Most people would probably say I am an optimistic person. Always smiling and laughing. Not too long ago I was even called an extrovert. This surprised me. I do not see myself as that person. Mostly because in my private life I am incredibly pessimistic. From an early age, I have gotten very good at bottling things up. I am the classically proverbial duck. Cool, calm and collected to the onlooker.
Improving My Outlook
So this week I have been concentrating on my mental wellbeing. I haven’t been overly stressed recently, but sometimes I become a bit more sensitive to the daily grind. Sometimes we all forget to look after our mental health, myself included.
I decided to try and find just 10 minutes every day to dedicate to me. The plan being to spend time in my private life nurturing myself, so I can cope as best as possible in my public life as it were.
Actually, it has been easier than I thought it would be. I assumed I wouldn’t be able to find time to do the things I enjoy. However when I thought about it there were loads of things I enjoy, I just didn’t actually take the time to enjoy them in the moment.
A Mindful Lifestyle?
I say that this blog is a mindful one. However, sometimes I forget that I am trying to live mindfully and this week really showed me how many opportunities I have to practise. It can be hard not to be a hypocrite sometimes.
I have discovered that even the littlest of things can be good for the mind and soul. I have been not only spending time doing things I enjoy, but investing time to be mindful about them. For example, as I write this, I am concentrating on the sound the keys make and how they feel under my fingers. I am listening to the music Mike is playing in the background (Pink Floyd) and I can smell the glass of red wine that is next to me on the desk.
I also made a big decision and invested in a mindfulness/meditation app and I couldn’t be more pleased that I did! The one I picked is called ‘Calm‘, and it is fab. I paid for the annual subscription because I liked it so much! Every evening I have been completing the 10 minute meditation and listening to a range of their sleep stories. It has been a long time since I was this relaxed.
I always surprise myself how easy it is to spend time on myself, doing the things I enjoy doing. I put so much pressure on myself to make sure the house is clean and tidy, the washing is done and that everything is perfect, I forget to enjoy life.
But what has this got to do with my outlook on life? Well, in my mind at least, you cannot be at peace and optimistic unless you look after your mental wellbeing. I personally find my outlook improves when I am consciously aware of how much is good in my life and I spend time looking after myself.
So I challenge you all to make a point of enjoying the little things in life. Don’t let the minutiae pass you by. Pull your wandering mind into the present and you may be surprised at how it improves your outlook. It’s not as bad as we all think it is.