run their course and then feel back to normal. However, I still get this free-floating anxiety where I'm not thinking of anything in particular. Reading and other distraction activities sometimes help. The idea that I can control my own happiness levels and that I shouldn't let other people dictate my emotions really inspired me. I can be controlling in some ways, so I definitely want to feel control over myself and my life. I'm trying to look for the good in people even if they are unpleasant or upset me. I'm trying to be respectful and to stay with positive emotions even if people around me become mean or negative, but that's a little harder to do. I over involve myself emotionally with people. I don't think it's bad to care about people a lot, but I also should just let them be who they are and deal with their own problems without letting it affect me. Sometimes I get frustrated with people too easily... Or I take things too personally... Learning to take people problems less personally is important.
unico_love: (childlike empress)
From: http://www.tenthousandquestions.com/

A higher power:

Are you a religious person? Do you currently believe in God, some other god(s), or any deity or supernatural being?


I'm not a religious person in terms of going to church or anything, but I pray daily and believe in God and life after death. I was raised Christian (but not really strictly so) so a lot of my beliefs are influenced by Christianity. I pray to both God and Jesus, even though I think it was very possible Jesus was "just" human. I believe there is an all-powerful force of love in the universe that sometimes is called "God" and because of how broad this power is it can manifest as a personal god/respond and interact spiritually with humans and other beings. I think there is a bit of God in everyone and everything -- everything has a divine spark. I believe there are other beings than beings on this planet or this plane of existence, in addition to a monotheistic-type God. Some may call some of these spirits gods or angels or by some other name. I don't think that the human interpretations of God are very accurate because our minds are so limited, but I believe we can feel a divine power and that we can be understood and loved by this divine power.

I do think we also have free will and that accounts for a lot of pain in the world. I don't think God always answers to our beck and call. I believe no spirit/soul ever truly dies and I believe everyone can be forgiven and loved. Bad experiences in my life have not led me to doubt this. Considering how much other people suffer, often beyond my comprehension, I think it would be ridiculous to believe or not believe in a loving God(s) just because I have had some problems in my life. I just feel God is with me, even when I feel terrible, so it's instinctive for me to have these beliefs. Although I am monotheistic/almost pantheistic, I respect beliefs in other gods (though to me I see them all as sides of one impossible to comprehend higher source of love); I believe archetypes are very powerful and our religious beliefs can be tied to archetypes and which archetypes ring true for each of us as individuals. I believe everyone's spiritual/religious beliefs are best for them and have no desire to convert anyone to my beliefs, though I wish more people would be open to other beliefs and the fact that they don't know everything about the world. I've had ecstatic experiences due to my religious beliefs and God feels very real to me. I feel I do need more faith, though, that things will turn out okay.
unico_love: (crystal ball)
I finally read through all the archives of the positivity blog I've been reading. I love the quotes and some of the posts, though a lot of posts were repetitive. I never really thought before about being able to change my thoughts and feelings. I'd heard of being an observer of your thoughts and feelings, but I didn't really understand it so I didn't try to apply it. I'm trying not to judge my emotions and thoughts, but to let the unpleasant ones just exist and float by instead of clinging to them. I get stuck in negative thought loops too easily, but I've been doing better. I may still be bipolar and need medication, but I can still work on savoring things in life and being a happier person. I also definitely want to worry less, since that gets in the way of being truly happy and it isn't useful. I'm trying not to dwell on the past, but sometimes to remember good memories to inspire me. I want to be a positive person even in difficult situations. I used to be very optimistic (and still am) when I'm hypomanic, but I want to feel that way normally and have that kind of perspective most of the time. I know I do mess up on this still, but progress takes awhile.

Some positive thoughts:
1. I had one of my earlier novels read by a literary agent and got useful feedback, even though they decided not to represent me. I can have this happen again with time and hard work.
2. I used to win art contests all the time. If I keep practicing my painting and drawing eventually I will win a merit award at one of the local art league's art shows.
3. I have very good memories with Amber, at Cornell and in Alaska, and we can have good memories like that made in the future if I'm patient and treat her with love and kindness since she still wants to be friends.
4. Even though Tim and I got off to a bad start, we've put judgments aside and are friends now. I used to view Izzy as "the enemy" and even recently was quite rude to her, but we're talking friendly to each other again. People I might perceive as my enemies or I judged in the past might be my friends in the future, or at least tolerable acquaintances.
5. I've met Maria and Mireia through Michael and some great people on LiveJournal, all of whom I consider friends, so there will always be more people out there that I can form relationships with even if other friends grow more distant. I've also grown closer to April and both of us have learned a lot over the years of our friendship and are better friends and people because of it.
6. I have issues with my appearance, but overall I much prefer my appearance to how I looked in middle school and high school, so I should like how I look and not pick on myself so much. How I look is fine and most people don't really care.
7. I've learned so much over the years, some things I didn't think I could learn, so I will probably continue learning a lot in the future -- including a lot of practical and self-sufficiency tools.
8. When I look back on my past overall I see many positive, happy-making things, despite my depressions and worrying and disappointments, so I should enjoy all the moments I have now so I enjoy the present as much or more than I did the past. I won't take happy things for granted anymore.
9. I really wanted to be in a caring, intense, devoted relationship with Him, but now I have that with Michael whom always loves and respects me and we provide each other with many wonderful things and feelings. Things turned out for the best, even though I was traumatized with him. It will get easier with the passage of time.
unico_love: (Cat mask)
Quotes on courage taken from: http://www.positivityblog.com/index.php/2007/05/24/14-inspirational-quotes-on-courage/

One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.
Maya Angelou

To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. To not dare is to lose oneself.
Soren Kierkegaard

Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.
Winston Churchill

Quotes on fear taken from: http://www.positivityblog.com/index.php/2007/05/11/22-inspirational-quotes-on-fear/

Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.
Bertrand Russell

People living deeply have no fear of death.
Anais Nin

Quotes on happiness taken from: http://www.positivityblog.com/index.php/2007/04/30/20-inspirational-quotes-on-happiness/

When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.
Helen Keller

Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.
Buddha

Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.
Marcus Aurelius Antoninus


Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
unico_love: (Cat mask)
When I woke up this morning I felt sick to my stomach again because I had to get up before my body was ready. However, I had no anxiety when getting up. I was too tired for obsessive thinking. I have to learn ways to just let go of my negative ruminations in the morning. I should try and keep my mind occupied right away and try to just let the negative thoughts/feelings float on past me instead of thinking they are facts. I'm also going to keep working on my exercise and try to focus on what's around me and what I feel within me so I stay more in the present instead of obsessing over bad things in the past or worrying about the future. I don't think I'm ready for "still" meditation (though visualizations when I'm calm are okay), but trying to be mindful when exercising/moving is more possible for me. I'm also going to try to focus on how I can change things to make myself happier and more content instead of asking why bad things happen/happened. I will try to learn from everything I can. I'll probably always be sensitive and pretty easily hurt, but I want to get to the point where I can observe my thoughts and feelings without letting them control my actions. I want to just let go of negative things instead of dwelling on them.
unico_love: (crystal ball)
From: http://www.tenthousandquestions.com/2010_01_01_archive.html
Yes I am/have/can/do!
What are you trying to prove again and again?

Over and over I blow up at people, lash out, say judgmental things, etc. This often happens with people I love and whom I'm close to -- like friends. I'm trying to prove through improved behavior and countering my thoughts and overthinking tendencies that I can respect and show kindness to everyone and especially the people I most care about. If I have a problem that isn't minor and needs to be addressed, I can do that in a respectful and straightforward manner. I've made a lot of mistakes and I'm trying to improve my actions. It's gotten easier since increasing my Bipolar and anxiety medications.
unico_love: (childlike empress)
"Have you ever felt that there was something going on in life that not everyone was aware of?" Rose asked, turning her mug around in her hands. "As though there's a story going on that everyone is a part of, but not everybody knows about? Maybe 'story' isn't the right word -- a sort of drama, a battle between what's peripheral and what's really important. As though the people you meet aren't just their plan, prosaic selves, but are actually princes and princesses, gods and goddesses, fairies, gypsies, shepherds, all sorts of fantastical creatures who've chosen to hide their real shape for some reason or another. Or who have forgotten who they really are. Have you ever thought that?"
-pg. 36, The Shadow of the Bear: A Fairy Tale Retold by Regina Doman

I really loved and related to this quote:-)
unico_love: (Delight)
25 Good Things to Enjoy in my Life )
unico_love: (childlike empress)
One goal I'm going to start working on, starting today, is cutting back on sweets and eating at least one fruit and one vegetable a day. I've been mainly eating apples because they last long, aren't too expensive, and contain some fiber. Ever since starting to recover from anorexia I've had constipation problems and eating healthier and drinking more water might help that.

Today two books arrived that I ordered: The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin and The How of Happiness by Sonia Lyubomirsky. I'm starting with The Happiness Project since I've read the whole blog (I think). So far since even before I came across the blog and was just doing "Ten Thousand Questions" I had determined a new major goal of being a happier person, which will also come with the great effects of influencing others with more positive energy, getting more done, and having better relationships. My Bipolar is pretty under control now, and my anxiety is pretty controlled with my pills. I'm not deeply depressed, just a bit stuck on old things I need to let go.

Some things I've been reading really hit me, like the fact that if you aren't busy enough you can get into negative thought loops. I haven't been keeping busy enough. I've been slacking off on art and writing and intend to increase my productivity in those areas. I'm also going to keep up with the reading and maybe take more notes on what I read, since I can learn from anything or come up with inspired ideas -- both by reading fiction and non-fiction. I also intend to exercise (at least stretches and simple ballet and yoga) every day for a short while and ride my bicycle twice a week if possible. I've already switched over into always getting dressed and putting on make up everyday because I heard it's better for your mood to always do your morning routine and get ready, even if you're staying at home. So far I think it's helping me and encouraging me to be more active. I intend to volunteer at the no-kill cat shelter after I return from Michael's next week. I will probably miss this month's orientation, though:( But they said I could also be individually trained. I mainly want to work with the cats directly (a cat socializer) or introducing prospective adopters to the cats. I also wouldn't mind feeding, but I would rather only do clean up if they really needed me to do that (I worry more about washing floors than cleaning litter boxes).

I'm feeling better about Amber and Tim and all my friends in general. As time passes I'm also slowly getting over Him. I don't want to hate him, but I do hope he goes through struggles until he learns what he's been doing is wrong and makes an effort to change his ways and to apologize to those he abused. I might still talk to people or write about when people bother me, but I will try to sound neutral instead of blameful and name calling. My psychologist thinks He is a narcissist (and several friends I've talked to about Him agree) and narcissists are usually pretty unhappy people, hiding their deep-down insecurities. I'd rather be me than him.
unico_love: (Unico)
1. Only I can make myself happy.
2. Happiness is a choice.
3. Don't be quick to judge.
4. Compliment more and criticize less.
5. Set goals for each day and force myself to get started.
6. Enjoy the process.
7. Do not ruminate on bad memories or upsetting things.
8. Help someone or compliment someone in some way every day.
9. Tell people how thankful I am for them and what they do.
10. Be myself.
11. When there is a problem, state what the problem is and drop it (don't keep complaining).
12. Don't hurt myself (because that hurts other people, too).
13. Enjoy the small pleasures of each day.
14. Let go of needing to be in control of everything that happens in my life or others' lives.
15. Be kind to myself and to all other people, animals, and other living things.
unico_love: (childlike empress)
"First is the preparation stage, when you identify what brings you joy, satisfaction, and engagement, and also what brings you guilt, anger, boredom, and remorse." From: http://www.happiness-project.com/happiness_project/start-.html
I am going to try to start my own "Happiness Project," but my resolutions will basically be the same as the 101 Things to Do in 1,001 Days. I might make a shorter list for this project or I may just make different, related lists.

I'm putting this under a cut because it's so long:

What Makes Me Happy )



What Makes Me Unhappy )
unico_love: (crystal ball)
Today I visited April and we walked to the comic book store (at least I got some exercise in!) and we watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer. They were actually episodes I was familiar with. I should watch more of the series someday. It was also fun just talking to April. It's nice to get out of the house and I usually feel better in the presence of other people. I've got her interested in The Happiness Project, too, now:-) I hope the book comes into the library before Michael comes over to my house. I got my dates confused and Michael is coming here on Friday and then the following Saturday is when we go to the zoo and then his house. That's fine, as long as I have his company! I'm not good by myself. I also ruminate way too much which can worsen my mood or make me focus on unpleasant things or even concoct long streams of vitriol I want to say to someone whom I feel has been cruel or selfish. I'm working on all of that. I'm going to try to be less critical of myself and of other people. I will try going through the motions and acting happy-ish to see if that can turn my mood around when I'm feeling rather negative. I'm going to keep making short-term goals for myself that lead to longer term goals. I'm feeling pretty hopeful and good today.
unico_love: (childlike empress)
I've been reading The Happiness Project blog: http://www.happiness-project.com/happiness_project/

I put the book based on the blog on-hold at Michael's library. I find the blog really helpful in understanding what's holding me back from a more general happiness and finding things I can do to increase my happiness. I used to be made happy very easily, and I can still get pleased very easily, but I have a lot of anxiety and sometimes depression (often related to my obsessions, though). I do believe that if I'm happy it will help make other people happy and if I try to help make others happy that will make me happy. And I definitely can be too critical of people and in my mind make up huge arguments and explanations for why I think someone is doing something wrong or isn't a very good person or has "x" as a fault. Like the blog suggested, I should just try to be kind to people, try to understand their perspective, and try to avoid thinking critical thoughts of people I find difficult. Things will go more smoothly if I look at things and people from an optimistic perspective and I will have less petty problems. It will be helpful in making and keeping friends, too.

Also I do know isolation makes unhappiness worse for me and the blog talks a lot about how for most activities most people are happier to have other people involved in some way. Acts of kindness and service help many be happier and happier people more often volunteer and work on helping others be happy. When you're really depressed often your energy is drained and you can become very self-focused (not that this is the depressed person's fault). I already do my 5 daily gratitudes, which is a good step forward, but there's a lot more I could be doing. I'm going to try to do things I really enjoy, be as authentic and myself as possible, accept people for who they are instead of imagining changing them, and soon hopefully get back into volunteer work (probably after Michael moves in so he can drive me). I used to be a very happy person and I'm determined to be that way again. Ultimately I am in control of my own happiness and have the opportunity to make choices to increase my happiness (and, by virtue of that, increase the happiness of people around me).
unico_love: (childlike empress)
Today I am having a chicken sandwich with guacamole on it. I had decided last month to eat meat once a month so as to avoid cravings and giving up on vegetarianism altogether. I may not be a vegetarian, but I eat like one except for once a month. I figure the little amount I will consume is still better than what I would consume if I went back to my old diet and completely gave up on vegetarianism. I think there is too much emphasis placed on an "all or nothing" attitude in regards to veganism/vegetarianism and other means of helping the environment and animals. If everyone did what they could feasibly manage to leave less waste in the environment and to help animal causes there would be a greater impact and greater change than everyone feeling like they have to do all of that perfectly and completely and many people knowing they can't do that for one reason or another. We can all help in some manner. I can't afford to have all my products completely environmentally friendly, but I'm switching over a lot. Sometimes there are cheap, homemade replacements available. I also am keeping my leather and suede clothing. I don't intend to buy any more (unless there were some reason that necessitated it), but I'm not going to put to waste what I do have, or give things away that are still very useful to me and would be costly to replace.

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August 2013

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