You have to admit, if you go to the gym regularly to exercise you can change your body, likewise, if you eat healthily and watch your diet you feel better and can control your weight. But how do you nurture your mind to make it happy? To keep all the negative thoughts away in order to make your life balanced, peaceful and joyful?
Going out with friends for dinner and having a few glasses of wine is a great way to decompress, whilst watching Netflix in the evening for a couple of hours can also be entertaining. These past times take you away from your negative thoughts for a very short period of time but the problem, or your bad patterns, will still remain the same when you come back to reality.
So what then? For me it all started few years ago when I truly asked myself; why am I always so angry, indecisive and so unhappy? When I had almost everything that some people can only wish for? A great career, money, travels and friends but no real happiness in love.
I was tired of fighting and waiting for miracles to come my way, even though I wasn't taking any action to make things happen. All I wanted was to be really happy, to at least have the feeling of happiness just for a moment. I forgot how it felt, to let everything go and just BE!
Finally I have realised that the more I think about what I don't want in my life, the more I attract it, but if I focus on the good things, more good things will start happening. This is easier said than done - isn't it easier to be negative than to shut down the bad voice on your left shoulder?
I was searching for enlightenment in books, workshops, travel, healers and the Internet. The solution is easier than you think! It was clear I had to change my thoughts first, before anything else. If you want a change in your life you have to first change your attitude to it. Our thoughts create energy and the energy attracts everything that is happening in our essence. I have realised I had patterns of negative thinking that were very difficult to get rid of. For years I used to think and focus mainly on problems and any negativity that surrounded me.
I was not depressed; I am generally a positive person, who loves the beauty of the world and is very enthusiastic. However my mind was haunting me, the voice in my head was persistent, knowing that something was not right and I needed a change.
The first step that started to shift my awareness was a guided meditation. I started to practice the meditations more and more on a daily basis and it helped me to be more aware of my thoughts and even my emotions. Besides that I was more grounded, balanced and generally happy. I started to watch and control my mind.
Every time I had a bad thought I could "catch it" - meaning I was aware of it. I would try to navigate it and even replace it for a positive one - but this took practice, patience and time.
Our minds wander all the time, but I noticed that when I sat down to meditate, it would help me to know the true nature of my being and to explore my mind.
I grew to understand, that being mindful and practicing meditation is not about getting to a fixed destination.
It is an escape in your own inner world, a deep connection within yourself and your mind. During the day we are so busy and our thoughts are jumping from one idea to the next; worries, money, family, even what to cook for dinner and it is non-stop. Even when we sleep, we dream, our subconscious mind is working all the time and does not give us a moment to relax. All of the feelings we have, worries about future or past memories are reflecting on our lives at all times.
There are many examples of how you can practice mindfulness: meditations, breathing exercises, adult coloring books, observation of nature, yoga and so on. Mindfulness means to be aware of our thoughts, feelings and emotions, not judging the situation but just being the moment. Once you can achieve this and always be aware of your mind, it's a great feeling, as you can just be happy with what you are or have now, in the present moment.
You can start connecting with yourself, by just being aware of what you are thinking in a particular moment. How fast or slow your breathing is, the sensation of your body from head to toe. Once you have done this exercise, which won't even take you up to a minute, you will have been in the moment practicing mindfulness without realising it.
This is the first step, you can delve deeper by buying yourself a guided meditation programme from the Apple store or YouTube. Listening to it when you have time in the morning or evening before going to sleep for at least 20 minutes. Buy yourself a cool bracelet that you can wear everyday and give it a special meaning, every time you look at it make it a reminder of connecting with yourself at this moment. With the time you will create a habit and you will not need any reminders you will just be aware.
So what did I gain from an entire mind shift and awareness, and how did my life change? Well for sure it was the beginning of the end to all my doubts, anxiety, frustrations and many more negative emotional feelings and thoughts. It was a immense beginning to a new happier me...
Anna Grace - Davidson