Hear & Now
By Henrietta Greene
On 21, Mar 2017 | In | By Henrietta Greene
How to maintain that optimistic, revitalised outlook on life that you started the year with
January starts with a bang but soon becomes a drag. And then February – a month of nothingness. Not the new year, and not yet close enough to March to warrant walks in the brighter air with a lighter heart. Before you know it, in walks Spring with it’s progressively longer days, medley of bird songs and signs of renewal.
So how to maintain that optimistic, enthusiastic, revitalised outlook on life that you started your year with?
Now that winter has passed and we are all, hopefully, feeling a little more settled in our momentum and daily rhythms, it is a better time to reflect on your situation and if there is anything you would like to reshape or establish. A constructive approach is to focus on both the positive aspects of your life as it is now, as well as a gaining a clear understanding of why you are seeking to alter certain parts of your life; what is truly motivating you to want a new or different home, job, relationship, skill etc. In doing so, you may realise that the change you perceived to be the right one for you now is, in fact, not so necessary; or, perhaps, that what you need to focus on to affect these changes is something different to that which you first thought. And of course, to remind ourselves of that which we already have that is positive is an incredibly important exercise, and one that will, hopefully, lift the spirits instantly.
Make some space
Make some space
Liberating yourself from these self-inflicted, and often arbitrary pressures, you can focus your attention more completely on consolidating the good in your life and removing the less-good. The seasonal cleaning commonly associated with springtime should not be isolated to this one time of year, much like making positive, conscious decisions to reshape or create new aspects of your life at the start of the year. In the process of considering your life as it is now and your goals for the future, short- or long-term, you may have simultaneously become aware of things that could be removed from your life. It may literally be the removal of material objects from your life or home, or it may be a less tangible removal of detrimental habits or dynamics. By making space in your life, you are opening yourself up to the possibility for change, so embrace any openings you can make in your home or daily routine.
Finally, a regular review of how well you are looking after yourself is a good habit to get into. Think about how many hours’ sleep you are getting, what food and drink you are consuming regularly, what free-time you have and how you spend it, and then, how much energy you have during your day. How much we rest, what we consume, and whether or not we are ever able to detach from the daily grind of life will all impact our overall sense of wellbeing and energy. We often feel like we can’t get to bed earlier, or make healthier choices with our food and drink, or find more time to devote to leisure. Instead of focussing on what you can’t achieve, focus on what you can: perhaps it is that you allot thirty minutes once in bed to turning off all electronic devices and reading a book instead. You haven’t created more hours to sleep but you will be improving the hours that you are able to sleep. Fill up on the healthy food and drink you are able to consume when you can, and eat the less healthy food in moderation.
Remember that even the simplest forms of exercise, for a brief period regularly through your week (e.g. 15-minutes each day) do wonders for the mind and body – be it walking, swimming, cycling, or, of course, yoga.
When you do have some free time to spend with friends or family, make a concerted effort to remove any distractions, such as work emails or electronic devices, so that you can fully enjoy the time spent at leisure.
Increase the positives
Increase the positives
With all of the above changes, it should be a conscious choice made in the mind to focus and improve the positive in your life and, with time, decrease the less positive. Allow yourself time to adapt to these new ways (21 days is the minimum often cited to break or form habits), and don’t give up if you lapse once or twice. Every passing moment is another moment to affect real change in your life – you simply must believe in it.
Wishing you a happy healthy mind