High’s and low’s in life are inevitable. What we tend to have difficulty with is understanding this and adapting to it. If our car breaks down or we get a raise our baseline either spikes or crashes and our emotions are immediately at the mercy of that situation. Now you may be thinking, why would it be important to monitor ourselves for exciting things like getting a raise? The reason for this is that if we allow our happiness to be determined by external situations like this, we are going to constantly be chasing the next “high”. I have found myself struggling with this over the past year. With the work that I do, there is a lot of opportunity for really cool collaborations, partnerships, experiences, etc. But they occur sporadically. Sometimes four super cool things happen in one week and I am literally on cloud nine. And then for the next month absolutely nothing “cool” happens and I feel my self-worth begin to decline. The reason that this happens is because I allowed my worth to be defined by external situations. The same can be said for the opposite. My car has broken down, been broken into, and had more issues than I could possibly tell you. In the beginning each thing that happened would just wreck me. I hated having to try to coordinate rides without a car, having to pay for yet another issue, etc. While each situation was uniquely painful and frustrating, because I wasn’t giving myself space to maintain a baseline, I was allowing these situations to affect me much more than they should have. When you break it down, it is just a situation that you have to deal with and that is all. When you let it become something that hurts you to your core, you are allowing that situation to manipulate your well-being.
Some of you may be reading this and your minds may immediately be thinking, “Well you don’t even know what I’m dealing with. This situation really IS life or death. It really has crushed me and I can’t just rationalize my way out of it.” I get it. I have been there, and I will be there in the future because that is life. It is a big beautiful mess and shit is going to happen. What I am trying to help you with is understanding that in every situation, you have the opportunity to choose how you respond and that choice will be the difference between your truest, happiest self, or a lesser version of yourself.
So what do we do with the highs, and how do we fully enjoy them? Gratitude is key here. You absolutely deserve to relish in the joy and excitement of an amazing opportunity in your life, and you should! But because these moments are not as common in our day to day life it is important to really allow yourself to practice gratitude for these moments. The other day I was feeling down and thinking, we are working SO hard and nothing is really changing. I don’t see a light at the end of the tunnel and we just need the universe to cut us some slack. I was allowing myself to get really down and was expecting something external to change my state (because I have gotten a little accustomed to cool ass things happening). It didn’t take me long to give my head a shake and start listing off some of the amazing things that have been happening in our lives that may not be as “obvious” so are sometimes harder to identify. For example, as you may know, we have been working to tackle our debt. This past month we had the opportunity to rent out our spare room to someone we know coming to learn English in Calgary. We also have been wanting a bit of a fresh start in our house because the clutter and mess was feeling overwhelming. We were able to kill two birds with one stone by lowering Andrea’s rent a little and having her clean some of the really hurting areas in our house. This one took a bit of time for me to realize and appreciate because it wasn’t as big and obvious as completely paying off our credit card and having the money to afford a house cleaner. But I am seriously so thankful for this situation and practicing gratitude around this daily has really helped me come to feel so much joy in our house now!
How to embrace the highs and lows
Routines and habits: Create routines and habits that keep you grounded and happy. Do a couple things daily that fill your cup. No matter what else is going on, take that time to check in with yourself and nourish your soul. They don’t have to be big, time consuming things, it could be as simple as flipping through your favorite magazine with a cup of tea and a tasty treat. The point is to create space in your day to love on yourself regardless of what is going on around you.
Practice gratitude daily: You will hear this one from me often. I will be the first to tell you that I can be incredibly lazy and I often don’t do very SIMPLE things that could make me feel better and be better each day. To be honest, sometimes I feel like they are so simple that I shouldn’t even have to do them in the first place. But believe me when I tell you that practicing gratitude is an absolute game changer. When I actively engage in gratitude by taking the time to really focus and reflect on all of the amazing things in my life, I can feel the joy and happiness build inside me. This took a bit of time and wasn’t as noticeable in the beginning. But now it’s not just me who can see a difference in my life, others have noticed I’m happier, more present, and less negative because I practice gratitude regularly. So grab an extra journal sitting around or use the note pad in your phone and do this daily. No excuses. Just do it.
Shit happens: When a “low” happens in your life create space for yourself to understand that shit happens, and the sooner you can detach yourself the sooner you can get back to enjoying your precious life. The bottom line is no matter what happens, it has already happened. You complaining about it or getting upset doesn’t change the fact that it’s happened. Some things are definitely harder to accept than others but start small. If someone cuts you off while you are driving, take that time to be thankful that they didn’t hit you and that you are a bomb ass driver that can maneuver in situations like that. I know it sounds silly but we can never handle the big shit that happens with composure if we can’t even handle the small things. It’s just science haha but seriously, give yourself a break and start small.
I hope that this helps! It is our job to become our best selves so we can live our BEST LIVES! It’s up to you, no one else can do it for you. So go out and own the day. And then get a good sleep and do it again!