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How to Overcome Emotional Apathy And Fill Your Life With Joy?

You’re reading How to Overcome Emotional Apathy And Fill Your Life With Joy?, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

Anger isn’t the opposite of joy. Neither is sadness. People who lead joy-filled lives also can experience negative emotions. However, it is the absence of emotions that blocks joy. Unfortunately, too many of us have allowed ourselves to live in this state of apathy. We shrug off our emotions with phrases like, ‘whatever’ or ‘it is what it is’. We crack self-deprecating jokes when our feelings are hurt. The problem with this is that emotional apathy eventually becomes the norm. It blocks negative emotions that may be difficult to deal with, but it also renders us unable to truly feel something positive. Becoming Mindful If you feel bad, escape, ignore, or transcend. For many people, this is the ingrained way of dealing with stress, anger, or sadness. What we are finding out is that these methods aren’t very helpful. Instead of denying or using escapism, the key to getting through is to acknowledge and experience. This is where mindfulness comes into play. Basically, mindfulness is a type of meditation. However, instead of visualizing something that you want to happen or imagining yourself into a relaxed and serene location, you focus on the moment. This means assessing exactly what you are thinking and feeling without judgment. This technique is so successful that it has been shown to cause actual physical changes in the brain that allow people to better control their emotions. There are many ways to practice mindfulness. One is using more traditional meditation. Basically, you designate a time and place to meditate, focus on your breathing, and relax. This is where things change. Once you are in a perfect state to begin meditating, you will focus on how you are feeling physically and emotionally. You will pay attention to your heart rate, the temperature of the room, and the thoughts in your head. In other words, you will be present and aware. Another way to practice mindfulness might be dubbed, ‘mindfulness in action’. This can be a bit more difficult because it means implementing mindfulness during times when negative emotions are peaking. For example, if a friend says something that hurts your feelings. It may be difficult in that moment to practice mindfulness. After all, it is much easier to shrug off hurt and sadness by saying or thinking something dismissive than it is to be in the moment and to experience it. Remember, by using mindfulness techniques and experiencing the negative emotions, you can overcome them and control them more easily. Explore The Source of  Your Apathy However, being mindful of your emotions is not always enough. Most of the time, there is an organic cause for emotional apathy. It is strongly associated with depression, but there are also other factors to consider. For example, sometimes the mind uses apathy as a way to cope with high levels of anxiety. Think of a power strip becoming overloaded, then just shutting down. Poor nutrition and lack of energy can be causes as well. So, being aware of your emotions and physical state will make it easier for you to identify the sources of your apathy. One way to gain the insights that you need to discover the true cause of your apathy is to use the mindfulness techniques and meditation mentioned above. These will help keep you tuned into your feelings and experiences. Keeping a detailed and honest journal can also help. Not only is journaling cathartic but also it becomes a written record of your emotions and daily habits. This can be very helpful when you are trying to connect the dots and find the source of your lack of feelings. Once you’ve recognized the cause, you can start creating a plan to deal with the issues you have identified. Recognize And Create Opportunities For Joy Make sure that your plan includes different ways and opportunities for making you happy. During your life, you may have been told that being happy is a decision that people make and as corny as it sounds, this is true. People who are happy don’t just wait for good things to happen to them, they seek them out. They engage in activities that make them feel good. For example, go to movies, read books, and consume other things that improve their mood and outlook on life. They also embrace the opportunity to try new things, they make plans.  Try to do something you have never done before, like go paragliding, start a new career, even if it’s something as simple as private tutoring, or simply put yourself out there.  Implementing this can be as simple as pursuing new (or old) hobbies, being aware of and attending events in your community, and fighting the urge to turn down invitations. Not everything you try is going to be to your liking, but with a positive attitude, you’ll find some things that you truly enjoy. Reach Out to Others Keep in mind, the likelihood of you having opportunities to have joyful experiences depends largely on your relationships with other people. People who have lots of positive relationships tend to be happier overall, regardless of what is going on in their lives. They are also more resilient when they have experienced something negative. Furthermore, engaging in the community, developing your hobbies, putting yourself out there, and sticking to your plan of eliminating apathy is much easier when you have friends around you. Friendships and romantic relationships are definitely important. Just keep in mind that they aren’t your only options for connecting with other people. Consider doing volunteer work as a way of giving yourself new opportunities to form human connections. Ensure Your Actions Have Purpose Merely existing leads to apathy. As mentioned above, apathy then leads to closing ourselves off to all emotions. The way to avoid existing is to replace it with actively living. Take a look at the truly happy people around you. If you ask them how they spend their time, you will find that they do very little that involves sitting around or engaging in mundane activities. Here’s a good question to ask yourself. What did you do yesterday? If you honestly cannot remember much, it might be time to evaluate your actions. There’s not much joy to be found in hanging out or not doing much of anything at all. If you can’t remember what you did, you may not be doing much that is memorable. Thus, this brings us back to our plan of filling our lives with various activities. Conclusion Every person has the potential to live a joyful life. If you think about it, people with devastating disabilities, people who have survived atrocities, even those who are facing terminal diagnoses have found ways to live active, happy lives. Leonard Cohen once said, “We’re always experiencing joy or sadness. But there are lots of people who’ve closed won. And there are times in one’s life when one has to close down just to regroup.” His words make a lot of sense, as long as you don’t forget the final three words, ‘just to regroup’. The people who are able to do that, won’t struggle with emotional apathy. This requires self-awareness, a willingness to act on what you learn about yourself, and a willingness to pursue happiness.

You’ve read How to Overcome Emotional Apathy And Fill Your Life With Joy?, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’ve enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

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About Darren Webb

Hello & Welcome to my blog. My name is Darren Webb and i'm on a magical successful journey and also helping others have a more stress free relaxed life. I truly hope that you find a lot of useful information on my blog and that it helps you through your life. Please feel free to contact me at any time.

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How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others and Make an Impact

You're reading How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others and Make an Impact, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you're enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

In 1726, at the ripe age of 20, Benjamin Franklin created a habit-tracking system to help him live a more successful life. On each day of the week, he would give himself a crossmark for the virtues he failed to practice.

“I might mark, by a little black spot, every fault I found upon examination to have been committed respecting that virtue upon that day.” — Benjamin Franklin.

Benjamin’s 13 Virtues: Temperance. Silence. Order. Resolution. Frugality. Industry. Sincerity. Justice. Moderation. Cleanliness. Tranquility. Chastity. Humility.

Build Your Internal Compass

This checkmark system alone wasn’t enough for Benjamin.

Each morning, he would ask himself “What good shall I do this day?” before he wrote a short journal as he jotted down his ideas. Each evening, he would reflect on his day with this single question: “What good have I done today?”

“The quality of your life comes down to the quality of the questions you ask yourself on a daily basis.” — Tony Robbins.

His check-mark system, alongside his morning and evening questions - served to steer his life in a far more focused direction. It made him continually think about ideas he could implement each day to practice goodness, both for his benefit and the benefit of those around him.

His three daily habits, gave him an internal compass from which to measure his life’s success. His systems not only affected his daily actions but they also positively influenced his thought patterns each day.

“The outer conditions of a person’s life will always be found to be harmoniously related to his inner state…Men do not attract that which they want, but that which they are.” ― James AllenAs a Man Thinketh

All the plaudits he received in his lifetime were secondary.

In the end, his success wasn’t determined by others.

It was determined by his own standards.

His Circumstances Didn’t Determine His Success

Benjamin Franklin only had two years of education during his youth. He was the 15th child of seventeen children from a poor family background. He ran away from his family at the age of 17 after being violently beaten for writing under a pseudo-name in his brother’s newspaper.

Yet he found a way to move away from any sort of mental victim mentality.

Life’s storms, in his case, created more resilient roots.

Benjamin Franklin didn’t measure his success or failure through extrinsic rewards or his past experiences— he forged a deep internal locus of control which he then extrapolated into his three daily habits.

Are you operating based on external standards, or internal standards dictated by yourself?

In my life, just like everyone else, I’ve had my fair share of storms. From growing up with a violent stepfather, to being homeless, and being forced to move country at the age of eight.

But pain is never an excuse for mediocrity.

It wasn’t an excuse for Benjamin, and it shouldn’t be for you.

“People with an internal locus of control believe that they are responsible for (or at least can influence) their own fates and life outcomes. They may or may not feel they are leaders, but they feel that they are essentially in charge of their lives.” — Daniel J Letivin.

Did Benjamin Franklin’s Daily Habit System Help Him Live a Meaningful Life?

In his autobiography, Franklin wrote that through his daily habits, he never “arrived at the perfection he had been so ambitious of obtaining, but fell far short of it.”

Yet, he admits his attempts made him a happier and far more productive man than he would otherwise have been. While he may have not reached a state of perfection, he did indeed live a life of true excellence.

The truth is, our lives will never be “perfect”. But the more relentlessly we move towards that “perfection” in our habits and character, the more our lives will reflect everything we’re yearning for.

“Men are anxious to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to improve themselves.” — James Allen

Just Some of Benjamin Franklin’s Accomplishments Include:

  1. Inventing bifocal lenses that allow people with presbyopia to see in the distance through the upper half of the lens, and read through the lower half.
  2. Creating lightning rods which protects millions of buildings from the hazardous effects of lightning strikes.
  3. Founding the University of Pennsylvania and the American Philosophical Society, which have both positively influenced thousands of students lives and shaped America’s cultural landscape.
  4. Publishing Richard’s Almanac, which contained the calendar, poems, sayings and astronomical and astrological information which pioneered the way information was presented in many books thereafter.

None of those accomplishments would have been possible had he not focused on living each day that was offered to him, with the utmost focus.

And one of his secret weapons was his daily habits.

“The Secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine.” — Mike Murdock

Look Inside Yourself for Your Sense of Self-Worth

The moment we begin to look outside ourselves for our measures of success, the more we run the likelihood of feeling like failures. And it’s also the moment we limit our potential success.

We’re all living within the confines of our own orchestrated reality. The moment you think someone is better or inferior then you, you limit your thinking — according to research in Nany Kline’s book Time to Think. And when you judge someone’s accomplishments in relation to yours, you perpetuate an illusion that masks your real self-worth.

Unless you’ve built your own internal measures of success, then you will always run the risk of comparing yourself to others. And that’s dangerous — you can end up risking your sense of self-esteem and unique individuality for some external standard “you’re supposed to meet”.

  • You’re not supposed to meet anyone’s standard.
  • You’re only supposed to be inspired by other people’s example.
  • It’s up to you to create your own standards.

“Comparing yourself to others is an act of violence against your authentic self.” ~ Iyanla Vanzant

Build a System of Accountability for Your Daily Habits

Between 1707 and 1770, Benjamin Franklin lived a life of purpose, character, and excellence. While you can take great lessons from his daily habits, the reality is that your systems need to take into account your uniqueness and the times we live in.

A digital approach to tracking your habits, on a phone app or on your computer can be just as effective. You can build upon Benjamin’s ideas and refine them to suit.

If you want to cultivate the practice of tracking your daily habits, then you don’t have to necessarily track thirteen qualities and ask yourself a question every morning and night.

Experiment, and discover what works for you.

In the end, the most effective system, is the one that you can stick to.

My Daily Habits System

Differently to Benjamin Franklin, I track the actions that lend themselves to the state and emotion I want to experience each day.

In Eric Barker’s book ‘Barking Up the Wrong Tree: The Surprising Science Behind Why Everything You Know About Success Is (Mostly) Wrong” the author cites that the more we can “gamify” our lives, the likelier we’ll stick to our disciplines.

At the end of each week, I have a call with a friend (who also tracks her habits) to share how it all went — just to make this practice of discipline a little more playful.

Potential Areas to Track in Your Life

  • Your Finances
  • Your Health (How many workouts are you doing per week and month)
  • Your Knowledge (Which books are you reading, which conferences are you going to?)
  • Your Highlights of the Month (Gratitude)

By measuring your progress in the important areas of your life, you will always be proactively comparing yourself to who you were yesterday, and to no one else.

Life isn’t designed to give us what we need, it’s designed to give us what we earn. And we can more easily earn what we want, when we stop comparing ourselves to others, as we focus on maximizing our daily habits to their full potential.

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If you want to live a life that’s 10x as meaningful in this digital age get my FREE 18-paged book on creating your best week.

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You've read How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others and Make an Impact, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you've enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

Staying Focused At Work: How To Be Productive In A Challenging Environment

A lot of organizations deal with challenges like maintaining productivity and quality of work. Employees constantly complain about the increasing chaos that hampers their productivity and this directly affects the business. Because of that, managers are quite pressed to find a solution that can motivate their team members while boosting their productivity. In this article, […]

The post Staying Focused At Work: How To Be Productive In A Challenging Environment appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Embracing the Unacceptable

You're reading Embracing the Unacceptable, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you're enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

We all go through something in life we never wanted, desired, or thought even possible. If it hasn’t happened to you yet, well, consider yourself lucky and forewarned; something will happen one day, and you might want to have read these tips. Whether it’s coping with not having internet or cell phone reception for a week, (something unthinkable to so many this day and age), embracing a new life direction due to drastic job change, family dynamic, or even something like me, with a life threatening mystery illness, there is one common denominator: you have to get through it. And you can and will get through it; the how you get through it, is entirely up to you.

Here are my 5 lessons from going through my own intense health battles for the past decade and a half, resulting from a mystery illness and a sense of humor that simply refuses to give up in the midst of it all.

5 Steps For Embracing Something You Never Wanted

• 1. Side step the fact that you never wanted it. Don’t try to accept it or cope with it; just step around it. Often what makes something so unacceptable is the shocking contrast to the current, acceptable circumstances we are in. The acceptable life compared to the unacceptable life can seem too big a leap to grasp, reconcile, cope with. So, don’t try at first. Allow yourself to be in shock by simply going around the news. This way you have a little time to let the new reality sink into your mentality before actually dealing with it.

• 2. Find something outrageously positive about it—even if the reasoning might be slightly skewed. It’s a scientific law of nature that there is an equal and opposite element to every being. So, after the unacceptable has been able to seep into your consciousness, try to find some light to shed on it so it becomes as positive as can be. Perhaps you could compare it to something that would be way worse.

For example: my illness has left my body with terrible veins, a real difficulty as blood work is a necessity for my survival. One time, when I was having a particularly sick bout, I had a doctor take 3 hours of continuously poking me trying to find a vein that could hold an IV line to give me antibiotics necessary to save my life. In a particularly long “fishing” expedition of his needle deep in my arm, my positive thinking of was how much I would rather be in this scenario than at a banquet of a picnic that was covered in ants. That would really suck.

• 3. Become a salesman— pitch the positive perspective to your friends, family, and self. Time is passing, the acid taste in your mouth piles up every time you think of the unacceptable you are trying to avoid. Yet, it has slowly been turning into a part of your consciousness, and your outrageous comparable are slowing making the unacceptable seem an actual existence. You are bravely trying to put your chin up and somehow go forward. Not yet coping with it or even embracing it, more co-existing with it.

Now you need to sell it to everyone. Those who are closest to you will see the act of your sharing all the positives for what it is—an act (or at least we like to believe they do). If you can convince everyone, slowly, you might even start convincing yourself that this will somehow be survivable, maybe even okay. Perhaps you can even find pleasure in the act of trying to convince yourself of the positive. Sometimes the more ludicrous, the more amusing it can be—try it!

• 4. The Time of Acceptance Has Arrived. No, you never wanted it; yes, the positive reasons are outrageous. Life the beautiful way you imagined, knew, is no longer an option—maybe only for a time, maybe forever; who really knows? But you’re here; you can choose to be miserable, or choose to embrace this change and experience it to the fullest. *Remember, choosing to embrace the journey to the fullest doesn’t mean that you need to be positive, doesn’t mean that it will be all sunshine and daisies; it simply means that you will be fully alive, fully aware, and fully present. It’s your choice.

• 5.  It’s Your Choice; Your Power; Your Decision. You always have a choice. Even if you hate the circumstances, didn’t choose them, didn’t deserve it, whatever; it’s your choice in how you get through it. With bitterness, delight, tears, or laughter, or a combination in between—it’s your choice. You are not a victim, your life is not a result whim of Life’s folly; you do have a say in how you act, how you express, how you live this moment. There in lies the power within you.


Cecilia Baldwin, Living As A Mystery Girl. After becoming a quadriplegic due to an unknown illness at just 15, Cecilia has spent the next 15 years fighting to recover what best her body could, search for answers, endure through misdiagnoses, cancer, and maintain her quirky sense of humor. With an amazing support system, super-hero Mom who is also her primary care giver, and faithful service dog at her side, she strives to not only survive but to thrive. You can follow her on her blog at : www.livingasamystery.com or on Twitter at @livingamystery

You've read Embracing the Unacceptable, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you've enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

How To Prepare A Wall For Tiling

Tiling is a job I’ve always really enjoyed. It’s satisfying seeing the wall gradually disappear beneath the flow of tiles. Once you get into a groove, this activity almost becomes therapeutic. However, before you can get into the groove, you’ve got to make sure that your surface is prepped and ready. Otherwise, you might find […]

The post How To Prepare A Wall For Tiling appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Infographic: Rising Levels of Anxiety in a Digital World

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