Mom might not have known everything, but there were several areas where her advice was spot on.
It’s natural for young people to go through a period of doubting what their parents say and to lack the perspective to see the truth in the things they told us. But as we mature and grow older, we can look back on what our mothers (and other elders) told us and appreciate how right they were.
1. If all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you?
I can still hear myself protesting “But mom, that’s just stupid.” The truth is, I did a lot of stupid things in my teens and early twenties because it’s what everyone else was doing – or worse, what I thought everyone else was doing. Learning to do things because they are the right choice for me has been a key to leading a calm, contented life.
2. If you’re that bored, clean your room.
Hopefully your room isn’t as messy as it was during your younger days, but there is a lot of wisdom in getting up and tidying or organizing when you’re feeling bored or blah. Not only will your home or office be neater, but giving your hands some busy work do to can help your mind get “unstuck” and provide you with inspiration for loftier things than cleaning.
3. Beds are not made for jumping on.
Not only are bed frames not generally strong enough to withstand being used as trampolines, using your bed for anything other than sleep or sex can exacerbate insomnia. Make sure to reinforce the idea that bed=sleep by never watching television, working or doing other activities in bed.
4. Play outside!
Most of us don’t get enough sunshine and fresh air. Spending time outdoors helps our bodies produce vitamin C and keep depression at bay. It’s hard to be your best unless you’re getting ample exercise and fresh air so the next time it’s nice outside, go play outside for a bit (or at least take a walk around the block during your lunch break).
5. How do you know you don’t like it if you don’t try it?
Our preconceived notions can prevent us from trying things that could add richness and joy to our lives. Don’t dismiss things out of hand. Be willing to give things a try before discounting them. Stretch outside your comfort zone every once in a while and see where the adventure takes you.
6. Don’t slouch, sit up straight.
Good posture isn’t only more attractive, but it’s easier on your back, neck and shoulders. Sitting up straight is also more conducive to breathing properly, which can help relieve stress. Be mindful of your posture and work on exercising your core muscles to give strength to your abdomen so that it can support you properly.
7. It doesn’t matter who started it, you end it
Often we waste too much time assigning blame and wanting the person who was in the wrong to straighten up and make amends. Unfortunately, that’s not always going to happen and it’s up to you to find a way to resolve situations for the sake of your continued peace and happiness, instead of waiting for the other party to take responsibility.
8. Fish is brain food
Many varieties of fish are rich in an omega-3 fatty acid, DHA, that is necessary for proper brain development and function. Be sure to choose varieties that are known to be low in mercury and are from sustainable sources. If you can’t, or choose not to, eat fish, ground flax seed and flax oil is also a rich source of omega-3s.
9. If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.
Honesty is important but it’s not always necessary to share your opinion. When you treat others with kindness and compassion, you’re not only saving their feelings but you are also helping to move your life towards a more positive point of view. There will be times when you have no choice but to say something that has the potential to hurt feelings; but always be aware of your own motivations and save the harsh truth for when it will truly benefit the recipient.
10. I love you.
Your mother is right; you are a person worthy of love and respect. Never lose sight of the fact that no matter who you are or what you have or haven’t done; you are lovable and full of potential. Love yourself unconditionally and treat yourself with the kindness that you deserve.
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