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How to be happy … despite coronavirus and politics

In what ways do you give away the hours of your life?

An interesting question, no?

How about this one :

Are you being kind to yourself in the ways that you spend your time?

Do you treat yourself like you matter and therefore choose what you allow into your life, or do you treat yourself like you are insignificant and have no choices?

When we allow outside stimuli to come into our psyche without question, we are giving away the hours of our lives.

I’m sure everyone has experienced this:

You wake up in the morning in peace, ease into your day gracefully, maybe take a few minutes to go outside and welcome the morning birds, your thoughts gently floating through your mind, your mood is uplifted, content.

Then you decide to look at your phone. Or turn on the TV. Or get on the internet.

What happens?


Suddenly you have given away your power to allow what you choose to enter your mind and are at the mercy of whatever comes up on your phone or TV or computer. And lately, as we all know, this content is rarely uplifting, encouraging, or beautiful.

Get the picture?

We not only can control what we allow into our minds, we need to if we are going to enjoy our lives. Read some history. When has the world ever been a perfectly peaceful, happy place without stress, disease, or violence?

Yet despite this, there are people throughout the ages who have been happy, peaceful, maybe even nice to other people despite what was going on in the world. We can’t control the world (thank goodness!) but we can control ourselves.  By taking the best care of ourselves and our own small world we can make a significant difference.

Just like Ralph Waldo Emerson’s famous quote:

“To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived — that is to have succeeded.”

The importance of perspective, appreciation, and gratitude can’t be overstated when it comes to your mental health. I’m not suggesting you tune out completely to what is going on in the world, but try experimenting with setting limits on your media exposure and taking back the hours of your life. You will notice that your levels of anxiety and periods of low mood decrease significantly and your sense of control in your own life magnifies.

Until next time…

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I’m Inge

Inge Gisela Bundchen is the owner and sole practitioner of Serenity Psychiatric Health.

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