As you can see from my last post, March was a little tough. Not impossible and I’m happy to report negativity didn’t win, but it took me a few weeks to bounce out of it. Our mind is such a beautiful yet delicate thing. It has the potential to show us depths of strength beyond our imagined capacity but I find that if you take advantage of it, if you mindlessly carry on in a blur of day to day to do’s and don’t exercise it in the ways needed, the mind becomes stagnant, and a stagnant mind allows negativity to fester fast as a virus.
It took me a little while longer than I’ve become accustomed to and indeed than I’m comfortable with, to free myself from the grips of those negative thoughts last month and as you can only continue to move forward and learn from what has gone before, I decided to stop, recollect and assess, now that I feel better. I paid particular attention to the turning point or how I managed to get out of the negative frame of mind and in doing so discovered a few tools that will hopefully help me or someone else stay on track in the future.
I know so many people who suffer with different forms of anxiety and negative thinking and sometimes I think these are mistaken for depression. They can definitely take you over, as depression does, and certainly develop into depression if not addressed but I think there is an in between phase. The metal space I was in last month for example, was that place where everything begins to get harder. Everything seems to require more effort than you can muster, and every situation appears more negative. It is a spiral that rapidly progresses but as the molehills begin their transformation into mountains you can reverse the decline. It’s not easy, especially as your mind wants to do anything but make an effort in any respect whatsoever, but you CAN do it with a little push and a little self-love!
Taking the thoughts from my last post for example, it is amazing how you address these same thoughts when feeling positive as I do today and from this positive outlook stems little guidelines which may help to avoid derailing the happy train in future;
Thought One: All the things I haven’t done, the path’s I didn’t take.
Yes, it is sad that my life didn’t go exactly as I planned when I was a little girl singing into a hairbrush or writing my first fairytale about a good and a bad witch! but life isn’t over yet and maybe I won’t be the next superstar or Tolkien, but I can sing and record and book gigs and be heard on soundcloud as I can write and self-publish and pay more attention to this blog at the very least. The point is, the main thing I need from this venture I will gain if I just do something as oppose to doing nothing. The negativity stems from not doing it at all, not from not doing it in the specific way I had imagined. I am such a perfectionist, but I am the worst kind of perfectionist in that if I feel I may not achieve the absolute epitome of the thing I wish to do then I won’t even begin. It’s 100% or 0 from me! This is a terrible way to live life as very little is ever perfect and if you don’t try, you don’t budge from the place you started in. I am trying very hard to retrain myself and to acknowledge that the pure joy I seek from doing something I love will be achieved the instant I do it. Whether I sing in the shower or on a stage, read my poetry to a writers group in the local library or sell it in bookstores, my mind will feel the same happiness and consequently I will be altogether more positive. This goes for whatever you’re in to music, sport, writing, fashion, make up, do what you love on however small a scale you must. Just do something.
Thought Two: I’m looking older.
There is only one fountain of youth and that is fitness! It can seem completely impossible to motivate yourself to exercise when you feel negative. I know it has taken me 6 weeks to get myself back to the gym but once you start you will never look back! It doesn’t have to be a mad gym session, it can be a long walk every day or a jog or a swim or yoga, whatever form of exercise you fancy but I have realised that physical exercise is a vital cog in the healthy mind wheel. Physical strength and fitness beget mental strength and fitness and it is wholly necessary in order to maintain a happy head as well as a happy heart. It is so easy to fall into a rut, especially if you work in an office where you focus mentally all day and then feel too tired to exercise, you’re not! Your mind might be, but you don’t need it to work out! It can go on auto pilot and you can strengthen it while it chills 😊. Think of it this way, society / commercialism has used the heart as the emblematic station for our feelings to such a point that we feel an innate connection between the feelings we conjure in our brain and the beating muscle in our chest so in order to keep your feelings healthy, keep that heart exercised and strong!
On this same topic as a healthy body really does kick start a healthy mind, part of that process is also the things you eat. I know there are countless ways of saying this same thing but in attempt to keep it as simple as possible I have found that when I eat better and stay hydrated I feel happier. Everyone has different things that work for them, for me, I avoid all processed foods, always cook from scratch and try to drink at least 2 litres of water a day. I notice when my mind starts to become unhealthy, I start to eat less healthy and the downward spiral sets in. Feed your body well and you will feel great.
Thought Three: This reality is infinite and I will never experience enough.
I think this thought is an existential conundrum for all deep thinkers. It’s not something I can solve. I will always yearn for more but the best way to achieve as much as I can for myself is to begin with what I have right now and work my way outwards like ripples in a pond. Let each experience encourage you to do something more. Try something new once a month or quarterly or however suits. Keep it interesting and always keep life moving in the direction of further knowledge and understanding. We will never know everything but we can know a lot 🙂
Thought Four: There will always be a storm
This is my new thought to add. It’s something I have learnt from dogged experience and it is not negative believe it or not! If you wait for the time when everything is going great, you will never be happy. There is always something wrong either with you or with someone you love or, well, don’t get me started on the world as a whole! The fact is you cannot control the wrongs that come and therefore you are helpless to them and the longer you wait for them to rectify themselves the more disillusioned you will become. The solution is to learn how to be positive in your body and mind despite what’s going wrong around you. Always see the good, however small it seems in the moment and be thankful. You have already achieved the greatest scientific feat there is, you are alive, and you are conscious… now live.