How to check in with your patience and optimism for the rest of the year
It’s no secret that summertime can be full of social plans and extra activities compared to our usual schedules, we all want to be able to do everything we can and and our regular routines go a little bit out of the window. However, the change of seasons can also be a time for us to re-set and check in with our bodies and minds to make sure we’re being kind to ourselves, being patient and optimistic. We’ve put together our top tips to help managing emotions, practice mindfulness and changing habits.
We sometimes encounter things in life which are outside of our comfort zone and out of our control. These things can often test us and our emotions, causing pain or unwanted negative thoughts. Rather than struggling against these thoughts and pain, it’s important to give yourself permission to feel exactly what you’re feeling in that moment. Making space for this in your mind and accepting that these feelings will pass, will help you focus on the future rather than being stuck in the present and worrying about something you can’t change. Acceptance is an active process that we must practice, it can require time and effort but is a great way of dealing with negative emotions.
Whilst we all know it’s important to give thanks and express gratitude to those who help us during life’s moments, being able to practice the art of gratitude and focus on things you are grateful for as part of your daily routine can be known to increase feelings of optimism and positivity. A great way to do this is by journaling at night. Just before you go to sleep, write down three to five things you’re thankful for in your life. These can be big things such as health or family, or small things that happened to you that day. The art of writing these down and being able to manifest things in a positive light is a great way of dealing with any unwanted thoughts.
Practice & tolerance
Tolerance requires us to accept and embrace things we may not necessarily understand. Whilst the word tolerance can sound daunting and be perceived in a negative way, it can be a positive thing and help in regulating emotions. Being tolerant to certain people and situations can allow us to develop more authentic connections, become more empathetic and learn new information about people around us. We can become adaptable to certain environments and it’s a great way to develop listening practise, making you more mindful in the moment.
The saying “practice makes perfect”, simply means the encouragement from one person to another in doing something so many times that it becomes integrated into your daily routine and your ability to do it well. Whilst this phrase is often used to comment on more practical processes, it’s something we should encourage our inner critic to adopt when dealing with our emotions. If we were to practice the art of things like acceptance, gratitude and tolerance, we’d be able to be a little kinder to ourselves.
Relax techniques: slow down & take a deep breath
We all know about mindfulness and meditation benefits, as well as other relaxing techniques which may contribute to the physical feeling of “letting it go”. There are also many other ways in which you can teach your body to relax, slow down and bring your mind to the present. Mental health charity Mind, has put together a guide on relaxation in which they highlight their key tips:
- Relax your body: practice a variety of breathing exercises to allow your mind to focus on the present and calm you in the here and now.
- Draw calming circles: colour and creativity can help you feel relaxed. Reach for coloured pencils and paper and let your mind wander
- Take a mindful moment in nature: spending time in green spaces has been known to reduce feelings of anxiety. Find a green space and start exploring the sounds and scenes around you.
Read more from Mind’s guide here.
Focus on the positives & be mindful
Sometimes, focussing on the positives can be easier said that done. Often, we must train our mind into relishing in these positive thoughts, rather than letting our inner critic cloud us with the negatives. Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.1 If we start to practice mindfulness techniques, we will in turn be able to use this practice to focus on the positives in our lives. You can start to do this by setting aside specific time in your day or evening, find a peaceful space in your home, light some candles, and sit comfortably. Close your eyes and take deep inhales and exhales, holding your breath for a few seconds at a time. Whilst you do this, make sure to draw your attention to your breath and your body. Try and block out any surrounding noise as you do this and remember – don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get it right the first time, practice makes perfect.
1 mindful.org “Getting started with meditation.” © 2021 MINDFUL COMMUNICATIONS & SUCH, PBC