One of the keys to being genuinely happy is the conscious act of being present. Too often we focus all of our energy into dwelling on the past or worrying over the future – our mind is everywhere but in the now.
I’m no exception here. If you have followed me for a while, you know that a lot changed in my life over the last 18 months. It was absolutely the most challenging time of my life so far, and despite being very good at putting on a happy face, the internal battles and anxiety around the struggles I was facing were very real.
Fast forward to now. I lept in to 2016 with a world of opportunities at my feet; but, at times, that silent struggle and fear around the unknown is still strong.
The thing is; mental health, like physical health, must be consciously worked on every single day. We all have our battles, but it’s how we choose to react that determines how well we come out the other side. With that said; let’s check out a few things that you can do – or that you can encourage a loved one to do – to get through those tough days and to keep you moving forward:
➕ Focus only on what you can control.
➕ Make a plan. What will make you genuinely happy? How can you make it happen?
➕ The sun rises and the sun sets. Not much else is certain in this world and that’s ok! Trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be and that every little thing is going to be alright.
➕ Breathe. When things get overwhelming take 2 minutes to stop and focus only on your breath. 4 seconds in, hold for 1 second, and 4 seconds out. Count it in your head. This simple technique not only redirects your thoughts, but it also helps to regulate the amount of oxygen you take in so that you can soothe the awful physical sensations that can often be associated with over-breathing or panic.
➕ Practice daily acts of kindness. When you do something kind for someone else, your brain releases oxytocin – the “feel good” hormone – elevating your level of wellbeing. So simple yet so effective. Try it! This is my fave!
➕ Stop fearing judgement. The people who matter will surprise you beyond words when you need them. Remember; wars are never won with a single soldier and opening up to friends and family in times of struggle is the most powerful and positive thing that you can do to help yourself step forward.
It’s ok not to be ok sometimes, but it’s up to YOU to help yourself through it. Stay brave, beautiful thing. The best is yet to come…