9 Easy Steps To A Positive Mind
What to do when it all gets a bit too much.
“Life is a rollercoaster” as Ronan Keating puts it, “you’ve just got to ride it”. I do think that is pretty accurate. The problem is when the going is tough it’s blumin hard to see that.
Sometimes life just doesn’t seem to be going the way you hoped, problems crop up big and small! Your mind becomes clouded and seeing a way forward isn’t all that easy. It can sometimes feel like you actually have the weight of the world on your shoulders. Personally, when I let things get on top of me I get headaches and spot breakouts. I binge eat food that isn’t good for me and I get incredibly cranky. I get sensory overload from the kids needing something all the time. Then I’ll raise my voice at the kids when quite frankly it isn’t called for. Then there is the added guilt that comes with shouting at your kids making you feel even worse. I can’t focus long enough to think of a solution so I retreat inwards and get no where.
Conversely, there are times in my life when I feel on top of the world and in those moments I feel grateful for everything I have and have had. In these moments I feel like I can achieve anything. I’m happy, smiley and feel in control of my emotions. When I’m happier, the kids are happier and I’m pretty sure the OH is too!
How do you lift yourself from the depths of despair? How do you switch from a negative state of mind to a positive one?
Here are a few things which help me. I know they may not be for everyone and some problems need more than these simple steps but they’re a good start. I really think that for any problem solving big or small the first and most important step is to STOP and BREATHE then refocus, plan and act.
#1 Use positive affirmations
Nothing beats some positive affirmations or positivity quotes. Speak it and you will believe it. Put up some positive quotes around the house in frames, make them a piece of art.
#2 Be realistic
Ask yourself ‘can I change this problem?’, ‘Is it my job/position/role to solve this problem?’, ‘Is there an actual answer?’. If the answer to these questions is ‘no’, then don’t waste your energy trying. Some things can be solved with time and effort but others simply can’t.
Sometimes all we can do is surf the wave till it reaches the shore where we can walk forward once more.
I find that I can worry about things that may or may not happen in the future, but thinking realistically – why should I waste energy worrying about something that might never happen. I should be focusing my thoughts and energy on the here and now. Lets face it, energy is in short supply when you have a young family. Focus it on what you can do, not what you can’t.
#3 Have some time out
As much as we love our family and friends we all need some time out. Time away to refocus our energy from negative to positive. This may just be an hour away or maybe a night or two away. It may be on your own, with your OH or friends. Whichever it is we all need some down time, for our mental and physical wellbeing.
#4 Go for a walk
Going for a walk can do wonders for me. Fresh air, the green and gold of nature. No pots and washing in sight, no piles of papers needing sorting. Just me (and usually the family) enjoying a good old walk. I wrote a post about bloggers favourite days out a little while ago and it came as no surprise that the overall majority told me that places outside usually amongst nature topped their list.
#5 Down tools and write a list
You’re rushing around, losing focus and direction. Everything needs doing – NOW! No it doesn’t. What is the worst that can happen if you down tools. Stop what you are doing and write a list ( I love a good list!). Prioritise, what needs doing today and what can wait. Can any of the tasks be simplified. For example online shopping, a quick call instead of a lengthy email?
If you find it difficult getting to sleep at night because you are worrying about things you need to do then write a list down in the evening of things you need to do in the next couple of days. Put it down, read a book or watch a bit of TV and go to bed knowing that you have prioritised tasks for the next day.
#6 Get together with friends
Sometimes a girl just has to unload with good friends. Friends (and that’s you too) don’t need to have a solution, just a pair of ears to listen and pair of arms for a hug! Sometimes just talking about issues out loud can lighten the load so much. Often putting things into perspective. Don’t let mum guilt get in the way of you taking a little time out to see friends, you are allowed!
I was unsure whether to put this in, I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea but sometimes the focus needed to do craft can take your mind off whatever it is bothering you. I recently spent a couple of hours doing an advent calendar tree with my daughter and I found it so calming.
Sitting down with a good book, a magazine or your favourite blogs in the evening preferably with a glass of wine or a bru can again take your mind off any worries you have. It can help you unwind after a busy day. Yes there may still be a full basket of washing needing doing or a toddler that may wake any second but this is your time, the washing can wait and the toddler might not actually wake.
#9 Do some exercise
I can’t stress enough how much exercise can improve the health of your mind. It really helps you to focus and see clearly. It helps you stay positive and better at decision making. I find once a week is enough to see these benefits. Of course if it’s weight loss you’re after that requires a bit more effort! A guest post I had explains this point further.
Do you have any ways to unwind or refocus? Do you suffer from letting everything get on top of you?