Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Think Yourself Positive

Negativity effects everyone and can become an incredibly controlling force in life. Sometimes a negative state of mind cannot be avoided however a positive attitude towards situations and life in general can greatly improve the outcomes of scenarios that life itself throws at us. Thoughts manifest and when things are heavily focused on they can become reality, because of this a single positive thought can completely change the paths that you take to reach your goals and will make the whole experience much more satisfying. 

There are many ways to refocus negative thoughts, one of which is surrounding yourself with positivity. Negativity is not always in your mind, sometimes it is your surroundings that encourage negative thoughts. Other peoples negativity can and will effect you however by spending time with positive people your mindset can shift, their habits and positive energy will slowly begin to rub off on you. 

Clearing your head of negativity can be as easy as writing it down on a piece of paper. Writing down a negative thought and throwing it away is a physical release from the negativity. Some people consider burning the paper to be more therapeutic because it is a more extreme and permanent removal of the negative writing. Along with the removal of the writing, a warm drink can also expel negativity as it is a warmth that promotes comfort and imitates emotional warmth.

When you are in what seems like a negative situation, find what is good or helpful. Consider what the silver lining is to this dark cloud and focus on that rather than getting caught up in the negativity. One thing to remember is that it is easy to allow negative thoughts in when you think about what other people may say or think of you. However, most people don't have that much time to think or talk about what you do, this is not an insult, they just have their hands full with their own lives, families, hobbies and worries. Focus on yourself and how to improve your own positivity. 

Question your negativity. When you have a negative thought it can sometimes be best to question that thought. By questioning the negativity your mind can also question its importance in your life and extinguish the thought before it takes control. A way to look at this is by focusing on the bigger picture, stop making mountains out of molehills. By zooming out and looking at the bigger picture your negativity will appear much less important, think about this... will this problem or worry matter in a few weeks? Maybe even a few years?

Finally, spend some time talking to others about your negativity. If you are beginning to feel the negativity taking over then you do not need to face this alone. Talk to someone about this and let it all out. In response to talking to someone about your negativity,you can also support someone else and bring positivity into someone else's life. If you get stuck in negativity then one of the simplest ways to get out of your own head is to focus on helping someone else, and sometimes it is much easier to advise someone else rather than take your own advice, however, once all is said and done, only you can fully help yourself. 

"Every cloud has a silver lining"

Monday, 17 July 2017

Understanding Anxiety

For some, anxiety is an uncontrollable and unwanted part of everyday life. It can effect social interactions, motivation and even self confidence. Anxiety is a very normal thing that should not always be shown in a negative light, it is a response to something that could be troubling or dangerous and should be considered a warning sign that works to improve alertness. 

Anxiety is powerful and will outrun rationality and logic if allowed to do so. When the brain is overexposed to threat and fear it will become sensitive to everyday issues and go into high alert when there is no need to be. Anxiety becomes intrusive and difficult to live with, it changes from the little voice in the head that shows up when needed into the monster that feeds off of positive energy and security. 

Fight or flight? Anxiety is there to keep us out of harms way. It is instinctive and automatic. It was never meant to get in our way, but rather, to get us out of the way of danger. There are ways to harness the power and stubbornness of anxiety to overcome anxiety and symptoms of it. The change of mindset is the best way to relinquish anxiety however it does take time, the mind needs time to unlearn its habits. 

The methods listed below can be incredibly effective however it is best to not try all of the methods at once. It can become overwhelming and clutter the mind. Choose one method at a time and after some time change to another method to see what works best for you. Go slow, there is no need for this to be a stressful process.

  • Be Patient:

Patience is a virtue. There is no quick fix for anxiety or other mental states, it all takes time. Any reservations that you may have will come and go, simply be patient and consider your options. There it no reason for this to be a stressful or rushed experience. Look at your anxiety and consider the reasons for its development, spend some time with your thoughts and feelings and understand the root of your anxiety. You are strong and more resilient than your anxiety.

  • Be Present:

Being somewhere and being present are two different things. No matter where you are, you are not fully present if your mind is elsewhere. Anchor yourself, open your senses and consider what is around you. Stay with what is actually happening rather than focusing on what might happen. This process may feel uncomfortable at first however repeated exposure to this method will improve your ability to pull back from the anxious thoughts that steal you away from where you are.

  • Observe:

Stand back and view your anxiety as an observer, this will allow for your thoughts to become more rational and logical. Observation of your thoughts and anxiety can definitely help to change your perspective, it can open up your mind to options that would have never been considered. (For more information about perspective please refer to the previous blog post about Changing Your Perspective.)

  • Trust:

Trust your anxiety. Know that it won't hurt you. There are a lot of reasons why anxiety feels so awful, one of these is feeling uncertain and uneasy, however trust in your anxiety and knowledge of it can help improve your response to it and then overcome the feelings of uneasiness. You might wonder if that bad feeling means that something bad is actually going to happen, however anxiety is there as a warning, not a prediction. That bad feeling or negative thought is only going to manifest if you allow it to, focus on your trust that this is simply a feeling and can be controlled. 

This is not just about trust in your anxiety, you need to trust yourself. Trust that you can cope with anything that is thrown at you, you can deal with it and you can be resourceful. This is all a learning process and it will take time, so trusting your own abilities will also need to be worked along side with being patient.

  • Declutter:

Spend some time decluttering your mind and your life. You will notice that you thoughts will become more calm and this will allow for space to be opened up for more of an understanding of your anxiety and the reasons behind it. (For more information about decluttering please refer to the previous post about Decluttering the Mind.)

  • Goals:

Setting small goals to complete throughout day can help with anxious thoughts because it will allow for the anxiety to be put aside for a small amount of time so that other tasks can be focused on. (For a more in depth look into Goals please refer to the previous post about Goal Setting.)

  • Distract Yourself:

Sometimes anxiety cannot be controlled and needs to be waited out. To avoid obsessing try to distract yourself from the situation. Set goals, listen to music, read a book, socialise, anything to take your mind away from the anxiety. This is not avoiding the subject, this is taking some time to reconsider the root of the anxiety and allow for it to ease before working on resolving it.

  • Exercise:

Exercising is a brilliant way to distract yourself from anxiety whilst maintaining a healthy body and mind. The release of endorphins helps to improve positivity and therefore can reduce anxiety with the use of a more positive mindset. When paired with eating well balanced meals, your mind and body will feel much more energised and this will reduce the feeling of fatigue that is often caused with stress and anxiety. Do not skip any meals and always make sure that healthy, energy boosting snacks are available for that extra push.

  • Give-up Control:

Anxiety can become an uncontrollable force that seems too large to combat, to put this into perspective, understand that you cannot have full control of the anxiety or the cause of it. Once control has been let go of, your stress and anxiety can be put into perspective and you can ask yourself "is it really as bad as i think?", when this question is asked it usually forces your mind to reconsider the severity of the situation and eventually the anxiety will also be reconsidered.

  • Talk About It:

There is no shame in opening up about your problems. Tell your friends and family that you are feeling overwhelmed, let them know how they can help you. If this is something that you are not comfortable with then seek professional and confidential help, counselling can be a very effective method for overcoming negative thoughts because it allows for you to open up about how you are feeling and then leads to exploring the possible reasons for these problems and how to resolve them. 

Anxiety is not something that can be resolved quickly. Any of these methods are going to take time to take effect however the conscious effort to improve anxious feelings could be all you need to slowly recover. As previously stated, these methods will be best used separately or in pairs as any more could become overwhelming which would be counterproductive as some anxiety can be caused by feeling overwhelmed and uncertain. 

The main thing to remember is that you are stronger than your anxiety and you have the capability to control how you feel. You do not need to feel defeated by your anxiety because you have the power to overcome these feelings. It all starts with you.

Monday, 10 July 2017

The Colours of Your Personality

There are many things that can effect your mood, from other people to certain situations, however the colours around you can change the way you feel. Colours are an incredibly powerful part of your life that can be used to encourage emotions. Artists and designers select paint and accessory colours to inspire certain feelings and provoke reactions from viewers. 

Knowing and understanding the way that colours can effect you can help promote more positive and productive emotions in your life, even by adding some colour to your wardrobe. Having a favourite colour also says a lot about your personality and can reveal some of your hidden traits to others, sometimes even the colour that you are most attracted to can change the way others perceive you.

  • Red

Red is an incredibly passionate colour. It is fire and blood, so it is associated with energy, war, strength and power however it can also be a romantic colour that represents love and desire. Red is an emotionally intense colour that heightens your current mood rather than completely adjusting it. 

Red can also have a physical effect on you as it enhances metabolism, raises blood pressure and can even increase respiration rate. As there are multiple shades of red, each variation means something different. For example, light red represents joy, sexuality and passion. However, dark red symbolises willpower, rage, leadership, courage and wrath.

A person who is attracted to the colour red is considered someone who projects power and confidence. This attraction is a reflection of the personality and red is usually worn as a bold statement, others will recognise this vivid tone and associate this with a strong personality.

  • Orange

Orange is a very complex colour as it brings together the energy of red and the happiness of yellow. It is associated with joy and warmth. Orange represents enthusiasm, happiness, creativity, determination and success. It is a warm colour that gives the sensation of heat, however it is not as aggressive as red. 

The physical effect that orange has on the body is the increase of oxygen to the brain as well as stimulation of mental activity. It is a citrus colour that is associated with healthy food which encourages a more healthy appetite. The different shades of orange also have other meanings that are different to the overall meaning of orange. A darker shade of orange can mean deceit and distrust. A red-toned orange leans more towards the meaning of the colour red with the sexual passion, domination and aggression. Finally, a gold shows prestige with the meaning of wisdom and wealth. 

Attraction to the colour orange shows courage, determination and a creative flare. Orange in all its varied tones is an artistic colour that is memorable and dramatic which leaves a positive impression with the viewer and can be both bold and approachable.

  • Yellow

Yellow is the colour of sunshine. It is associated with happiness, intellect and energy that produces a warming effect. Yellow is an incredibly health conscious colour as it arouses feelings of cheerfulness, stimulates mental activity and generates muscle energy. 

Although yellow is mainly a positive colour, it can also be overwhelming shade. For example, babies cry more in yellow rooms. When used appropriately, yellow evokes pleasant, cheerful feelings, which is why it is used to promote products related to leisure. Yellow is also considered an unstable and spontaneous colour thats meaning can completely change with a slight shade variation. A dull or mustard yellow represents cautions, sickness and jealousy which is a far stretch from the sunshine yellow that many people know. Light yellow is associated with intellect and joy.

A person who is attracted to yellow can initially be considered a joyful person however the true meaning of the colour yellow is much more complex. Being attracted to yellow, in all tones, means that you are a happy person in general and perhaps are more willing than the average person to take risks. Yellow is a social colour and can also be associated with a more welcoming personality.

  • Green

Green is the colour of nature. It symbolises growth, harmony and fertility. It also has a strong emotional correspondence with safety and is often associated with wealth. The physical effect that green has on the body is of great healing power as it is the most restful colour for the human eye, it can improve vision. Green also suggests stability and endurance. 

The different shades of green can represent both positive and negative elements. For example, dark green is associated with ambition, greed and jealousy. Another shade of green also has relations to jealousy which is the more yellow toned green, this shade is an incredibly negative tone as it promotes sickness and cowardice. At the other end of the scale, Aqua is an emotional healing and protective shade, and olive green is the traditional colour of peace. 

An attraction to green usually indicates a calm personality and a loyal companion. Green is a colour that can be depended on and usually associated with someone that has great respect for themselves and others. If you are attracted to green, you are someone that can work in perfect harmony with others but also knows how to be independent and rely on yourself when necessary.

  • Blue 

Blue is normally used in a negative light, with the term "feeling blue" being very popular, however blue is much more complex than that. It is the colour of the sky and the sea, of depth and stability. Iy is often associated with trust, loyalty, confidence, intelligence, truth and calm. Blue is considered beneficial to the mind and body as it slows the metabolism and produces a calming effect which is why blue is the opposing colour to red. 

Although it is a tranquil colour, it is also considered a masculine shade. According to studies, dark blue is highly accepted amongst males as it is a representation of depth, stability and expertise. Dark blue is a serious colour that is also associated with knowledge, power and integrity. On the other hand, light blue is a colour of health, healing, understanding and softness.

Someone who favours the colour blue is normally considered dependable and trustworthy, which is why it is very common to see government officials and presidential candidates wearing some form of blue clothing. An attraction to blue can also indicate that the person is calm and rational during times of stress and upset.

  • Purple

Just like with yellow, Purple combines the elements of two colours. It contains the stability of blue and the energy of red. Purple is often associated with royalty. It symbolises power, nobility, luxury and ambition. It conveys wealth and extravagance. Purple is also a representative of wisdom, dignity, independence, creativity, mystery and magic.

Purple is a very rare colour in nature and some people consider it to be artificial. Over half of pre-adolescent children prefer purple to all other colours as it is vibrant and mysterious. Light purple promotes romantic and nostalgic feelings whereas dark purple can be a frustrating colour that evokes gloom.

Being attracted to purple shows a great self respect and pride, this is not always negative as it shows a confidence and an ability to complete tasks with great precision due to pride in your own work. A favour to purple is a person who is incredibly competent and has the ability to maintain strong, supportive and trustworthy relationships.

  • White

White is the colour of purity, innocence, virginity and goodness. It is the colour of perfection. White is often seen as bridal because of the association with innocence and light. It stands for purity, safety and cleanliness. As opposed to black, white usually has a positive connotation as it can represent a new successful beginning and faith. 

Someone who is attracted to white is normally a very clean and tidy person who likes to keep things well organised. Due to the use of white in a lot of technology advertisements, the attraction to white is often due to a sense of youth and modern living, there will also most likely be an attraction to things that are new and cutting edge in association to the colour white.

  • Black

Black is a mysterious colour that is often associated with fear and the unknown. It usually has negative connotations and other meanings for the colour are not usually considered. Black stands for power, elegance, formality, mystery and strength. The more elegant side of the colour black usually comes into play with terms like "black tie event" or the "little black dress" which is usually considered a classic statement in a woman's wardrobe. 

A person that is attracted to black is a powerful individual with a strong sense of self. Black is often described as sexy, mysterious and powerful therefore someone associated with the colour black usually reflects some (if not all) of these traits. All though black can be intimidating it takes someone loyal and trustworthy to discover the beauty and grace of someone whose personality matches the traits of the colour black. 

Although colours can be a reflection of your personality, it is important to not become fixated on one colour. Your personality cannot be fully described with one colour meaning, your personality and individuality is a massive spectrum of colours in all of their tones and forms. Just like your personality, with age and the development of life, your favourite colour can change, your preferences can change, it is simply understanding the deeper meanings of these seemingly small things and the impact that they have on all of our lives.

Monday, 3 July 2017

The Power of Positive Thinking

Neuro science is providing us with evidence that when we are thinking and feeling positive our minds release positive chemicals in our bodies. Positivity is an energy that is felt and experienced by others too. We have heard people say how 'that person has a certain air about them'. Is this positivity?

Positive attitudes attract positive realities, the opposite occurs when we are negative. Shown below are some methods, decisions and life changes that can encourage positivity in your life.

  • Understanding Positivity

To fully understand positivity, you must first understand your own negativity and the reasons why you surround yourself with negative energy. Spend some time considering the parts of your life, social or private, that you allow negativity to control, work to understand the cause of this uncertainty and focus on a positive, constructive solution.

Positivity is not just a state of mind, it is a choice. You choose how you respond to things, you choose how you process information and you can choose positivity over negativity in your life. Minimise your negative thoughts by assessing the situation and finding the silver lining to that grey cloud. It is all about changing your perspective and developing a new outlook on life (for more information please visit the previous post about a different perspective). 

One element of your life that could be bringing you a lot of negativity is fear. Do not let your fears hold you back, instead, focus on facing your fears and developing an immunity to irrational fears and negative thinking. One of the most common fears is the fear or criticism. It has the power to hold people back from doing what they want in life as it can feel like a harsh judgement rather than constructive, this also coincides with the fear of rejection. 

Criticism can be handled in an incredibly healthy way to help reduce the fear and emotional pain of criticism. First, take some time to process the criticism before you respond to it, just step back, take a deep breath and then respond in a calm and mature manner. Second, think about how the criticism can help you, is it constructive? If so, it has been said with you in mind and should be thoroughly considered before discarding. Third, when someone is lashing out and criticising you without any prompting on your part, do not take it to heart. Understand that the criticism is not focused at you and instead you were just in the wrong place at the wrong time and have become a target so that the critic can blow off steam. Finally, reply to the criticism or let it go. If you are confused then you ask for more information, if you disagree then you discuss it, however if you are getting no answers or are feeling attacked then it is time to step away from the situation and simply let it go.

  • Positivity Involving Others in Your Life

Surrounding yourself in positivity will also improve your outlook on life because positivity attracts positivity. Spend time with friendly and authentic people that encourage positivity and are compatible with your personality. Doing good deeds and practicing gratitude towards others attracts positivity towards you. Focus on what you are grateful for, in your personal life as well as the people around you. Tell others that you appreciate them, support them in a way that you want to be supported by them, this will attract positivity into your relationships and encourage positive thinking in the people around you. 

There will be people that are not open to positivity and refuse to accept any actions of kindness, sometimes these people just need some encouragement however if they are bringing negativity into your life and are not supporting you it is time to let them go. Some people expect everything from you however never want to return the favours that you offer and you do not need to have your positivity compromised, simply remove these people from your life and move on. As well as removing negative people from your life, also remember that no one is perfect. Do not make snap judgements, instead give people a chance to show their character before disconnecting from them.

  • Healthy Body - Healthy Mind

Your body language can have a massive impact on your mind. (please refer to the previous post about building confidence for more information on body language) Stand straight, shoulders back, hold your chin high. Feel powerful, but most importantly, Feel positive! 

Smile. The act of smiling can instantly improve your mood, even if you don't feel like you have anything to smile about, a simple happy expression will make you seem more approachable, more friendly and more comfortable. Another way to feel more comfortable in your body is to meditate. (Please refer to the posts about Pain Management and De-Cluttering the Mind for in depth meditation methods and the benefits of meditation.) 

A positive mindset and good behaviour towards others is not something that can be criticised and should be practiced much more often than it is. Focus your energy on positivity and this will be reflected back onto you. 

There is nothing negative about being positive.