Since I started practising yoga regularly I find that I’m looking on the more positive side of things. It’s one of the reasons I felt inspired to start expanding my blog beyond just parenting.
But as with anything, it’s not always that easy to just be positive about everything – as I started writing this, for example, the Little One weed all over me (he was mid nap mind you – he didn’t just come up and wee on me on purpose). But there’s not much to be positive about when you’ve just been peed on (unless you were cold I suppose!).
So I’ve started to be conscious of being positive. I’m making an effort to look for the good when things seem bad and I’m trying to be mindful whenever I start to feel overwhelmed by frustration or anger.
And these are some of the ways I’m trying to do that:
- Every morning, list (either on paper or just in your head) 5 things you are grateful for. Mine are always my children and my husband and then they can vary each day from enough food to eat, a roof over our heads, wonderful friends, supportive parents, time for yoga practise, a job I love, the weekend and so many more. This practise helps you keep perspective before you even get out of bed.
- Ditch your phone. OK so not entirely or for very long periods of time necessarily, but take regular breaks from social media. Whilst it’s amazing to keep up with friends and family, it can be incredibly draining. It puts you in a state of ‘alert’ and creates immediate competition (no matter how subtle or healthy) between yourself and others. An hour away from your phone can make you feel so much calmer and less stressed.
- Spend time with people you love. Especially those who lift you right up, make you smile, make you laugh and give you a warm fuzzy feeling inside. It might be your partner, your kids, your parents, your colleagues, your friends; whoever it is, seek them out more.
- Don’t get sucked into negativity. There are people in life who are what I call ‘mood hoovers’. Like the dementors in Harry Potter (which I mentioned in another post), they can suck the good mood out of you in just a few words. You know the people; you ask how they are and they respond with a sigh and launch into a moan about something or other. You try to introduce new ideas at work or with friends and they respond entirely with negativity so that you feel you’re battling a brick wall before you’ve even begun. It’s really hard but try not to get sucked into it. Back away from negative conversations. Make light of them (if the subject isn’t too serious). Try to focus on the positive things and don’t let someone else’s bad mood bring you down if it doesn’t directly affect you.
- Smile. Sounds really simple doesn’t it? But I suppose it’s not always that easy. Sometimes we’re tired. Sometimes something is really bothering us. But if we’re not and it isn’t, smiling makes our default mood automatically more positive.
I think just being conscious of our mood can really help. Mindfulness is one of those buzz words that’s around a lot at the moment and a quick search on your app store will give you lots of options of mindfulness apps, including loads that are free (or with free aspects).
But there’s a reason for that; in our progressively busy lives, I think we all just need to take a few moments to stop, to think and to be positively calm.
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