My whole life I have been, what I refer to as, a realist. I used to call myself a pessimist but I found that phrase just made things worse. The world, to me, can be a scary place, I don’t shy from it but it bothers me that I can’t change it. Truth is that the littlest of things can knock my confidence. I focus on the bad and I struggle to move on. Recently my hormones have really started to effect things. Each month at the same time my confidence will hit an all time low, I will feel lost and alone even though I really am not! I want to change this.
This morning I woke up and decided it was time to adapt the way I see things. To embrace my realistic side but to channel it into more productive thoughts. It is time lead a more positive life. This will be a long process and one I don’t expect to achieve overnight.
I would love to be able to lead a yogi life but that really isn’t me. I am happy giving a downward dog a go but the chances of me embracing the whole mentality are pretty slim. So that option is out.
I love the idea of a bullet journal but in reality I suspect that won’t help. I would want it to be perfect and look Pinterest worthy and when it inevitably didn’t I would feel worse than when I started. Plus the time it would take for me to format one is too much. Realistically I could be doing something far more productive with the girls than charting how much sleep I don’t get!
So with the two most fashionable ways to live a positive life disregarded what am I going to do?
1. Eat A Healthy Diet
This won’t be too hard as our diet isn’t dreadful anyway. Over the past year I made some changes to our eating as a family that had a positive impact. With winter behind us now (almost) it should be easy to get back on track. Of course I am not going to reduce the amount of cake…. I am a baker after all! That doesn’t mean we also need Kit Kats in the house. Sorry Hubby! The fact is some fatty acids and vitamins are directly linked to the release of serotonin which is the happy hormone. The more nutritionally balanced you are the more mentally well you will have the ability to be. When I first made the dietary changes to our lifestyle we instantly found a boost in our moods and energy. We also slept better which is also linked to positive mental wellbeing.
2. Switch Off
I am already making moves towards this. Social media, computers, the news, communication are all huge factors in my life. The truth is they are going to be major players in my daughters lives so for me, embracing it now makes sense. When they are older I want to be able to teach them the positives and negatives of this part of life. One of the negative aspects is never feeling switched off. A little while ago I deleted everyone off Facebook I hadn’t spoken to for 6 months. Some of those that remained I may have only bumped into but they are people I genuinely want to know about, I wish them well and even if it was only a quick 5 minute conversation I always enjoy talking to them. At the start of the unfriending process I felt really guilty but by the end I felt elated. It was the most cathartic thing I had done in a long time. I no longer have the anxiety associated with Facebook that I used to. Admittedly blogging doesn’t help with the switching off but over the last couple of months I have come up with a streamlined system. Now I am able to ‘switch off’ on a regular basis. I hope over the next month to be able to increase this time even further.
3. Gratitude List
At the end of each day I will write down one thing that I have been grateful for. I think I will start doing this on Notes on my phone but I do have a diary I could write it in if I want to. At the end of the month I will have 30/31 things that I have been grateful for. Then the second month I want to write down 2 things at the end of the day I was grateful for. Each month I want to add one more thing per day. As this isn’t something I have done before I don’t want to run before I can walk, hence the gradual progression. I don’t believe in taking on too much at once. This should be a very easy and achievable way of seeing how much positivity I have in my life. Rather than remembering all the toddler tantrums I can focus on the laughter and learning.
I love to dance. My daughters love to dance. They say music is good for the soul and it is something I have forgotten over the years. There is nothing more energising than a good kitchen disco with your loved ones. Or yourself! This is also a much more achievable form of exercise than going to the gym or a fitness class each week now I am a parent.
Each week I want to watch less television and listen to more music. Whatever genre you prefer will work, I don’t think any specific type of music will work for all people. When I was studying I found music really good for my memory and productivity.
5. Find the Positive
It is very easy to instantly find the negative in any situation. It is time to switch the way of thinking to see the positive. Money is a huge source of worry for me, mostly because I don’t earn it. I rely on Hubby to keep us afloat and I struggle with leaving him with this burden. We have tightened our purse strings and in many ways that has been hard but in others it has had hugely positive effects. I was never very confident with my cooking. I always menu plan now but sometimes I miss calculate what I need. Before I would have just gone out and bought more of what I was missing. Now I look in the cupboards and find alternatives. Sometimes the meal takes on a whole new form. What I have found is I can cook, and well! I am very good at flavour combinations I previously wouldn’t have been and my confidence in food as really grown. This helps with point 1, healthy eating. It is hard to believe that when something unexpected happens it won’t instantly drive me into a fit of anxiety but from now on I will be doing my best to take a step back and find at least one positive aspect of the situation. I am a great believer that there is always a silver lining, sometimes you just have to expand your vision to see it.
Where I go from here to a positive life:
Those are my 5 ways to a more positive lifestyle. Each one is simple and easily achievable. I have not bitten off more than I can chew and each of these are things that can put into practice immediately. In a few months, maybe sooner, I will review how it is going and perhaps see if I need to make further adjustments. These are a good place to start and a good foundation to grow from.
This post originally appeared on Meet Other Mums website.