When we go through negative life situations, it’s sometimes hard to let go of the hurt and pain we’ve endured. We know we need to get into a better mindset to begin our journey back to better mental health, but our past hurts keep us weighed down and it’s difficult to let go in order to see the light ahead of us.
I’ve spent the last few years trying to personally better myself and get into healthier situations by being more present and in the moment. I embrace stillness and being mindful, which has allowed me to accept what is rather than resisting it, and in turn it’s allowed me to feel peace in where life is taking me. This has slowly helped me find better relationships, friendships, careers and continuously allows me to make healthier life decisions.
While many people are becoming mindful due to difference life circumstances of their own, I believe the digital era and always being “connected” has us burned-out and the notion of just “being” is no longer automatic to us. We’ve become robotic and have to actively practice humanity, as we’ve become detached from the natural things our souls find nourishing.
While there’s no doubt that digital advancements have provided an incredible amount of technology to better our lives, it’s in contrast taken away the physical and emotional nourishments we’ve needed for thousands of millions of years through our human evolution.
For example, if our bodies have a vitamin deficiency, we may see physical symptoms, and our doctors prescribe something to heal us. Similarly, I believe our bodies are seeking something more right now — whether it’s more human interactions and touch, peace and quiet, laughter, and certainly more of Mother Nature’s purities.
While we can’t digitally disconnect entirely, and it can be difficult to control the people, personalities, and situations that surround us, we can still make a big difference by making small changes in the places we do feel like we have control by curating our lives. Below are seven tips for how to do that in our digital world.
1. CURATE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA FEEDS
Social media has become heavily incorporated into our lives, and it influences our thoughts, feelings and desires. In tough times, I found it hard to be positive and happy, and I noticed that I looked forward to a few accounts popping up on my feeds because they had positive quotes and stories. So one day, I followed about 30-40 different accounts that all had uplifting messaging.
Despite several of them having the same content, this ensured the algorithms always fed me a nice quote, motivational saying or an uplifting story to nourish my emotions, rather than just Instagram influencers trying to sell me a product, a fake lifestyle or a fake look that may be difficult to attain and can make for negative comparison situations.
Curate your own feed by following accounts such as TheGoodQuote, VybeSource, Jay Hetty, Hiba Balfaqiuh, HumansofNY, Deepak Chopra, or AwakeningPeople. You can also check out who they follow in order to find even more.
2. GO FOR A 30 MINUTE WALK/HIKE DAILY
Going on a walk, especially in or near nature, which really helps you be more mindful and present.
This doesn’t mean walking while shopping or running errands — you want to walk continuously in a place with the least amount of distractions and allow yourself to be with your own thoughts. Let yourself process thoughts in the moment, feel all the emotions, and make time for all the things you typically suppress during the day (even if it’s negative) so that you can work through it.
If you want to opt to listen to something on your walk, listen to classical music, jazz or something that’s soothing. I personally love to certain podcasts that are like little pep talks.
3. KEEP A GRATITUDE JOURNAL
Being grateful and acknowledging the things you have, versus the things you don’t, really makes a big change in your day.
Make a habit is to leave a notepad by your bed, and every morning when you wake up, write down three things you’re grateful for. I know it’s tough in your darkest hours, but if that happens, think simple — you’re grateful to breathe, grateful for food and a roof over your head. Start there and begin to expand. If you can really get into it, write things that you’re grateful for that happened each day.
Something about focusing on the good rather than the bad helps us through situations and hard times, so make sure to find gratitude every step along the way.
4. READ BOOKS THAT TEACH, INSPIRE & MOTIVATE YOU
Reading can be a great form or meditation as we get lost in our imagination, and it can be very therapeutic with the right content. It helps expand our minds to visualize the words on the page and makes our minds bring those words to life in the way we see it. Libraries now offer content for free via e-books and audiobooks too, so costs are not an issue as your tax dollars are hard at work.
Some books and authors that really helped me in finding inner peace and mindfulness, below:
- E-Squared by Pam Grout – This was life-changing and brought a lot of good into my life. I always say that if you want to be good at a sport, you have to practice daily, and for me this book was like “practice for the mind.”
- Malcom Gladwell books (Start with David and Goliath) – These are about sociology and have different perspectives on how to see life. It’s knowledge- based about the human psyche, but allows you to see life situations from different perspectives.
- Joel Olsteen books (start with The Power of I Am) – Joel is incredibly inspirational and uplifting, and his messages will motivate you.
- The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho – The story is about a journey and is especially great read when you’re setting onto a new path in life.
- The Ultimate Gift by Jim Stovall – This inspirational story has a great message about what’s most important in life and not to take that for granted.
- Eckhart Tolle books – (start with The Power of Now) If you’re on a spiritual journey, his books are really enlightening to reach a point of awakening.
5. LISTEN TO UPLIFTING PODCASTS
Podcasts are great when you walk or drive because they feel very personal. I love to make my car a “university on wheels” or listen to them on walks. There are many to choose from, but below are a few for better health and to balance your mood:
- Oprah’s Super Soul Sundays — (Start with” Caroline Myss: Discovering Your Life Purpose”) Oprah is the queen of interviewing others, and this podcast is full of her talking to spiritual, religious and thought leaders to help awaken us and find deeper connections in our lives.
- Joel Olsteen — (Start with “The Power of I Am”) Even for the non-religious, Joel’s way of talking doesn’t feel like religion overkill, and he has a unique way of uplifting you because his words are motivational and can touch your soul.
- Hidden Brain – This podcast is less about the self, and more about the psychology behind things. It’s science-based storytelling for a curious mind, and each episode is about a different psychology and unconscious patterns which may help you find patterns within your own life or of those around you.
- StarTalk with Neil DeGrasse Tyson – (Start with “Cosmic Queries: Space Time”) As Neil described it in a recent episode, it’s is all about the physics of everyday life, understanding the operations of nature, and of your own experiences within it. Learning about space and physics teaches about ourselves on a much deeper level.
6. WATCH CONTENT THAT GIVES YOU FAITH IN HUMANITY AGAIN
Being a journalism major in college, I know how much media affects the human psyche. There’s tons of great content out there, but for those looking for an uplifting story or spirit boost, here are my favorites:
- Queer Eye on Netflix – You leave every episode feeling full, and it brings you to a higher vibrational level. Watch a few episodes and tell me you don’t feel better!
- What the Bleep Do We Know? – This documentary describes the human psyche and quantum physics on a very understandable level. While it can be quirky at times, it does a great job at explaining thought patterns and how thinking the same way for too long can be bad for our health.
- Heal on Netflix – This is a holistic documentary about how powerful our minds are, and how emotions, thoughts and beliefs have a huge impact on our physical health.
- ·Planet Earth – Watching animals in their natural habitats and learning about the Earth and its wonders will in turn do wonders for your inner peace.
- One Strange Rock – This does an amazing job talking about how the world goes around and how everything truly is one and connected.
- The Secret – This will get you in the right mindset to begin manifesting what you want in life, including peace!
7. FIND A HOBBY THAT GIVES YOU “THAT” FEELING
We’re all unique and have our own ways of making ourselves feel complete. While the above six tips worked for me, we’re all different people and have unique tastes and gifts, so I encourage you to find things that personally suit your needs.
Below are some additional starter ideas, and my advice is to go into whatever you do with the intention of it being healing and therapeutic for you. When you go into it with that mindset, it does wonders.
- Hiking – Google your city and hikes and see what comes up.
- Painting / Sculpting / Plant Making — These are therapeutic for some, and if you’re a beginner, I encourage you to start by taking a one-time class at a sip and paint/sculpt/plant to give you the tools to begin.
- Forest Bathing – Get out in nature and feel the energy and vibrations from the trees and earth. There’s even a thought that putting your bare feet on the Earth has healthy healing vibrational energy, so take off your shoes and socks and touch the planet with your toes!
- Running – if you’re not a runner, try the C25K app, but running can be therapeutic for many!
- Showering – Something as simple as being present in the shower and paying attention to the water hitting your head and falling all over your body can be very therapeutic. Be in the moment and make it more enjoyable.
- Spending Time With Animals – Animals have a natural way of keeping us in the moment. They don’t worry or stress about the past or future the way that humans do, and being around your pets or visiting a ranch can make you feel overwhelming peace.
- Gardening — Ever wonder why your parents or grandparents were so into gardening?It’s is a great way to be present and enjoy watching the fruits of your labor!
- Sound Baths –These classes almost force you to be almost be in a meditative state because you are required to be very still and pay attention to your breath, and something about the vibrational energy of the sounds of the bowls and ocean drums really soothes your soul.
- Writing – One of the books I read (The Artists Way) called readers to write morning pages every day. I used it more like a journal at first, and after weeks, I found a lot of self-realizations. It’s very powerful and can also be very therapeutic.
- Going To The Beach – Being near the ocean and hearing the waves and getting Vitamin D from the sun is very calm and relaxing. You can lay out, read, walk, or bike along the coastlines.
- Groupon – My favorite way to find new hobbies is via Groupon, which has introduced me to so many new things that I didn’t even know existed. Sign up just to find out what’s going on near you and find a new hobby of your own!
Hope these can help you in your journey to discover self-love and sustain a long and happy road ahead!