Oh, how simple it sounds – positivity attracts positivity. But let’s be honest, we all have those days were we just, well… aren’t in a positive mood. Sometimes we’re simply tired, drained and in a major need of replenishing our energy levels.
Now at this stage for me, simply reconnecting helps shift my mind set, whether it be sitting in the sun (what limited sun we have but, hello heatwave), lying on my bed or sitting outside – eyes are closed, gently aware of surrounding noise and simply being. Thoughts come and pass, emotions sizzle and cool but, I mostly just sit and be. I concentrate on the warmth of the sun on my skin, the sound of the birds, the feel of the breeze delicately grazing over my arm. I concentrate on some sort of natural element that surrounds me: Hearing the tree leaves rustling, the birds chirping (okay so living in the city these birds are probably pigeons or seagulls), or the smell of fresh cut grass – you know what I’m talking about. This natural element helps you rewire your settings, switches you off overload and allows you to cool down, readjust and reset.
On the other hand, our mind can play tricks on us, it will be turning over, over thinking, remembering times past or even regretting previous choices. This is when positivity can seem like the hardest thing to achieve, a simple reconnecting doesn’t work: I can’t hear the birds chirping sweet songs, they all seem quiet; I can’t feel the warmth of the sunshine gently caressing my skin, it all seems dark and chilling to the bone; the breeze in the air isn’t delicate, its harsh and slices through me like a butcher’s knife; there is no freshly cut grass, because I don’t see the grass, I see dull, hard concrete.
Unwillingly harsh, ominous and sinister outlooks can develop but this is what our most powerful organ can do. It can quickly change our perspective, our insights, our emotions, our chemical balances, even our ability to socialise. Better put, it forces us to withdraw from EVERYTHING. The organ that’s always put on the back burner and placed in the ‘I’ll come back to it’ section of our maintenance and wellbeing file. STOP!
How can we possibly aim to achieve to live full, healthy, positive lives when our first point of call, our little old brain, is dismissed as less important? This is our central focus point. Everything we do, think, feel, literally everything we are, is all because of this beautiful instrument. So, let’s try to practise at refining our skill in playing this instrument, so we become as good as a Sarah Chang or Vivaldi.
How do we do this?!’
I won’t pretend to have all of the answers. I’m not a psychologist, neurologist, behavioural expert or doctor. But here’s the key…you don’t need to be. Of course, on occasion our brains, the fantastic piece of machinery that they are can get a firewall virus or a low connectivity, that’s just more complex than we realised. I mean hey, we are quick to seek technical support when our computer breaks and we aren’t afraid to admit we need help. Yet, when it comes to our brain we struggle to admit that we are unable to work at full capacity, that there is a glitch in our system. Help is associated with this impression of being bad, well it isn’t. Everyone needs help, it’s just asking for it and admitting vulnerability that we’re fearful of.
And there it is. Four little letters that keep reappearing over and over. FEAR. It’s our fear of things that can produce such negative perspectives. Sometimes it’s fear of making mistakes, fear of having nowhere to turn, fear of losing (not just money or possessions but people and identity), fear of pressures or down failing, even fear of becoming successful and bettering ourselves. What if we reach out and become better, then we realise life actually isn’t greener on the other side? There it is, can you see it yet? Comparisons. A running theme in everyday life. Was yesterday better than today? Is this relationship better than my last? Is this job better paid or less paid than my previous? The only comparison you should be making is between how much you have grown… compare your POSITIVE achievements.
Sounds weird right? Welcome to the language of consumer behaviour. Being told you need a more expensive car, a bigger house, a spouse and 2 children, to be happy but not too happy where you become snobby, to be outspoken and independent but not rude or blunt. Fuck it all, I’ll say it again FUCK IT ALL. This is what breeds negativity in our minds, tricks our finely tuned instrument into thinking it’s not doing as good a job as it should be. Our brains our delicate and precious, we have to start nurturing it as we would a new born and watch how it will flourish. Believe me it will blossom in to something you never knew it, could be. I don’t mean nurture with just food choices and lifestyle but protect it from negative and false positive consume. Block NEGATIVE competitiveness and influences, which there are many and this is not something that can just transform overnight but it takes time. I mean jeez, it’s taken me almost 28 years to get here! You don’t see a seed grow into a tree overnight. The strongest oaks have the deepest roots that have taken time and care to grow.
Notice here how I didn’t shy away from talking about the N-E-G-A-T-I-V-E, this eight-letter word that I am trying to be filtered out of my mental practise. In all honestly, I have slip ups, like I said it’s a practise I’m not perfect at it. I get self-conscious more often than I’m confident. I’m blue more than I’m a yellow. I’ve had more heartbreak than Jay Gatsby himself, believe me it ain’t pretty. But all of these moments in my short life, have helped me to understand the language of my mind. I can now fluently interpret my reactions and translate my recovery so that my brain is my first priority, it takes the longest time to heal. Sometimes my translations get muddled, I’ll say Nai instead of Non (see how I’m keeping in theme with my blog title with some Greek and French) and it’ll take me a little longer to realise I’ve slowed the recovery works. But practise makes perfect as they say.
Long story not so short
I will be the first to admit I’m not a healed soul or prime example of how to reframe your mindset. You are in the perfect position to be that example, apply it into your everyday lifestyle. To start my journey into my mind’s language I had to declutter the space and dust the nasty cobwebs of despair, hopelessness and hollowness away.
I started with my diet; I cleansed the body to make room to cleanse the soul. You can’t cleanse one without removing the toxicity from the other. I went from a full meat lover to pescatarian, pescatarian to vegetarian and finally vegetarian to vegan. It’s a life style choice which benefited me greatly (to describe this journey would not be a long story short – await a future blog post). So, I thought hey why not go big or go home, I got a personal trainer and joined the gym (gym bunny alert) and yes, I do take gym photos and show off my new physic WHENEVER I can! I mean damn I look the best I ever have and I feel the best I ever have, so I will be spreading that positivity. P. S see below for my shameless gloat.
I was working on developing strong relationships with my beautiful, adventurous friendship groups and going on these bloody amazing holidays. I even moved abroad for four months… it was life changing, it honestly was. I changed jobs and pursued a career I never thought I’d actually do, I literally opened new doors for MYSELF. A passive aggressive boot up the backside from family and friends every now and again helped.
Then I realised that I still wasn’t fully HAPPY. I was content but not happy, then it hit me like my 8th margarita – I have to make myself happy. I’m responsible for my own happiness and that’s what I challenged my mind to do, I mean take responsibility and not keep downing margaritas, to adapt change and reconfigure my way of thinking. I took time out for myself. I began reading again, I even started painting again which I haven’t done in years! I took myself out of my comfort zone and began reflecting on why I wasn’t happy. It was all to do with how I was still comparing myself and my position to other people’s. But we all have different start and finish lines, some more treacherous than others – this was where it was difficult. I don’t mean you have an hour to get ready and still haven’t washed your hair difficult, I mean algebra in university with only GCSE knowledge difficult. Facing my own mistakes, problems and inner demons was and still is, the most eye-opening thing I’ve accomplished. I learnt to understand when trying to change your mindset on topics that are close to the heart, you at first become defensive, then upset, then angry, until metaphorical bonds have broken and your finally able to accept your position and freedom in society. You don’t remove anything from your mind, you simply learn to accept and move on. Learning how to acknowledge, accept and move forward was a game changer in becoming happier. Knowing other people’s reaction are because they haven’t learnt or have not chosen to do this was a tsunami of achievement. It aligned my views and approach to my mind more so than before, allowing this lifestyle to embedded in my daily routines.
Remember negativity breeds negativity. It breeds fear, disappointment, anxiety and depression. Keeping us locked in this vicious cycle until there seems like there is no way, no way to break free. But understanding and developing the language of your mind is a step in the right direction. Your recovery and reframed mind’s language will be utterly unique to you. The bottom line is this you could hate the grass and sun, preferring how the hard, solid concrete can support your weight. Even prefer the breeze slicing through your bones carrying off your tension and stresses with it. Harnessing positivity specific to you as an individual and it’s about harnessing the right sustenance for your brain. Outlook baby, it’s a beautiful thing.