I grew up hearing so many old expressions and commonly-spouted phrases that had been handed down through multiple generations, never really holding them in particularly high regard. As I have grown older, however, these snippets of wisdom have really begun to mean something to me. Just as is the case with the nursery rhymes we sing to our children to help them sleep or to keep them entertained, reassuringly familiar sayings have a comforting purposefulness about them, and should never be dismissed as merely phatic utterances.
Here are my 7 favourite everyday proverbs together with the reasons why I find them so helpful;
This too shall pass – I have lost count of the number of times this has been of comfort to me. In the darkest of hours, I have always reassured myself that absolutely everything eases with sufficient time – hanging onto that thought steered me out of some truly desperate moments.
There’s always someone worse off than you – Whereby you should never reduce your own serious issues to nothing but trivialities, it is important to retain some perspective when one is up the proverbial creek minus a paddle. Personal difficulties can become magnified under the weighty pressure of whatever it is that has gone wrong, but when you remind yourself of what other people have to deal with, it really can help reduce the size of your problem.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away – Being busy, pre-occupied or simply caught up in a carb-craving frenzy can occasionally make me forget to eat healthily. When I turn my back on the green stuff and opt instead for pizzas, cakes or biscuits, I notice a marked reduction in my energy levels and general sense of wellbeing, and a lack of desire to do any exercise. Conversely, when I eat well, I feel good.
A problem shared is a problem halved – Sitting alone, mulling over a problem, the world can feel like a cold and unfeeling place. Those feelings vanish instantly the second we open up and talk over our troubles with a sympathetic and caring listener.
Every cloud has a silver lining – There has been a positive aspect to every single bad life event I have experienced, whether it was my divorce (taught me independence, forced me to grow up, eventually led me to where I am now), or failing to get a job that I had my heart set on (other opportunities opened up instead which turned out to be a much better fit for me, and which evolved into even greater and more exciting things than I could ever have imagined originally). Seek out the silver lining wherever possible; it will help you to appreciate EVERY part of your life.
As you make your bed, so you must lie upon it – Personal responsibility is so important for emotional development. We have to accept things are of our own making (when they are) in order to be able to learn from our mistakes and grow into better people. Blaming others results in bitterness and a narrow mind – it takes strength and dignity to accept responsibility when things go wrong.
Carpe Diem – Always remember the brevity of life. You never know when your time will be up and it will be too late to do the things you always dreamt of. Make the moment count, never waste a day, and always try to be grateful for having the opportunity to live.