Many of us are scared to be alone with our thoughts. We’re scared of what they might say and how they might make us feel. We’re so plugged in and invested in other people’s worlds, but neglect out own. Here’s three reasons to tune into what’s going on inside your head.
Reason One: Find solutions
When we listen to our thoughts and emotions, it’s likely that we’ll shed light on insecurities, anxieties and fears. But don’t be afraid. Instead of burying them away, we can actually face them and find ways to conquer them. We’ll see they’re not untameable. We’ll start to untangle the problems and find ways to overcome them.
Reason Two: Set direction
When we get in touch with our thoughts and emotions, we begin to understand where we want to go. Sometimes we wander aimlessly because we’re lost. Sometimes we find ourselves walking a path because we’re following someone else. We’re not really thinking about what we want and where we want to go. But if you actually do take the time to think and listen, and you follow what your heart is saying, you’ll never be steered wrong.
Reason Three: Realise who you are
When we tune into our thoughts and emotions, we drown out the noise around us and find out who we are. That might be someone who doesn’t care what people think. That might be someone who stands up for what they believe in. That might be someone who sees things differently. Whoever you are, you don’t need to lock them away. Find out what you like and don’t like, where you want to go and what you want to do.
(Image: Kreesha Turner)
Happiness is a state of mind. It isn’t something we can always hold onto. It’s ok to be down and feel low. Have faith that happiness can always be found again. If you believe it can, you won’t be afraid of sadness, because it’s also a state of mind. Sadness isn’t something you’ll always hold onto. It will pass.
The people around us affect the energy around us. Some radiate. Others drain. Positivity, hope, strength, love all grow with radiators and wilt with drains. Who are you letting into your life? What energy consumes you? And who are you being for yourself and others? If we keep taking, from others and from ourselves, we’ll soon realise we have nothing anyway. If we keep giving, to others and to ourselves, we’ll soon find much more than we hoped to have.
Life is full of contradictions. We cannot know happiness without sadness. We cannot know success without failure. We cannot know relationships without loneliness. We cannot know confidence without insecurity. The contradictions are what make life beautiful. Because happiness flourishes from sadness, through the comfort of those around us. Because failure nurtures success by testing our perseverance and strength. Because loneliness makes us value those people we take for granted around us. Because insecurity reminds us that we can love ourselves despite our imperfections. Don’t be afraid to feel, both the joyful and melancholy emotions. It’s ok to let them out. And life will be better because of it.
All actions are made up of intent and purpose, and all intent and purpose requires thought and emotion, no matter how fleeting or intense. Sometimes we understandably get caught up in anger, hatred, fear, sadness and so on that make us think vigilantly about revenge, harm or isolation, for example. Some of us do not act upon these emotions and initial intentions, letting new emotions and intentions grow amongst the ash, and others of us do act upon them, driven by the rawness of the emotion. Sometimes these actions may be reasonable and other times illogical. Either way, I think we should all be mindful of our intentions and therefore actions, because they not only affect others but ourselves too. Try to act with good intentions as much as possible; not only will we all send positive vibes and love into the world, but the world will reward us with love and positivity too, and we will be filled with joy, rather than regret, bitterness or dissatisfaction.
Anxiety is a perfectly natural emotion, most commonly thought of as a relatively unnecessary by-product of a time when the stakes are high or when we fear the uncertain. To be nervous can be healthy because it peaks our senses and our body’s internal systems, increasing our adrenalin and oxygen levels, which makes us more alert during the situation. But at the same time, excessive anxiety can only result in a hinder to our progress because we waste our energy on worrying rather than the task at hand. Like any emotion, it can begin to control us because we do not know how to confront and regulate it.
Ways to overcome anxiety:
- Don’t avoid what is making you anxious or scared – the more you are exposed to your fear, the more you become used to it, and it will seem less scary each time you do it. Remember that a feeling of accomplishment and confidence can grow from facing fears, and these feelings will transcend into other aspects of your life
- When facing your fear, instead of focusing solely on the worry and the worst-case scenarios of a situation, visualise that there is life beyond that fear and anxiety. For example, if you are worried about an exam or an interview, remember that life goes on after that, whatever the outcome, and whichever way life goes, things can be solved and your life can be happy
- Praise yourself when you have survived a situation where you have felt anxious – then, next time you can remind yourself that you’ve survived it before. In time, you will gain confidence and learn to control and shrink the size of your anxiety
- Remind yourself of the good things that come from facing your anxiety. For example, someone with social anxiety can find it hard to be with a big group of people, and might worry about what others think of them. But, in reality, nobody will mind if you start off by saying very little whilst you grow confidence to speak freely in a large group. Usually, once you get over the hurdle of the initial anxiety that brews with the thought of facing your fear, you might actually enjoy yourself or forget about your fear when you turn your mind to the task rather than the outcome
- Relax and think about something else that calms you or makes you happy – then, when you face a similar situation you will learn to associate it with calmness instead anxiety. Again, this will help gain confidence in these nerve-wrecking situations
- Instead of going into a situation with a negative mindset, go in with a positive mind. For example, if you have an interview or an exam, do not tell yourself that you are going to choke or you will fail. Tell yourself that you are going to go in there and show them what you can do! You have tried your best, and that is all that anyone can ask of you
- Talking to someone is one of those solutions that comes up again and again for overcoming problems, and anxiety is no different. Talking to someone can serve to release those bottled up feelings, and the other person may be able to calm and reassure you. Alternatively, if you regularly worry, especially at night, you could schedule a 15 minute worry-time session during the day, where you write down your worries in a diary to get it off your chest – then, when it comes to time for sleeping, you can tell yourself that you’ve already worried today and you can worry tomorrow at your scheduled worry-time
Things to remember if you’re worrying at night:
- Everything seems worse at night – you’re tired and when you’re trying to fall asleep, it’s much harder to control your thinking and drown out any negativity. Anxiety only increases the adrenalin, making you more awake even when you are exhausted. But I guarantee in the morning, even though your worries or problems may still be there, you will realise that they are not as bad as they seemed at night and you’ll have a much better chance of creating a plan of action in the morning.
- There is nothing at that moment when you are trying to fall asleep that you can do about that problem. The best thing you can do is get a good nights sleep. So put it out of our mind and deal with it tomorrow when you have a clearer head. Trying to fix a problem or sooth an anxiety when you’re tired could make things much worse for you. Instead, calm yourself at night by thinking about things that make you happy or you are looking forward to