Reaching a certain age – let’s just say mid-life – has its challenges, but for some these can be major turning points. It’s often a time for reflection. The children have moved out and you’re unsure of your new role or are wondering if there is more to life. Older and wiser we may be, but many of us feel lost, powerless and sometimes even invisible.
When our children no longer need us, who are we? What is our life purpose now? We have years of experience, but for what? Are we now destined to work in a mundane job, come home, cook dinner and then slump in the chair in front of the TV only to start all over again the next morning?
Many women can be in a relationship but find themselves alone; sometimes they just want to break free. But from what? And where do you run to?
We may feel trapped in our circumstances – maybe too old now to start a dream career, own our own business or find a new partner. Maybe it’s just easier to stay in the status quo, ignore the pain and discomfort and have a couple of glasses of wine at night and/ or go shopping.
I have worked with so many women who feel just like this – lost, unhappy and powerless; from depression, to indifference and hopelessness. You see, as women we take on the role of feeling responsible for everyone else’s happiness. We forget who we are and ignore our own needs and wants. This often results in feeling unhappy, lonely and empty.
After reading Johann Hari’s latest book Lost Connections, it is easy to see why women often begin to feel depressed in middle age. We are tribal people. Each of us is unique, with a distinct perspective on life and life experiences that we have a need to share.
We need to feel valued and useful to our tribe and to have a purpose in life. So is it any wonder that when our children leave home and/or we are working in a job that feels meaningless and unfulfilling, we begin to feel undervalued, depressed or trapped.
What’s the answer? Below are 10 top tips on how to change those deep-rooted beliefs in your subconscious mind so that you can become happier in your everyday lives:
1. Write on your bathroom mirror or somewhere (you must see it several times a day) “I am enough”. This is easier than saying, “I am perfect” or, “I love myself”.
2. Pick three things that you like about yourself or are grateful for. This could be your legs (that they don’t give you any pain, or you are able to exercise easily), or your personality (that you make people laugh, or what your friends love about you).
3. As soon as you wake up, think of three things that have happened over the past week that you are grateful for – it could be a hug from a loved one, a meal you really enjoyed, a sunny day, a productive day at work. It can be anything, but it does need to be a different scene from the day before.
4. Every evening, prior to going to sleep, be grateful for three things that have happened in the last 24 hours. It could be an inspired conversation, or an experience you enjoyed – anything that felt good and made you smile.
5. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Imagine those words you say to yourself were spoken to an innocent child. Would you tell them they had fat legs or were useless at everything? Of course not! So don’t say these things to yourself! We are our own worst critics and if you continue to put yourself down your subconscious mind will find ways to validate what you are saying. STOP it!
6. Spend some time writing in a journal. Write about things you have done that you are proud of. For example, you’ve brought up your children safely, completed a course or you’ve had a great career. Perhaps you have amazing friendships and a beautiful, loving home. Be proud of what you have achieved. Look back at where you have come from and give yourself praise for the courage and hardships you have worked through. Focus on what you HAVE done and not on what you didn’t do.
7. Get out more. Experience new things, sights, meet new people. It’s vital we experience variety in our lives. Walk a new route, book a holiday to a new destination, try a different food/restaurant or go and test-drive a new car. This way you can decide what you want your future to look like and what you want to strive towards.
8. Meditate. Yes, I know this may seem woo-woo to some of you, but it’s about taking control of your mind and stopping the random negative thoughts from taking over and affecting your mood for the day. There are many great free meditation tracks on YouTube which take you through the process (it’s not about sitting and trying to think of nothing)! I particularly love The Honest Guys. They have a raft of free, guided meditations for anything from stress, abundance, relaxation, to finding your true purpose. Start with 10 minutes and increase from there. There’s nothing like starting your day with a positive attitude.
9. Judge less. Don’t waste your time stressing over other people’s lives, especially your children’s. Lead by example. If you are always happy, people will want to learn from you. If you walk into a room and there’s a negative vibe, either walk out or be so happy and joyful that everyone else joins in with you.
10. Take every day as the best day. Appreciate the good, forget the bad and start each day as a fresh new one. Don’t take the negatives of yesterday into today; leave them behind and start again. When you change jobs don’t take your old self with you. Re-invent yourself as the person you would like to be and you will succeed.
Most of all – appreciate yourself! Be kind to yourself and don’t let others define who you really are.
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Rapid Transformational Hypnotherapist, professional speaker and author, and specialises in helping people to live the life of their dreams by removing the mental blockages through their brain’s neuropathways.