You’re looking for a change in your life.
You’re not entirely dissatisfied, but you’re restless, and discontent and you’re unsure too.
You’re not sure what the change is that you want, but you’re aware another year is drawing to a close, and something is stirring within you.
But here’s a question:
Does every change have to be big?
Do we need dramatic shifts in our life? Do we need to quit our job, change career or take off for a world trip? Or is it just some small mundane shift you want?
Sometimes changes can be small, subtle shifts, little nudges here and there that allow us to see the world freshly from a different perspective.
The blog posts below all do that. They move you just a little from where you were and what you believed before to another view.
In them, you might find the change you need. Or the motivation to make a change.
Surprisingly, you may catch yourself approaching dull routines and everyday life experiences freshly. Commonplace events and places may appear differently. And you feel your life has undergone a little transformation.
By Joshua Fields Milburn.
Take a moment to listen carefully to the conversations that you’re part of during the day.
Most likely, you’ll notice that they are full of sneaky complaints. “It’s raining again.”, “Typical,”, “The IT never works.” On their own, a little jibe here and there might not seem so harmful. But what they add up to are a negative view on life.
“We badmouth life’s banalities,” says Joshua, creating a perfect recipe for discontent.
Recognise complaining is a bad habit and work to change it.
Cut out all snivels. Embrace the rain as if there’s just been a drought and accept that modern IT is pretty spectacular even if it’s sometimes hard to get it all working smoothly.
2. How to Support Someone with a Mental Health Problem this Christmas
By Time to Change
Christmas isn’t always a time of joy.
At any one time, 1 in 4 of us is suffering from Mental Health problems and Christmas adds to the pressure.
When we’re feeling sad or worried, we often have to put on a good face and go through the motions. No more so than around Christmas time.
Any festive period can have good things associated with it: time off work, a change of routine, time to catch up with friends and family. We can also treat ourselves to food and drink that our typical day doesn’t allow. Receiving and exchanging gifts can be pleasurable too.
Yet for those depressed, worried about money, struggling with eating disorders and a host of other problems, all these seemingly good things only add to their woes.
The Mind and Body are tightly intertwined.
Forty years of research have built up a picture of a mind and body both influencing each other through feelings, emotions, the gut and immune system and much more.
Science has long known that stress impacts the body in negative ways. Now new research reveals the potential reasons behind this phenomenon.
Mitochondria are a cells energy factory. These workhorses of our cells can sustain a lot of damage, but too much stress can overwhelm them, forcing them to shut down. And when they can’t produce the energy we need, our body begins to suffer.
Read the post for five simple steps you can take to reduce your anxiety now. Keep a healthy mind-body connection and avoid the effects on your body of too much stress.
By Anne Lammot.
This article was syndicated from Ted.com and appeared in the Daily Good.
In it, the author Anne Lammot talks about her struggles with ageing, truth, and being a highly sensitive person.
Just before Anne turned 61, she thought it best to write down the few things she felt she knows to hold some truth.
While her truths might not be your truths, you may find some that resonate with you. Some wisdom gleaned from years of struggle and success — years as an alcoholic, a writer, spiritualist and family member.
Read the post here and join Anne as she reflects on death and the fact that chocolate with 75 per cent cacao is not a food.
Love it or hate it the post sure gives you the view of another. How Anne’s lived and what she’s learnt.
The Anxiety Guy
I love talking about the ego. I agree with Dennis, aka The Anxiety Guy, that the ego is one of the leading causes of high levels of anxiety – as well as several other problems.
Denis calls the ego “an inner voice that only knows of extremes, and relentlessly pursues that which goes against ourselves.”
It is our critical and comparing thoughts. It is the part of the mind that thrives on differentiating – on saying I am different to you.
It is judgmental and hates anything that threatens its existence. It thrives on fear.
And it lives in time too.
Focusing on the past or the future and never spending time in the present.
Because the present moment contains awareness and awareness threatens the ego’s existence.
Read the post to understand how the ego stops us from natural calmness and how it stops us dealing with our hidden wounds.
By Stephanie Eckelamp, Mind Body Green
The evidence is growing that food contributes to our mental health.
It’s long known that a healthy diet can do wonders for our energy levels, skin quality and sense of vitality, but now new research is showing how food also affects our feelings and moods.
The quality of our diet links to risk of depression in particular.
Increasing vegetables and fibre and scaling back on fast foods and sugars does have a measurable benefit to depression – and to a lesser extent, anxiety.
Experts believe it does this via three mechanisms:
- Providing the brain with the nutrients it needs to grow and generate new connections.
- Promoting gut health
- Decreasing inflammation.
We can no longer look at Mental Health as separate from our body and our body independent from what we eat.
Read Stephanie’s post for details of the experts she spoke to, the specific diets and nutrients that are effective and the reasons why.
By Michael Lee
Toxic people can make you feel tired and deflated. They can wear you down and deplete your energy.
This post by Michael Lee on Steven Aitchison’s Blog, Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Mind covers four unusual ways you can deal with difficult people.
- Put Yourself in Their Shoes – remember that a nasty person is a person in pain. Although they don’t show it, at some deep level, they are suffering.
- Raise Your Vibrations – work on yourself first and try to make sure you fill yourself with positive emotions such as love, freedom, happiness and trust.
- Know Your Worth – develop the ability to stand the inevitable puts downs that toxic people will deliver to you.
- Never Assume Anything – treat everyone with respect and as equal, never assume that a person is better or worse than you.
Read the post to understand the central point that it’s possible to see toxic people differently.
They may be nasty, obnoxious and challenging to be around, but they could also be vulnerable, needy and in need of understanding.
By James Clear
“Not doing something will always be faster than doing it.” In this post, James reminds us that we often say yes to many things we don’t want or need to do - whether it’s meetings, projects or specific activities.
We often say yes to people because we value collaboration. We recognise it’s an integral part of our life, and we don’t want to jeopardise the relationships we have. And we’re bad at managing trade-offs.
More often than not, we end up overcommitted.
Saying no is not just the luxury of those with wealth and power, but also a strategy for being successful.
To focus on the essential things, we have to say no to a hundred other distractions, not all of them wrong.
Why be efficient at things that aren’t worth it?
Read James post to understand why prevention is better than cure and why more effort is wasted doing things that don’t matter than is wasted doing things unproductively.
By Joshua Becker
Have you noticed that the Christmas decorations appear in shops earlier and earlier each year?
Everyone knows the commercialisation of Christmas and other holiday festivals is extensive,
but people struggle to get out of the gift-giving and receiving cycle. As a result, tonnes of unwanted gifts get sent – and wasted – each year.
53.1% of people report receiving presents they didn’t want at Christmas; this is equivalent to $16 billion wasted in the U.S. alone.
In this post, Joshua makes a genuine call for us to rethink gifts. He’s not saying that gift-giving is terrible, he just asks us to rethink how we give them.
Can we limit whom we give gifts to? Can we set age restrictions? Can we ask for the money used to buy us gifts to be donated to charity instead?
Read Joshua’s post for a deeper understanding of why we have reached the end of peak stuff, why the minimalism movement is growing, and what specific strategies we can do to minimise the Christmas waste.
Sometimes we don’t listen to the warning signs.
We’re too busy with day to day life, helping others, and meeting work demands that we fail to heed the signals. We’re feeling overwhelmed and low, but we push on.
The problem isn’t that we don’t notice the warning signs; it’s that we fail to act on them.
We don’t want to admit that we might be vulnerable; we don’t want to appear – to ourselves or others – needy or insufficient. Or we are concerned that taking time out means falling further behind.
And so we push back the moment of self-care, of me time, to some distant point in the future, convinced that we will have our “personal moment” soon.
Yet soon never comes.
That’s why it takes courage to stand up and say you need help. The courage not to be perfect and to ask those around you to support you during times of difficulty.
Three ways help with this.
1) Confessing your fears to yourself
2) Asking for Help Before You Need It.
3) Remembering that people love to help.
Read the full post for more details.
A lot of people use guided meditation to help them practice being more mindful.
And it’s not just humans too as Ellie Batchiskya found out. Her 60-pound poodle loves the practice also.
She joins her every day.
But dogs aren’t just faithful companions who love to relax; they’re also natural mindfulness practitioners from whom we can learn a lot.
They don’t ask where, why or how. Dogs don’t worry about the future; they don’t dwell on the past. Each moment is a smorgasbord of new delights to the senses. Every park, tree and flower bed a unique pleasure.
Love also motivates them.
And they’re patient.
And they delight in the small things.
As Ellie writes “chasing a squirrel, eating a treat, or going for a walk around the block can make your dog’s day.”
“As humans, we often strive so hard to be happy, not sometimes realising that happiness can be found in a good meal or a moment alone.”
By Courtney Carver
Courtney Carver writes about three things we should stop wearing:
- Past guilt
- The Need to Prove Ourselves
- The Weight of Other People’s Expectations
In this post, she elaborates on how simplifying our life does not mean simplifying our wardrobe, but includes removing the clutter of our minds.
Being more with less isn’t just about making do with a simple set of clothes and getting rid of what we don’t need. Simplicity extends from the objects we buy to how we live. Clearing out our mind is just as important as clearing out the closet.
Life can be simpler and more comfortable than we thought possible.
As long as you’re determined to clear out the clutter.
Make That Change
You’ve wanted to do something different, you’ve wanted a new direction, but you’ve been confused about what to do, and it began to wear you down.
But how does the world look now?
Do any of these post inspire you to make a change, to see the world with new eyes?
Change doesn’t have to be big and dramatic. Sometimes small changes add up to new outlooks and a fresh perspective.
Go through these posts one by one, is there anything you can learn from them, no matter how small. No matter how different the author’s perspective is, is there something that resonates with you?
Sometimes change comes from challenging our sedimented perspectives.
Open your mind to new ideas and see your house, neighbourhood, and life fresh and new.