In the Night

Outside gets darker, the world gets quieter, and I seem to take on a different form. I’ve never been just a morning person, or just a night owl, I have always been a mix of both. I love mornings because I wake up feeling refreshed, motivated, energized, and hopeful of the day ahead. I love nights for the peace, relaxation, slower pace, and reflection that it brings.

There is something about the still of the night that shifts me mentally. I have always been a deep thinker and reflective person, the night is the perfect time for pondering and reflecting on life. At night, we become tired, our minds and bodies slow down in preparation for sleep and a new beginning ahead the next day. After all of the hustle and bustle during the day, the night allows us to sit with our thoughts, reflect, and just be.

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I know not everyone is like this, but I find great joy in sitting in silence with my thoughts and reflections. If I do not allow myself enough time to process my day, or how I am feeling, it creates great anxiety for me. Sitting in silence can no doubt be scary and uncomfortable, but I feel it is a necessary part of processing life. I can and often do get lost in my head, I have heard so many times that I “am lost in my own world.”

As I write out this blog post, I can’t help but mention the importance of reflection, self-awareness, and mindfulness. The night allows me to do all three with its stillness, peace, and quiet. I understand that for some people the night might bring about feelings of sadness, loneliness, or fear, but sometimes the still of the night is just what we need to work through our inner struggles. Without much time for reflection and self-awareness, we can’t go about making great change. Processing one’s life requires great energy and it is of the utmost importance to allow time to dedicate towards fueling your soul. Mindfulness is the act of focusing and being aware of the present moment. It is about tuning out all distractions and worries and focusing on what is right in front of you at that given moment.

Whether it is day or night, I hope that you find time for just you. Become in tune with yourself, take the time to take care of you, just like you take care of others, you completely deserve it.

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5 Simple Ways to Boost Happiness

“Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you’ll look back and realize they were the big things.” – Kurt Vonnegut.  This quote couldn’t be more accurate.  Life presents us many challenges, struggles, and lessons, but it also gives us many joys, memories, and hope.  No one is going to be happy all of the time, life is just not that way, but there are many ways to boost happiness and well-being.  In this blog I will outline 5 simple ways to help boost happiness.

  1. Spend time in nature. The sun, sounds of life, beautiful colors, and fresh air really help lift our spirits and make us feel connected to a much bigger world.  No matter what kind of day I am having, a stroll in nature is sure to pick me up.  Walking itself is a happiness booster, walking in nature is an even bigger bonus, it has so much to offer us.  There’s nothing like a fresh breeze, natural scents, and feeling the warm sun on your skin.  Nature makes me feel whole.

    2.  Treat yourself.  We are so good at helping and lifting others, we need to also remember to look out for ourselves!  We all deserve to be pampered and treated and the effects are very beneficial.  Even a small treat has the ability to turn one’s day around.  Treat yourself to your favorite drink, meal, a movie, binge watch your favorite TV shows, take a hot bath, just do something that you love.

     3.  Connect with others. Spending time with loved ones whether in person, or on the phone is a mood booster.  Laughing and catching up with those that we care about is so powerful.  Even a hug boosts our mood, it helps us feel connected to others and the world.  Humans for the most part are very social creatures, we thrive and do best when we are with each other.  

     4.  Do a good deed. Helping other people helps us!  There is mutual gain from doing a good deed and making someone’s day, it makes us feel good in return.  Knowing that we have lifted someone’s spirits, helped them through a difficult situation, lended a helping hand no matter how small, these are all good mood boosters. 

     5.  Take a trip down memory lane. Spend some time recalling or daydreaming about your favorite memories, they are bound to make you smile!  Close your eyes and picture the last beach trip that you took, the smell of your favorite holiday dish, go back and look at pictures of some of your favorite events, holidays, a wedding, the birth of a child, happy times with friends.         Smell some of your favorite scents, they can elicit many memories and feelings of happiness. Just thinking of fond memories can give us a powerful happiness boost.

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I hope that you have enjoyed these 5 tips to boost happiness.  Take some time for yourself today and do something to lift your spirits…you deserve it! What kinds of things make you happy?

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Adapting to Change

For the most part, humans are pretty habitual by nature.  Most of us thrive with having a routine, we look forward to carrying out our daily rituals no matter how small.  We as human beings find comfort in the known, the routine, the predictable.  There are some individuals that thrive off of spontaneity and the unknown and some prefer a mix.  For me, I am very much a creature of habit, I enjoy having structure and a routine and most changes take me a while to adapt to.

In recent events, a sad and unfortunate Coronavirus (Clovid-19) pandemic has swept the globe flipping our lives upside down.  This virus doesn’t just have a massive effect on some people, or some countries, this pandemic has effected the entire globe.  The world has hardly ever seen such a nightmare, such a life-changing event.  In the blink of an eye, life has changed for all of us.  Our routines have been interrupted, our way of life has been modified, the hustle and bustle has been halted.  

Adapting to change is not easy, like I mentioned before, we thrive in the known and in our routines.  When life changes so suddenly as with the Coronavirus, we don’t have much time to plan, process, or adjust, it’s almost like you wake up and life is suddenly different.  Part of how we grow and become stronger is dealing with struggles, change, and the uncomfortable.  When change is unexpected and we are forced into a new norm, we have to learn to adapt as hard as that may be.  Thankfully, this pandemic will end, we will take control of this, and in the meantime we have to do the best that we can to maintain sanity and normalcy.

As with many things in life, this situation can be looked at as mind over matter.  It helps to remind ourselves that this is only temporary, we will have our routines back, we will be able to go out and enjoy life again.  Adapting to new ways of life, being around family 24/7, changes in routine, work, school, get-togethers, we will get that back.  No one wants to go through this, we must remember that and be there for each other.  As difficult as it is, try not to focus on what we temporarily lost, but to know that this has an end, and our love and support for our loved ones and humanity will get us through this.

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Change has the ability to help us realize what we have, helps us appreciate and be grateful for the little things, not taking for granted coffee with a friend, having a job to go to, going to the store without wearing a mask and gloves.  Change can be very hard, but it is also beneficial. The ironic thing is that change eventually becomes a new norm.

These last few weeks I have really had to keep my mind in check.  I’ve had to remember that this is not permanent, we are all going through a trying time, we get used to and find comfort in the familiar, but it does not help us grow.  Not only is my routine changed, so are those of my family and we have to learn to really find a compromise in our new lifestyle because we are all having to change and modify what we are used to.

My thoughts and prayers go out to this entire world.  We have what it takes to get through this and one day we will all look back on this as just a memory.  I pray for peace, healing, health, and safety for each of you. God Bless.

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Keep Your Mind on a Leash

I know that this title is a little out there and what I am about to say is ironic, but by “keeping your mind on a leash,” or in other words keeping tabs and having control over your mind and thoughts, it can really make for a more peaceful life. The mind is an extremely powerful thing.

Like many people, I deal with anxiety on an almost daily basis, it is very exhausting and really can make life quite challenging and unpleasant.  Over the years I have learned several techniques to try to minimize my anxiety and they do help, that is of course if I work at it and be consistent with it!

I’m sure that everyone has felt some sort of anxiety maybe during a test, before a presentation, meeting a deadline, gathering for a social event, having a fight with a loved one, these can all cause anxiety, however for those like myself, anxiety takes on a daily and persisting form.  There are times where I feel that my anxiety level is at a fair or good place and times where there is too much going on, my anxiety flares, and it feels like it’s consuming me.  I wanted to write this blog to give you some insight on what has helped me and hopefully it could help you too.

Our minds really do have so much power.  We must take great care of our mind and what we choose to “feed” it.  The thoughts that we think about ourselves and the world around us are very powerful even when not spoken.  If we make a mistake and we think to ourselves “I can’t do anything right,” if we close off communication with a loved one and think “They probably don’t love me anyway,” these are very damaging words and if repeated enough can cause you to actually believe these things about yourself to be true.

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Our thoughts and minds can run wild very easily if we let them.  When we feel anxious, when our mind starts wandering and our thoughts start racing and snowballing, it helps to put a stop to those thoughts right away.  The best way that I have found to do this is to negate, or counteract the thought that I am having. If the thought is “I always make mistakes,” negate that by thinking of everything that you’ve accomplished so far.  If the thought is “I am not good at relationships,” counteract that by telling yourself “Relationships are hard work, but are a learning experience and I am doing my best to better myself daily.”  We can be so hard on ourselves, other people tend to put us in a much brighter light, they don’t tend to see us the way that we see ourselves.  Replace negative and anxious thinking with “I can,” “I will,” “I am worthy,” “I am a good person,” etc.  Our minds can take a thought and run with it even if it is not even true at all.  Keep a tight watch of your thoughts and feelings. 

If you are like me, you tend to focus and worry about the future, we always hear that this robs us of the present and this is true, worrying about the future is not having control of our minds, we are missing out on what is right in front of us if we are thinking of something not yet here.  It is important to think and plan for the future, but not obsessively.  Life changes so much and so often and many times what we are worried about today may not even take place, or may not even be a worry in the future.  We can really get ahead of ourselves if we let it.  

By no means are these tips easy, I struggle daily with trying to implement these, but there is some definite relief and it is absolutely worth the try! Wishing you a peaceful and beautiful week, as always thank you so much for stopping by!

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Obsessions

As I sit here and write this blog, there are so many things that I can think of that if they were taken away, I would feel that a part of me was missing. As humans, it’s normal for us to develop attachments to people, places, things, etc. We get used to having certain things in our lives and they become part of us. When we have to go without or lose what we love, it can make us feel empty inside. The extreme version of this behavior is what borders on obsession.

I’m sure that most of us recall a time where we became obsessed with a person, a song, a hobby, a sport, a vacation spot, a favorite pair of shoes, our cell phone, food, etc. There are different levels of obsession, some of which keep you healthy and motivated and others which are detrimental to our mental and physical wellbeing. I believe a lot of how we feel and what we have going on in our lives contributes to developing and maintaining obsessions. For example, if we have lost a loved one, we may obsess or be clingy with our friends and family. If we are stressed and dealing with a rough time, we may become obsessed with a certain song that seems to speak to us and helps us cope, playing it over and over and over again.

Obsessions can come and go, temporary obsessions are to me a type of coping mechanism, or a way to distract and reduce anxiety. Long-term obsessions in my opinion are deep-rooted from our past experiences or feeling a lack of something in one’s life. Obsession can also be a way of avoiding life. Someone who has had a lot of negative past experiences with people may cling to the first person that shows them love, someone who is having a hard time mentally may turn to drugs to ease the pain and that high becomes something that individual keeps craving. An individual who is extremely shy may become overly involved in a hobby that allows themselves to retreat from society and avoid human contact.

I am someone who tends to have obsessive tendencies. I can get wrapped up in a person, play a song nonstop on repeat, eat sweets to no end, and overthink life relentlessly, however most of the time they are nothing but a temporary distraction. There are times however where my obsessions are too strong for my liking. When my thoughts or feelings hit this point it becomes difficult to want to do or think of anything else. This makes me very uneasy and uncomfortable. I try to create a better balance in my life so that I am not so fixated on one thing, I also try to figure out what the root of my obsession is stemming from.

When it comes to obsessions or desires, it’s interesting to note that your heart and mind may want different things. I’ve always wished to have more control over my mind and heart, however to a point we don’t have full control over that and it is something in our subconscious, something that makes us individually unique.

We can all learn a thing or two from each other. How do you all deal with desires and obsessions?

As always, thank you for reading and have a beautiful week!