January for many people is a let-down after the prolonged Christmas preparations and resultant festivities. People can feel that their lives are out of control and many negative factors are highlighted at the start of the New Year. Stress, disillusion about close relationships, feelings of isolation. Lack of self-esteem, direction and purpose, apprehension about what the future will bring, career worries, financial pressure, health issues . For a lot of people, it is difficult to know how to go forward in a positive way.
A lot of people do not realise that they can choose how they "spend " their time - they allow themselves to be driven by expectations (their own and other's). It is so often a case of "I'll do that when I've done all this". There is also the concept that it is selfish to put themselves and their wellbeing before that of those around them. We always quote the safety drill on aircraft - if the oxygen masks drop down, put your own on first or you won't be able to help others.
The modern world moves at a very fast pace and people are bombarded with information and images which influence both feelings and behaviour e.g. texts, Facebook posts and emails have to be answered, status symbols e.g. designer clothes, new cars, expensive holidays, have to be acquired.
At the start of a new year many people feel lost and inadequate. They do not realise that they can put themselves in the driving seat of their lives by taking a few simple steps. "A journey of 1000 miles begins with one step, then another, then another."
Here are some tools that I suggest:
• Spend five minutes twice a day sitting focussing on the rhythm of your breathing
Place your focus on the rhythm of your breathing, This calms the mind and allows you to bring daily struggles/frustration into perspective etc. You can practice mindful breathing in even the busiest situation, with practice... but start with a quiet place that fits into your routine. This might mean setting your alarm 5 minutes earlier than usual so that you can sit for a while, or putting headphones in on the bus and closing your eyes.
• Notice when you have negative thoughts and turn them around into positive thoughts - is your glass half-empty or half-full?
I've got an 11 hour flight to get through - it's going to be very boring.
I've got an 11 hour flight - I can get a new book to read, there may be a good film to watch, I'll have time to myself - no demands being made on me, Food and drink will be served to me - no preparation, no clearing up.
• How often do you ask other people "how are you"? How often do you ask yourself "How am I"? Do others really know how they feel? Do you know how you feel?
Take time to ask yourself twice a day how you are feeling physically, mentally and emotionally. Are you happy with your answers - think about what you would like to change, and plan how to make those changes.
When you know how you are feeling, start to notice what, who or where changes those feelings and whether it is better or not. Take appropriate action to benefit from or avoid those things, people or places.
• Notice how you feel when you wear different colours. Avoid those which make you feel uncomfortable or drained
All human beings have an energy field or aura which vibrates at a rate which is unique to them - this can be photographed.. All colours have individual vibrations. The blend of those vibrational rates affects how we feel.
Start to notice how different colours make you feel rather than how you look in them. Use these discoveries to take control of your feelings and emotions.
• Before you want to sleep at night, avoid mentally stimulating activity e.g. watching TV or reading.
This encourages quality sleep which will rest your body, mind and energy.
Our brain creates electrical pulses according to what we are doing. The active and stimulated level is called Beta and the pulse rate is 13 - 60. To sleep properly, we need to be at the Delta level where the pulse rate is 0.4 - 4 . Our brains need time to drop down to the lower level so avoid mental stimulation in the half hour before bed.