Do you ever wake up feeling like today is going to be the worst day ever? You're not entirely sure why, but you just have this knot of dread in your stomach and you can't kick the negative thoughts out of your head. Sure enough you find that you have absolutely nothing to wear. You feel fat. You end up being late to school/work. You forgot to bring that important paper. The list just goes on and on.
Then take the reverse, have you ever woken up, feeling like today truly is the greatest day to be alive, but again you have no real reason behind it? You feel positive and happy. You rock those skinny jeans and feel fab. You swear the cute coffee store guy was hitting on you. You find a £5 note in your pocket. Life is good!
So what is that makes us have good and bad days? How can we wake up with exactly the same prospects yet one day everything goes to pieces and another you're on top of the world?more
The answer lies in the way that you think. Your thoughts create your reality. If you've read The Secret or any other similar book, you may be familiar with the Law of Attraction, the idea that 'like attracts like". You know those bisarre times when you listen to the radio and seconds before the next song starts you already know what it will be. That's the Law of Attraction working for you.
If we focus on the things that we don't want, we will attract those things into our lives. My favourite guru and girl crush Gabriele Bernstein talks a lot about this, and how the Universe responds to the thoughts we send out to it. It cannot differentiate between what you do not want and what you do want. It responds to our energy. If you put a lot of energy into negative emotions and thoughts, it will respond back with that as it's where your energy is primarily consumed. However if you think positively or focus on the things that you do want, your energy will go to these sources and the return will be equal.
Of course this doesn't mean that thinking positively will rid you off any bad days, but you will feel more capable to deal with them. Remember that we need those grey awful days to remind us what our happy is, but you should never let them consume you. We become stronger when we conquer our fears, and in the same way we become happier when we rise above negative thinking.
So how can you become a mental happiness champion? I've outlined some of my favourite ways to tap into that energy source. It can be a tough and long process, but just keep going with it and you will be rewarded abundantly. I promise.
- Start and end each day by stating the things that you are grateful for. Take the time to spot the bright parts of your day. It could be something as simple as having eggs for breakfast, or your favourite song came on the radio to acknowledging the people who lift you up are in your life. Start focusing on the great and not the bad.
- Self-love and positive thinking go hand in hand. I struggled greatly with this in my teens, and still do every now and then. My mother, the wise woman that she is, would challenge me to list ten things that I liked about myself. In the beginning I would struggle with five, and I hated the experience, but we kept going. Eventually I'd be able to list ten things with relative ease, and this remains one of my favourite ways of boosting my confidence. Please don't think that liking yourself means that you're conceited. Far from it. By liking and loving yourself you will be able to give love to others so much more easily as you'll have it on tap already.
- Create a Happiness Playlist. Music is such a powerful tool. Imagine your favourite movie scene without the music playing in the background. It would be a completely different experience. I have a bunch of songs that I whack on whenever I start feeling blue and have a dance to.
- Exercise! It release your feel good endorphins. Learn to use exercise as a way to love your body rather than punish it. If you hate spinning, don't do it! Go for a nice walk instead, or try out Zumba. I laugh so much every time I see my Scandinavian self in the mirror trying to recreate moves that were clearly only made for Latin hips!
- Learn to recognise the talents of other people without letting it affect the way you view yourself. Remember, the beauty of a rose does not make that of the peony any less.
"A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms."
Remember that you are loved, you are strong, and most of all you are important. Now go get your sparkliest smile on and shine, inside and out.