Keeping Yourself Mindful (Even when things suck)
I snapped at my husband today. I literally called him on the phone and for no reason, yelled at him. He didn’t do anything, nothing was leading up to it, we hadn’t been fighting. I just called him and I yelled at him. That was my first sign that I needed to take a mental health day. The second was when he asked me what he did wrong and what was going on and I couldn’t give him an answer.
Most things you read these days are all about getting your body healthy. Getting that perfect round butt and those six pack abs. But what about your mind? Isn’t it important to keep that healthy too? In my opinion, working on your mental fitness and mindfulness is even more important than working out. Your mind has a tremendous impact on the way the rest of your body functions, believe me.
Have you ever been nervous about something and all of a sudden felt yourself getting a stomach ache? There’s nothing physically wrong with you, but since your mind was in a bad place, it caused your body to react.
I won’t pretend that I’m an expert in mindfulness; I’m not. I still have bad days (like today) where I’m in a rotten mood or snap at my kids with no reasonable explanation. I’m also not saying to have a healthy mind, you have to be cheery and peppy all day, every day. Nope. That’s not how it works either.
It’s okay to have emotions! It’s okay if those emotions are negative! The difference is what you do with those negative emotions. Instead of drowning in them and letting them consume you, identify the emotions you’re feeling, acknowledge why they’re there, and work on seeing them in a positive light.
A little backstory about me: I used to be a huge pessimist. I literally could not find the good in most things. Why I was like that is completely beyond me, but I was. And you know what I realized? My body became unhealthy for no apparent reason. I was sick all the time, I was tired all the time, and I never felt quite right. I also weighed more than I ever had in my entire life, except for when I was pregnant. I had just gotten out of a long term relationship, I was living back with my parents in my hometown at my old job and I felt stuck. I realized then that I needed to pull my crap together or I was going to live a miserable freaking life.
I wasn’t sure where to start when it came to living a positive life, so I started with my favorite place to find stuff: Pinterest. I looked up positive quote after positive quote, I printed them out and made a cute little board full of all the quotes I found (which got lost during a move, or else I’d take a picture. Figures.), and I hung it on my bedroom wall. And you know what? It actually made me feel better. These simple little one-liners off Pinterest honestly changed my entire mindset, which in turn changed my life.
I started working out and eating healthy again, I found an apartment for my boys and me, and I just started really working on myself. I read personal development and self help books, and I started meditating. I realized that all these things I used to think weren’t that important played a major role in my life.
I was finally happy with just myself for once, and it was SO freeing. And guess what came next? My wonderful, loving, caring, insert-positive-adjective-here, husband came into my life by a total fluke, and the rest is history.
I fully and wholeheartedly believe that you attract what you put out in this world. If you’re a negative person and never find the good in things, good things aren’t going to happen to you. If you have faith and let the universe take control and realize that EVERYTHING happens for a reason, you won’t believe the blessings that make their way to you.
Here’s a few things that have helped me be more mindful and live a happier life:
- Meditate for at least 5 minutes per day. It doesn’t matter what time of day, just take 5-15 minutes to yourself to meditate and explore your mind. Never meditated before? The Simple Habit app has worked wonders for me, and it’s free 99! Woop!
- If you don’t have time to get away and meditate, breathe. All you need is two minutes. Take measured breaths; in through your nose for 5, out through your mouth for 5. You’ll be amazed at how relaxed you feel after just a couple minutes.
- Read personal development books! I’ll say it again for the people in the back: READ PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT BOOKS! Seriously, there hasn’t been anything that helped me more than reading or listening to self-help books. A couple of my favorites are You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero and The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein. Both can be purchased on Amazon and will CHANGE YOUR FREAKING LIFE.
- Do something you love to do! Whether that’s baking (me.), running (not me.), or what have you, just go do something that makes your heart sing without even trying. Promise. It works.
- Try to understand that everything happens for a reason. This one is probably the hardest for me to do, but I also think it’s one of the most important. Once you realize that everything happens for a reason and we aren’t just running around the world with no purpose, you’ll have a lot easier time coping with the hard stuff. I’m not saying it will make the hard stuff suck any less, it won’t. But at least you’ll know that the universe did that on purpose and there’s a much bigger plan out there that you may just not be aware of quite yet.
Like I said before, I’m no expert at mindfulness and keeping positive thoughts, I am so not. But I’m better than I used to be, and getting better every single day. I hope this post helped you realize the importance of keeping your mind healthy and that there’s a bigger plan for you if you have a little faith.
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