I understand more than anyone that you can’t talk yourself out of anxiety.
I am someone who suffers from anxiety. It is something that I have actively battled with for many years now.
I understand more than anyone that you can’t talk yourself out of anxiety and that anxiety
is not necessarily happening for a specific reason or towards a particular topic or concern.
Like all mental health issues, it completely overwhelms you, takes hold and is extremely scary. I would never suggest that having a positive mind will cure or control your mental health disorder
but what I have learned is that having a positive mind really helps me to prepare for the times that I don’t feel so good and perhaps more importantly empowers me to really enjoy the times that I do.
Having a positive mind can make everyday life a lot more manageable. The problem lies in the fact that there are so many daily reminders of things that are not so positive. The news feeds us a constant supply of reasons to be worried or sad while bills, chores, parenting responsibilities and work deadlines can completely overwhelm us.
However, having a positive mind can help us transcend the stress and negativity that is thrown at us. It helps us to create a bubble where even in the midst of chaos we can find a safe haven where we feel protected and reassured that things really will be OK.
Here are eight daily rituals which really help me to have a positive mind
1. This one might sound obvious but starting the day with a shower is really important for me. I was always a fan of an evening shower but these days I’ve noticed that starting the day with a hot shower helps me to feel fresh and cleansed in both body and mind. I try to use that five minutes to literally “wash away” any stress or anxiety associated with the day. I have a little board meeting with myself where I think about the plans for the day and how I can make the most of them. It’s a tiny bit of me-time before the hustle of the day begins.
2. Before I go to bed I choose my outfit for the next day. I go as far as leaving out jewellery, tights, shoes and any hair bobbins etc I might need. I am less motivated in the morning and I find that doing this leaves me more time to enjoy my shower and breakfast which help me start the day off on the right track.
3. You’ve heard it a million times but get your five a day into you. Eating five portions of fruit and vegetables every day will help you to feel energised as well as improving digestive issues which may be causing you daily stress. These kinds of foods also carry great healing properties and can positively impact your overall attitude and well-being. Drinking enough fluids is also really important. Pick up a colourful water bottle that is just for you and every time you think of it re-fill it.
4. Limit screen time as much as possible. One of my new year's resolutions is to not take my phone to bed and to read instead. I have yet to follow this one through but writing this post has given me that reminder. Mark my words – I’ll be tucked up in bed tonight reading my book rather than scrolling mindlessly on my Instagram feed. It has been proven that the light from screens makes it difficult for our mind and body to relax and sleep. Sleep is so important for a positive mind.
5. Daily gratitude is so important. It’s a nice idea to write things down but even saying it out loud as you drive to work could be transformative. Simply list a couple of things you are grateful for. Sometimes we need a clear reminder that all is not difficult.
6. Carve out me-time. There will always be something to do at work, home or for your family. Taking a half an hour a day to go for a walk, read your book or watch your favourite TV show in peace is going to serve you well. You’ll probably work a lot smarter/quicker after a good breather too.
7. Think before you speak. If you are the kind of person that agrees to help other people far more than you should, simply take a minute or two to really think before you answer. You might be draining your energy and resources without considering what you really need. When you have a positive mind and feel good in yourself everyone else gets the best of you too.
8. Remember to breathe. When life feels stressful and everything is getting on top of you simply take a moment to just breathe. Count your breaths, notice your body and try to find a space to just be present for a moment. It really helps put things in perspective.
Tracey is a happy mammy to four-year-old Billy. She is a breastfeeder, gentle parent and has recently lost five stone so healthy family eating is her passion! You can find her at www.loveofliving.ie.