Today, I want to reflect on the last two years. Particularly, for myself as an individual as well as a committed person in a relationship. I’m always starting conversations with my boyfriend about the future regarding property, financial goals, aspirations and ideas. As nice as it is to imagine what our future could be like in career and as people, it is so important to realise how far we’ve come.
In this world of social media (including this blog you’re reading – although I hope this is a positive one!), it can be difficult not to get swayed by what others post or say. And as advertising on social platforms becomes more rampant, it can be difficult to remember what’s truly important. I catch myself wanting material items that could never bring me true joy, so I’m taking a step back today.
A tendency of mine that I’ve had since a young age, is that I can doubt myself in almost every aspect of life. It’s sad and really frustrating. However, I’m becoming better at noticing small accomplishments and reminding myself of where I am now. Below is a humble-brag to remind myself – and you – that it’s possible to improve our lifestyle and well-being by simply working on it.
I’m finally earning more after 10 years of being afraid to commit to a self-accountable role (and of earning minimum/below minimum wage).
I’m putting away half my pay-check into savings (some weeks 75%).
I’ve been able to save for two holidays, one of which I paid off upfront as a birthday gift for my boyfriend.
I’m getting better at not taking things personally.
Setting boundaries but also doing my best to talk about how I really feel.
Able to hold space for others really well.
My story is my own to change. I can either: repeat it like a broken record and be miserable and blame others for my mistakes OR I can make amazing lemonade out of lemons.
Learning what it takes to never give up.
I know my limits are only set by my mindset.
If I set myself to a task, to follow through.
Trying to move my body 2-3 times a week.
Pushing through the tiredness.
Knowing there is so much room for improvement and that’s not a bad thing.
I hope you’re enjoying the long weekend! Don’t forget to remember where you’ve come from and the accomplishments you’ve made along the way.
By noticing the good in our life, we notice the good in others 🙂
What have you accomplished this year that you’re proud of?
Mindful meditation is a practice that trains the mind to focus on the present moment, without judgement. Being aware of your surroundings, thoughts and feelings. It can be practiced on your own, in groups or during retreats. Exercises during a meditation session include focusing on the breath, exploring the senses like taste, smell, touch and sound.
Generally speaking, I thought I was quite self-aware. However, until I started using mindful meditation, I realised how much I could benefit from such a practice.
Rewind two years. I noticed that my heart would palpitate out of nowhere, constantly feeling that something bad was going to happen. I was exhausted all the time and found it difficult to sleep. I stumbled upon a channel on YouTube that posted guided meditations. The comments seemed to rave on about how this channel helped them through many tough times. I thought, if so many of these comments were saying it helped them, why not give it a try? During the day, I’d listen to these voice-overs to ‘escape’ the bustling world around me. I would sit in my car, just to be alone and listen. I learned to focus on my breath. I also learned grounding techniques, thanks to a counsellor I was seeing at the time.
Although I was working through functioning during the day, I was still struggling to sleep at night. So I decided to listen to guided meditations. This was the best decision I made! Within thirty minutes or less, I’d fall asleep! My phone would be left charging overnight, while the rest of the meditation video played through. However, if you feel safer in doing so, turn off electrical devices just before drifting off to sleep.
9 times out of 10, mindful meditation allowed me to have a deep, restful sleep! Finally.
Fast forward to today. I still use these meditations to sleep at night. Now, I am going to try and practice mindful meditation in the mornings – for extra motivation and focus!
Where do I start?
Personally, I would find channels/podcasts that are popular and have good feedback. Not all channels may appeal to you, so find one that you connect with.
I frequently visit a YouTube channel created by Michael Sealey. He has an array of videos targeting anxiety, depression, chakra cleansing and over-thinking to name a few. His voice to me, is very grounding, making me feel calm and at ease.
Mindful meditation can encourage self-compassion, slowly changing the judgemental tones we sometimes find ourselves using in our heads. You know that critical voice, always making us feel unnecessarily bad about ourselves/actions? Yep, that one. Change that voice and it’ll change your thinking for the better!
The other day, I downloaded an iPhone app called “Calm”. It’s great, because it has different ‘topics’ like mindful eating, mindfulness at work, 7 days of calm as well as many others. So far, I have found it very helpful for focus. It’s helped me feel more motivated in the mornings! Be aware that some topics are locked as it requires a yearly subscription fee.
From YouTube channels, smartphone applications to podcasts, there are many options out there for you to try.
Benefits of Mindfulness
According to a study conducted at Oxford University in England, mindfulness (coupled with cognitive therapy) has been said to reduce symptoms of chronic depression.
According to a study conducted at UCLA in America, mindfulness meditation could be a factor in improved memory and focus. They found that those who had been meditating long-term had more ‘folds’ in the brain’s cortex, suggesting improved information processing and the formation of memories.
In day-to-day life, mindfulness meditation can help reduce stress and anxiousness. It can also raise your self-awareness and help you to recognise thoughts and feelings that may or may not be serving you. Check-in with yourself, from time to time. Make time for self-inventory.
It’s not a smooth journey, but it is a path worth exploring for better mental health and well-being!
If you’d like to learn more, I’ve listed links below:
A lot of us, we feel that meditation is about silence. No, it is about awareness. – Ralph Smart
Let go of what no longer serves you.
You are not your past.
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Welcome back to my regular readers and thank you for joining me if you are new! This blog is about mental-health wellness as well as lifestyle topics like fashion, food, decluttering and travel adventures. You can stay connected for updates, quotes and general life-happenings on my Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter!
It is possible to create change and manifest positivity in your life! x