💕As I Began to Love Myself – Self Love Poem by Charlie Chaplin💕

As I Began to Love Myself – Self Love Poem by Charlie Chaplin

As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering

are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth.

Today, I know, this is “AUTHENTICITY”.
As I began to love myself I understood how much it can offend somebody

As I try to force my desires on this person, even though I knew the time

was not right and the person was not ready for it, and even though this

person was me. Today I call it “RESPECT”.
As I began to love myself I stopped craving for a different life,

and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow.

Today I call it “MATURITY”.
As I began to love myself I understood that at any circumstance,

I am in the right place at the right time, and everything happens

at the exactly right moment. So I could be calm.

Today I call it “SELF-CONFIDENCE”.
As I began to love myself I quit steeling my own time,

and I stopped designing huge projects for the future.

Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness, things I love to do

and that make my heart cheer, and I do them in my own way and in

my own rhythm. Today I call it “SIMPLICITY”.
As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for

my health – food, people, things, situations, and everything that drew

me down and away from myself. At first I called this attitude

a healthy egoism. Today I know it is “LOVE OF ONESELF”.
As I began to love myself I quit trying to always be right, and ever since

I was wrong less of the time. Today I discovered that is “MODESTY”.
As I began to love myself I refused to go on living in the past and worry

about the future. Now, I only live for the moment, where EVERYTHING

is happening. Today I live each day, day by day, and I call it “FULFILLMENT”.
As I began to love myself I recognized that my mind can disturb me

and it can make me sick. But As I connected it to my heart, my

mind became a valuable ally. Today I call this

connection “WISDOM OF THE HEART
We no longer need to fear arguments, confrontations or any kind of problems

with ourselves or others. Even stars collide, and out of their crashing

new worlds are born.Today I know THAT IS “LIFE”!

🔮Love Yourself Mindful Yoga & Meditation 🔮

‘The perfect workout for body, heart and soul’

 Recently I attended a ‘Love Yourself Mindful Yoga and Meditation’ workshop with Sophia Pollaro in The Elbowroom, Brunswick St, Dublin. From reading Sophia’s profile online I discovered she was a qualified Yoga Teacher for the past ten years. While practicing various forms of meditation, she discovered the benefits of Mindfulness Meditation and its direct connection to the body. Yoga, and its endless benefits, was the next step on her path. Sophia’s teaching places emphases on a deep connection with the breath, stillness and clarity of the mind, strength, balance and a mindful flow of movement. Her classes include asanas (practice of postures), pranayama (breathing techniques) and dhyana (meditation). Clothes wise, I wore yoga pants, socks with a grip underneath them (yoga socks), and a loose t shirt (comfy clothes). I also made sure I didn’t have a heavy meal beforehand. Just some fruit and yogurt or you could even have a smoothie maybe an hour before. No one wants cramps or indigestion at their first yoga class!

 We all know how to love others. We love our friends, family, partners and even pets but it is a bit more difficult to show love towards ourselves. This workshop thought me how to cultivate the healthy and healing self-attention we all need. Our awareness of breathing was the core skill thought to enhance relaxation (its importance was spoke about in an earlier post). To start off a full body scan was done to check in with ourselves and relax each part of our body (examples of this was mentioned in previous posts) Meditation was also brought in at the beginning followed by asana flow (a type of yoga). It wasn’t too difficult. Iv never done yoga before and I wouldn’t be the most flexible but I was able to do most of the moves without cutting off my breathing or looking like a twisted upside down fool (you don’t really go upside down, slight exaggeration). The meditation focused on self-compassion and love to ‘quiet the mind and nourish the heart’. Sophia asked us to pick one thing we did not like about ourselves. We sat with that thought. We thought about how it manifested in our daily lives. How it made us feel, what actions or behaviours it caused. Then we took a deep breath in and exhaled that negative thought. We were told to imagine someone close to us was sitting in front of us disclosing that they did not like that similar part of themselves. I imagined my little brother sitting on the mat infront of me. I became tearful when I imagined him with similar feelings about himself. Whatever way we responded to our loved ones telling us this information we were then to respond to ourselves when we had these thoughts. Sophia thought us how to be kind to ourselves, show love and compassion and to acknowledge these negative thoughts about ourselves. We were also thought how to show affection towards ourselves with this gentle pose: 

Sophia then repeated an affirmation of self love we all had to repeat in our heads as we meditated:

May I be happy

May I be safe 

May I be kind to myself

May I love myself just as I am

To end the Workshop we done another full body scan followed by the listening of a self love poem. This poem is the extended version of the one I have on my home page (Charlie Chaplain):


 On their website they said this workshop would leave you feeling ‘deeply relaxed, emotionally and physically stronger’, which i most certainly did.

 I have added the link below to the workshop and website if anyone is interested in attending in the future.

Love Yourself Yoga & Meditation Workshop

the-elbowroom-logo

 

J x

 

🍵Self-esteem🍵

“It is not what you are that holds you back but what you think you are”

cookie_low_self_esteem_2.jpg

Self-esteem is the foundation for maintaining positive mental health. Those who experience mental health difficulties usually have underlying self-esteem issues. Our self-esteem starts to develop from birth. How our loved ones, friends, teachers speak to us as we develop as a person effects how we view ourselves as we get older. For example if your parents don’t appraise you for your successes and don’t tell you how proud they are, how well you have done in your spelling test, how amazing they think you are, then how are you supposed to believe in yourself, when those closest to you do not believe in you either? Culturally, Irish people don’t do well with receiving compliments. American’s on the other hand are really good at self-appraisal and self-belief. It’s something we should all be aware of. Our beliefs and thoughts about ourselves.

 

What is self-esteem?

 Its about how we value ourselves and what we perceive we are worthy of.

How do we recognize low self-esteem?

 When we cannot recognize our own value as a person. When we feel ‘sh*t’ about ourselves. We feel we are not good enough when faced with a difficult situation like’rejection, criticism, being judged by others’. No matter how much appraisal others may give you or how much you have achieved this feeling of ‘not being good enough’ does not lift.

What are the signs of low self-esteem?

  • not feelings good enough
  • feeling un-likeable
  • feeling unsuccessful
  • feeling anxious, tense, unhappy
  • comparing self negatively to others
  • feeling powerless
  • needing lots of reassurance
  • easily influenced by others
  • being withdrawn of uncommunicative
  • being oversensitive
  • blaming others for my own problems or failures

 

Ok so I have low-esteem how do I fix it?

  • By identifying and re-evaluating negative self-beliefs. A person with low self-esteem is active in interpreting reality in ways which lead to feelings of low self-worth.
  • By developing coping strategies for dealing with situations which lead to feeling ‘not good enough’.
  • By engaging with humour
  • By developing wider interests. Get involved in an activity that takes the focus away from your-self.
  • Learn relationship techniques to develop objectivity
  • Set manageable goals. Write them down and decide on steps you need to take to achieve these goals.
  • Exercise well, eat well and rest well.
  • Talking to a supportive person provides the opportunity to
  • Explore these and many other ways of working to increase self-esteem.

Specific strategies to improve self-esteem:

  • Thought Stopping – when you notice that you are giving out to yourself, tell yourself to stop or distract yourself (Listen to music, go for a walk, whatever you’re interested in).
  • Identify your strengths – Identify one thing every day that you feel good about (Keep those thoughts in a jar and reflect back on them at the end of the year).
  • Repeat affirmations and coping statements to yourself everyday (below are some samples of affirmations you can use).

Some benefits of high self-esteem:

A person with high self-esteem could experience some of the following:

  • Self-acceptance; the ability to accept and live with personal strengths and weaknesses
  • Coming to terms with past behaviours
  • Feeling likeable
  • Having a strong sense of self and of personal belonging
  • Being able to act independently and take responsibility for one’s own actions
  • Feeling confident and empowered
  • Being relaxed and able to manage stress
  • Being able to communicate their feelings
  • Being able to ask others for help when necessary
  • Feeling happy and having a good sense of humour
  • Feeling proud of personal accomplishments, big or small

Unhelpful Thinking Styles:

 We are all prone at times to ‘distorted thinking’ but when we are either under excess stress or are depressed these distortions become more exaggerated.  When people experience mood difficulties we can tend to use unhelpful thinking styles all the time such that they become an automatic habit.  It is something that happens outside of our awareness and can cause great distress.

Some of the following will sound familiar. Have a read through and see how many you can relate to. 

Jumping to Conclusions:

 

You make negative interpretations even though there are no definite facts.  You start predicting the future, and take on the mantle of ‘mind reader’.  “They must think I am a really boring person”.

 

Black and White Thinking:

 

You see only one extreme or the other. You are either all wrong, or all right, or all bad or all good etc.  There are no in-betweens or shades of grey”.  There are no second places, there is only one winner”

 

Negative focus:

 

You focus on the negative, ignoring or misinterpreting positive aspects of a situation.  You focus on your weaknesses and forget your strengths, looking on the dark side.

 

Shoulding and Musting:

 

Sometimes by saying “I should…” or “I must…” you can put unreasonable demands or pressure on yourself and others.  Although these statements are not always unhelpful (e.g. I should not get drunk and drive home) they can sometimes create unreasonable expectations and lead to unnecessary guilt, frustration and disappointment.  “I should always get things right, I should never get upset with my partner”, “People shouldn’t get angry at others”.

 

Personalising:-

 

You take responsibility and blame for anything unpleasant even if it has little or nothing to do with you.  “It’s my fault”.

 

Catastrophising:

 

You tend to magnify and exaggerate the importance of events and how awful or unpleasant they will be, overestimating the chances of disaster; whatever can go wrong will go wrong. “What if…..”

 

Paranoid thinking:

 

You blame other people rather than chance for bad events happening without any evidence and assume people are more interested in you than they might actually be. e.g. “the government did this”; “they are following me”.

 

Emotional reasoning:

 

The only evidence you have that something bad is going to happen is that you feel like something bad is going to happen.  Feelings aren’t facts.  “I know this isn’t going to work out well”

 

 J x

Affirmations

 

 

 

 

 

 

🏊🏽Olympic Goal Setting🏊🏽

 So, I’m sure you’ve all heard of the Olympic’s that’s going on at the moment in Rio. These people participating in the Olympic’s have incredible determination and commitment. They sacrifice relationships, social life and work life. Training is long, intense and sometimes soul destroying. Olympians are truly inspiring individuals. Their spirit and drive can be mirrored to achieve your own goals and dreams. I’m sure these Olympians had aspired to one day participate in the Olympics and didn’t stop until they got there. So here’s some tips to achieve your goals like an Olympian:

1. Visualize it

 Picture yourself achieving your goal. At the start of this year I visualized myself driving a car. I would dream about it often and I could nearly feel my hands on the steering wheel and how the breeze felt when I had the window down driving at high speed (Ok, bit weird?). Imagine how you feel when you achieve this goal. What thoughts come to mind when you achieve it. What emotions are you experiencing? THIS WORKS! If you visualize something you really want to achieve you will eventually achieve it.  Oprha Winfrey and Conor McGregor are big believers of this! Those of you who have read The Secret will understand The Law of Attraction. Basically ‘Like attracts Like’ and by focusing on positive or negative thoughts a person brings positive or negative experiences into their life. By focusing on the goal you want to achieve you can also bring this experience into your life. I’ll dedicate a post to the Law of Attraction very soon.

2. Make it YOUR OWN Goal

 Ever go to the doctors and  they’ve told you ‘You need to cut down on this”You need to lose a few pounds”Stop drinking’. You’re like o.k grand I’ll do that. Someone other than you has given you a  goal to reach and it’s not your own goal so you’re not really a***d achieving it. You might take the rebellious teenager approach and refuse to take advise from someone that is not yourself. We are more committed and motivated to achieve a goal we have developed ourselves. Ensure you are working towards a goal that’s for you.

3. Enjoy the journey towards your Goal

 You have to enjoy the process along the way or you’ll be miserable until you achieve it. It can hard work and tiring but its about understanding and accepting this. Embrace the hard work and it will make it more enjoyable. Keep telling yourself why you’re doing it and again visualizing how you’ll feel when you achieve it will keep you focused and make the journey a lot more fun!

4. Congratulate yourself after each small step

Don’t wait until you’ve reached your goal to reward yourself. Keep yourself motivated by recognizing each small step and achievement. Buy yourself something small or treat yourself to something you like. Allow yourself to feel good about each and every step. Sometimes it can be a looooong wait until the end result. Who wouldn’t love a little present  on the days leading up to Christmas. Eh, me please? Thanks.

5. Positive mindset

 Changing your wording when speaking about your goals ‘I will get a car”I will get a promotion”I will go to the Olympics’ as opposed to ‘I’m hoping to drive soon”I want to participate in the Olympics one day’. Words motivate us! Look at Obama with his ‘YES I CAN’ campaign thingy. Very optimistic and very positive. You have to believe you are going to reach your goal. You have to believe one day you will reach it or why are you even making the steps towards it in the first place? Olympians are well known for their positive mindsets.

6. Stop comparing yourself to others

The winner focuses on winning, the loser focuses on the winner

 Comparing yourself to others can be demotivating and cause you to become stressed. You cannot control how other perform and achieve. We can only control ourselves. Be in control. You lose energy obsessing over how other are doing. Keep all your energy for yourself. If someone is achieving higher grades or being promoted in work, be happy for them. Jealousy will also drain you of energy. If an Olympic runner was focused on the how others were doing they’d lose concentration and fall off track.

7. Find a good coach

 Every great Olympian has a good coach! They have people behind them who motivate them and help keep them focused. Surround yourself with people who have a similar strive in life, are motivated and want you to do well. Family, friends, partners, colleagues or even life coaches.

S.M.A.R.T Goals

Break your goals into small steps.

Small. Measurable. Achievable. Realistic. Time

 On your first day of learning to run, you won’t be able to run a Marathon. Start with a 2 minute run followed by a 5 minute run etc. These small goals are easier to achieve. Don’t set yourself up to fail. Huge  goals can be over overwhelming and can demotivate people. Taste success along the way. Don’t leave it all to the finish line. Fuel your appetite alog the way.

8. Prepare for hurdles

 Take control of the the hurdle by anticipating the challenge and plan any strategies for tackling it. Mentally prepare for challenges. Acknowledge that there will be challenges along the way and be aware of what they are. Don’t let them demotivate you. Get back up and keep running towards your goal.

9. Develop a positive stress ritual

 Have you ever seen teams before games and they all huddle around and usually have a positive mantra they chant and they might throw their hands up in the air together. These are pre-game rituals. For example before an interview I ensure I have meditated beforehand, no coffee, use positive affirmations and mantra’s. If I began to think of what could go wrong and how under pressure and stressed I felt, I would freak out and do s**t in the interview. Get into focus. Bring yourself to a level of calmness and maintain that. Visualize the positive outcome of the situation: winning the game or getting the job.

 So basically, Olympians come across as amazing individuals with all these fabulous skills but there is method to their madness.  Adopt these 9 motivational strategies and you too can make gold-standard achievements!

J x

 

 

⚡️34 times Dumbedore made us stop and think⚡️

Those of you who know me are aware of my obsession with Harry Potter. A little part of me is still waiting to receive my letter from Hogwarts. But until then I’ll just re-watch every movie and practice all my spells just in case. Everyone deserves a little bit of magic in their life. Here is a collection of Dumbledore’s (head master of Hogwarts) inspirational quotes:

 

“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

The Chamber of Secrets

“It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be.”

The Goblet of Fire

“The consequences of our actions are always so complicated, so diverse, that predicting the future is a very difficult business indeed.”

The Prisoner of Azkaban

“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.”

The Sorcerer’s Stone

“Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself.”

The Sorcerer’s Stone

“There are all kinds of courage,” said Dumbledore, smiling. “It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.”

The Sorcerer’s Stone

“People find it far easier to forgive others for being wrong than being right.”

The Half-Blood Prince

“We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.”

The Goblet of Fire

“Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.”

The Goblet of Fire

“We cannot choose our fate, but we can choose others. Be careful in knowing that.”

The Order of the Phoenix

“It is important,” Dumbledore said, “to fight, and fight again, and keep fighting, for only then could evil be kept at bay, though never quite eradicated.”

The Half-Blood Prince

“The truth.” Dumbledore sighed. “It is a beautiful and terrible thing, and should therefore be treated with great caution.”

The Sorcerer’s Stone

“Curiosity is not a sin…but we should exercise caution with our curiosity.”

The Goblet of Fire

“Numbing the pain for a while will make it worse when you finally feel it.”

The Goblet of Fire

“Understanding is the first step to acceptance, and only with acceptance can there be recovery.”

The Goblet of Fire

“Youth cannot know how age thinks and feels, but old men are guilty if they forget what it was to be young.”

The Order of the Phoenix

“You think the dead we loved truly ever leave us? You think that we don’t recall them more clearly in times of great trouble?”

The Prisoner of Azkaban

“Do not pity the dead, Harry, pity the living, and above all those who live without love.” –The Deathly Hallows

“It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more.”

The Half-Blood Prince

“Let us step into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure.”

The Half-Blood Prince

“Ah, music,” he said wiping his eyes. “A magic beyond all we do here.”

The Sorcerer’s Stone

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean it is not real?”

The Deathly Hallows

“Words are, in my not so humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic, capable of both influencing injury, and remedying it.”

The Deathly Hallows

“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if only one remembers to turn on the light.”

The Prisoner of Azkaban


J x

🍎A Year of Living Mindfully: Week 4🍎

SAVOURING OUR EXPERIENCE

Attention informs our experience and helps us notice exactly what is going on. Our experiences become more vivid as we pay attention to them.

 This exercise teaches us how to prepare and eat food mindfully. This is definitely something I needed help with. I get food amnesia. My plate is empty and I don’t even remember eating it half the time. As for what it tastes like? Its never in my mouth long enough to even know.

Preparing your food

 Ok, so I was a bit reluctant with this bit. ‘Explore the process of food preparation with all of your senses’. Ommmm I am cutting a pepper. It wants you to pay attention to the knife chopping into the vegetable using all your senses. Smell the aromas of the vegetable. The sound of the pan sizzling waiting for the pepper to be cut. The smell of the oil burning. I suppose we all know this is happening when we prepare food but we don’t acknowledge it unless we hear the pot over boil or the food burning on the pan. This bit bored me to be honest. I felt like an insane hippy. Maybe others will enjoy this step.

Eating Mindfully

Explore eating in silence. No phone, no laptop, no t.v, no radio. Engage all your senses on that one action.

Look around the room and notice any sounds or smells. I heard birds and the next door neighbour slamming their door. Lovely.

How do you feel before you eat? I felt hungry. I felt excited to eat.

How do you feel after you eat? I felt full. I felt sad it was all gone.

How this experience differ from my usual eating regime? I felt calmer. I was aware of what I was eating and the pace of which I ate it.

How did they food you ate effect your mood later on? I ate a light breakfast so I felt energised and happier (I’m always happy after Iv eaten).

 How our food is presented to us makes us pay more or less attention to it. Colours, textures, smells. Colourful plates allow us to pay more attention to it. A white plate of mash potatoes is not going to trigger any senses and you probably wont pay much attention to it either. By making our plates more colourful and appetising we encourage healthier eating. How we feel after certain food informs us of our future food choices.

 Start off with drinking your morning cup of tea mindfully. Cuddle your cup. Feel the hot steam rise towards your face.Feel the warmth of the mug. Taste it. Smell it. Feel it in your mouth. Be in the moment. No distractions. Explore how your mind wanders to the past or future. acknowledge your thoughts. Bring it back to the present moment. Reflect on how you feel afterwards. Try start off by doing this for 5 minutes each day. You deserve to have at least 5 minutes when you don’t worry or stress about work or home life.

J x

 

🌎A Year of Living Mindfully: Week 3🌏

Cultivating the Attitudes

Our individual attitudes underpin and support our mindfulness practice. These are made evident through meditation but can also be encouraged in our every day lives.

Curiosity …..  

 You are all interested and curious in mindfulness or you wouldn’t be reading week 3. When we become interested in something we want to explore it and know more. This attitude is known as the opposite of avoidance and is seen as a crucial aspect of dealing with difficulties in a different way. For example next time you when you feel anxious explore it, explore your environment when you feel this way, the people who surround you or don’t,  your thoughts that come about when you feel this way, sensations that occur within your body. Be curious about your yourself inside and out. We are all curious at different times.

‘I wonder why she done that?”why am I feeling like this?”ugh why didn’t I just say how I felt”oh that statue is new I wonder when that got there’.

Non-striving

Striving for a particular result is counterproductive in the practice of mindfulness. We want to learn about our represent experience, what is happening at this moment in time and being with that experience now NOT sometime in the future. Striving can suggest something is lacking or that our current situation or ourselves could be better. When we strive towards something we constantly check to see to see how far we are from where we wanna be. The reaching of this goal is the end point. We put ourselves under pressure. NON-STRIVING allows for more unexpected opportunities. Allows us to be more free spirited. I for one am a natural striver. I have goals I want to reach and usually have plans of how I will reach these goals. The only thing is I don’t give myself timeframes or end points. (I want to be healthier, I want to be happier, I want to improve my strength, I want to learn how to drive). The disadvantage I see with this ‘non-striving’ approach is some people may lose motivation or purpose in life. Some people work well with a little self-pressure in achieving goals and others are just natural free spirited souls who will achieve what they want with no panic if it’s not anytime soon.

“In the beginners mind there are many possibilities but in the experts there are few”.

Can you approach your experience with ‘beginners’ mind? 

 Basically this means beginners or newbies to new experiences are open-minded and understand there is a lot to learn whilst acknowledging they do not know it all. For example student nurses are new to the medical field, are constantly learning, ask questions and acknowledge they do not know everything yet. They want to learn and are ‘curious’. Experts believe they already know it all and therefore limit themselves to gaining any new knowledge or experiences. Iv met a few expert nurses who believe they know everything there is to know about mental health and avoid updates in training for example. They protect and defend their expert label. This allows the expert to be blind to new opportunities and experiences that may be arising. You limit yourself basically.

Example: Can you drink this cup of tea as if you’ve never tasted it before? Walk down out of your house like you do every day but do it as if it was your first time. Look around. Listen. What’s new? Smell.

With all this paying attention we’re doing  and the awareness we develop of others and their behaviours we realise how judgemental we can be. Non-judging is the heart of mindfulness. Self-awareness of these judging thoughts is key. It’s hard to acknowledge that you are judging someone for their actions or words. By being aware of our own judging thoughts we can acknowledge them and set them free. Myself and my best friend started doing this at the beginning of the year. Usually we’d ring eachother and be like ‘OMG did you see what so and so wrote on Facebook?’ Or just screenshot it and send it on whatsapp. We began to pull eachother up on this behaviour. ‘I know I’m being really judgemental here but did you see what so and so said’ and the we’d say ok that was mean we need to stop that. It kind of became a thing we laughed about. Everyone will judge everyone and everything but it’s about asking yourself or your best friend ‘was that really necessary to point out or comment on?’.

Acceptance

Accepting negative experiences, plans that didn’t work out as you’d have liked them to, relationship break ups, unfortunate events. Acceptance is never easy but we’ve learned this skill from a very young age. For example have you ever sat down on for too long and got back up and had pins and needles in your foot or leg. It’s a horrible sensation but you accept it. You wouldn’t opt for this experience but it’s happening and you get it with it.

It’s nice to be important but it’s important to be nice

Kindness is at the heart of mindfulness. We must practice this with ourselves as much as we do with others. Be kind to yourself. You spend most of your life with just you inside your own thoughts. Become your best friend. Treat yourself like you treat your best friend. Stop being so mean to yourself. If your best friend treated you mean you’d acknowledge it or you wouldn’t accept it and stop being their friend so why accept it from yourself?

J x

🌻Understanding Meditation 🌻

 Meditation quietens your inner self and allows your mind to focus on one thing at a time. But who the hell has time to focus on one thing at a time these days? We’ve so many other things to be thinking about!

 When I first heard of meditation I imagined ‘hippy’ type people with long hair and baggy clothes in weird positions chanting ‘OM’ for hours. Since then Iv learned that sitting in weird positions is only one type and that there are many more options out there. It can be done no matter what your are doing or where you are. We meditate by performing tasks mindfully with our full presence and attention. If you are giving an action or thought your full attention in a calm manner, this is meditation. Stretching, exercising, yoga, breathing can all be meditations. A new type Iv recently come to understand is praying. In all religions meditation is key. Prayer helps you focus on the present, quietens your mind, keeps you in a still position, may forgive negative thoughts and promote thankfulness and gratitude. I never understood religion growing up. I just seen it as different groups of people who all believed in different stories. As Iv matured Iv realised that most religions promote Mindfullness, meditation, positive mindsets, gratitude, forgiveness, and all that other stuff I seen as ‘hippy’ attributes. I’m not saying I’m going to go off and become a nun now and I don’t intentionally sit down and pray to God and rarely go to church but I suppose Iv just become more aware of what exactly religion is now after 18 years in school learning about it 😂😂

 By learning how to meditate we discover new ways to deal with challengers and cope with problems. Meditation reduces stress levels and helps people find purpose and meaning in life. This can be a great coping skill for those who experience mental health difficulties to attain by helping them manage their symptoms. It can give us more energy and even reduce our risk of a heart attack? Soooooooo many pros. The only thing that can hinder your uptake of meditation is your mindset. If you believe meditation is bullshit and won’t work for you then it won’t. Mind over mater and all that jazz. I suppose you wouldn’t be attempting meditation if you thought it was all bullshit in the first place would you? Give it a go. If it isn’t for you then so be it. But no harm in trying!

J x

🎨Colouring the mind 🎨

 Adult colouring books have become a bit of a fad in past while. Typically colouring has been seen as a children’s activity but nowadays adult colouring books can be found on bestsellers lists worldwide. It may come across as a fun trend but colouring books actually have therapeutic abilities. Colouring is a form of art therapy which researchers have found to have great health benefits for people coping with stress, illness. It helps people de-stress and can be used as a coping tool to manage different types of mental illness. When we colour we become focused which is often difficult to achieve during periods of distress or illness. Similar to meditation, our minds become relaxed and as we focus on the activity in that moment we are also practicing mindfulness.

Throughout the task we are concentrating on the different designs, ensuring we don’t colour outside of the lines, choosing what colour we want to use next. These thoughts can replace negative thoughts with pleasant ones. We also experience a feeling of satisfaction when we complete the picture. When we feel anxious, sad, stressed or ‘pissed off’ we can find it difficult to concentrate on tasks. Colouring can help you to regain focus even if it is just for a few minutes. Every little helps!


This is all well and good if we are good colourers and are not particular about going outside the lines. BUT if you are in any way a perfectionist or are feeling a bit down in the dumps, making a mistake may actually cause unnecessary anxiety and stress.  I suppose it’s like everything, it will work for one person and won’t work for the next.

 Mandalas are said to be the most effective design to colour for therapeutic purposes. These designs have existed since the beginning of time and are considered a sacred symbol. The mandala design is seen to have healing powers that promotes relaxation, balances the body’s energies, enhance your creativity, and support healing. The Tibetan monks believe the mandala represents a multi-dimensional field of consciousness and state of enlightenment. The native Americans also believe it symbolises sacred ceremonial space and the circle of life. Worldwide the mandala symbolises harmony, unity, wholeness and healing. It’s healing powers come from its design. It’s symmetrical form with repeated patterns and complexity draw individuals into a meditative state. I suppose it’s similar to hypnotism when they use those circle type things that move around and put people into a relaxed state?

 So far I have bought three different types of adult colouring books. If there’s something new out to but I’ll buy it! My small collection consists of a magical Harry Potter one (very detailed not very therapeutic)(Easons, €14.60) Mindfulness through geometrics (really fun with loads of pretty designs)(Easons, €13.99) and a simple Mandala one (simple but effective)(Deals, €1.99).

J x