Written by: Marlena O´Donnell, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
What would be the best gift you could get for Christmas? Imagine how you would feel getting this gift - a warm, fuzzy feeling of contentment, joy and gratitude. The feeling that all is well, you can have what you want and you are special. And now imagine the Three Wise Men knocking on your door this Christmas and bringing you not just one, but 12 gifts that will transform your life and make it more fulfilling, stress-free and successful. But…you don’t have to wait until Christmas to receive them - they are here for you to get right now!
1. Accept what you cannot change
In April this year, a well-being survey was carried out in the UK to find out how well people are coping with the pandemic. The survey participants largely fell into two categories - those who could not accept changes caused by the pandemic and suffered as a result (anxiety, lack of sleep, and lack of motivation) and those who took the social distancing restrictions in their stride. The second category fared much better - they adapted and found new ways of doing things they love. It is not always possible to change what happens to us, but we can always change our attitude. We can choose to fight a losing battle or accept and adapt to what is happening around us.
2. Cut yourself some slack
We are all capable of making some harsh judgments about ourselves, such as “I wish I hadn’t done that,” “I keep trying and nothing works”, “I’m a failure”. If you are prone to self-judgment, stop. Take a break from beating yourself up. You cannot change the past but you are able to take control and influence the present and right now you are capable of achieving anything you want.
3. Don’t worry about what may happen
We are not particularly good at predicting the future. If we were, there would be many more lottery winners. And yet we often fall into the trap of thinking that we know all the possible things that can happen. Next time you try to guess the future and worry about a negative outcome, please remember that it has not happened yet and anything is possible.
4. Take time out
It is so easy to get swept away with work and household-related activities, let alone preparations for Christmas and not give yourself time to pause and recharge. So if you have a busy schedule, take something out of it that does not have to be done immediately and slot some time in for yourself instead. Take a walk, read a book, take a long bath - do whatever you like doing that helps you relax. You will then find that the other tasks you have scheduled will get done more efficiently and effectively as you will be refreshed and have more energy to do them.
5. Adopt beliefs that serve you well
If you think that you can do something, you will do it. If you think that you can’t, then you will not even try to do it. Your beliefs shape your actions and your actions shape the results you get. Choose beliefs that are liberating and discard those that are holding you back.
6. Show kindness
Kindness, whether it is given, received or observed makes us feel better. Being kind releases endorphins which are your body’s natural pain killers, reduces stress, anxiety and increases the sense of well-being.
7. Reach out when you need help
When things go wrong for us, it is very easy to believe that we are in a unique situation and nobody will understand what we are going through. However, talking to somebody else about what is on your mind helps to put everything into perspective. Sharing a problem increases the chances of finding a solution and helps you to realize that you are not alone, that others are also in the same boat.
8. Remember that it’s OK not to be OK
We often feel that we have to put on a brave face and pretend that everything is OK. When asked: “How are you?”, most of us automatically say: “I’m fine, thank you”, as if admitting that we are not feeling fine is wrong. Our feelings come and go and inevitably, we will not be happy all the time. So don’t feel bad about feeling bad!
9. Stay connected
Even if you prefer your own company, find time to connect with others. They may need you more than you realize. Loneliness has a negative impact on our mental and physical well-being and shortens our lives. Live long and help others live longer too!
10. Take a break from social media
Are you finding yourself glued to your smartphone or laptop, constantly checking what others are up to, and wishing you had a wonderful and eventful life like theirs? Do you check the news every hour in case something has changed, only to be disappointed that nothing positive is taking place? Stop! Take a break for a couple of hours - even better, a day or two! The world will not collapse and you will find yourself having extra time to do the things you love.
11. Express gratitude
It is easy to focus on what we cannot do and cannot have. But if you look closely at what we are still able to do and enjoy, you will be amazed to find out how much beauty, joy and pleasure there is in your life. Why not notice what you’ve got and every evening before you go to bed, think of three things you are grateful for?
12. Give yourself a present of self-growth
For most of my life, I thought that I was a victim of circumstances. I judged myself very harshly on everything I’d done and hardly ever patted myself on the back. I thought that change was impossible. I was wrong. Books about mindset and coaching transformed me and my life. I’d like that for you too. It’s never too late to change, so if you would like to get better results in life, break bad habits and remove beliefs that are holding you back, give yourself a gift of self-growth.
Don’t keep the Wise Men with their gifts waiting outside the door. It is never too late to change and turn this Christmas into the most fulfilling you’ve ever had. Go on - open the door, take the gifts and enjoy the warm fuzzy feeling of well-being and joy!
Marlena O’Donnell, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Marlena O’Donnell is a certified life coach, mentor and motivational speaker specializing in freeing her clients from beliefs that are not serving them well. Marlena has successfully helped many people gain an unwavering belief in themselves, confidence, motivation and courage to go after what they want in life through individual and group coaching, mentoring and workshops. Marlena has personal experience of overcoming significant challenges in life and succeeding against all odds. This, combined with her thorough understanding of both business matters and personal issues, puts her in a unique position to help her clients successfully navigate their way through difficulties they face in all areas of life and achieve “the unachievable”. As a motivational speaker, Marlena inspires others to make powerful and lasting changes in their life. She has been a keynote speaker at business events, online conferences and summits.