We live in a world that is more interconnected than ever before. With globalisation, social media and forums for just about any topic you can imagine, conversations are everywhere and never-ending. Each and every day, we are bombarded with a constant stream of images, news and opinions. This is naturally overwhelming. This, coupled with our increasingly urban lifestyles, which are often indoor, fairly sedentary and lacking in nature, can be held at least partially responsible for the depression/anxiety pandemic which has spread across many in the world.
A lot of well-meaning people will tell us to “just think positive”, without fully explaining what that means or how to do it. In this blog, we will explore the idea of grounding yourself in the moment, sitting with a feeling and contextualising it within the rich tapestry that is your life.
First of all, pain responses exist in animals as a warning system: they are there to help you. If a broken leg didn’t hurt, what would stop you from walking on it? Likewise with these negative emotions: they appear to warn us so we can remove ourselves from an unwanted situation. Sometimes however the brain can fall into a state of hypervigilance. This means that it tries to warn you about things that the rational part of your brain knows are not dangerous. However, these painful feelings are there because they are trying to help you. Pushing them down or trying to fight them will only make them louder and more insistent.
Does thinking positively mean that we must blind ourselves to genuinely troubling facts of life? It should not because all of us will encounter danger at one point or another. So let us redefine the idea of positive thinking: Think realistically. Realism is not pessimism. This is taking a situation, and sitting with the way it makes you feel, without analysis, for a few moments. Are you angry? Scared? Confused? Sad? Allow those feelings to exist and try to hear them. Imagine the feelings are a load of colourful threads, all tangled up. In your mind, as you identify a feeling, gently pull it apart from the others and lay it flat. You can do this in a number of ways: writing it all down, exercising as you think it through, or calling a friend and talking it through with them.
Acknowledging that you are experiencing an emotion will immediately ground you and take you out of crisis mode. Once you’re out of crisis mode, you can start to build on that by repeating positive mantras, telling yourself you are valid and worthy of happiness and making lists of all you are grateful for and have achieved.
Exercising is an amazing way of boosting your mental health. Not only does it put your brain into a blank meditative state, but it also gives you a boost of endorphins. None of us are alone in having difficult days. This is why we’ve put together a 30 Day Challenge, which is designed to not only keep you fit, but also give you a community of people sharing positive thoughts together. We know that keeping some sense of structure and ritual is a good way of maintaining your positivity, so we will give you that, with our routines, plans and timetables.
It is free to sign up and comes with recipes inspiration, workouts, discounts and daily mantras. Not only that but our challenge allows you to remain accountable for your daily activity. We have a sheet where you can track your achievements and stay on top of your progress. We look forward to seeing you there!