• Health and Wellbeing , Personal Stories , Positive Psychology

These are some thoughts and ideas i have gained from from personal experiences, and things i have found to be useful when feeling low, down or negative.

When you feel down, finding joy in things is hard, but i think the trick is to start small, every small victory counts and is important to your overall happiness.

In no order.. take from this whatever may help you.

Make A Plan

Whether it be a plan for your day or a plan for the future, planning will remind you of your goals and aspirations, however small. Planning gives you something to work towards, to focus on. Make a list, a mind map, visualise where you want to be. Make time for things you enjoy and that will benefit you mentally, physically, spiritually.

Start Something

Start a project, start reading a book, start learning a skill, practice something you love, anything, whatever it is you want to do, just start. This can be the hardest part, but try thinking about the positive impact this will have on future you; starting something you want to do, now rather than the instant gratification of deciding to do it later. This ‘something’ doesn’t have to be life changing, but feeling like you are achieving something, and actively working towards something will make you feel more positive.

Positive Affirmations

Tell yourself positive things about yourself. When you constantly tell yourself something, you will begin to believe it. When you continually tell yourself ‘I am sad’ or ‘I am bad at -‘ you will continue to feel this way. If you start telling yourself ‘I am confident/happy/beautiful’, this is what you will become in your mind, and therefore what you will radiate.

Treat Yourself Better: Get Active

Get up (I know this can be the hardest part)

Go on a walk, run or bike ride, practice yoga, attend a class, start a sport; find something you enjoy. Moving your body, breathing fresh air, being around other people, or taking time for yourself, will give you an energy boost, and your body and mind will thank you.  Endorphins! – Scientifically proven to make you happy.

Treat Yourself Better: Eat Better

You really are what you eat. What you put in to your body will ultimately affect your physical and mental well-being. When you feel good internally you are able to feel good externally too, so treat your body well and you will feel mentally better and healthier.

A good idea would be to set up a routine of what you consume, drink water when you wake up, hot water with lemon, or green tea; take this time for yourself. Plan and prepare your meals, and think about this when you are purchasing food, this way you wont be tempted to just snack on anything. Again, make each meal an important part of your day, make time to prepare and enjoy your food. Eat with intention.

Mental health and physical health often go hand in hand.

Environment

Sometimes your environment can have a massive impact on your mental health and mind. If your environment is cluttered, often your mind can be too, if you are in an environment which is not benefiting you mentally, change it. It could be something as simple as changing, clearing out or tidying your personal space, this change in physical space can have a big impact on your mental space. Remove the clutter from your life. If it is an environment which is out of your control, either leave, because it is not making you happy, or try and change this space in your mind. You decide how you view a situation or environment, you decide your reaction. This links back to positive affirmations; if you are telling yourself you are unhappy, you will be. It is easy to dwell on negative emotions towards a place, person or situation. However, if you come in to an environment or situation with acceptance and openness, think about how it is benefiting you, think of this as a phase in your life, what are you learning? Then it is easier to accept and see the positive and beneficial aspects.

Another important tip is to realise where you find your energy, is it being around people? or being alone? Think about where you need to be to recharge, go there.

Gratitude

Personally i have found this to be one of the most important revelations for my own happiness. It seems obvious, but i think feeling gratitude for the simple things, the basis of life, is something which really helps you become a more positive person.

Firstly, gratitude for your body – look at all your body is capable of, your body is so strong and precious, it is what gives you freedom, how can you feel negatively towards something that gives you life? Secondly, gratitude for the earth and this life – watch a sunrise or sun set, experience the elements, be. I think when you stop and look at the beauty of this earth you will be overwhelmed.

To live gratefully is a skill you learn over time, but it is something which will change your life.

Let Yourself Feel

When you are feeling down or negative your instinct is usually to try and push it away and ignore it, but instead, try being in the present moment.

Your feelings are valid, they are part of what makes you human. Let yourself feel everything fully, do not try to push it away; acknowledge and experience it, accept it for what it is, then move on. Dwelling on feelings is useless to your personal growth, accept the emotion or situation for what it is and let go.

Take time to reflect, this might also help you find or pin point the root of the negative emotions, and therefore help you let go.

Let Go

This is again one of the most important things i have found for finding happiness within myself. Letting go of negative emotions, towards myself and others, honestly changed my life in such a positive way.

Sometimes you will revel in your negative emotions. You feel stuck in a rut, stuck on negative thoughts and feelings.

Try letting go of the emotions which are not serving you. When certain emotions become useless or even hindering to your growth, realise that you are only causing yourself harm by holding on to them. I realised this once i read these words – ‘Holding on to anger is like holding on to a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else, you are the one who gets burned’ – This applies to all negativity, when you are holding on to something negative within yourself, you are only hurting yourself. When you let go, the weight will lift and you will be free.

Be Mindful.

Be in the present moment. Let your mind be still. Feel your breath, feel your heart beat, feel your eyes in your sockets, your skin on skin, feel your body existing right now, concentrate on what you are doing, be. When you focus on experiencing your present moment, your fears of the future and anxieties of the past will leave you, being in the present is where you will find your true happiness.

You Are In Control

Realise you are in control of your mind and emotions.

What you think; the emotions you feed; you become, you radiate, you receive.

Everything you need in order to find your happiness is inside of you.

Honestly, i still have to continually remind myself of these things, i am still learning and growing, as we all are. Hopefully these ideas and practices can help you on your journey in some way.

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