Friday, 13 July 2018

Setting yourself goals that are easily manageable.

Good afternoon! 

My new post today is about setting goals. It's always a good thing to set goals if you're feeling stressed and if you feel like goals are impossible to reach then you need to change the way you set your goals. 

For me I feel that setting goals is such a positive activity to do, if you have anything in mind that you would like to achieve then set that as your goal and take the steps you need to do to reach the goal.  Also having a goal, a wish, or a plan can make it more likely that you'll go out and achieve them. Here are some examples you can do to make sure you set realistic goals and can take the steps to achieve them. 



1. Write down your goals. If we list them on paper we are more likely to achieve them. If we think of goals rather than write them down we are probably going to forget them or personally for me they just don't seem as important and I just think, oh I can do that some other time. 

2. To add to writing down you goals it is also important to make sure the goal that is chosen is something reachable and has the right amount of details. For example you could have a goal of 'I need to save money' but you could add to it to make it more achievable by saying, 'I need to save £100 extra this month.' This means you have a main target to focus on and an end date, sometimes if you set a goal without a due date you might not achieve the goal because you can keep dragging it out for months and months. 

3. Make goals exciting. If you set a goal that's not that interesting then you might not complete it. It's always good as well to include a why into your goal. The reason behind a goal is just as important as the goal itself. So with my example earlier of saving £100 extra for this month, why do you need that extra money? Maybe your reasoning could be, oh I'm saving for a holiday or saving for a new car, if you make the reasoning quite an excitable one then achieving the goal will be a fun experience. 

- You could also add steps to achieve the goal that way it could make them even easier to complete if you follow your own steps that you have written down alongside your goal.

So they are just a few things to help you out in achieving your goals. I thought the next half of this post will be my goals that I want to achieve. There's quite a lot of goals I currently have but I will put in my top 3 goals, with due dates, and with reasons why. 


First goal: 
Move into my flat in Birmingham and get settled. Moving in date is the 28th July. We are currently at the stage of finishing off the paperwork, I've started to pack up my things as well so I've just got to finish that off, dismantle some furniture so I can take that with me, finish off the last bit of paperwork and then get everything moved! I'm about 40%  to the completion, once all the paperwork is done it'll take that to 50% as all I'll need to do then is move my stuff up there. 

Second goal: 
Get fit and healthy. Now this is a goal that a lot of people have but it's one of those goals that never have an end date, because once you're in a good place you don't just stop, you have to continue to maintain it. I started this week off with some intense exercising, I have been getting up every morning and doing an hour workout, I've been going out for walks, and I've been trying to not eat too unhealthy. I don't really eat too crazy with regards to unhealthy food because living at home at the moment we don't really have that much unhealthy food, so I guess you could say I'm kind of forcing myself to eat well. I'm hoping once I move out that the weekly shopping will be good and that we will stick to meals, it's never good when it gets to the evening and you don't have anything planned for dinner, I feel like it motivates me less to cook something. 

Third goal:
Get a job that I want. A lot of people have similar goals where they want the job they've 'dreamed' of. I want to stay within the IT industry, and at the moment I am doing a web developer course where I am learning a lot of programming languages - it's tricky I'm not going to lie, but I really enjoy it. Obviously I enjoy creating websites - one of the reasons I enjoy blogging so much, and I always feel so accomplished when I write up a code and it creates cool layouts, designs, and styles of a website. My due date for finishing my course is end of August, there's a lot of lectures, I am currently on lecture 76 and there is 306 - and some of the lectures are about five minutes long but once you do one section there is an end project you have to create which can take hours. My due date for my job is mid August, I'm hoping it'll be before then but that's the latest target. 


So there's some of my goals! I have many more but listing them all would be too much for you guys to read! What's your goals? Have a think now and write down a list, try and write them out how I have so they seem more reasonable and achievable. 

I hope you enjoyed this post, and as always, 

chat soon 

Thursday, 5 July 2018

Keeping A Healthy Mind

Good evening 😊

Hope you are well, today I will publish a small post on how to keep a healthy mind. This is so important with helping with your mental health, having a healthy positive mind will help with your well-being.

How to keep your mind healthy 

Having a balanced diet:

Firstly eating the right food. Of course you already know that eating healthy is good for your physical health but it also helps with your mental health and has a positive effect on your mind. It is suggested that a good diet can play a role in the development, management and prevention of several conditions including - depression, schizophrenia and alzheimer's disease - however this is not to say that it will control these conditions or cure them but helps with the management of these conditions. The Mental Health Foundation have reported that fewer than half of those who report a mental health problem consume less fresh fruit - but this could be because the mental health issues can cause a lack of interest in eating healthily. However that said there is little doubt eating a balanced diet will help with your well-being.

Examples of eating healthily include - eating foods that are antioxidants as they can help improve focus, problem solving, and memory. Fish - you've all probably heard about this before but fish is the ultimate brain food - eating fish a few times a week can help keep a healthy mind. Avocado - these have mono-saturated fat which increases blood flow and with a increased blood flow it helps keep a healthy brain. Whole grains, olive oil, onions (these have antioxidant enzymes that may help block damage to the blood-brain barrier, superfoods - these are the best foods to eat for the most nutritional punch, and I'm also going to add on breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, eating breakfast before you go off to school or work can really help the brain to become more mentally active for the day ahead.

As well as particular good food to eat, supplements are also very important. These include: Omega-3, B Vitamins, Water, Vitamin E, and Vitamin C to name a few. 

Keeping your mind active:

Is it important to keep your mind busy? Over the years there has been studies and speculation that keeping your mind busy can help with diseases such as Alzheimer's and dementia. An example of this is that it is suggested that doing crosswords and other brain-training activities that keep your mind active can be very helpful for your mental well-being. 

Other mental activities for your brain can include - playing games like scrabble, as the aim of the game is to create words with the letters you have it can be very stimulating. Reading is another example, you can read anything from books and magazines to the back of cereal boxes, reading keeps your mind pumping and you also learn new things at the same time. You could also watch a thought-provoking movie with films like that it can keep your mind pondering for a few days afterwards too. Video games can also be good at keeping your mind busy, when you play most games you are constantly working out what you need to do and it keeps your brain thinking. You could also be creative and start a new hobby, learning something new keeps your mind very busy, for example learning to play a new instrument.

Physical Exercise: 


Physical exercise keeps your body fit but also keeps your mind and mental well-being healthy. Exercise increases blood-flow and oxygenates the brain. There's a lot of examples you can do for this and it doesn't have to be too crazy.  Examples include gardening - mowing the lawn, planting, raking leaves etc, going swimming - this is quite a good one as it's very good for you and it's fun to do at the same time, go on a walk or a bike ride, dance, play some sports - tennis/golf/football/rugby etc. I always find after doing exercise I feel so happy, I find when I'm in a bad mood and decide to do some exercise I always feel good afterwards.

Challenge your brain: 

 Learning new things is a great way to keep your mind active and healthy. Even if you heard someone say a word you hadn't heard of before, look it up, or if you see a flower that you don't recognise - find out what it is. More examples include music, as I said previously learn a new instrument, learn how to read music, or research into some new music. Learn a new language, back when you were at school did you study a foreign language? Pick that up again. Other examples include, taking up art, playing some chess, making a switch in your career, travel somewhere you've always wanted to go, go back to university - always wanted to get a degree in something but hadn't gotten the chance when you left school? Go for it now, it's never too late.


Reducing Stress: 

I have written blog posts about reducing stress so if you would like more discussion and help then please have a look at my previous posts. Reducing stress can help keep your mind healthy, make sure when you are feeling stressed that you can relax yourself.

A few examples can be - bathing, having a soak in a hot bath can help, meditation can improve focus and stress, taking deep breaths can be a form of relaxation and it also oxygenates the body which keeps the brain healthy, relaxation exercises such as Yoga can help teach your body to feel calmer which will then reduce stress, having fun - take time away from work and responsibilities to just enjoy life as everyone needs a break, think positively and say yes to things, smile and laugh often not only will this help you but it will also affect those around you, get plenty of sleep - make sure you get enough sleep every night, and lastly get a pet -they can help with isolation and loneliness and help to reduce stress.

Stimulate your senses: 


When you take part in something that incorporates one or more of your senses it stimulates brain activity and helps to keep your mind sharp as well as strengthening your mental acuity.

Examples include - sculpting, you use your brain to be creative and design a sculpture but you are also using your hands to feel the clay.Aromatherapy which I have mentioned before, this can really help with stress levels and calm you down, it can also be as easy as having a nice smelling candle lit whilst you are doing something else such as reading or writing. Get a message - as well as having the stress and tension worked out they often include essential oils which gives you the added benefit of a pleasant scent. Try new food - trying new food uses a few of your senses, it uses your sense of taste, your smell and your sight. Gardening can also be very beneficial in stimulating your senses, you get the feel of the soil as you plant some flowers, you can hear the nature around you, you can taste herbs or veg/fruit you've planted, and you can also appreciate the colour and beauty of the flowers you have nurtured. Going to a concert - listening to music really helps to stimulate your brain.The list goes on and on but those are just a few examples.

Be Social: 


Being social helps reduce isolation and stress and stimulates the brain through shared learning experiences and emotional connections. There's so many ways nowadays to keep social, it doesn't have to be in person.

You can email or send a letter to a friend, I think it's always quite nice when you get a post card from a friend. You could join a club - it's a great way to make friends with people who have the same interests as you. You can always pick up the phone and have a chat to someone. Go out to dinner with friends or invite friends over for a dinner, go to a cooking class or a book group, play online games with some friends or just have an online chat, you can also find online discussion groups and find a topic you are interested in and chat to others who are also interested in the same topics as you.


There's so many ways to keep your mind healthy and a lot of them are so easy to do in your spare time. I hope this post has helped you or even given you some ideas of what you can do if you feel stressed or that your mind is not in a good place. I'm sure I'll write up another post about this as it's already gotten too long!

As always, chat soon.

Thought I'd add my cute lil cat on here ❤







Friday, 29 June 2018

A little Life Update.

Good afternoon! 

How amazing is the weather at the moment, I feel like I'm on holiday! Although it isn't so nice when you're trying to sleep in the evenings...

Anyway today I thought I'd write a little post on my life update, where I'm at, what's going on, and how I'm feeling. 

Apologies as there hasn't been a blog post in a few weeks my life at the moment is just chaos - but in a good way! Yesterday was my last day at my job as I am moving out of Northampton, all very exciting! It has been quite scary for me, it feels like I've taken such a risk in leaving my job and leaving my home here to start a new life in Birmingham but at the same time it's so exciting, I'm about to start a new adventure in a massive city, with loads of opportunities and I get to live with my boyfriend. Another plus is that it isn't too far away from here, it would only take me an hour on a train to come back and visit so I'm sure I shall be doing that every so often - I'm going to have to come back to see my cat!! (and my family and friends too of course.)

How has my anxiety been? 

If I were to compare myself from the end of last year/beginning of this year to this very day I have come a long way. I haven't had any issues with eating, I haven't been getting so tired all the time, I haven't been getting myself ill or stressed and I feel happy. I'm super happy that things have started to happen, for example moving out of my family home and moving in with my boyfriend - I feel like that has been a long time coming but I'm also quite grateful that we've had so many years apart to save up and make sure the moment was right before doing it.

Obviously the whole moving in thing can be a little stressful but I'm just trying to take it one step at a time, I don't want to work myself up about it when it should be an enjoyable experience.

Of course as well it has been a big gamble to leave my job and go into the unknown, I haven't got another job in Birmingham lined up yet but I'm sure they'll be some exciting opportunities for me. I know that I may find this next month quite a stressful one and I'm sure I'll even panic about it but I know it's going to be fine - and that's what I have to keep telling myself.

I am still trying to grow my confidence and do things that I wouldn't normally do - one thing for me is wearing dresses/skirts/shorts without tights. For most that's probably a really silly thing, but for most of my life even when it's been summer in the UK I will always wear tights or trousers, I don't think I've gone out of my house here with my legs out in years but hopefully I can change that, especially with this weather we are having! So there are little things that I'd like to get better at, and I know I'm probably going to freak out at every job interview I have that's coming up but I know I can do it.


I hope you've all had a lovely week and enjoy the sunshine this weekend - looks like it's going to be a hot one! I might even have myself a little BBQ because that's what us brits do when we get a little bit of sun.

I will be back again very soon with another blog post! As always, chat soon. 🌞

Salou, from the holiday I have just been on :)

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Managing Stress and Anxiety

Good evening all 💓

Hope you are all feeling good and having a wonderful day. Today I am writing a post on ways to manage stress and anxiety - I know it can be difficult to do so even if you have all the advice on how to do it - I struggle with this, but I find it helpful to read some tips on it.

Ways to manage


1. Find out what triggers the stress or anxiety.
If you start feeling stressed or anxious question it, what are you doing that very moment that's making you feel like that? If you are more aware of the triggers it is a lot easier to manage because you can take steps to avoid the triggers.


2. Talk to others.
It's always good to speak to a close friend or family member if you're feeling stressed or anxious. If you have a lot going on in your mind it often helps to talk through them. This also helps because you will start to list all the things that are causing the stress/anxiety and it is easier then to list ways to cope with them. Also it can feel like you're taking a bit of that weight off your shoulders when you talk to someone about it.


3. Use relaxation tips.
If you know what helps you to relax than do it, you know it helps to make you feel calm so when you are feeling stressed and anxious then that's the time to do it. Maybe you find taking a bath is relaxing, listening to music, going out for a walk/run, talking to someone, meeting up with a friend, making yourself your favourite meal, getting a duvet and lying on the sofa watching a film/television program, if you find mindfulness and meditation helps you can do that. If you have something on your mind that's bothering you, although it's good to get it sorted, sometimes the better option is to distract yourself just for an hour or so, forget about it and do something you know you will find relaxing and then go back to it at a later date.


4. Look after your physical health.
This is so important, it is common for those suffering with stress and anxiety to stop looking after their physical health which will cause more stress. These include:

  • Getting enough sleep, you find that if you don't get enough sleep often negative feelings are likely to be exaggerated and this will cause you to feel irritable and more stressed. 

  • Physical activity is also important - how many of you have been so unmotivated to go to the gym or go out for a run but you force yourself to go and when you're back how positive do you feel? I always find that I moan about going to the gym but when I get home afterwards or the next morning I'm feeling so much more positive and happy. There are some reasons behind why exercise can help relieve stress - exercise lowers your body's stress hormones in the long run, it also helps to release endorphins which are chemicals that improve your mood and act as a natural painkiller. Also carrying on from sleep - exercise can help to improve your sleep quality. It can also help with your confidence, if you exercise regularly you may feel more confident in your body which helps with your mental well-being.

  • Eating healthy/well - this has a positive impact on your physical and mental health. Something to add to this can be reducing your caffeine intake - high doses of caffeine can increase anxiety - this is found in coffee, tea, chocolate and energy drinks. However people do have different thresholds for how much caffeine can be tolerated but if you start to notice that its making you feel jittery or anxious then it is wise to cut back on it.


5. Remember to give yourself a break. 
If you make a mistake please forgive yourself - everyone makes mistakes. If you don't achieve something then don't worry about it, it is disheartening when you don't get the grade you want, or you don't get that job you applied for but it's fine, you can try again. You have to remember that nobody is perfect, we will be rejected, we will make mistakes, we will fail things but this is what you have to go through to get the successes.


6. Light a candle. 
This might sound strange but this can help to lower anxiety and stress and also helps you to sleep. Certain scents are especially soothing, examples such as - Lavender, rose, vetiver and bergamot to name a few. This is a well known method to help treat your mood and it is called aromatherapy - it can decrease anxiety and improve sleep.


7. Writing things down. 
Sometimes if you're feeling stressed because you've got too much to do then write down a list and dates or times that you wish to have these done by and work on them one at a time. Also as well as writing down things that are making you stressed it's good to write down the things that you are grateful for. This can help you to focus on the positive aspects in your life and it will probably surprise you how long the list will be!


8. I mentioned above about talking to friends and family but it is also important to spend time with them.
Organise a day out with someone or a group, you'll probably find that it will be fun and if you do have something on your mind that is stressing you out then having a good day out can really help. Sometimes when I feel anxious or when I'm feeling down I don't want to do anything, I usually just want to come home from work and get into bed and just watch something on Netflix, but sometimes when I'm feeling that way if I push myself to go meet a friend I feel so much better afterwards. This also gives you a good opportunity to talk to them and tell them how you're feeling.


9. Spend some time with your pet (if you have one).
This might sound weird but there are studies out there that show that pets can help relieve stress. Interacting with pets may help to release oxytocin which is a brain chemical that promotes a positive mood. It can also help by giving you a purpose, keeping you active (if you have a pet that you can take out for walks) and provides companionship - these are all qualities that help to reduce stress and anxiety.

10. Have some 'me time.' 
It is known that here in the UK we work the longest hours in Europe meaning we often don't get to spend time doing things we enjoy. Maybe you can set aside a few nights a week for some quality 'me time' away from work.



These are just a few ways to help manage stress and anxiety - I hope they are helpful.

Chat soon ❤

Sunday, 27 May 2018

Mental Health - The Truth

Good afternoon!


How happy are you that it's a bank holiday weekend?! I know I am!

I'm just counting down the days till I go on holiday which is on the 2nd of June - not too long to wait now! Next week will probably go extremely slow for me as I'm just waiting for that day!!



Mental Health Statistics


As it has been Mental Health Awareness a few weeks ago I thought I would write a post on some of the statistics, I've been doing some research into it and it's quite scary how many people have had or are experiencing mental health issues as you read this.

1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year, and in England 1 in 6 people report experiencing a common mental health problem like anxiety and depression in any given week. Researching into this it is known that overall the number of people with mental health issues has not changed significantly in recent years however people the ways of how people are trying to cope with them is getting worse - more people self harm or have suicidal thoughts.  

 Every 7 years a survey is done in England to see how common specific mental health problems are, the last was done in 2016 and these were the results:

Generalised anxiety disorder - 5.9 in 100 people
Depression - 3.3 in 100
Phobias - 2.4 in 100
OCD - 1.3 in 100
Panic Disorder - 0.6 in 100
PTSD - 4.4 in 100
Mixed anxiety and depression - 7.8 in 100

In the mental health awareness week we just had the main focus for many charities was stress so there had been a study that has just been done on mental health caused by stress.

From the website - https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/statistics/mental-health-statistics-stress you can see all the statistics there, but I will mention a few.

From the past year 74 percent of people have felt so stressed they have been unable to cope or felt so overwhelmed by it. However the percentage of older people to younger adults there is a major difference, 30 percent of older people reported to never feel so stressed they couldn't cope to only 7 percent of younger people who had reported to never feel this way.

Adding onto this, 51 percent of adults who felt stressed reported feeling depressed and 61 percent feeling anxious - the stats are so high and also quite sad to see. There are so many different causes to stress which are resulting to feeling depressed and anxious, these include:

  • Having a friend or relative with a long-term health condition
  • Having a lot of debt
  • The feeling of needing to respond to messages instantly 
  • Comparing yourself to others
  • Appearance and body image
  • Housing worries
  • A high statistic for younger people is from the pressure to succeed - 60 percent of 18-24 year olds and 41 percent of 25-34 year olds reported this, compared to 17 percent of 45-54 year olds and only 6 percent for those over 55. 

If you want to see the exact statistics for these you can click onto the link above.

Mental Health in Young People


I thought I'd discuss a few statistics of mental health problems with young people as I am under that category. 
  1. 10 percent of school children have a diagnosable mental illness - in average if you had a class of 30 children, three will have a mental health problem. 
  2. It is said that 75 percent of young people with a mental health problem are not receiving treatment for it. 
  3. Suicide is the biggest killer of young people in the UK - it is the leading cause of death in young men and women aged 20-34. It is also revealed that the number of young suicides each year is greater than it has been for the past 10 years. 
  4. More than half of young people link mental illness with alienation and isolation
  5. More than half of young people feel embarrassed about mental illness - it is reported that females are more likely to say they have a mental health problem than males. 
These are just a few statistics I have got from surveys - it just goes to show how big the problem is.

I don't want to bombard you with too many numbers but I just wanted to outline how many people suffer with mental health problems, these statistics as well will not be including everyone - there's so many people out there that suffer with these issues but won't have gone to a professional to be diagnosed or sought help or treatment.

I hope you all have a lovely bank holiday weekend whatever you are doing. As always, chat soon!

Saturday, 12 May 2018

Putting yourself first

Good afternoon!

Apologies for the lack of posting on a Sunday recently, I won't say I'll always have a post out on a Sunday because they'll be weeks where I just don't get the chance to sit down and write, as you've noticed for the last few weeks!

At the moment I seem to be busy every weekend and working in the week so it's been quite hectic! But of course I will always make time to do some blogging as it's something I enjoy and it's quite relaxing writing, especially when you have a million and one thoughts on your mind.

Be a little selfish, put yourself first.


I've decided to write a post on putting yourself first, I feel this is something very important to do. We often put others first and we tend to look after others before ourselves. Of course it is a lovely thing to look after others and I'm not saying you shouldn't but it's always good to put yourself first sometimes.

 From reading the 'Self Care' book by Mel Noakes she mentions quite a good example of this of when you go on an aeroplane - when they go through the flight safety instructions they mention that when the oxygen masks fall from the ceiling you should put yours on before helping others around you.

    "The simple fact is you can't give from an empty well. If you're struggling to cope, if you can't breathe, how can you possibly help anyone else? Self care and looking after yourself actually enable you to be stronger for those that you love, to be able to help more effectively and to become a positive role model for the people around you."

There's so many different ways and situations to put yourself first. Here is a list of a few:

1. If you're out with someone and you start to feel anxious then tell them, say out loud that you're feeling anxious. Instead of hiding it and probably making yourself feel more anxious because you're worried that the people around you will think you're acting differently, let them know how you're feeling.

2. Make sure you're feeling comfortable, if you're not then do something about it. There's no harm in taking yourself out of a situation if you don't feel comfortable. If you're out with your friends and you start to feel so anxious and uncomfortable don't be afraid to step out. If you were sitting at a restaurant and you started to feel anxious just say that you need to go to the toilet, hide there for a few minutes, take some deep breaths before heading back out.

3. Give yourself more time. Sometimes I find when I'm feeling more anxious before going to work I like to get up earlier just to give myself that extra time to relax. I usually like to get ready for work and then have a good 20 minutes to just sit down and chill out before heading out to work. You can do this in any situation, before going to school/college, going to a friends house or a party etc.

4. Treat yourself. This is a very important thing to do and I'm not just saying this because I like to buy myself loads of new items but hey, it makes you feel good. How does it make you feel when you get a parcel and its those new t'shirts you've ordered? Or you go out and buy a film you've always wanted to watch or a new game you've wanted for so long. Little treats like that can really help you feel more positive, it's never a selfish thing to treat yourself.

5. Note down what triggers your anxiety. I do find that if something triggers your anxiety you shouldn't not do that thing but sometimes when you're feeling so anxious it's not always good to put yourself in the situations that you know will cause you to feel stressed/anxious.

6. Don't downplay your emotions. Explain to the people close to you how you're feeling, that way they'll be able to understand when you're feeling your most anxious, they can understand the situation and help you to get through it. It also helps others understand just what anxiety can do to someone.


There's so many other examples of putting yourself first but I just wanted to highlight a few. In putting yourself first it can help you to feel positive about yourself, it makes you feel good. It's good to be selfish sometimes. 😊

As it's a blog post about putting yourself first I thought I'd end it with a selfie of myself, just so happens that I've had my hair cut and dyed 💚

Hope you enjoyed this little post and remember to put yourself first and you treat yo self!

As always, chat soon.

xx


Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Mindfulness

Good evening ❤

My update: 

It's been over a month now since I published my anxiety story and I can't believe how much support and lovely messages I have received because of it, it has reached so many people and I have had so many of you tell me how helpful it has been. I'm so appreciative of all the messages you guys have sent me.

If you're wondering I feel like it's good to give you a little update on how I have been. I haven't been getting ill which I'm so pleased about, I have been dealing with my anxiety a lot better. Of course it hasn't been plain sailing, I've had some hard days. I've had a lot of bad days and it seems silly sometimes because I struggle to follow my own advice that I give on here, so trust me when I say, I know how hard it is to do something and to follow someones advice when you're feeling so down and anxious. I am a lot better at eating, I've found that I eat normal amounts when I'm around people I'm comfortable with which is a step forward for me - the only times I struggle is if I've been out to eat with people I'm not a hundred percent comfortable with I find that I can barely eat anything which is annoying but I'm glad that I understand why I'm struggling to eat. In the past month I've only had one moment where I've nearly had a panic attack - it was pretty awful but I got through it. Although recently I have been experiencing a lot of heart palpitations and I have felt like my heart is racing a lot more than it should but I have had a lot on my mind recently that has been causing me a bit of stress unfortunately. However ending on a positive, I feel so much better than I did last month which I am so pleased about.

Mindfulness

 

I have been reading and learning about mindfulness and I have found it very interesting so I thought I would share what I have learnt and my thoughts on it.

One of the biggest issues many of us face is that we lose touch with our surroundings and we often don't really appreciate the present moment we are in. We often live in our heads with stresses of life and hectic schedules and therefore we end up losing our connection with our bodies and the world around us. Reading about this subject has made me realise how important it is to just stop what we're doing sometimes and really live in that moment, look around you, just watch the world going round - it's such a relaxing technique. It's so important to stop and really notice your surroundings, what sounds can you hear? What can you smell? What can you see? How do you feel, what emotions are you feeling at that very moment, letting your mind process this can be such a helpful technique if you're feeling anxious.

I find as well that it's such a simple technique, you can practice mindfulness anywhere at anytime. You could be at work on your lunch break, you could be on the way to work maybe on a bus or on a train, you could be in a restaurant or having a coffee - it's something you can do wherever.

An example of mindfulness is you could try taking a different route to work, getting up earlier than you usually do, or going somewhere different for lunch. When you do this how does it make you feel? A change of routine can be so refreshing, it can change the way you feel about the day because you're doing something out of your usual routine, it has a positive affect on your mind.

Maybe when you're on the way to work focus on your surroundings, I bet when you travel to work you often go into an auto pilot mode and when you arrive at work you think, I can't remember how my journey was to work. When you focus on your surroundings think about how you feel, maybe you saw a cute cat on the way somewhere, how did that make you feel? It might sound silly but it will make such a difference to your mind and will help with a more positive outlook.

Another example of this would be when you're eating something. Take the time to smell the food, look at the colours and the texture before putting it into your mouth. When you put it into your mouth notice the flavours and the sensations you feel while eating it. This can help you feel more satisfied, it can also help you to pay more attention to you fullness cues and it can also make you discover a lot more about your food!

Mindfulness links to meditation - you've probably heard a lot about meditation, it's something that has been around for centuries. It helps to reduce stress, helps to improve concentration, it can increase positivity, happiness and emotional wellbeing. Meditation is so good for your mind! It's good to do because you take time out to do it, it's time where you empty your mind of the day and anything you might be stressing about and you think about that present moment, it's the ultimate 'me' time. It can help to make you feel recharged and give you that positive affect. The good thing about meditation is that there are many different types, you might try one that's not for you but there's so many different meditation techniques you can try out.

If you'd like to read more about this a really helpful article I have read is - https://www.mindful.org/meditation/mindfulness-getting-started/. There's so much to learn and read about and there's so many different techniques, video's, breathing guides - it's super helpful, I'd recommend you read this if you don't know much about mindfulness or how to get started with it.

Another interesting page to read would be the NHS page on mindfulness, if you just want a bit of a summary of it and how it can help this is really handy to read - https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/mindfulness/.

There's so many apps out there as well that you can download onto your phone, I have an app called 'What's Up?' This has coping strategies, information on anxiety, depression, self esteem and stress, your own personal diary you can write down notes on, it also has a section that's labelled 'help right now' which has grounding techniques if you're feeling anxious, breathing control techniques, a catastrophe scale which can help put your problems into perspective easily, forums, uplifting quotes, helpful websites and so much more, it's such a great app that you can go on whenever and wherever you are when you need it the most.

There's so much out there with this information on that you can find. I hope you have enjoyed reading my post on mindfulness and hopefully it has been something that you have found interesting. I plan on writing a lot more about this in the future.

As always, chat soon 🎔