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'The Secret to Feeling Alive and Living a Life of No Limits'
Suffering from the January Blues and lacking motivation?
Know that every so called ‘problem’ emerges originally from a mindset – a certain way of thinking – and every solution emerges from a mindset as well.
Today, as I am writing this Blog, it is the Monday the 16th January and being referred to by many as ‘Blue Monday’. Know however ‘Blue Monday’ (officially apparently the most depressing day of the year!) is not a ‘real or tangible thing’ – and is only ‘blue’ and depressing if you choose to see it as such and believe it to be so.
‘Blue Monday’ is in fact a man made concept first cooked up in 2005 by holiday company Sky travel as part of its marketing campaign, and there will only be truth in it if you choose to see it as such.
Think of having a depressing day and you will likely have one.
See it as ‘blue’ and associate depressing feelings to the word or colour ‘blue’ and it will likely feel ‘blue’ to you.
Choosing to think more positive thoughts however will allow you to feel more positive.
So why not choose to see yourself having a great day today instead and tell yourself, just like every day, “Today is a great day to have a great day!” – and if you want, why not call it pink, yellow or orange Monday instead?
In short: Today will only be the most depressing day of the year if you choose to see it as such.
You have a choice!
So make sure to choose to see something different instead!
After the Christmas and New Year celebrations, socialising with friends and family, spending and present giving, January can often feel quite due in comparison. January is a month when money can be tight, weather can be gloomy, we may be feeling sluggish, lacking motivation, and our waist lines may be bulging from Christmas over eating. These things in combination, can often lead to making us feel quite down.
The first step to doing something about it, is acknowledging you are feeling low – and recognising that focusing on feeling down will only bring more of the same low feelings.
Make a conscious choice to focus your energies on doing something different to help you feel better instead.
Instead of focusing on the problems or challenges that you are experiencing that are making you feel down, focus on finding solutions to improve your situation, and that will make you feel better and bring you more joy. Remember problems are only ‘problems’ if you choose to see them as such.
See them instead as opportunities to create change for the better, and ask yourself what meaningful changes in your life you could make.
Eg: If money is tight, take the opportunity to take healthy packed lunches to work, or get to know one of your colleagues better and car share. If you are feeling demotivated take the opportunity to try out a new hobby or sign up to a class and make some new friends.
Opportunity is everywhere. What you look for you will find…..
There is nothing to be gained from beating yourself up over the New Year Resolutions you may have made and that have already fallen by the wayside. Think about what would make this year an amazing year for you- in all areas of your life including at work, in your career or business, at home, in your family and relationships, in your personal life, your finances, your ‘play and passion’ life, and your emotional and spiritual growth.
See yourself in your mind’s eye as if you are already there already at the end of 2017 having achieved all of the changes in those areas you would love to make. Step into that picture in your mind – and feel how great it feels to be in that place.
Use that mental picture, and those great feelings associated with that picture, to fire your hunger and motivation to make that great year happen. Then create a plan of action, break that plan in to manageable steps – take the first step and keep going from there…
Setting your intentions and writing your goals down as if you’ve already achieved them can really help you direct your focus.
You may wish to use this format to do so (simply fill in the blanks!)
My name is ……(fill in your name)……………………….. It is 31st December 2017.
I have had an amazing year and these are the reasons why………………… ………………. *simply imagine you are already at the end of the year and are reflecting on the changes you have made this year, and the things you have achieved, and write them all down (in the past tense).
Lift your mood by focusing your energies on taking stock of everything you have to be grateful for in your life, and away from focusing and ‘homing in’ on what you don’t have, or feel disgruntled about.
Write a list of everything and everyone you have to be grateful for at this present moment in your life– and keep asking yourself the question ‘and what else do I have to be grateful for? ‘and what else do I have to be grateful for ?’, and ‘what else?’.
Keep on repeating the same question until you have compiled an exhaustive ‘gratitude’ list. Keep this list easily accessible and re read it often to lift your spirits whenever you need it and remind yourself of all the good in your life.
And make sure to keep adding to the list as you think of more things!
Give up being your own harshest critic, treat yourself as your own best friend, and make a conscious effort to treat yourself and others with love and compassion. Participating in simple acts of kindness (as well as smiling more!) releases endorphins, the natural chemicals in our body that make us feel happier. There is lots of scientific research confirming that smiling and being kind can lift your mood! The bonus is that both smiling and acts of kindness are contagious. You will encourage others to be kind also and find yourself putting a smile on others faces also as they see you smile. You will be triggering their endorphins/their natural ‘feel good factor’ too!
It’s all too easy to feel sorry for yourself and turn into a bit of a hermit in the dark winter months. Spending time with people who you enjoy being with and are positive, encouraging and supportive of you will help lift your mood.
Their positivity will nourish you and feed you and you will find yourself becoming more positive also.
If you find yourself really struggling however and suspect that the feeling of wanting to hide under your duvet is a bit more than the normal ‘blues’ that prevail at this time of year and you feel genuinely depressed and anxious, then seek professional help. There is no need to try and deal with feelings of being low on your own.
After all the planning and excitement of the Christmas and New Year celebrations, January can often feel a bit of an anticlimax. Planning things to look forwards to over the coming months will do a lot to lift your mood.
Research has shown that even the anticipation of a holiday or family get together you are looking forwards to can make you feel excited by releasing endorphins, your bodies natural feel good factor.
Start making your plans for enjoyable events now, and visit places you’ve never been before. and feel the difference having things to look forwards to makes.
Cut down on ‘quick fix’ sugary snacks and reaching for comfort foods. Be honest about what you are eating on a daily basis and consider what changes you could make to improve your diet and physical health.For a body full of energy and vitality you need to feed it best fuel!
To help avoid the highs and lows of mood swings and energy associated with the ‘January Blues’ eat foods that are digested slowly and release energy at a steady level.
Eating whole grain bread, oats, vegetables, and avocados will help balance out any mood and energy swings.
Studies are constantly reiterating the mood busting benefits of the vital vitamin. As our skin largely manufactures Vitamin D through our exposure to natural sunlight, you may not be getting your required daily dose in the dark winter months.
Foods such as fortified breakfast cereals, dairy, eggs, and oily fish including salmon are rich in Vitamin D.
You may wish also try taking a Vitamin D supplement during the winter months, and make sure to get outside in natural daylight as much as you can.
Even a daily dance around your lounge to some loud music, chasing your kids in the park, doing some morning stretches or taking a brisk walk in your lunch hour will release enhanced feelings of well being and release natures feel good hormones, and help lift your mood.
Ask yourself what it is that you feel passionate about/fires a spark inside you/what activities bring you joy – and go do more of them.
Eg start a new hobby/learn a new skill/do something you’ve always wanted to do but never got around to, meet up with an old friend, spend quality time with family, take and make time for ‘you’ to do whatever you enjoy doing.
Even something as simple as lying in a bubble bath, climbing a hill or reading a good book can change your mood and how you feel!
Breathe in new clear fresh energy and let all staleness and tension go. It’s all too easy to get caught up in the busy materialistic world we live in, especially after all the present giving, overspending and stresses that can be associated with the festive season.
Go to the park, get up the hills, spend time at the sea or beside a lake or loch. Notice the tiny buds on the trees and the snowdrops pushing through the ground. Hear the birds. Feel the wind in your hair. Smell the sea air. Touch and savour what is around you. Enjoy simply being still for a while and simply notice what you notice. Breathe in clear fresh energy and as you breathe out let all staleness and tension go.
Spending time in the natural countryside away from your normal routine- and appreciating the beauty all around you – can really help you refresh and recharge, help you re awaken your senses, give you a general sense of well being and make you feel renewed.
I hope you find these tips helpful.
Know you have a choice to dwell on low feelings, or focus on trying to do something about them.
If you are struggling to shake off your low feelings however, and suspect you may be experiencing true anxiety or depression, please do seek professional help.
There is no need to try and deal with feelings of being low on your own.
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'The Secret to Feeling Alive and Living a Life of No Limits'