How I Journal

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Journaling has completely changed my life.
It's created a daily habit for me, which if you know me, is a big deal.
It's helped me to release the thoughts in my head.
It's helped me to deal with problems.
It's a safe space where I can be myself.

Journaling is one of my favourite things to do each morning and today, I want to delve into what goes into my journal so maybe give you some inspiration to start one of your own.

Gratitude
I like to write a list of everything that I'm grateful for that day, but I also like to write why I'm grateful for it. Having a reason behind your gratitude makes it more relevant to your life, therefore making you think more about how it's impacted you as a human being. "I am grateful for wonderful friends because they always pep me up and keep me happy"

Affirmations
I write little affirmations about how I want to feel, but I write them in the present tense like I already have them to help me believe that much is true - they give me a positive energy for the day. I go into more detail about affirmations in this blog post. "I am enough, I am loved "

Florence Scovel Shinn
I like to write a little mantra based and inspired by the words of Florence Scovel Shinn: "What is mine by divine right shall be mine in its perfect way. I trust the universe completely". Florence shows us that self development isn't just a new modern fad, and that it's been around for years, and it's teachings are absolutely timeless and actually haven't changed much. I write this little inspired quote of mine, every single day to show trust in the process and that I'm happy to wait till the time is right for things to happen. 

Daily Wins
At the end of every day, I like to write about things that have gone well today even if it's only small. Even on the worst of days you can always find something to be positive about, you may find it trivial, but sometimes the smallest things are victories in your day - "I had a shower this morning, I got out of bed". The smallest of things for some people are the hardest, and it's important that you celebrate the small wins as much as the big ones.

Positive Lists
If I'm feeling especially low about a situation, then I try to create a list of ways that I can see it in a positive light - I will write at least 10 positive factors about my situation, and oftentimes, seeing something in a good light will help you to think about your situation in a different way as you're not focusing on why you are negative about everything. I talked about this in my post about dealing with stress at work.

Free Writing
Sometimes I just like to write about what's on my mind, whether that's how I've been feeling, what I've been doing, or anything that just pops up into my head at the time. There are no rules or regulations about how or what I write, I just do it. Sometimes I draw or decorate around my writings to help my creativity flow, but sometimes I just write solidly for a couple of pages, it all depends on my mood on that particular day. 

Negative/Positive
I have been journaling regularly for a couple of years now, and my journal has definitely evolved. I used to use it as a diary; writing about things that happened to me and how I felt about them. I found that through doing this, I had made my journal into a hive of negativity where I would just rant about how bad I felt, how x was awful for doing this to me and how I was just generally resentful towards most things in my life. Now, I'm not saying that I've stopped this completely, because it's completely natural to let things out in your journal, it's your safe space after all, but like the positive lists, I liked to analyse my situations once I'd got it out of my system and really think about how I could make it into a positive, or how I could use this "negative" to my advantage, or what lessons I could learn from it. I now turn my negatives into positives.

As aforementioned, my journal has evolved over time, and I'm sure this time next year it will have changed again, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. As human beings, we're forever changing and that's just a process of life. Do you journal? How do you do it?

Affirmations

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I'm a big believer that whatever you put out into the world is what you will receive back - if you're negative towards everything, then you will only attract negative into your life and vice versa, positive attracts positive. 

I have been using affirmations in my journal as of late in order to gain some positive energy in my life. I see an affirmation as a way of proclaiming to the world what you want to be in a way that makes it seem as though you already have it - so instead of writing "I want" or "I will" you write "I have" or "I am" as if what you want is already in your possession. 

I am beautiful
I am successful
I am loved

By using these present tense words, it affirms to your higher self that you believe that you are what you say, and you will start to see positive changes in your life. However, using future tense words like "I want" shows that this is something that you lack, so by thinking of lack, lack is what you will receive. Can I say lack anymore in that sentence? You know when you write/say a word so much that it starts to lose all sense of meaning....yeah, that! 

I have to add that just because you're writing these affirmations everyday, it doesn't mean that it's going to magically happen for you. You need to put in the work for what you want to achieve at the same time - you could be writing the affirmations every day, but spending the rest of the day being a potato on the sofa watching Netflix, and that, my friend, is not going to get you anywhere no matter how hard you believe or write those affirmations. 

Personally, I like to be relatively realistic with my actionable affirmations. In an ideal world, I would absolutely love to become a morning person, but by writing "I am a morning person" as stated before, isn't going to magically turn me into a morning person - I find it extremely hard to get up in the morning due to my shift work and just generally feeling tired for the majority of the day. I've started using the affirmation, "I have the ability to be disciplined" because it's realistic and it's something that I can do. It's not forcing me to change but it's telling my higher self that if I choose to accomplish something that I am more than capable of doing it. Mental affirmations are a different story though and I believe that you should write pages and pages of how beautiful you are if it helps you to truly see how beautiful you really are if you lack that kind of confidence. 

As with everything that I write, I'm talking from my own personal experiences and ways of dealing with things, but everyone is different. Have you ever practised affirmations? What's worked for you? What hasn't?

Little Reminders You May Need To Hear

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You are loved
Never ever think otherwise about this fact. There are plenty of people in the world that love you deeply for a plethora of reasons and hate seeing you this way.

Your mental health does not define you
Your mental illness is a part of you, yes, but in no way, shape or form does it define you as a human being. You are a multi-faceted wonder of a person, and neither you or anyone else should believe in anything else. You need to accept what you have and learn to live with it, not fight against it. 

You are NOT a burden
Never think that you are a burden on your friends and family. They are your friends for a reason and if they can't accept this part of you, then you need to cut them off straight away because it's not something that you choose to be. Your true friends will care about your wellbeing, listen to you and will try and help with your problems as best they can. More often than not they want you to be able to tell them your problems, and just because they're going through things of their own, doesn't mean they don't care about you and your problems too.

Get outside...NOW
I've always been reluctant to do this for one reason or another, mainly comfort, but getting some fresh air does you the world of good. It doesn't need to be for a run or anything strenuous, you could just go for a walk or even just sit in your garden, but getting outside into the open air is going to work wonders on clearing your mind.

You are not alone
You may be thinking to yourself that you're the only one feeling what you're feeling right now but you're not. There are so many people that either don't realise they have a problem, or are too scared to open up to anyone about how they feel in case they're looked down upon or judged - I know I was one of those people. 

Talk to someone, anyone
It doesn't need to be a doctor if you're not comfortable with that just yet, but talk to a close friend or family member about how you feel. I've been surprised in the past to find that the person I've spoken to feels exactly the same way as me, and that, as well as the actual act of telling someone, gives you the biggest sense of release. Keeping things bottled up isn't helping anyone, including yourself.

Don't compare yourself to other people
Just because you feel that someone else has it worse than you doesn't mean that your pain isn't valid. Pain is pain, and we all feel it in individual ways.

It's okay to not be okay
You shouldn't be expected to try and be positive and happy all the time - there are other emotions that are equally as valid and you need to feel those too. Nobody's life is perfect, we all have rough days, and sometimes you just need to wallow for a while before you get back up and kick some ass.


Action Leads To Motivation

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So it's been a hot minute since I last blogged, and this is going to sound like a cliché, but I never stopped thinking about you - I make this blog sound like an ex lover or something. Anyways, I digress, I was absent not because of lack of interest but lack of motivation.

I went back to my old routine of feeling sorry for myself, sitting around thinking about how I'm in a rut, thinking about how to get out of said rut, thinking about all the things I want to do, but still ultimately just sitting there not doing anything about it but thinking. Whilst writing this, I'm also trying not to overthink this too much as I just want to get something out there to get the ball rolling again.

It felt almost depressing how much I was overthinking everything and just being inside of my head for hours on end before having a "break" and heading to work. Work has always been a kind of release from myself, as I enjoy what I do so much, but it shouldn't be like that - I can't spend my free time just moping around when I have other passions and projects that I want to pursue. 

I heard a quote a couple of weeks ago that basically changed everything for me: motivation doesn't lead to action, action leads to motivation.

This quote, honestly, turned my whole mindset upside down. I was always under the impression that once I got the motivation to do something, everything would just suddenly fall into place, and I would be able to achieve everything I've always wanted to achieve. I was wrong. I came to realise that the complete opposite was true - I need to take the first steps to actually DO SOMETHING first. The inspiration and motivation comes from the doing rather than the thinking, as you've already established that you're capable of doing it. 

I've implemented things back into my life that I got out of the habit of doing: running, journaling and getting up earlier. I've limited it at the beginning so as to not overwhelm myself, but I've found that now I've done it a few times that I really wanna carry on and prove to myself that this wasn't a fluke. I'm in competition with myself to carry on, I want to prove to myself that I CAN do this and that I won't go back to my old ways like my subconscious always thinks that I will. In my mind, it's the norm for me to sit around feeling sorry for myself, but I don't want that to be my "normal" anymore, I want to create a new normal for myself doing things that I want to be doing. 

Motivation won't just strike you if you sit around waiting for it to come.

Social media detox - a week on

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It's been over a week now since I deleted social media, and guess what? I don't miss it.

I genuinely thought that not having Facebook would drive me crazy, but the absolute honest truth of the matter is that I don't really feel anything at all. It's made me realise that social media is just...well...there! I just don't have any real emotion for or against social media, which shows that it's our own fault we get so distracted by it each day.

I don't feel as though deleting social media has made me any more productive though, unfortunately. I've gone from scrolling Facebook and Instagram every 10 minutes, to switching from Messenger to WhatsApp every 10 minutes instead, to see if anyone new has messaged me - the answer is more often than not, no! Even without Facebook, I'm distracted by the fear of missing out, the fear that nobody likes me enough to message, and the fear that I've removed myself from every day life. This is a fear that has happened because of social media, but, has been created by our own choice. 

I'd go as far as to say that in this day and age, social media has become a real addiction for some people. 

We get gratification from our notifications and the number of messages we receive, so when we hardly have any communication with anybody we start to feel bad about ourselves. I'm a big believer that social media is what has caused some of my mental health issues - constantly needing validation in the form of a ringtone, a like or a comment. I know it's not fully to blame though, there is always an element of choice in everything that we do, as hard as it is. 

Facebook is built to be addictive, it's built to make you come back, it knows exactly what it's doing, and it does it well. Credit to the creators, really.

I've begun limiting the amount of time that I'm on my phone now as well, I'm starting to leave my phone in another room when there's something that I need to be doing. It's sad, but I sometimes I feel like I've lost a limb when I don't have my phone on me, but I know deep down that I work so much better when I don't have that little contraption of distraction on me.

I keep saying that social media and being on your phone is a choice, and it is, but after so many years of being so reliant on it, it's not easy to just put down. It's a deeply ingrained habit in so many of us, and I, for one, want to get out of the habit and into my life.

I'm still on my road to learning

13:45


A few years ago, I went through a phase of reading every personal development book under the sun - I absolutely love the idea of bettering myself and I would plow through these books like there was no tomorrow. However, upon reflection of this time, I now realise that I was just reading them, I wasn't absorbing or even using any of the information to my advantage. I thought I was bettering myself, but I never actioned any of the ideas, I just read them and moved on.

I've started reading these books again in the past few weeks, but I've been taking my time with it; reading a chapter each day and writing a page full of notes to really absorb the information to use at some point in the future. I've also started watching a lot of videos and listening to a lot of podcasts on the law of attraction and manifestation which I've found massively interesting, to implement into my life. 

I've been obsessed with learning about manifestation, that I've decided to try a couple of methods:

MEDITATING
I've always been a BIG advocate for Headspace, the meditation app, but in the past few days I've started to do some unguided meditations by myself. I've just sat cross-legged on my bed, closed my eyes, taken a few deep breaths and just sat in silence letting my mind do what it wants to do. I do start off with some of the exercises Headspace has taught me in my head, but I've been trying to think of things that I want to happen to me in the future. I create scenarios in my head that I am willing to happen in the future; I must not contradict myself or let any negative thought slip into my mind. If my mind wanders, that's okay, I just bring it back by focussing on my breath and start again.

WRITING SCENARIOS
This is something that I did for the first time last night - I wrote down a scenario of what I wanted to happen in my life, included how I would feel, and an honest reaction to how it would go down. This may seem like I'm writing a fan-fiction of my own life, but I wanted to try and see if this type of manifestation did anything for me.

Right now, I don't particularly want to start blogging about the best way to manifest, how to attract x and y into your life, or how to raise your vibrations, simply because I don't know enough yet - I'm still on my road to learning. I want to share with you what I'm trying, my experiences with it, how it's affecting me, and what impact it's had on my life. I'm still a complete beginner in this field, but I thought I would document my findings and let you what worked for me, what didn't, how things have changed, and what I'm trying next.

Learning life's lessons is not about making your life perfect, but about seeing life as it was meant to be
- Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Mindset Shifts

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As I've mentioned in my previous post about dealing with stresses at work, there's been a lot of shit happening in my workplace. It's taken me a while, but I think I've finally learned how to deal with it and how to let go.

Towards the end of last year was when it all started and I most definitely did not deal with it well to begin with - I would cry, I was massively negative at work as well as at home, and I just generally couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel. Funnily enough, I was still journaling my feelings out at this point in time, but my frame of mind was so dire that I may as well have been shouting into a void for the amount of use it had.

I almost stopped caring at one point when it dawned on me that I shouldn't stop caring, but I should stop worrying. I'm a very conscientious worker, and I strive to do a good job no matter what, and for things to be falling apart in front of my eyes made me feel useless - why couldn't I fix what was happening? I couldn't fix it because it was out of my control! Why and how can I worry about something that is completely out of my hands. 

I started to let go.
I started to put myself first and focus on my own wellbeing. 
I did all this because dragging myself down for something that is completely out of my control is destructive.

I'm not gonna lie and say that my journal is now a source of wholesome positivity, because that's bullshit at it's finest. I still rant and rave in there about what's worrying me and making me feel like crap, but I now have the mindset that once it's written down, I should at least try and let it go and move on.

There was a point in my life where I would always see the silver lining of everything, and I feel like I'm starting to get back to that place - I'm taking myself out of negative situations, removing myself from negative people when I can, and not succumbing to letting that be my vibe.

Positive attracts positive the same way that negative attracts negative. If you keep telling yourself that things will never get better, then they won't, but if you tell yourself and believe that you can do great things, then by god will you do great things. Recently, I've been telling myself, and others, that I feel so much better mentally than I did a few months ago, and each and every day that goes past that I say it, I feel better than the day before. I'm not saying that I'm immune to having down days, because that's absolutely natural, but it's how you deal with those days that defines you as a person.

I'm excited to grow on this journey and I'm so grateful to have this little slice of the internet to share it all with.