It’s Monday, a day which can be a bit of a drag. I usually start Monday with a good dose of anxiety combined with a low mood. The weekend is over, the Purple children are in school (I miss them) and I have to work. Today I’m writing this partly to remind myself that thinking positively is a choice, and one that I want to make more often. Think positive.
Now, before you all lynch me, I’m absolutely not saying that depression is a choice. In that instance you need medical help, and cannot choose to ‘think positive’. I’m talking about coming from a place of being mentally well, but getting a tad fixated on the negative. In that instance, for me, focussing on positive thoughts and refusing to be drawn down a path of negativity is a choice.
It’s a choice that I’ve been able to make more and more often thanks to practising mindfulness. I know I’ve been harping on about mindfulness a lot lately but it truly is the bomb! It has given me the tools to realise that I am in control of what I do with the thoughts which enter my head. This knowledge has given me the power to choose positivity and for that I am so incredibly grateful. So to the friend who badgered me to practise mindfulness for many years before I took them up on it, thank you so very much for the gift of freedom from my head.
How do I stay positive?
Put simply I love and care for myself the same way I would do for a friend who isn’t feeling on top form. In the past I was my own worst enemy, treating my friends with compassion and understanding and never granting myself the same leeway. Judging myself, berating myself and feeling like a failure.
Now I choose to accept myself, in whatever form I take on any given day. On the good days, the days where I get through the to do list, succeed socially and parent well, this is easy. It’s the days when my energy is low, my body hurts and all I can do is drag myself through the day that this becomes a challenge. Acceptance is hard but it’s the best way to cope, I acknowledge that I am doing the best with what I have that day and accept that I will feel that way today but this will change and I will achieve more another day.
Which techniques have enabled this attitude?
I practise Mindfulness every morning. I also practise yoga five days a week. Yoga teaches me to simply turn up on my mat and feel satisfied with my engagement with the process rather than how well I perform the poses. It’s not about how high I can lift my leg in standing splits, nor whether I can perform a handstand, it’s about turning up to each practise and engaging mentally as well as physically.
Another factor that is important to keeping a positive attitude is managing my energy balance well. I have to ensure I don’t overextend myself so that I have the resources left to stay rational and in control of my thoughts. This means ensuring I’m not over scheduled, and that my self care stays consistent.
Sometimes the act of trying to stay positive can cause stress and negativity. Don’t beat yourself up if you followed the negativity path to bad mood town, accept that this is what happened and move forward.
Eat well, get enough sleep, and spend time doing things which nourish you.