Things we can try and do for our wellbeing right now
Suffering is part of life and is the one thing we have in common with everyone else. Accepting the sadness doesn’t mean agreeing with it or not trying to prevent the cause for it from (re)happening. It simply means allowing it to be what it is. You shouldn’t define all your life based on one sad event. Just allow things to be what they are, don’t deny or resist, accept the past as it was, and let it be part of your human experience.
I’m not writing this lightly. As someone who experienced full-term baby loss a year and a half ago, acceptance is the hardest part for me. I guess, that makes it the most important too.
Look through the window at the beautiful sky, hear the distant bird song, enjoy your comfy sofa, taste your coffee. How many times, while we are in lovely comfortable surroundings, we let the chatter in our mind stress us out and worry us. “She said”, “he said”, “I could’ve”, “I should’ve”, “if only”. It doesn’t stop. We exhaust ourselves – we exhaust our bodies and our minds. And all we need is to take a deep breath. Clear the mind. Look around and be in the here and now.
We’ve had bad experience. Reliving it again and again makes the experience worse and we suffer for longer.
Right now, you are safe, you are fine. No one is here to get you. Get yourself gently out of the past/imaginary future threatening situations in your head and be in the real moment. Breathe, ground, relax.
Too often people rush doing things. They concentrate on the end result and may have a negative attitude. Don’t. Put your heart in it!
This is your life and this action is part of your life. Make it meaningful, make it count. Stop multitasking and actually pay attention to the things you are doing. Start things with a good intent. Listen to the people who talk – don’t prepare your response/ don’t judge/ don’t think of a counter-argument. Listen and understand and you will gain so much more.
4. People – the good and the bad
I’ve read many times how important people are for your happiness. All psychologists seem to agree that a good social network of friends and family makes you a happier person. That’s what’s pushed me to work hard and maintain my relationships. But in some cases, I knew in my heart they weren’t worth the hard work.
If there’s mutual respect; if either side is contributing their time and positive intention; if you make each other laugh; if you support each other in the tough times; if you don’t let each other down; if you can have a meaningful conversation; if there’s less egos and more lovingkindness – you are onto a winner!
However, I realise now if the relationship is hard work – it isn’t likely to get better. You occasionally get friends/family who don’t make you happy – they hurt you, you cannot rely on them, or even, they are simply not fun to be around. These people are a negative influence and damage your wellbeing. The relationships can turn poisonous and beyond repair. You know, you are better off without that in your life.
There’s plenty of research proving self-compassion goes a long way. All you need to do is to be a bit more aware of your self-criticism and work towards being kinder to yourself. We have all done it – we criticise ourselves, blame ourselves, we can be rude to ourselves in our minds. We wouldn’t be like that with a friend, but we think it’s OK to be very strict and critical with ourselves. Well, that is not making us happy.
The kinder you are to yourself, the kinder you become with every one else, so it is far from a selfish act. Just try to be more forgiving with your faults, accept making mistakes is the essence of being a human, acknowledge them and encourage yourself to do better, without being critical.
Life is full of beautiful, happy moments. Good things do happen in our every day lives. Notice them and make memories of them. Savour them for as long as you can.
A life with happy memories is a happy life.
We all have heard this one. I love the suggestion for people to write down two or three things that they are grateful for at the end of each day. This is not to say that you have it better than others. It has nothing to do with comparing yourself to others. It’s not saying you have been ungrateful person, and you don’t appreciate the things you do have already.
This is about making a point of your gratefulness for your own sake. Spending time cultivating the warm feeling of having good things going for you. Saying ‘thank you’ will make YOU feel better and happier. You don’t owe it to anyone. It is in fact, an indulgent, selfish thing to do.
I genuinely believe this is the best medicine for the mind and for the body. Walking is good for a wide range of people, regardless of fitness ability or age. Just go out and walk as often as you can. It’s free and it’s the least demanding leisure activity, which brings great rewards. It is what clears the cobwebs in your head and keeps the body fit in a very gentle way.
Seriously, get yourself some sleep. Sleepless people are grumpy, inefficient and dull. I’m sure you have plenty of reasons why you couldn’t catch your sleep, but every one around you will be thankful if you actually just made time for it!
10. Eat well
I’m a self-confessed foodie, so that had to be included here. Good food makes you feel good and we all know it. When you eat junk food, you most likely blame yourself afterwards, your body craves important nutrients, while fighting to get rid of unnecessary fat, sugar and toxins. A good balanced diet with the right ratio (3:1 carbs to protein), including fresh fruit and vegetable might just help that smile stay on your face for longer.