Sunday, May 16, 2010

Fight Your Inner Bully

Remember the old cartoons when a person has the angel on one shoulder and the demon on the other? Well, I often feel that way in real life. I have certain things that trigger that little demon on my shoulder to take control and more often then not I let it take over. However, as I have become more aware of my feelings I have started to let the angel have a little more say.

I believe it is so important not to beat yourself up and replace bad feeling with good. There are many different ways to be positive. Try to make a list of triggers for the bad feelings and brainstorm ways to stop these bad feelings. For example, I have a habit of beating myself up for the way I look and I know triggers for this are, watching beauty pageants, reading fashion and beauty magazines, and participating in "fat talk". So, I chose not to do these things that trigger bad feelings. On top of avoiding our triggers we should also do things that help us stay positive. Often times when I start beating myself up for the way I look I go to or do things that make me feel good, like go into my room and do yoga or call a friend.

Be your own best friend. If your best friend said the things you say negatively about yourself, you would tell them to stop! You have control over negative feelings, so stop them. Remember, if you don't love yourself how can anyone else?

Life is Epic!

Monday, May 10, 2010

When the Going Gets Tough, We Get Mean

Hey, sorry I've been MIA for the last few days! I will try not to forgot about my blog again :)

I have been thinking a lot lately about how we treat others and how this affects ourselves. I want to start by saying I was a "mean girl" back in high school. Basically my group of friends and I were not the nicest people. I put down others to make myself feel good. I acted like I as awesome when in fact, I had very little self confidence and most of my ridicules where things I felt where wrong with me. Now, at the time I didn't realize this, but when I moved away to college I soon realized how wrong I was in school.

I left my "mean girl" days behind when I went to college. I would never say anything mean to someone's face however, like many people I knew, I would say things behind people's backs. I kept doing this for awhile until I realized that this was just as bad as being mean to someone's face, and maybe even worse! At least I was being honest when I said that I didn't like them to their face.

Recently, I became aware of another why I was being mean to others, even when they would honestly never know. I realized I judged people for being things I was afraid of being. I would see a random person at the store and think "wow, I'm glad I'm not that fat", and sometimes I would point out the person to a friend. Guess what, I was being the same "mean girl" I was in high school, due to my own insecurities. What's sad is it finally occurred to me last week, when I overheard a negative conversation some friends were having. They were judging someone, and even though that person will never know what was said, it is still wrong!

Instead of being mean and judging others, we need to step back and look at what is making us judge them. Instead of breeding negativity, we can learn something about ourselves, and make some positive changes!

Life is Epic!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Take a Leap of Faith

Life is all about taking risks. I mean life in and of itself is a risk. We all take chances in our life, by falling in love, driving our car, moving, accepting a job offer, and quitting a job. Since life is one big risk, why is it then that many of us are so scared of getting out of our comfort zone and taking the chance to get what we really want out of life?

I remember my first big risk. When I was sixteen years old I went on vacation with my best friend. One night as we were driving down a touristy area in Florida we spotted a place for bungee jumping. When we saw it we both knew we had to do it. I want to preface with saying I don't take risks like this and the idea of possibly turning into a Stephanie pancake is not one I am particularly fond. However, at that moment I was determined to bungee jump and nothing was going to stop me.  The whole process of getting properly harnessed and climbing up the crazy amount of steps to the ledge seemed to go by so fast. However, once I got to the ledge and the attendant asked me if I was ready to jump, time stood still. I looked down and could feel my heart racing. The distance between me and the ground was so far, and all I could think about was how could this little cord possibly keep me from smashing into the ground. Each second moved slowly as I would inch my feet towards the edge. I remember several times putting one foot out but then edging back to safety. After many times of going back and forth the attendant looked me dead in the eyes and said, "You can't keep worrying looking over the edge, you have to just run and not think about it"! Guess what, that's exactly what I did. I stopped questioning everything and ran off the ledge. The feeling of falling was quick, and obviously I didn't turn into a pancake. It was also one of the best moments of my life, because I faced a risk and didn't let fear get in the way of doing something I wanted.

Every time I think about taking a risk in life, I look back at that day and realize that fear should not take over my decisions. We need to stop worrying and just go for it! Nothing should stop us from getting what we want out of life, especially our fears. So go out there, stop looking over the ledge, and jump!

Life is Epic!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

How to Put on A Happy Face

This morning I woke up a little depressed, I am a runner but due to spraining both my knees last month I have not been able to run in four weeks as of today. Most people I talk to don't understand how important running is to me, and think it's crazy that I get sad that I can't run. When I was sitting in bed feeling sorry for myself, it hit me, moping around does nothing! I can feel sorry for myself that I can't run but nothing productive can come of it. It's not like my knees are suddenly going to be pain free due to feeling down. So I decided I was going to think of the positive that has come out of being injured.

I started seriously getting into running last November and found myself running almost everyday. I was running 6 days a week with increasing mileage, with very little cross training, seldom taking a rest day, and adding a new weight training program to it. I felt really good about myself when I was doing this, however when I look back I can tell I was running myself into the ground! Of course I got injured, the whole time I was doing all this I wasn't truly listening to my body, because if I had I would have realized my body needed a break.

Now that I have been sidelined I have had a lot of positive things come about for me.
*I have recently obtained my first "real" job.
*I have taken the time to really work on planning my wedding.
*I graduated college with honors!!!

*I am finally catching up on reading books I had ordered forever ago.
*I was able to make an informed decision about a moral dilemma I was having. (I became a vegetarian)
*I was able to help a friend work through some serious issues in their life.
*I reconnected with some old friends.
*I started my blog. 

Also being injured made me realize that running doesn't define who I am. I am still Stephanie regardless if I run or not. I also realized that I was using running as a way of hiding from some personal issues, that I have now confronted.

By seeing the positive side of our problems we are able to become a lot happier and also we can be more effective. We can't always control the bad that happens but we can control how we view it. Having things happen to us that we see as negative can really be a learning experience that can help us later on in life.

You can't control what life throws your way, BUT you can control your happiness!!!

Life is Epic!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

God is great, Beer is good, People are Crazy

Hi, thanks for stopping by my little blog. I figured I should start off by giving you a better idea of who I am since the about me section only lets me write a tiny amount. I am a 23 year old and I am just starting to see what the world has to give and what I can give it. Most of my life I have been a pessimist, always seeing things in a negative light. I think it is easy to be trapped in this mindset, because people naturally seem to see the negative. I struggled for many years thinking I am not good enough, or why do bad things always happen to me?! I felt like I was trapped and was never going to be the happy person I wanted to be.

Last fall as I was volunteering as a crisis counselor at a housing crisis center, I kept meeting people who seemed to have nothing, but somehow saw things in a more positive light then I did. It amazed me that they could keep a positive outlook amidst great hardship. Interacting with these awesome people made me realize that life may throw you hardships, but what matters is how you perceive them!
You see, Life is going to be hard, and people may not always come through for us, but we have the choice to see things in a positive light. Like the song says, "God is great, beer is good, people are crazy"! Moral of the story: Always count on the beer, it will come through for you, just kidding.

Life is Epic!