The Fourth of July is all about barbecues, patriotic parades, fireworks and summertime camping trips. But the true purpose of this national holiday is about more than just grilling hot dogs and lighting the sky with bright, shining sparklers. This week’s national patriotic holiday signifies our country’s journey toward becoming an independent nation and cutting ties from Great Britain.
In honor of our Founding Fathers' efforts to bring our country independence and freedom, make this year’s Fourth of July celebrations personal by taking the first steps toward declaring your personal independence from negative influences. To help you establish true authenticity, independence and freedom this summer, let the following three tips guide you through your journey.
Focus Your Feelings and Actions on What Is Important to You
Happiness is a choice. And while it isn’t always an easy choice to make, it is ultimately up to you and what you decide to invest your energy in. To truly experience happiness, it is important to break free from the feelings, people and habits that may be holding you back in life. One of the biggest feelings weighing down Americans today is stress.
“Stress is very powerful and can affect your mind and body in negative ways,” said Silvia Mariani, massage therapist at Elements Greenville. “Today, a lot of people are under stress that they put on themselves. Too many people spread themselves too thin, try to do too much and expect too much from themselves.”
Instead of running your mind and body ragged by trying to please everyone and doing something just because someone else thinks you should, focus your energy on the people, values and beliefs you love in your life. Feed your body with positive feelings, positive people and positive experiences to experience positive results.
“I tell my clients to not sweat the small stuff,” said Mariani. “The more you fret over something and try to change something that is out of your control, the more unhappy you will be. You just have to let things go. Belief is a powerful thing. If you believe in something, you are giving it the power.”
Surround Yourself with Positive People and Positive Influences
Around every corner at work, in public venues and in life, you are bound to run into negative people and influences. While you can’t control the flow of negativity into your life, you can control how you react and funnel the negativity out of your life.
“You have people out there I call emotional vampires who suck the joy out of everyone,” Mariani said. “If you work around negative people, after a while it can be addictive.”
One way to promote a positive environment is by establishing a drama- and negativity-free zone at work or at home where you can take a quick break from negative influences, while relaxing and focusing on realignment of your mind and body. Mariani also suggests regular massage therapy sessions to release the tension and stress caused by life’s negative influences and experiences.
“When you’re stressed, your body will try to correct your stress. But it can’t do it on its own,” Mariani said. “By relaxing, you are allowing your body to heal. You have to be in tune with your body to help yourself heal.”
Achieve Financial Freedom by Gaining a Healthy Perspective
One of the top sources of stress in the United States is money. Whether it is buying the biggest house in your neighborhood, driving the best car, having the latest technology gadgets on the market or landing a high-paying job, many Americans strive for, and stress over, living a luxurious lifestyle.
With a strong focus on monetary values and material things, the American Dream is transforming into living a life full of debt. To break free from the stress of financial burden, it is important to gain a healthy perspective by focusing on what truly makes you happy. Life is too short to live to work to pay for superficial things. Instead, work to live a fulfilling lifestyle that is within your financial means and is focused on what you love.
“It’s important to remind yourself that stuff doesn’t define you as a human,” said Mariani. “Yes, it’s nice to have material things, but you don’t need a lot of stuff to be happy. You have to be true to yourself to be truly happy.”
As you watch the Fourth of July fireworks display this week, enjoy the celebration of our country’s independence and dedicate this joyous time to declaring your own independence from whatever internal or external factors are holding you back. There’s no better time than today to establish your personal freedom and discover what truly makes you happy.