Recently, the definition of ‘self-care’ has become rather blurred in the modern mental health conversation. We see picture-perfect posts on newsfeeds that direct us to use face masks and fancy candles to feel better. Television shows recommend makeovers and new homes to feel good about ourselves. But what actions can we take the will make us truly happy?
For anyone who suffers from anxiety, there are not enough bubble baths or workouts in the world to counteract these overwhelming feelings. These support vices might provide momentary distraction, but they cannot alter the deeper issues within us. When we remain in a state of chronic anxiety, we become depleted of both our energy and our self-esteem.
In order to overcome anxiety, we must swap reactivity for receptivity to allow life to flow rather than trying to force it under our control. The key to improved emotional wellbeing, is to harness the power of positivity. However, we cannot simply ‘decide’ to be more positive. It takes repetitive action to strengthen the muscles of positivity within our mind and consciousness.
Here are 3 easy ways to introduce positive practices into your daily routine:
TIP 1. Choose daily gratitude. We cannot maintain a positive mindset without being grateful. From the small things, such as a pleasant conversation or a delicious snack, all the way through to the friends you have and the opportunities available to you—be authentically grateful in order to invite more of these happy elements into your life.
TIP 2. Savor the present moment. It’s easy to rush from one hour to the next without being conscious of the gifts that are present around us. Make a habit of pausing after spending time with someone or achieving something new in order to reflect on what you’ve experienced. You’ll soon start to notice the inherent beauty around you.
TIP 3. Be kind to yourself. Hindsight is a wonderful thing that we sadly cannot access. We all make mistakes sometimes. Beating yourself up over each and every error will only damage your emotional balance and cultivate further negativity. Adopt the mantra, “when I know better, I will do better” to liberate yourself from any further self-created judgement.
The most important thing to remember, is that maintaining our mental health and wellbeing is a continual process. There is no need to rush to a perceived finish line in the hopes of finding a semi-permanent resolution. Take each moment, day and week as it comes without the pressure of self-critical judgement. Every step you take in a positive direction is significant.
When you find yourself sinking into a negative mindset, gently acknowledge these feelings before releasing them. Then, take action to refocus on the positives that exist within your immediate space. What else has happened today that has made you feel good? What are the gifts that tomorrow might bring? Free your mind to enjoy many more anxiety-free days ahead!