I have to say something before writing this post. As much as this post might help other readers with some ideas to be happier, and in control of their lives, it is for myself. It is a self reminder of the habits that I have developed and which have helped me a lot to move forward in the last couple of months but I still struggle to embrace them on a daily basis and I miss the results I can get from them when there are absent in my life.
1) Enough Sleep
Bodies are different. Some are used to sleep for 5 hours and gain enough energy. I am not like that. When I sleep I have a second life with loads of dreams, conversations and people and most of the time when I wake up I need another couple of hours of relaxation to gain some energy. Therefore, the more I sleep I feel better. I have found out that my optimum range is 8 hours, not 6, not 6 hours and a half and not 7 hours and a half but simply 8 hours.
How many days per week I get to have enough sleep? Maximum 1 night.
Therefore, I get grumpy and cranky in the morning, I am already tired when I wake up and I give up on all my amazing new routines and automatically embrace all the old ones which I am trying to avoid. So I know that the first step to pursue my goals is to sleep enough. 🙂
2) No Technology Before Bed Time
A couple of months ago I ordered myself a beautiful old fashioned wooden alarm clock and I decided to get rid of my cellphone close to my bed and to read paper books instead before sleeping and also to do other activities in the morning before I head out to work so that I have couple of hours for myself with no distraction from the outside world. I used to dream about the news and people of Instagram and Facebook and now I feel much more relaxed before bed time and after waking up.
Headspace application has helped me to get familiar with the meditation world. It is the first thing I do when I wake up in the morning. If I do it properly and I don’t sit there in the “dans la lune” mode I will get a lot out of it. I feel amazing afterwards, I feel present, aware and calm.
Depending on the package I choose I can concentrate on different areas such as anxiety, focus, change and etc. but the key is to do the practice thoroughly and to be present enough through out the day to exercise what I have learned.
When I miss the sessions, I feel lost, confused, drowned in my thoughts, disconnected from my body and my mind and consequently not in control.
4) Practicing Gratitude
I don’t know how to say it. I am a super positive person with a very negative mindset :))) I am a perfectionist, therefore, if things don’t happen with the results I expect I feel defeated quite easily. So I try to write minimum 10 good events of my regular day before the bed time. It helps me to remember the good steps which I have taken instead of only blaming myself for the short comings. I think of anything from smiling to a bus driver to completing an important task. It helps me to remember that I am worthy of love although I haven’t accomplished everything I was supposed to do.
5) Dealing with Negative Thoughts
How many times per day in different occasions do you hear your inner voice screaming out that you are not enough? That you don’t exersice enough? You have to lose weight? You have to do this? You have to be like that? You shouldn’t behave like this? For me it constantly happens.
I have learned so far to acknowledge them, but I am still struggling to solve them; To find an action plan and to deal with them not by ignoring them but with solving them. I basically try to write one thought per night, to think of the desired result and to think of the action plan and to think of the solutions while I am sleeping at night. When I don’t think of my negative thoughts they come back with more amplitude and strength and they become more difficult to deal with.
But the most important part is to do all the above plus much more discoveries and new habits by keeping the smile and the mindset of playfulness. I have the tendency to make any fun project into a job and into a work. If we all believe that we deserve moments filled with joy, laughter, discovery and new experiences, we have to keep this mindset in whatever we do, from learning to working, to cooking and to parenting.
Life has to be FUN!