Is the cup half empty, or half full? 🥛
As simple as it may sound, maintaining positivity in your everyday life can be SO hard when you are ‘stuck’ or feeling overwhelmed with anxiety, depression, stress, fear or are physically unwell. You may be a youngster, or an adult, or even a parent. Wherever you are at in life, I am speaking to you!
Now I’ve said it before, I’m not medically trained. I am not a certified professional, I am just an average human being drawing from my own LIFE EXPERIENCE, and sharing what I have learned in the hope it may help you!
So I’ve come up with ten ways in which you can help to train and focus your mind on positive things which WILL ultimately result in happiness. I ask you, if you are suffering and the world seems small and closed in to you, please try to open a small part of your mind to the POSSIBILITY that there may be different things in store for your future. Keep that in mind while you read the ten ways that I have found beneficial for me.
Who the hell am I? What would I know?Well, probably not much more than anyone else, but let me tell you, I have been there!I have spent the good part of this last year not venturing very far out of my own home. Avoiding people, shops, driving in the car, visiting friends or family, taking care of myself, my home, my family. I had (not intentionally) allowed my anxiety and fear to control my life. I lost sight of who I was and I could not even imagine the world being opened up to me again, or heaven forbid, being happy! 😞
For me, I think there were some key factors that were contributing to my state of mind. (And these may be completely different to you!)
- I wasn’t happy with myself physically. I was overweight from having children and as I was adjusting to the first years of being a full time, single Mum (as hubby works away), I didn’t think I had any time to spend on myself, for example, showering or bathing regularly, making myself up, doing my hair, wearing nice and clean clothes or even eating properly. Becoming a parent is the hardest thing I have ever done, and looking after small human beings, you end up putting your needs last, and you may forget who you truly are and what you need. I did.
- I wasn’t happy with myself mentally. I have long suffered with phobias and anxiety, and even depression in my younger years, but this last year has really tested my endurance. I felt like a prisoner to my own thoughts. I could not see any possible way that I would overcome how I was feeling. But I had to hold onto my faith and trust that there would come a time (if I was patient enough) that things would change. I owed that to my children. I will FOREVER keep trying, for my children.
- I wasn’t on the correct medication. Not everyone is prescribed medication, and perhaps you are lucky enough to function without it! But I have had to accept from an early age that I would probably need a little something to help me be a better me. It was a massive journey finding the right fit for me. I think as my body changed so dramatically becoming a Mum and aging in general, my physical needs had changed. It took changing doctors (which is almost unthinkable when you are struggling as you have no idea what you may find next, only adding to your anxiety!) And it took trialling small doses of new medications, coming off old ones and waiting for the body to adjust, having bad reactions to the wrong ones, tolerating what may be a good one for me and then waiting…. and waiting…. and waiting…. for the body to accept and adjust to the new one!
- I was self medicating with alcohol. Now I don’t think there is anything wrong with enjoying a glass on the odd, special occasion. But when you are using it (or any drug) to ‘make yourself feel better’ or ‘escape reality’, on a very regular basis, that’s not normal, or responsible! Anxiety and alcohol go very hand in hand, because at the time of drinking, your anxiety reduces and you feel ‘better’. But for me, (and what I didn’t realise even though I was being told over and over again), it was creating my anxiety. It took my family intervening and forcing me to detox off it, which ultimately put me into withdrawal, but now that I have let it go, I cannot remember a time when I have felt so free! I will be FOREVER grateful to my family (and the Lord) for supporting me through such a hard time! I didn’t know it at the time, but it has been the best thing I have ever done! For me, and my family.
- I shut out the entire world. I became so afraid of what might happen out there, or what others would think of me, or how I would feel that I chose the easier option of ‘avoidance’. I did the bare minimum. I took the easier option at all costs! We live in a world now where you can get pretty much anything delivered, at a cost. I was ordering everything and anything I could online; food, groceries, clothes, shoes, firewood, alcohol, anything! The only times I had to go out was to go to the doctors, get medication, take my daughter to school or dancing, etc. And I usually did those things medicated, in some form.
- I forgot to enjoy and notice the little things. I forgot to; touch another person, play with my children, dance and sing to music, taste enjoyable foods, feel the sun on my face, listen to the world outside, everything that I now see that we are so blessed to have. 🙏🏻
I could go on…. but that’s not the purpose of this post. The purpose is to (hopefully) provide support to you or someone you love, and give you ideas to help maintain some sort of positivity and happiness amongst the chaos of your world.
1. Get Up and Open the Blinds. ☀️
Even if that is all you achieve on any given day. If there is a window in your room, get up and open the blinds, lie back down but face the window and look outside.
Do not turn your back on the window. On the world. On yourself! By opening the blinds, letting in the sun, and looking outside at the world, you are saying to yourself that you believe there is hope, there is a light, there is a life!
Yes, you may be in a state of recovery and need to rest, but be patient. Keep fighting! Trust that what you are going through now, is preparing you and strengthening you for better things! However long it may take.
When you are able to achieve more than that in your day, good on you!!!!
2. Fuel your Fire. 🔥
Go back to basics. Food, water, air and sunshine.
If you are physically feeling too anxious, stressed or depressed to eat, eat basic foods; soup, crackers, bananas, rice, bread, anything small you can nibble on.
Stay hydrated, but don’t overhydrate. It’s important to keep up your water intake but if you’re anything like me, drinking water can comfort you and you can overdo it! I ended up in hospital with water intoxication after thinking I should at least drink water if I wasn’t eating much. BALANCE!
If you are prescribed medication, take it correctly! The human body is very sensitive to chemical changes and forgetting to take dosages can throw your body into an imbalanced state. Also, adding unnecessary chemicals into your body (like alcohol or drugs) will NOT HELP YOU!
Sit outside in the fresh air and sunshine.
UNSUBSCRIBE to negative news feeds. Stop getting reminded of how crap you are feeling, could be feeling, should be feeling or how others are suffering like you. Instead, follow positive feeds, for example motivational pages, daily growth, support pages, blogs, inspirational quotes, etc.
Turn off the news and watch ‘feel good’ tv or movies, or listen to some easy-listening music! 🎵
What you feed your brain and soul reflects how you are feeling!
3. Stay Focused. 👀
Trust the journey and be patient.
Absorb yourself in YOUR world. How are your family, what do they need? How are your friends? Get excited about planning for birthdays, Christmas or events. Look after your home environment, keep it clean and organised, your car (if you have one!), spend time in your garden.
Do the best you can at your job! Whether it be working for the man, being a parent, being a volunteer or running your own show.
When you absorb yourself in your things, it gives you confidence and a sense of control. You can’t control anything other than your own things. This new found strength and confidence in yourself will prepare you to handle things that happen in the future that are out of your control.
4. Choose your Company. 👫
Surround yourself with people who love and care about you. Let go of negative people, even if they have been a long time friend or even family member!
People will come and go in your life and sometimes they are only around for a short time, for a reason.
ACCEPT that you may need to ask for help or support, there is NOTHING wrong with that!!!!!
Show up. When you’re feeling somewhat up to facing a bit of the world, if you’re invited somewhere or to meet a friend to catch up, show up! If they are a true friend, they won’t care that you don’t seem yourself, they will understand and most likely offer to help you, should you ask.
5. Ask the Question. ❓
Instead of ‘Why is this happening to me?”, ask ‘How is this helping me grow?’.
You may not understand it right now, but your story isn’t over yet! You can write your new story, and it may look absolutely NOTHING like your past!
Whether you are a believer or not, have faith that there is a greater purpose for you. Trust that the journey you are on now is leading you towards a better path. Never stop believing.
6. Seek Help. 🗣
There is always support for anybody in the world. All you have to do is accept it, and ask for it.
It is your choice where you seek support. A good place to start is a family member or a close friend that you know you can trust. Or if you know you just don’t feel right, your doctor. Be careful with who you share your information with though… unfortunately there are people out there that can seem like they’re supportive but can turn things around on you. I’ve learned that the hard way! 🙄
If you’re following support pages or people, drop them a line, LIKE ME! There is nothing you can tell someone like me that will surprise me… (click on my ‘contact’ link).
7. Be Thankful. ❤️
Be thankful for what you do have now, however big or small.
A family 👨👩👧👦? Be thankful! 🙏🏻
Food 🥘? Be thankful! 🙏🏻
Running water 💦? Be thankful! 🙏🏻
A cat 🐈? Thankful! 👍🏻
Learn to let go of the past. Depression thrives on the past! Holding on to things that make you feel bad about yourself, is not helpful to you or anyone else!
Look forward to the future! Don’t be afraid of the future. You’ve got this! 👊🏻 You will never be dealt anything you aren’t meant to handle.
8. Be a Good Person. 🤗
Look for ways to help others and train your mind to focus outwardly instead inwardly.
I know that when you are feeling anxious, afraid, depressed… it is such an effort to think of anything else that’s going on in the world, or for someone else for that matter! But I don’t remember any occasion where helping someone else or doing something kind has made me feel bad. 🤔 Prove to yourself in small ways that you are a good person! Help someone carry something, give way in traffic, donate old things to the needy, ring your Grandmother! By making someone smile, you can’t help but feel better about yourself 🙌🏻😁.
9. Embrace in Your Talents. 🎨
What are you particularly good at? Drawing, painting, gardening, cooking/baking, playing the piano, riding a horse?
When you have time… remind yourself of what you’re good at! Enjoy creating, making, fixing, or doing whatever it is that you can do! You don’t need to invest millions of dollars into setting yourself up a fine hobby, just keep it simple. You’ll surprise yourself at what you come up with! 😉 If you have children, spend time with them. Get down on the floor and play in their world. Make silly things out of things lying around the house, etc. Kids have an amazing imagination! It will inspire you! 🌟
10. Look After Yourself. 👱🏻♀️
Touching on this again because it is, I think, the most important. Only when you look after yourself can you truly be happy and can then look after others!
Take care of yourself by; having a regular shower/bath, cleanse – tone and moisturise, wash and brush your hair, make yourself up 💄 Even if you have nowhere to go. Like what you see and how you feel!
Eat right. Drink right. You know what is good and bad for you.
Stay active. I’m not saying go join a gym and slog it out four times a week! A simple walk…. playing with a ball with the kids, taking a yoga class.
Listen to your body and take time to relax and be still. Turn of the phone, the computer, the television and just be with yourself.
And lastly, enjoy the small things! This world, if you take the time to notice, is truly remarkable! 🌍 We can’t all be lucky enough to experience travelling to exotic destinations, but go outside! There is fresh air, a spectacular view, birds singing, the wind blowing in your hair and the trees, flowers, grass under your feet, sunshine on your face, butterflies 🦋 – it’s always been there and always will be, whenever you stop to notice!
I hope that one or more of these points has pressed a button in you! 💡If not, keep searching for something that does! If you want to run something on your mind by me, email me today! I will respond! Or pick up the phone and seek support. It is available! Some organisations even chat online to you so you don’t even have to open your mouth if you aren’t ready…
May you keep positive and choose happiness everyday! 😁
Stay well friends 🙏🏻