How can you effectively pull yourself together when things get rough? Everyday life stressors are normal, but we need to form healthy habits of mind to conquer fears and focus on forward thinking.
Remove Your Phone
Reaching for my phone first thing in the morning is usually to turn my alarm off. But then the temptation to check my email inbox, followed by social media soon follows. Coming out of a hopefully restful slumber, to immediately checking your phone creates unnecessary stress to the brain when it automatically is forced to begin processing too much information without ‘waking up’.
Tip: Think about getting a traditional alarm clock and going to sleep with your phone charging in a different room overnight. This means no distractions that disrupt sleep time and wake time.
My regular watch needs to get a new battery installed so in the meantime, I rescued my husbands Fit Bit Blaze from it’s position collecting dust on his bedside table. Not only is it helping me track time, daily steps, water intake etc, but I found a cool little ‘Relax’ setting that provides a 2 minute or 5 minute breathing session. It’s amazing what deep breathing can do for slowing down your heart rate but it’s also a great way to distract your mind from anxious thoughts.
Tip: Take a 4 second long inhale through your nostrils, and exhale through your mouth lasting about 4 seconds.
When the months fly by as quickly as they do these days, (hello Easter!) then it’s quite easy to forget about personal goals we have achieved and those we wish to make in future.
Tip: Each day, take some time to list 5 things you’re grateful for in your life. This might be something you wish to incorporate into a morning routine to help your day get off on the right foot. Add to this list daily.
Keep to a routine even if you’re home all day. It’s tempting to stay in your PJ’s or comfy sloth clothes when you don’t have somewhere to be (it’s okay to do this every now and then of course).
Tip: Having a shower, combing your hair, even putting on some light makeup, a bold lipstick, spray your favourite perfume or cologne, or putting some effort into how you dress/style your clothes can be a tremendous confidence boost. If you look good, chances are you feel good too.
Even something as simple as a change of scenery can help change your mood. Move to a different room or better yet, go outside for some air. Getting outside is an amazing distraction as well.
Tip: Why not take a small walk around the block or visit a local library, sit at a park and maybe smile at someone coming your way. It can lift your mood instantly while giving you time to reflect.
We’re switched on 24/7. Have access to the internet, social media and the world in the palm of our hands. How do you essentially switch off and remain mindful?
I encourage you to each day, spend 5 minutes writing down what you’re grateful for. It helps your mind shift into seeing the positive instead of getting bogged down with the negative.
Add to this list daily or nightly. Just remember to come back to it at some point and read over what you wrote. Humans forget about the truly amazing things we accomplish and do. This is a helpful task that reminds us of all those feel good things we got to experience. Get your mind focused, be positive and mindful.
Panic. Heart beating so fast it feels like it’s going to burst out of your chest. Gasping for breath, feels like you’re breathing air through a straw. Heavy weight is crushing your chest. Mind is scattered. You feel like this is it. You’re going to die.
It wasn’t until I was in my early 20’s that I experienced my first anxiety attack. I knew by then I had anxiety but this, was crippling. Thankfully for me, they don’t occur frequently. But for those who suffer with the almost daily struggle to get up and leave the house without a pit in their stomach, or cry at the thought of having to go to school or work then know, I’ve been there many a time.
The month of May in the USA is Mental Health Awareness month. October is the official month here in Australia where we are encouraged to ask, “R U OK?”.
With today’s premiere of Season 2 of 13 Reasons Why, it got me thinking about how absolutely crushing it was to watch the first season and just want to be the one to reach out and save Hannah Baker’s life.
The blue nail polish is by Sinful Colors, Endless Blue and it became the statement colour Hannah used to paint numbers on each tape. I won’t spoil the end however there is another time she uses this colour. Cast members of 13 Reasons Why even took to wearing the colour on their nails at the season 1 premiere. My message in this post is, what can we do for those around us and how can we help ourselves? Let’s talk about Mental Health Awareness.
I’ve suffered with anxiety since I was a small child, always a thinker and a worrier. Some of us just have a predisposition or the personality type to develop mental illness. Others may be influenced by family and friends attitudes and behaviours, environmental impacts on our lives as children or genetics can also all come into play.
I didn’t of course realise what I had until I read it somewhere online and made the shocking correlation between myself, my actions and behaviours and the black and white text on the screen. It’s a long journey to find inner peace and certainly not one that’s mastered over night. A continuous learning curve that leads you through some of the darkest points of life and moments sometimes you don’t wish to re-live.
Everyday I begin with a few of these techniques to create a meditative period for myself. To be alone with the good thoughts and weasel out the bad. Focus on goals and opportunities I wish to create in my life.
Notice I said I wish to create? We are the creators of our lives. Every step you take and decision you make is leading you through the path of life you wish to take.
The above quote summarises exactly my point. Happiness is just a state of mind you choose. You choose to be positive or negative. You can either choose to look at the reason why your friend hasn’t text you back because, “they don’t care and are ignoring me because they hate me” or perhaps they’re super busy and got caught up with something and are waiting to text you back ASAP.
I find it’s human nature of the mind to lose our thoughts in endless ways.
Picture this, you’ve finished work/school for the day. You’re already in a bad mood because ‘xyz’ happened and are at a local supermarket picking up food before home. As you walk to your car carrying bags in your hands, your mind is running through a list of endless thoughts.
Internal dialogue, “I’ve got so much shit I have to do when I get home, clean up, wash the dog, cook dinner, then I have to pack everyone’s lunch for tomorrow and then if I’m lucky I might be able to go to the gym, then take a shower or take a bath, then…dammit why is this person parked so close to me? Do people not know how to park these days? Honestly who gives them a licence to drive? They better not have scratched my car with their door. I hate people who are so inconsiderate of others. I hate people! Idiots! (then your bag of groceries breaks open and a glass jar of something spills everywhere onto the asphalt). Oh great. That’s just my bloody luck isn’t it? Now I have to go all the way inside again and waste more time and now I’m running late! F my life.”
You can’t say your mind hasn’t ever done this before? Spiraled out of control where your mind is full of unclear thoughts that only leads to more disastrous things appearing like a domino effect.
To combat this these are just some of the ways I actively create a more positive start to my day and encourage mindful thought patterns. It’s recommended to do this earlier on in the day as the longer you put it off the more you probably won’t end up doing it.
Keep these short and simple
Keep them positive
E.G – “I am calm, I am calm, I am calm”
Use these when you’re doing something like walking to your car, walking your dog, waiting in line for something.
Repeat out aloud (if alone) or in your head for 5 minutes.
Write a list of the things you’ve accomplished in life, things that make you happy i.e “I’m a safe driver, I’m a great cook” etc.
Continue the list when you think of more.
Read this list daily for 5 minutes.
Create a board, piece of cardboard heck even a Pinterest board of images you love.
See a marvelous sunset? Pin it, stick it.
See some pictures of your favourite holiday destination? Pin it, stick it.
Look over this collage everyday for 5 minutes.
Meditate and imagine yourself where you want to be, imagine the feeling of already having what you want, imagine the sensory experience such as scents you would smell, things you could touch, things you can see and hear.
This takes practice. Aim for 10 minutes but start in small increments.
20 – 30 minutes is all you need to commit to yourself a day to evoke positive, feel good emotions. Then continue with your day. Do it for yourself.
I truly hope you found this post helpful, I encourage you to talk to someone if you have concerns.
Disclaimer: I am not a Doctor, Psychologist or Psychiatrist. None of the information provided is substitute for an actual consultation with your healthcare professional. Always speak to your healthcare professional when unsure. Seek help if you are struggling with mental illness.
“If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and then make a change” – Michael Jackson
Or Batman if you get my reference.
Thoughts, thoughts, thoughts…
Have you ever sat down and really listened to your mind? I’ll bet you haven’t.
Or maybe you’re laying down in bed after a stressful day and trying to get to sleep, tossing and turning which makes you even more frustrated. “Oh god I can’t be bothered to wash the dog tomorrow. If only he hadn’t chased the cat around the muddy backyard oh and the cat needs his shots because of all the fights he’s gotten into. I can’t forget to pick up my prescription from the doctors. And dammit my idiot neighbor better not wake me up again like last time otherwise I’m going to explode!”
A whole list of racing thoughts can go running through your head. Checked the time yet? If I go to sleep now I’ll get exactly this many hours sleep before I have to get up. It continues, and continues and continues, if you let it that is.
Hard to unwind is something I am well and truly familiar with. Anxiety is a label I’d given to myself many years ago. Now I understand that it’s all about being mindful. Mindful of my thoughts, mindful of what I’m doing. We all have times of anxiety, fear and even depression, that’s normal. It’s our ability to lift ourselves out of the negative, junk that plays through our heads and essentially re-route the path.
We go through life and let our minds essentially rule us when we should learn to control our minds and thoughts instead.
Our brain is always ticking over with thoughts and ideas, some good and some maybe not so good, a lot of useless thoughts can overtake us leading to crippling fear and anxiousness. Useless thoughts like, “Oh I can’t go and ask my boss for that”. Yes you can, why not?
So how do we figuratively control our minds? Well we can start by spending a little time each day in removing yourself from the real world. I touched on this briefly in my previous post, ‘How To Get Anything You Want’ and suggested meditation. It’s a great starting point, and you will find sometimes it’s not as easy as you think to sit down and zone out for 5 – 10 minutes. I choose mornings because when I wake, I’m still sleepy and calm. So I sit on the couch and switch on my Spotify ‘Calm Vibes’ playlist (thank you for the subscription sis-in-law). This is a part of learning to train your mind. After all the most important lesson I learned is that we must change our thoughts and beliefs to change our lives.
Before I forget, how’d you go with manifesting something random? I bet it worked. Let me know in the comments.