30 Phrases That Will Help You Live an Easier Life

We all need mantras to live by.

Posted Feb 03, 2020

I have been working with patients for over 30 years. I learn from my patients and they learn from me. Make no mistakes about it. Therapists are always learning. As I have worked with individuals over the years, it has become clear to me that there are patterns of behavior that people have in common. Certain behaviors seem to go together across individuals and within individuals. The same is true about feelings, and life patterns. And, yes, there are some things in life that are predictable. I listen to everyone's stories and they remind me of similar stories that I have heard either earlier in the week or even years ago and that helps guide the therapy. I really love to provide patients with go-to phrases that can help give them a way to think about their life situations. I've developed these phrases over the past 30 years and have my patients to thank. I have learned how to think about emotional challenges, relationship issues, and life struggles in a clearer manner. So today I would like to offer you 30 go-to phrases that have helped hundreds of people think about their lives in a more palatable and manageable manner. 

1. This will be a funny story, eventually. So, what feels dreadful or possibly even humiliating in the moment may be a funny story in the future. This way of thinking about things sort of takes the sting out of a situation.

2. Maybe it's not always about you. People tend to think that the reactions of others are always related to them when in fact the reactions of others may have nothing to do with them at all. This is a unique perspective to many. You'd be surprised.

3. Think about a situation for 24 hours before reacting. You may feel significantly less angry, frustrated, etc., after 24 hours. The wait is almost always worth it.

4. View the situation as a challenge rather than a problem. It's amazing how this way of looking at things can calm frazzled nerves.

5. People appreciate it if you let things go. There are times that less discussion is more beneficial than bringing things up. This is certainly not always the case but it very often is.

6. Less is more. Chasing after a relationship doesn't necessarily help anyone. This applies to all sorts of relationships. Sometimes you just have to accept that you need to move on.

7. Keep in mind that people remember what you say. Think very, very hard before speaking. This is not a new way of thinking but it is so important.

8. Let your kids, friends, relatives, etc., form their own relationships with each other. You can't coerce people to like each other. It is not your job to create their relationships.

9. Don't judge a relationship. It is hard to know why people are drawn to each other. If they are happy, then it is not really your business to judge.

10. Sometimes it is harder for couples to break up than to stay together. Keep this in mind when you are wondering why your friend hasn't left her partner yet. It is no easy task.

11. Try to avoid making assumptions about the motives of others. Just because you think something doesn't make it true.

12. Look for evidence to support your intuition. Intuition is not always right!

13. Try to act from a place of good intention. Ask yourself why you are going to do or say something. If it is coming from a good place then proceed. If it is not, then refrain. 

14. People appreciate authentic apologies. Only apologize if you truly mean it. If not, then your apology is meaningless.

15. Learn from your mistakes. They provide you with valuable learning activities. What's the alternative, right?

16. Go where you are welcome. Don't waste your time pursuing those who are not interested in you. This should save you a lot of time and grief.

17. You'll know when it's time to end a relationship. There usually comes a time when things become quite clear.

18. Always focus on observing situations. This should serve you well. There is a lot to be gained from simply observing. Try it. You will see.

19. You are not on the committee to choose your child's partner. Keep in mind that you are not usually invited to serve there.

20. Think about what you may have contributed to the current problem. You very likely have a role in why someone is not speaking to you, is angry at you, etc.  And, then see #15 above. Also, consider #2.

21. There are no secrets. It has taken me me many years to learn this but in life people are curious and secrets come to light. Make peace with this earlier rather than later in life.

22. Avoid gossiping. Do the best you can here. Gossip will always come back to hurt you. And, you will never get a chance to put the words back into your mouth.

23. Life is full of surprises. That is one thing that you can be sure of. Over time, amazing and surprising things will always happen.

24. At some point, this recent event will become a colorful part of your history. It will make your life tapestry more colorful and interesting.

25. If you are not sure about how to handle a situation, think about someone you admire and how they would handle it. We all have role models.

26. Your child should not be your confidante. No matter how mature they seem, it is too much for them to be in that role. Trust me on this one. I talk to your kids all the time.

27. We have different friends for different reasons. There is not a single friend who can meet all of your needs.

28. Ask if your advice is wanted before offering it. Sometimes your friends, kids, or co-workers just want to vent.

29. Sometimes feedback from others is a gift even if it is less than positive. Only a person who truly cares will give you feedback that will make you an even better person.

and

30. Sometimes all you need is time. Things often unfold as they should and you then decide what to do.

I hope that you have found some wisdom in this list. After all, it has taken me over 30 years to compile it. Good luck and keep learning.