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positivity Archives | A Box of Happiness

The Power of the Mind

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The mind has amazing power over our lives, our emotions and has the ability to do amazing things. Ever noticed how having a pessimistic outlook can change the course of the day? Think about this….You wake up, stub your toe on the door, spill the milk on the floor while making your breakfast – there are two ways it can go. You say angrily, ‘It’s going to be “One of those” days’ and so it is and you have a hell of a day. Or you tell yourself to snap out of it and take 5 minutes over a coffee to recharge, get some positivity and travel to work noticing all the beauty around you, the sun shining, the birds singing and spend the rest of the day upbeat.

As Buddha said ‘The mind is everything; what you think you become’ which as an article in breathe magazine (issue 8, page 16) shows, through research on the placebo effect – if we expect something to happen it will bring about that expected result be it positive or negative as ‘the brain is in control’ (Newlyn, E, 2017, Breathe Magazine, Issue 8, Page 17).
In the same article Emma Newlyn gives some great advice about creating your own placebo effect to give your life a little boost of positivity, if you’re a naturally pessimistic person this may take a bit of practise but will be well worth the effort for your mind, to alleviate low self-confidence and negative feelings. She recommends using the mind power you waste on worrying to turn it around into a positive response, focusing on something good and so occupying the mind in a more positive way to ‘take the body out of its cycle of stress’.
You can also use the power of the mind to visualise an image of what you want to achieve, this is something I do regularly when I struggle to sleep. Imagining how a situation will go, or at least how I would like it to go. Try it the next time you have a job interview or presentation. See yourself sat in your smart outfit, confident, smiling, answering the questions with ease. You will go in there with a little bit more positivity, a little more confidence and who knows you may even get the job.

Give these bits of advice a try and let me know how it works out for you.

In my next post I will be sticking with the theme of mind power but focusing more on positive affirmations and how words can shape your life, emotions, wellbeing and self- confidence.

This blog post was inspired by Issue 8 of Breathe Magazine – if you haven’t seen it I would highly recommend grabbing a copy, there’s so much wonderful advice surrounding a variety of topics that all lead to increased wellbeing.

 

Breaking the Stigma Around Mental Health

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Today I attended the BuyYorkshire event at Leeds Royal Armouries where I had the pleasure of seeing Alastair Campbell talk about mental health.

Wow, what an inspiration. His talk was honest and frank about his own mental health issues, the way he recalls his episode of psychosis as though it happened just yesterday. Describing the feeling of his mind being made of glass – smashing into thousands of shards. Hearing what he describes as a ‘cacophony’ of voices and noise in his head.
The talk highlighted some very important points, things we can all do to break the stigma of mental health.

Stop being afraid!
Stop hiding from it.
“Be open, be proud” because just about everybody will be affected by mental health problems at some point in their lives and there isn’t anything to be ashamed about.

The stigma can only be broken with honesty on the subject and things are not going to change unless we do something about it. As Alastair points out there is a huge gap between the care we receive for physical health and mental health although both are just as important as each other for us to be healthy and happy. He describes psychosis as on par with being in a horrific car crash, being thrown out of the front windscreen – in that situation you would be given immediate care, however somebody suffering psychosis is expected to be seen within 2 weeks before they receive treatment in the UK.

We all need to break this stigma and push for change just like people before us pushed for womens rights, racial equality and gay marriage.

I always say we need to be the change we want to see in the world and this works in so many ways.

The end of the talk saw an opportunity for a quick Q&A, the most interesting question on the subject of mental health was how each and every one of us could take a call to action from the talk to which Alastair replied “Don’t avoid it, don’t look the other way”, if you see somebody in distress ask them if they’re OK. Just that can mean so much.

Be the change you want to see in the world, break the stigma and join our Happiness Revolution!

Positive Mental Attitude

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Positive Mental Attitude has helped me gain confidence, gain friends and become happier as a result.

Some people that know me may find it difficult to believe that once upon a time I was chronically shy. I still get nervous sometimes and in certain situations but nothing like I used to. I still blush in many situations for the slightest reason which makes me anxious because its quite clear for all to see that I am feeling uncomfortable. I have always had ambition but this really held me back. I was scared to tell people my dreams, fear of failure and ridicule were huge. It was only in my mid twenties (quick titbit of info, I am now 29, but sshhh, don’t tell everyone!) after I had my first daughter that I began to think ‘Why am I bothered what strangers think of me?’ do their opinions really matter? Should my happiness really ride on these things?
My husband really helped with this too, he doesn’t care what people think of him, he is unashamedly himself and he has pushed and encouraged me in so many ways. Although there will always be a part of me that resists. The same goes for my stress levels. Back in college I was known as a ‘stress head’, everything was such a big deal, I was highly stung and defensive. But now I try to think ‘don’t stress about those things which you cannot control’, life is going to throw you some curve balls but how you react to them is going to alter the situation. If you choose to let things eat you up, if you bury your head in the sand that is not going to solve anything.
Of course Mrs Stress still likes to rear her ugly head but I now have ways of dealing with her.
One thing I have always believed and always try to pass on to others is having an optimistic outlook. This may seem irritating to others sometimes but which one of us is happier, the optimist or the pessimist? If you wake up and something happens and you think ‘oh its going to be one of those days’ it will turn out to be one of those days!! Whereas if you wake up and think ‘today is a good day’ or if something happens that’s not in the plan and you think ‘oh well never mind, no point stressing about it’ you will automatically feel much happier and the day will breeze by. Because you have handled it, because you have not let it dampen your spirit. This is positive mental attitude. It also links back to something called the law of attraction, definitely look it up because its so interesting. But basically what you think you attract. Think of yourself like a magnet, if you are a negative person you are going to attract all the negativity; negative thoughts, feelings, situations, even negative people. Your vibe attracts your tribe!  However, if you’re a positive person you will do the opposite and attract all things positive.

Which brings me to my next point. Do not allow room in your life for negative people, those people that drain all the happiness from you, that suck your soul till you’re feeling dull and miserable. Those people that ‘dull your sparkle’ so to speak. That’s a total happiness killer. So don’t BE one of those people either! I try to only surround myself with people that make me happy, that respect my dreams, that have my back, the kind of people that are rooting for me, that say nice things, that are always supportive, that I trust 100% not to go behind my back and say things they wouldn’t say to me. They are the friends you need, even if you only have 2 or 3 friends like that, that is worth a million false friends.

Since changing my outlook on life, since trying to be a better person myself I have found I have attracted so much good in to my life, I feel happy because I appreciate everything that has come my way (Gratitude is a whole other blog post!). Positive mental attitude has brought me self-confidence (fake it till you make it baby!), it has brought me great friends and I am making new ones all the time, friends I would consider soul sisters, friends for life. By being pro-active and pushing myself through my confidence issues, I have my own business which is going from strength to strength, I am studying for a business degree, I am learning to drive and 2017 is going to be amazing! I will always have to work hard to appear to be a confident person, but I hope in time it will become less of an effort.

I would love for some of you to try changing your outlook, put a positive spin on everything, push yourself out of your comfort zone, smile at that stranger you see every morning on the way to work/school, speak to somebody you haven’t spoken to before, join a netmums group to meet new people.  Give some of these a try and let me know how you get on and how you’re feeling after a week!