Today I decided to do some mental work.
I’ve been meaning to sit down and write some good affirmations, as I find the ones you purchase can sometimes be so unrelatable or wishy-washy. I would read them sometimes and just roll my eyes at the way things were put.
At heart, I’ve always been a pragmatist, so reconciling ‘spiritual’ and emotional learning/change with my logic and ‘clearly visible goals’ way of life was an interesting journey in and of itself. However, after letting go of some of my pre-conceived ideas and trying things out, even trying them whilst being cynical, I have noticed a measurable change in my responses to difficult situations, and gained healthier relationships. I’ve found a good mix of this ‘spiritual science’, the insights of which I honestly marvel at.
I’ve found meditation to be a great tool, as doubtful as I was with some ‘mindfulness’ instructions, you can find the things within it that work for you, and weed out some things that seem too ‘airy fairy’ (to me at least). I’ve found the free ten-minute meditations from HeadSpace to be really good. I especially liked their little animations. In addition, this 20minute video from YouTube has also helped me to take some time out to relax – Yoga for Complete Beginners. (more like breathing and minimal stretching than any yoga haha). I love the guys accent, and of course, there’s a multitude of similar videos for you to explore. This saves the difficulty of going out to a class, though I must say I’m not disciplined enough and only tend to do these things when feeling stressed. I’ve heard they are more beneficial if done more regularly, before any stress gets a hold. That way, you are more able to deal with it when it does come, as you’ve been practicing while feeling good!
In any case, I thought I’d share some quotes of inspiration that I found to be useful, as well as a few more resources that have inspired me.
- “Nothing is either good nor bad, but thinking makes it so” (Shakespeare, tha man)
- “A detour in life can be the most empowering path – Life/success/happiness is a journey, not a destination”
- “Don’t speak unless you can improve the silence” (Spanish Proverb)
- “You cannot control everything that happens to you; you can only control your response to these things – in this is your power.”
- “To wish you were someone else is to waste the person you are”
- The fear of failure is a barrier to your dreams. Take risks, make mistakes and enjoy the process of growth
- Do some reading on the fixed vs growth mindset (Dan Haesler has some great resources here, or try reading Carol Dweck’s book Mindset, or watch her TED talk.)
- “I am enough” – an idea from a touching video entitled ‘To This Day’ (seriously watch it)
- “This too shall pass” – also an awesome song by OK Go.
- Also read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin – invaluable insights.
What else have I learned from an excess of reading and attempted self-development? EVERYONE needs therapy :P seriously though have a read of this blog post on the topic, it’s very interesting – ‘My Experience Doing Therapy’
I think any kind of self-reflection is part of being an intelligent, in touch, emotionally healthy and happy individual. Those who never introspect may be blissful in their ignorance, but lack a deep understanding of themselves and their world. I enjoy the deepness of my self-connection.. even with the over-thinking meta-ness to it all. And from this comes the ability to foster deeper relationships and have a more meaningful existence. Needless to say I’m sure it benefits my creative side and inspires a lot of my artistic endeavors too.
So this has been some of my journey. There’s much too much to put all in this one blog post, but I hope it has given you something to think about, or something interesting to read or watch. Knowing myself and being content and happy is an ongoing process, but I can honestly say there’s nothing more worthy of your time.
Oh and one more thing – HUGS. Around 6 seconds or more of hugging has been scientifically proven to boost your brain chemicals such as oxytocin and to boost your mood, as well as reducing stress (chemicals such as cortisol) and blood pressure. As well as NUMEROUS other amazing benefits – such a simple way to make your life better. Read about it in this super sciency article from the Comprehensive Psychology Journal (2012), or read a summary version here.
And of course also – sleep, exercise and eating good stuff :D
Good luck on your journey.
© Michelle De Aizpurua and MissyCartoons 2015