We humans are complex species and our emotions can be as volatile as Mount Vesuvius and as changeable as our British weather. Sometimes bleak thoughts burrow and despair grabs hold like a piranha that simply won’t let go. It loves you and wants to be your friend and will stay close until there is nothing left of you. Your well-executed plans fall apart; you look a mess and so does the house and place of work. You are stuck to that imaginary black tar which holds you rigid as if in a straight jacket; you know this day will not end well! So, what should you do?
I do not have credentials in the worlds of psychology, health, sport, meditation and so forth, but I do have vast experience in the often-destructive precariousness of the changing mind and its associated emotions. My world evolves around creative development and my emotions can change like the weather and also be explosive like a volcano. I have learnt that the art of survival is in knowing yourself. Live ‘your’ life and not someone else’s – accept who you are! This will then give you a positive and enlightened direction in the way forward.
When a bleak thought grabs you don’t just wait for the storm to pass, instead take active steps to shift your low mood and feelings of despair into positive, enterprising optimism. To help consider the following:
1. The very same strength of mind that forces you into sadness and despair is the same mind that can guide you into happiness and optimism.
2. Let food make you smile and give you energy: Walnuts, a dietary source of serotonin can help to create calm and happiness; Omega 3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA found in Salmon, tuna and other fatty fish, helps build your spirit, ease irritability and worry; Berries, help lighten mood and gives clarity of mind; Legumes; peas, beans and nuts are a source of magnesium and when you are deficient it can cause you to feel tired and will keep you stuck in that chair! Spinach is good for iron and energy.
There is much more, food is personal to us, so search the Internet and find the best combination for you. Remember to keep the food fresh, bright in colour, avoid heavy carbs, which will only sap energy and lower mood and above all drink plenty of water.
3. Exercise: whether you’re a fitness freak, a couch potato or somewhere in between, exercise will lighten your mood, help with clarity and give you energy. Exercise not only improves your self-esteem, but also most crucially releases a certain chemical known as endorphins, also known as a natural painkiller and as a long distance runner I can assure you that this is true. Running helps clear my low moods, mellows a thumping migraine and often opens the floodgate to refreshed creativity. Run a mile, skip or run up and down the stairs – no matter what you do shake that body and wake it up!
4. Have a cool and refreshing exfoliating shower!
5. Read a great book or watch a movie; funny, uplifting or inspiring. Here are a few that I love:
· Mindfulness, Plain and Simple by Oli Doyle
· The Art of Happiness by Dalai Lama
· The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
· The Green Mile by Stephen King
· Slumdog Millonaire, written by Simon Beaufoy
· Pursuit of Happyness, screenplay by Steven Conrad, original memoir by Chris Gardner
· Cinderella Man by Ron Howard
6. Listen to some pumped up music.
7. Call, text or email family and friends and make their day. On a particularly low day of mine I sent a text to a few of my loved ones with this message: “Good morning you lovely people, I just wanted to say hi, hope all’s well and to wish you a very happy and successful week.” My text, sent first thing on a Monday morning, resulted in loads of happy responses, well wishes and invitations to meet! Inspiring!
8. Clear out old clutter, burn or shred old and unwanted documents. It is so refreshing!
9. Reassess the value and importance of everything! Put all thoughts into perspective!
10. Make a list of the best things about you. If you’re reading this then here’s your starter. You are clearly caring and sensitive, thoughtful, kind and considerate. Why? Because ‘things’; people and the world matter to you – you care! That is what makes us who we are and gives balance to the crazy world we live in.
Add to the above the wise words of a highly visionary man Sir Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom 1940 – 1945 / 1951 – 1955 and have an inspiring day;
Success is the ability to go from one failure to another without the loss of enthusiasm.
A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.