Today I wanted to cover something that I’ve been wanting to talk about for quite some time, but I couldn’t quite figure out how to talk about it. Every time I decided to set aside some time to write about this, I felt myself feeling like I was going about it the wrong way. Essentially, I told myself that I wouldn’t write this post, until I had found a way to write it in a style which could help people, and not just draw attention to problems, without at least attempting to share some ideas on how to handle them.
Now to start out with, I’d like to mention how happy I am to feel comfortable talking about this, and how proud I am that we as a generation are striving for the disappearance of stigma, and openness in regards to mental health. Now I’m not entirely blind to the fact that we still have a really long way to go before there is absolutely no stigma surrounding mental health and everyone feels they can be open about how they’re feeling, but I feel that we will vastly progress if we are unapologetic and each individually open with our struggles.
We have the power to make this a topic of discussion. We have the power to make people think. We have the power to create needed change.
So today I want to share something that has really improved my life, and that’s bringing mindfulness into your life. Mindfulness is defined as “the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something”. I can only speak from my own experiences, but using mindfulness in my day to day life has vastly improved how I feel.
Essentially I have found that by doing the following things, I feel much better, more present and relaxed.
Mindfulness of your breathing | I didn’t want to just share tips that can only be done when you’re at home, or have a lot of free time, so this one is perfect for if you’re feeling anxious or trapped, or having a difficult time in a situation that you cannot remove yourself from, bringing your attention to your breathing can be a quick way to slow your heart rate down and clear your mind. Try and focus on taking longer and deeper breaths, holding it for roughly 2 seconds.
Mindfulness of your activity | I know, that is just a sly way of saying exercise. Now trust me, I am not one for crazy exercise routines, so I’m not going to recommend spending 3 hours in a gym 3 nights a week, because I know that doesn’t work for everyone. For me personally, I just try to go for a walk or a light run if I’ve noticed that I’ve been inside for too long. Your body will let you know if you need some fresh air, it’s all about listening to it.Mindfulness of your surroundings/influences | If you take a step back from whatever it is that you’re doing, take a moment to evaluate whether or not it’s benefiting or bettering you in any way. If you’re surrounding yourself with negative people, and find yourself watching and listening to negative things, those things will affect your mood, and your approach to everyday life. I know it’s so easy to say ‘cut those things out of your life’, whereas the reality is that it is incredibly difficult. But believe me when I say you’ll be infinitely aware of how much more positive you feel about your present and future.
Mindfulness of your diet | Again, I am not one for diets, be they fad or not. I just think it’s important to listen to your body when it comes to what you’re eating and drinking. By all means, eat chocolate if you’re craving it, allow yourself a cheat day if you are dieting and you want a cheat day. The best piece of advice I could give anyone is to simply drink as much water as you can. That, and sugar free lemonade is life changing, you won’t believe how decreasing a little bit of sugar in your diet can clear your mind and make you feel fresher and better rested, as opposed to the harsh ups and crashes of caffeine and sugar.
Thank you guys so much for reading this post, it means a lot to me that you guys read my stuff. I am so grateful to the blogging community for being so uplifting and supportive, it truly is a place where I feel I can be open about anything I want to discuss.
Please leave any tips you guys have for picking yourself up because I think it’s always helpful to hear a range of tips from different people.