Change Your Outlook, Change Your Life

"When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change." - Max Planck

It'll come as no surprise that I'm writing this post whilst tucked up in bed, my weekend playlist sounding and coffee in hand. Is it even a day off if you're not still in bed at 10am?

I wanted to talk today about outlook. No, not the email server.. your perception.

While meditating this morning, a thought popped into my mind and if you've been meditating for a while you'll know what I mean when I say that some thoughts are harder to accept and move on from than others. But not impossible- I should add. It wasn't a desperate thought or a dangerous thought just an anxious one about something that had happened weeks and weeks ago. Instead of trying to analyse the thought and figure out why it was there; instead, I changed the way I looked at it. I looked at the thought without question and without judgement and just simply thought "it happened. let's move on." and then, I was able to put that one to bed.
Thoughts aren't always solicited. Anyone who has ever struggled with intrusive thoughts and/or any form of anxiety will tell you this. Sometimes they come out of nowhere and trigger feelings about certain situations you didn't even know where there. The key to working through this isn't to stop the thoughts all together but accept them and do not dwell on them.

The thing you always have control over is your outlook. I know some times this can seem more difficult to digest than others but ultimately the power lies with you. Let your outlook influence the situation, not the other way 'round.

I've always considered myself to be an optimist, admittedly sometimes to a fault (I'm working on it) but I do strongly believe that my outlook on life has brought me more good than bad. Not because I've been in better situations because of it- oh no, but because of the way I chose to perceive those 'bad days'.

"Just like a rubber band, you must be stretched to be effective." - Unknown

Imagine, for a second, that we went through life never experiencing hardship. That we were never tested or challenged and we could do anything that we wanted. Someone once said that you don't grow when you're comfortable and it's something that everyone should think about.

Look back on your hardships and ask yourself if there's anything that you did differently because of that event. I am not insinuating that you should be thankful for said trauma but certainly be accepting of it and see that it actually acted as a springboard in pushing you to the place you are now. Remember, a rubber band can't spring if it isn't pulled back.

I can guarantee that there's been a time in your life that you've thought to yourself "I can't do this" and convinced yourself that you're at rock bottom and yet, you got through it. I'm sure there was a time before and after that you thought the same thing, too. You are so much stronger than you give yourself credit for, I assure you.



Internal Struggles Of An Awkward Soul

If I was asked to sum myself up in one word it would be: awkward. The way I walk, dance, talk... let's just say, if I'm moving- it probably looks awkward. As I've been mentioning a lot on here recently, this year I want to put a lot more effort into self improvement and a big part of this is looking at yourself as an outsider and evaluating yourself and your actions. Sounds kinda trippy and a bit like a story line from an episode of Black Mirror but it does teach you a lot about yourself.

In doing so, I have tried to embrace this side of myself which, whether I like it or not, is a big part of my personality. Instead of trying to change it I'm dealing with it in the same way that I deal with any other uncomfortable feelings or revelations: laugh at it and make jokes until I'm okay with it. So, I've compiled a short list of internal struggles I go through as an awkward soul. Laugh along with me... Please...
Writing my own conversations in my head before they occur. I love conversations, I live for them but I'm just not very good at them. I could be sat on a bus with the seat next to me empty, riding in a lift or waiting in the queue in Primark, if someone looks as if they are going to speak to me (or just be standing in a close proximity to me- that'll do it too) you can guarantee that within 0.5 seconds I've come up with answers to every question they could possibly ask me. I know the time in case they ask me that. Wording everything so articulately in an attempt to trick them into thinking I'm a confident extrovert with the public speaking ability of Michelle Obama. Until... "Hi! Can I help you?" erm.. no, please, thank you. bye. *drops items on the floor* *runs away* Damn it.

Sometimes I forget how to walk. Are you ever just walking down the street and you see someone walking and all of a sudden your brain is like: do I walk like that? am I walking weird? why am I leaning forward? Posture! Before you know it you're analysing every step you make and managed to convince yourself that you're going to fall. Shh brain!
Even just being silence can make me cringe. So I don't want you to talk to me but I don't want you to be silent either... Silences are often filled with a failed attempt at me trying to make conversation which often consists of a mere observation related to something that you're wearing.

Laughing is my go-to. I know people sometimes say that they have an awkward laugh and I feel lucky enough to be able to say that I think my laugh is pretty standard. I do, however, have a tendency to laugh at everything. It doesn't matter if I actually found it funny or whether it was even intended to be humorous- just laugh. Couldn't hear what they said? That's okay- just laugh.
 Being early to.. well, anything. I feel like anyone who relates to the word 'awkward' should get where I'm coming from with this one. Being early to things is the worst thing, whether it be the first to arrive for a social gathering or waiting to meet someone off the train. Not to mention that cheeky and anxiety provoking text reading "I see you ;)" Ok. Don't look around. Just act casual.

Apologising for everything. This is probably due to a mix of my awkward tendencies and my fear of conflict but I find myself apologising for everything even if the fault lies with the other person. I've had someone bump into me before from being so engrossed in their phone and I've apologised profusely for it... like, what? sorry. sorry. sorry!

But hey, you've got to laugh at yourself every once in a while. Do you relate to any of these?



#SELFLOVE: What's It All About And How Do I Practice It?



regard for one's own well-being and happiness.

It’s often only seen as a meer hashtag accompanying a tweet or nestled underneath an Instagram post in an attempt to avoid coming across as narcissistic but I want to talk, today, about the real acts of self love. How you can incorporate it into your day-to-day lives and why it’s more than just a trend. It's a way of life.

We’re often sold the idea that doing certain things and following a particular trend will change our lives. Whether it be through a 90 day SSS plan or guided meditation. Although there are obvious benefits to these in the ways of health and nutrition, the real game changer that these kinds of trends all have in common is the act of looking after yourself.

Self love is the most important tool in being happy. Can anyone reach true happiness if they don’t love and look after themselves?

“Until you value yourself, you won’t value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.” – M. Scott Peck

As I mentioned in my last post, I want to make 2017 my year of self love. I want to stop searching for happiness in external sources and find it within. Deep thought for a Monday morning, I know. Last year marked the time in which I think I truly started to find myself. What I'm really passionate about, what I want to achieve and what I want to learn.

A part of my life which was completely essential to this was my discovery of meditation. This became my biggest act of self-love and a key 10 minutes of my morning routine. Not only did it teach me to accept my own thoughts, it brought me a calmness which I feel like I've been searching so long for. A lot of stereotypes have been formed around meditation but you don't have to be a Buddhist monk or a tree-hugging hippy to feel the benefits of it. *raising two hands emoji* Hallelujah.

First of all t's important to understand what meditation is. It's peace. It's contemplation. It's reflection. It's the act of doing nothing.

As the world becomes more digital, we become busier. Whenever we're bored we can look for stimulation at our finger tips. When do we ever take time out to do absolutely nothing? Only when we're asleep, right? Meditation provides a completely still and calm environment to look at your thoughts in an idle and non-judgemental way. You can practice meditation in which ever way you feel comfortable. Whether it's sitting down cross legged on the floor, taking a yoga mat with you along to a class or just relaxing on your sofa- it's whatever works for you.

Self-love comes in many forms. However you decide to practice it; remember that you are worthy of the love, life and happiness that you desire. All you have to do is tell yourself that you are.

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