For a long time I used mediation only when I felt I needed it. After a stressful day I would take ten and just sit and focus on my breathing. This of course worked for a little while but I have found that meditation is more about the frequency rather than the length of time it is practiced for.
Over the last month or so I have been meditating once a day for between ten to fifteen minutes. I’ve found by meditating once a day that I gain new perspectives on situations that are stressful or cause me to become anxious, I can focus on the present and how I am feeling in that moment not just in life situations but also within myself and my body. Not only does it help me to lower my stress levels and let go of all the bad, negative emotions that I might otherwise hold onto it has also helped me to deal with stress and manage it even when I’m at work or going about my daily activities.
I focus mainly on my breathing whilst meditating. How it feels when I breath in and how my chest rises and lowers as I breath in and out. By focusing on my breathing you nearly automatically relax your neck, shoulders and upper body muscles as you draw in more oxygen to allow for better breathing. Focus on how the breath feels in your nostrils and the back of you throat and if your mind starts to wander, which is completely fine, just draw your focus back to your breathing and how your body feels whilst your either sitting in a chair with you feet flat on the ground and your hands in your lap or you can sit crossed legged like I do. I like to sit on my yoga mat with my legs crossed and a folded towel or pillow under my bum so that my hips are higher than my ankles.
If you can’t find yourself a quite spot to really focus on your breathing and how if feels and what it sounds like I have found that playing slow, relaxing music works well. I use quite a few different playlists on Spotify. It did take me a while to find ones that really worked for me but I listened to them whilst doing yoga and then saved them for a later date. You will find that there are playlists for different types of mediation and if you can’t find anything that works for you I recommend a sleep playlist. There will be a blog post going up soon focusing mainly on these playlists and how different sounds can make you feel and focus on different aspects of the world around you.
I do set my timer for ten minutes but when it does go off I allow myself time to open my eyes slowly and in my own time. You want to allow yourself to stay relaxed and not be jolted out of your relaxed, mindful state so taking your time at this point is really important. The length of time you meditate for isn’t important because again, different people will feel differently. Sometimes you might not even set a timer, just go with how you are feeling and you will know when you want to stop and at that point you just slowly bring yourself back to present.
Keep in mind that this is only one of many forms of meditation which works jolly fine for me but you might have to find a different form that works better for you. I like to have my eyes closed which I have found stops my mind from wandering as much but you may find that having your eyes open actually works better for you. It’s all about trial and error and finding what works the best for you and what you need from it.
What would you do if you were being sensible? What would you do if you were being brave? You can’t change your life by doing all the same things you have always done. Being brave is a massive step to being someone new and achieving things you never thought possible. Whether you take little steps at a time or a massive leap it doesn’t matter. All that matters is that your taking the steps towards what you want to do with your one and only life.
Believe me when I say that I don’t like change. I never liked the idea of going to far off places, somewhere with new languages or weird animals that look cute but are deadly. That never appealed to me until this year. I got a graduate job that I never thought I would be lucky enough to get and I’m actually kind of good at it. I think that getting it just made me realise that I can do the things I never thought I could. I answer telephones and deal with picky people who want designs to be just right even if they are wrong. I tell them they are wrong in a round about way to make them think it was their idea to change it. Instead of rolling over and accepting everything thats thrown my way I’m actually questioning and explaining which is totally not me and I’m enjoying it. I keep surprising myself with little things.
Telling myself to get myself together is big part of that. I set myself up to get what I want now instead of setting myself up to fail. It’s a new outlook that does actually mean a lot.
I get in my car and drive to new places without my sat nav guiding the way. I read sign posts and take the wrong roads but I enjoy it now which is strange because turning the sat nav on before used to scare me. Theres more to see than a screen. Looking out the window and stopping in little towns you would usually pass through. Taking my time isn’t wasting time, it’s making memories and living in the moment. Something I never did before. Everything was planned to within an inch of its life. Don’t get me wrong, I still have freak outs about not having everything planned if I stop and think about it long enough. But as long as I remember which roads I took to get there, it’s easy enough to find your way home.
I completed my first five kilometre run and raised £285 and counting for Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust through our Just Giving page. That I never would have done before. Would have been too worried about what other people thought and I would have thought through a million different situations through in my head before hand. But instead I got up and ran it with Kelly and we did something different, new and worthwhile. We obviously feel like we didn’t push ourselves enough either because we are running the Falkirk Supernova five kilometre run in November too. It’s these little things that show you just how far you have come and it just shows that your capable of pushing though even when you want to stop.
I guarantee that if you have a look at your own life you will realise that you’ve accomplishing things you never would have before. Even if they are just little accomplishments at least your still taking steps in the right direction.
Take the road less travelled even if it says it’s not suitable for motor vehicles. Worry about it in the moment and laugh about it later.
Learning the difference between being hungry and bored is super important when your trying to cut out all the foods you really shouldn’t be eating. I like to nibble at snacks while I work and it really doesn’t help that I am sat right next to the biscuits, sweets and crisps. Since I started working full time I have struggled to tell the difference between being bored or stressed and being hungry.
The best way around this mystery is by constantly sipping on water. When I wake up in the morning I will have a pint of water before I do anything else. I have found this helps to settle my stomach and makes eating breakfast so much easier. Up until a month ago I never ate breakfast so I am still getting used to the fact I now eat in the morning. I plan on sharing a few of my favourite breakfast ideas in a blog post soon so keep your eyes peeled.
Once I have had my water in the morning I do half an hour of yoga and then get ready for work. At work everyone drinks so much coffee it might as well come straight out the tap. I try not to drink too much due to the caffeine and the fact I have to put sugar in my coffee to enjoy it. Throughout the day I will drink another three pints of water. One an hour before I eat my lunch to help speed up my metabolism and the rest whenever I get the chance.
After work Kelly and I go to the park for a run before we both go our separate ways home. Usually on my way home I will drink another small bottle of water or diluted juice to tide me over to dinner.
Since I started drinking so much water I have noticed a not only a massive difference in my appetite but there has also been a massive difference in how well I sleep and how I feel when I wake up. I literally jump out of bed which is the complete opposite of what I am normally like. I used to physically cry with the thought of getting up and now I actually look forward to it. There has also been a huge difference in my skin and the number of breakouts I have had. When I first started I did get a good few spots however now that I am a couple of weeks in my skin has really cleared up and I actually look well rested for once.
I am putting all of this down to water which seems very hard to believe but I have literally changed nothing else in my life. So if your struggling to lose weight due to being bored not hungry and eating anyway, try drinking more water. It will make you realise that you really are just bored most of the time and therefore so much easier to make those life changes and reach those body goals.
May is here and it’s just starting to feel like Spring. This change in the weather is doing only good things to my motivational levels. I honestly can’t remember the last time it rained and for Scotland thats almost unbelievable.
Last months goal of getting up early, for the most part, went well and I am going to try and keep it up. Obviously when your trying to get up early, staying out drinking all night isn’t always the greatest idea so I ended up saving money since I didn’t go out as much. Which at the time I resented but now that I am looking at my savings I would totally keep it up.
This months goal is to continue writing this blog. To just work on the motivation to keep writing and writing about the things that interest me rather than what I think other people will find interesting, After the training day I was at last week, I realised that if I am not posting content then I’m invisible and I don’t want to be invisible anymore. As much as I don’t want to be invisible I also don’t want to be seen as someone that I am not. So say goodbye to the content that I don’t have an interest in and hello to everything that I love writing about, listening to, watching, capturing and reading about.
Everything in life is just for a while.
Philip K. Dick
There is something incredibly comforting yet deeply sad about that. On one hand the hard times don’t last but that means the happy times don’t last either. Every moment really does hold meaning in life. I understand that you have to take the good with the bad. Accept the hard times and enjoy and dance in the good times.
Keeping a level head and not taking fantastic times for granted gets hard after a while though. It’s easy to forget that there could be trouble lurking ahead. You become to involved in life that things going wrong doesn’t really become an option. We are all in such a rush to go places and be the people we thought we would be by this point in our lives. I thought I would still be at university doing my Honors but I’m not. I left last year with a degree and just got my first ever proper graduate job.
Maybe accepting that your plan is just that, a plan, is one of the best things your can do. An even better thing and straight out of my book is to not have a plan at all. Take every decision in your stride and follow your gut. Just go where life takes you. Meet the people that are pushed in your direction become the person your life shapes you into and just take one day at a time. Because trust me, this quote is so true its painful.
Think pink. However not candy floss pink. Think hot, hot, sizzling fuchsia pink. Whether your feeling brave and wearing head to toe pink or looking for a subtle pink heel or cute fuchsia lip, this is the only colour you need in your wardrobe this Spring/ Summer.
After the colour popped up on the runways of Topshop Unique and Hermès, to name a few, the colour has been everywhere. Probably because it’s so darn wearable. I wore a fuchsia shirt to work yesterday with black jeggings and raincoat and I felt absolutely fabulous whilst wearing it and this is coming from a gal who has not worn anything pink in years.
So brighten up your winter wardrobe with the only hue you need this season and allow yourself to be tickled pink.
“Just be yourself.”
Everybody has heard that statement as some point in their lives. Whether it be, before an interview or before you meet your partners parents for the first time. Everyone has heard it and I guess to everyone it has a different meaning.
Fun fact: If I was to just be myself I would be seen as an emotional wreck of a person who has an unhealthy love for sad, moving music and enjoys being alone but not lonely.
The truth is just being yourself is bloody hard. When you first meet people you don’t let them see the real, imperfect, flawed, quirky, weird, beautiful, magical person that you are. Your probably on your best behaviour, pretending to be well mannered even when you know you swear like a trooper and love a few too many drinks at the weekend.
With the likes of Instagram and Facebook allowing people to show only their highlights it’s painting this picture that everyone around you is 100 times better than you will ever be. Making you think that that girls highlight is brighter than your future and god, your ex loves his new girlfriend so much more than he ever loved you. He posted it on Facebook therefore it must be true.
It’s all bullshit. Nobody is going to tell the world that their parents spend most of their time screaming at each other instead of loving each other, or that they can’t bare to look at themselves in the mirror. Nobody does that because nobody actually wants to see the real you. Nobody is interested.
We have all become obsessed with Snapchat filters that cover our noses or makes our eyes bigger because everyone has a little something they would like to change about themselves.
Maybe it’s time we all just accept the fact that we have all become frauds. Maybe it’s about time we accept the good with the bad and get on with it instead of creating these unreachable standards. Because at the end of the day, I’m just your average 21 year old who’s desperately trying to just be them-self in a world that constantly tells us not to be. And I’m almost certain that I’m not the only one.