Smile please!

“Nothing in this world can torment you as much as your own thoughts.”

-Anonymous

Day 6/30

Two people very close to me are dealing with mental health issues in their lives. While one has shut herself to the world completely, other one is finding it hard to express what’s going on on her mind. It’s really difficult when people close to you are going through something inexplainable and mentally destructive. It takes a while to come out of such situations and see the light at the end of the tunnel. I feel very helpless to see them in pain and it hurts me to not know what to do to make them feel better.

I remember going through something similar last year. It took a while for me to get back on tracks and finally have a reason to wake up in the morning. I absolutely HATE it when I lose control of my life. Our thoughts, especially the negative ones, have the power to make you feel like crap and physically drain you of all your energy. Yes, it’s that intense! To come out of such situations, we need to find life worth living. Mental health issues give you every reason to lose hope and interest in life. When you finally snap out of it (and YOU WILL), you realize that your life is WORTH living and your existence matters more than the world to a lot of people.

Being happy is not a moment, it’s a daily, conscious practice. It’s hard work but extremely fulfilling.

There are certain daily rituals I forced myself to incorporate so that I never revisit that dark part of my life anymore. I am not practicing any of them now and can see a dip in my energy and happiness levels. I don’t know if this a sure shot way of living a happy life but they worked for me in the past. Doing these on a daily basis did help divert my mind from negative chatter box. Everyone has two voices in their heads, just like the angel and devil voices they show on TV. When I was on my fitness journey 2.5 years back, I mostly listened to my positive voice and was able to find the confidence to continue the hard task. The negative voice paid an occasional visit to destroy my confidence but my positive voice was relentless.

So what was my daily practice?

  • GRATITUDE JOURNALING : This one is very important. I and my mom went for a walk outside today when we passed by group of homeless people. It was a large family with small kids without a house over their head or food to eat. I noticed that the mother in this family was playing with her kid, who was really having fun. They were happy! I on the other hand, live in a big spacious house, splurge money on food takeaways and can buy anything that my mind desires (within my budget and capacity) right away! Yet, there were occasions when I found it difficult to be happy? How? Why? Compared to many people on this planet who don’t even know where the next morsel of their food is coming from, I am privileged and blessed to have everything I want in life. The least I can do is be grateful for all my blessings. It’s very important to spend a good amount of time each day (at least 10 minutes) to write down 3 things that you are grateful for and feel it deeply when you thank the Universe for it. You can top it off by writing down 3 highlights of each day at the end of it, to pay attention to all the great things that happened during the day. Many a times, we just breeze through a day on auto pilot mode without paying any attention to it. Don’t live for the big days, every day has something to offer, make each day worthwhile.
  • MEDITATE : I cannot stress enough on the benefits of meditation. Again, this one is not a one time thing. You need to follow it daily, consciously and consistently to reap it’s rich rewards. It helps you to not dwell on any thoughts, especially the dark ones. It trains your mind to step out of it’s place and view our thoughts as passersby on a busy street. Eventually, with practice, our mind will be able to focus better, learn to let go, not be sucked away by negative thoughts and just in general, be happy.
  • WORKOUT : We all know that working out releases endorphins, which are known as the happiness hormones. So yes, working out guarantees a feeling of fulfillment and happiness by the end of it. Now, people might be busy in their daily lives to find out time for workouts. Even a 5 minute jump rope session can be effective than no workouts. And you most definitely can find 5 minutes each day for yourself.
  • JOURNALING : When we are going through a rough patch in life, all we want to know is that we are heard. But many a times, the people around us, friends and family won’t really understand what we are dealing with. They might not have the right words to make us feel better or the time to patiently hear us out. Although a journal might not be able to provide you a solution, it will LISTEN to you. Write down everything, the good, back and ugly and live each day as it comes. Be present in your life and focus on the moment.

I know I have mentioned this many times before but I wanted to reiterate it because of my closed one’s mental health issues. If I was granted one wish in life, I will ask for the absolute and total removal of mental health issues (anxiety, depression, fear, judgements, prolonged sadness, trauma etc) from each and everyone’s lives. Till the time I am granted this wish, I am going to practice my way to happiness.

Trust me, it’s not that hard.

Glow up

“Transform your world by transforming your internal state. Start by learning to let go of negative self judgment, and replace it with positive and loving thoughts about yourself. Be kind to yourself, and watch your external world change.”

Anita Moorjani

Day 3/30

I was doing perfectly alright in my daily routine till I went on a vacation. I enjoyed so much on the vacation that I didn’t feel like coming back to the routine I had difficulty coping with. Ever since I’m back, I feel like a zombie. I am struggling to get back to my routine. I am reaching out to a lot of comfort (JUNK!) food to feel better. I feel better for a short while but it ends up making me feeling lethargic and bloated. Junk food does nothing for me and I really need to avoid it as much as I can.

I had a long weekend this week with plans of making full use of it. However, my mind and mood swings had other plans. I didn’t feel like doing anything except lying around and scrolling through Instagram and YouTube. Since I am a morning person, I feel positive and energized when the day begins. But I quickly lose all hope by the time evening sets in and my negative thought process takes over in the night. That’s exactly why I need to do something productive throughout the day to ward off those negative thoughts in the night.

I’ve been dealing with this thought process for a while. Working in a corporate office makes me feel trapped and restricted. I feel alive whenever I am not in office. That’s why even the thought of going back to office the next day squeezes out the last bit of energy from me. BUT, I’m tired of feeling like this. I know that I have complete control of my life and it’s my CHOICE to be in this position in life. No one is forcing me to do this. I work to be financially independent. I am not aware of an alternative option that would help me make the same kind of money that I make now (or more) and be passionate about it (never feel trapped in my life!). Till the time I discover this, I got to take charge of my life. I cannot be wasting precious years of my life, feeling BLAH all the time.

How do I do it? I have absolutely no idea so I have to discover my way of doing it. Starting tomorrow, I’ll make a list of 10 things that I want to change in my life and PUSH myself, every single time I slack, to work on it. That’s all I can do for now. Once I have a my goals in sight, I need to motivate myself to work on it. There will be times when I’ll feel like giving everything up and not do anything. That’s exactly what I have been doing ever since I have come back from my vacation. But that has been horrible for my mental health. My confidence and self esteem has taken a hit and I don’t want to feel like this anymore. I always feel much better when I take action, be productive and work on my goals. And that’s exactly what I’ll do, going ahead.

The glow up process begins, right now! I will share my experience (what worked, what didn’t) till I spend sufficient time doing at least (at least a month or two). Till then, huge shoutout to all the people who refuse to give up, no matter what life throws at them. You are the real superheroes in life!

The Monday syndrome

Source : Pinterest

#52/100

Ah, my hate for Mondays knows no limits. Ever since I’ve started working in an office, there hasn’t been a single Monday I’ve been elated about. Sunday evenings always brings a sense of gloom in me. I go through an existential crisis every week in anticipation of each Monday. I wasn’t like this during my school days. I don’t remember being sad with the thought of going to school ever. Yes, end of summer vacations did make upset about losing all the free time to do absolutely nothing. But the disappointment in me before the start of each work week is beyond measure.

In my first ever interview for a job, I was asked “Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?”. I might have answered in the most dumb manner possible as I was clueless at that point but I did mention that I want to be passionate about the work I do, whatever it is. I never had any long term work related goals back then, I don’t have them now. Getting a job and earning money were one of those things that I had to do owing to the financial condition of my family. I wonder how I would have turned out had there been no financial constraints or responsibility on me to earn for the family.

Well, coming back to Mondays, I’m trying to deal with it better. I try to find happiness in small stuff throughout the week than wait for the weekend to make me happy. Yet, it gets to me sometimes. My work isn’t fulfilling, it defies my personality. Maybe because I have this inherent feeling that all the work that I put in is gone into fulfilling someone else’s dreams. I feel limited in my thoughts and ideas. I have to behave in a certain manner, talk in a certain way, work in a fixed patter, there’s no individuality in the work that I do and that just irks me.

I’m trying hard to derive happiness and fulfillment from it. I’m trying hard to be my best, do my best in every situation that I come across. In return, can I dream of experiencing zero Monday morning blues ever?. I wish to have Sunday evenings where I look forward to the week ahead, plan for the stuff to be accomplished during the week, wait excitedly for Mondays to arrive so that I can work on my projects. I can be completely delusional here but a girl can dream. I’m still in the process of figuring out myself. I hope one day I can turn into the person I can be proud of. Someone who knows themselves inside out, is aware of things that connects with their personality and works for a life that consists of everything that makes them happy and fulfilled. Till then, I’ll go back to understanding myself a little better each day.