Creating a Good/Positive Aura in your Life

I think it’s safe to say that we’ve all heard of the phrase “positive vibes”; it’s used so much across social media and in everyday life (inauthentically at times). It’s easy to say that being positive attracts positive things and sometimes it does seem too cliche to be true, but I’ve found that being positive actually makes a huge difference.

The other day in my yoga class, we were told a story about two dogs in a room full of mirrors. The happy dog saw happy dogs looking back at him, and the angry dog saw angry dogs looking back at him. Life is the same; what we give out is what we get in return. If we’re angry, other people will feel that energy and retract from us. That’s why it’s so important to work on your own wellbeing before you can expect anything from anyone else.

This year, I’ve really felt the force of a positive aura. I’ve worked so hard on overcoming a tough 6 + months of being unwell, where I honestly did feel really low, but coming out the other side has motivated me more than ever to self-develop and to combat stress and anxiety (as you might have seen in my goals for tackling stress/anxiety post). It is true that difficult moments in your life make you into a better and stronger person, as I’ve felt this for sure, but it also makes positivity a necessity – sometimes being positive is the only way out.

If you think about all of the people you’ve met in your life, there are probably some people who you instantly felt warmth and happiness from when you first met them – those are the positive people. And because of this, you probably felt more inclined to speak to them or become friends. The same goes with yourself – the better you feel about yourself, the better others feel around you. People are attracted to good and positive auras.

I’ve really felt this to be true lately. A few years ago I was a very negative person – I found it so hard to focus on the good things that were going on in my life and I think because of this I wasn’t attracting anything particularly good in my life either. Since I’ve worked on my happiness, I’ve noticed a change in the way I interact with people – I feel like people want to talk to me more and I feel connected to people more. It’s as if they feel the positive energy I’ve worked so hard to create and it makes all of it worthwhile.

I think it’s easy to dismiss this sort of thing until you’ve experienced it for yourself. I know for a fact that the version of me that existed a few years ago would have read this blog post and sarcastically said “yeah right“. Because when you’re feeling negative, you don’t want to admit that your attitude is the reason life isn’t working out for you, because then you have too much responsibility and that’s scary. But it’s also the truth.

Creating a good and positive aura is not something you can instantly make present in your life. You have to start by dealing with your emotions and your wellbeing and this always takes time, but it also always will take time. There’s never an ending point or result – it’s a constant progression. I’m still progressing now and I always expect to be.

So next time you go to a new place and meet new people, think about the energy each person in the room is giving off. Who are you drawn to? Why are you drawn to them? And focus on your own aura too. How can you share the best version of yourself with the world?

Give out a metaphorical thumbs up to everyone you meet 🙂

You can find me on social media here:

Instagram: @mymindspeaksaloud

Twitter: @mindspeaksaloud

“Real art has the capacity to make us nervous”

A while ago, I came across the quote “Real art has the capacity to make us nervous.” It has stuck with me for a long time, reappearing every now and again when I contemplate the vulnerabilities and sensitivities behind a piece of artwork.

When speaking of art, I think this can relate not only to images, paintings or sketches, but also writing and blogging. They all involve creative sharing. So what makes them real enough to make us nervous, and why do they make us nervous?

Arguably, all art is real. It exists, therefore it’s real, right? However, in the context of this quote, real is perhaps referring to a depth of emotion. It is real because it originates from real feelings and experiences. It is real because it is the artist’s soul on a page.

I think real art makes us nervous because it acknowledges pain that we haven’t yet acknowledged in ourselves. It may be seen as a weakness or a shocking revelation, but if it is seen in this way, perhaps it is only because the onlooker hasn’t yet acknowledged their own struggles. Real art reveals the repressed. It challenges your thoughts in order to find ways you can relate to it. And if not relatable to yourself, to someone in your life.

Real art can be scary. It throws emotions at your face that, ironically, you don’t want to face. It embodies the kind of bravery and confidence we all wish we had. And I think this is what makes real art so beautiful. It doesn’t make me nervous, but it makes me happy – to see someone else accept and embrace themselves regardless of judgements.

How do you feel about real art? Does it make you nervous?

My Views on Body Image

To end Mental Health Awareness week, I wanted to write a more freeing post on my views on body image. There might be a bit of ranting and some personal stuff thrown in, but I think it’s important to share your opinion to help change people’s perspectives.

I feel like there’s so much out there that focuses on “the perfect body image” – there’s no denying this. It’s all over the media and the internet and advertisements. There’s no escaping it. I hate that the world has come to believe that someone should look a certain way, as if personalities are not important at all. Phrases are thrown around like “oh she shouldn’t be wearing that when she’s so overweight” and it makes me so mad because who decided there had to be a set of criteria for a body to wear anything? Everyone is always saying “don’t care about what anyone else thinks” and yet when people who may be considered overweight wear what makes them feel happy and confident, other people judge it and make them feel like they need to fit their rules of “appropriate clothing”. This means that they end up wearing clothes based on what they know other people will deem acceptable, rather than what they honestly want to wear themselves. And this is not okay.

It is understandable that people want others to be healthy and this is why they advise people to lose weight etc. but there is definitely a limit to what constitutes genuine, kind advice and full on abuse. I think that the person whose body it is has a choice and if they want to be healthy they can be healthy and if they choose not to then that’s okay too, as long as they’re willing to take the consequences. You can’t decide that someone else should be a certain way – they make that decision.

There are many people out there that don’t love their body and it’s easy to think that all of these people fit the stereotypical overweight person, but this is totally not the case. In my personal experience, I’ve always been super skinny and I used to always feel really self-conscious about myself. People would make remarks like “wow, your legs are so thin” but I never really took it as a compliment because I thought, if I was just an average weight, then surely no one would comment at all? Sometimes I tried to put on more weight but because of my high metabolism, nothing ever made an effect. When I was around 14/15 years old a teacher sat me down and asked me what I ate for each meal every day. I know they had good intentions, but it made me feel really bad about myself. I knew they thought I was starving myself but in reality I was eating totally fine. I went home and looked in the mirror and thought: do I really look that bad that someone had to ask me that?

Now, I don’t feel nearly as bad about myself. I still have days when I dislike certain parts of my body but I know that I’m at a healthy weight now and I shouldn’t worry about it. The thing is, no one else notices your insecurities but you always notice yourself. And so you should focus on other people’s perceptions of you. They don’t care about what you look like because a) they’re too busy worrying about how they look themselves and b) they only care about your personality and the way you’re interacting with them.

With this in mind, I really want to reiterate how body image does not matter. The world makes it into something that should matter through media and stereotypical remarks, but it does not. It’s good to remind yourself of this every time you look in the mirror. You are so much more than what you look like and you are so much more than what you think of yourself. 

You can view my other posts for Mental Health Awareness Week here:

How Would You Define Anxiety?

help me see the real me. [poem]

How Would You Define Anxiety?

I have recently finished reading How to Survive the End of the World by Aaron Gillies (@technicallyron) which gave a really interesting insight into dealing with anxiety. Whilst researching for the book, he asked various people “How would you define anxiety?” At the end, he asks the reader to write their definitions in the front of their edition of the book.

I think this is such a super interesting question because people explain it in different ways. Here are some definitions that I’ve come up with, based on my personal experiences. Please feel free to share yours in the comments.

Anxiety is worrying excessively over something that you know is completely irrational, and yet your body won’t listen.

Anxiety is the fight between needing to escape and wanting to stay – escaping the panic but afraid of being left alone to think.

Anxiety is feeling like the edges of the world are the sphere of your skull; everyone else is on another planet that you can’t quite escape to.

Anxiety is the worm at the back of your mind; sometimes it’s buried within the apple and you can pretend it’s not there, but when it comes back up you can’t help but notice.

Anxiety is sitting out a blazing fight inside your head whilst seemingly calm on the outside.

Anxiety is pretending to be confident so much that others eventually believe you, but you know you can never believe it yourself.

Anxiety is waiting for the next train and it being delayed and rushing to another platform and rushing back to the previous platform and then finding out there were no trains after all and it was all pointless. You could have taken a taxi but your mind doesn’t like the easy route.

Anxiety is smiling and crying at the same time. No one else notices and sometimes you don’t even notice yourself.

This week is Mental Health Awareness week so I thought it was a good time to share these thoughts. I’m feeling great at the moment and a lot happier than I was a year ago so I really wanted to share this post to help those who may be in the place I was last year. If you feel like these relate to you, it may be worth considering talking to someone about it – whether that is a family member, a friend, or a doctor. It’s not a weakness to put your hands up and say “hey, this sounds like me”. These words define anxiety, but they don’t define you.

You can view my other posts for Mental Health Awareness week here:

help me see the real me. [poem]

My Views on Body Image

Twitter: @mindspeaksaloud

Instagram: @mymindspeaksaloud

Do you Spend 90% of Your Time Indoors?

A couple of days ago my friend Dyspraxia Diaries 101 send me a video of a TV Ad (link below) and I was so inspired by it that I could not help but come here to express how amazing it is.

To give a brief overview, it is about “The Indoor Generation” and how, as we’ve grown older, the outdoors has been replaced more and more by the indoors. Apparently, we spend 90% of our time indoors, which is completely insane. Why do we not appreciate the outdoors as much as we used to?

It’s fairly obvious that the increase in technology is a huge factor in this. Because kids are given phones and iPads at such a young age, they replace going outside with gaming apps or watching TV. Even I am guilty of watching Netflix on a sunny day instead of going outside.

Watching the Ad made me feel sad, particularly for children, that their lives don’t involve the kind of outdoor fun and games I used to enjoy as a child. It’s hindering their use of imagination and the ability to appreciate what is already in front of us in nature – something that doesn’t involve money or hard work to achieve, something that just is.

My favourite line from the advertisement was this:

“We try our best to replicate nature everywhere because it somehow makes us feel better.

But it’s not the same.”

This is so damn powerful. We build fake grass indoors and watch nature programmes and convince ourselves that we don’t need to see the real thing. But we do. We really do. There is nothing more rewarding than just walking amongst nature and actually having time to breathe, and to really listen to the world around us.

Should you spend more time outdoors?

Do You Let the World Make an Impression on You?

Today, I was reading an interview with the author Claire-Louise Bennett about her book Pond and this line really stood out to me: ‘In solitude you don’t need to make an impression on the world, so the world has some opportunity to make an impression on you.’ 

I’ve thought a lot about solitude before and how it helps me face my raw emotions and the way I feel about things, as well as tackling them face on rather than distracting myself. I’ve never thought if it in terms of the world itself though.

As natural people-pleasers, humans have a tendency to make impressions on the world all the time because we are constantly trying to please or fit in with others. You can be the most confident person in your own skin and yet there’s still times when you conform to society or hold back your opinion for whatever reason. In solitude, it is true that the world can now make an impression on you because you’ve finally given it space. You’ve finally stopped trying to impress everyone else and you’ve finally become aware of yourself, your surroundings and what’s going on around you. This is the moment when you start noticing the way the bird chirps in a kind of excited but monotonous way, or the low buzzing of the laptop as it lies on standby. This is when you suddenly notice everything you’ve always seen but in an unfamiliar way – perhaps a more rational way.

Here’s a list of things that I think are great ways to let the world make an impression on you:

  1. Meditation – it gives you space to breathe in your environment and release your emotions and thoughts.
  2. Going for a walk (alone) – Although this causes my mind to run wild with thoughts, it also helps me notice how beautiful nature is.
  3. Listening to music – It diverts your attention away from everything else, into a new world with new sounds and new voices and new words.
  4. Sleep – Although you’re unaware of your surroundings whilst you sleep, when you wake up you feel refreshed and the world has a new chance at making an impression on you, almost like a blank slate of a day.

 

What do you think? How do you let the world make an impression on you?

It’s Impossible to Imagine a New Colour – Or Is It?

I’ve been holding onto this idea for a while, waiting for the right moment to share my thoughts on it and to hear all of yours too.

It’s so weird that we have all these colours in our life. We think about colour a lot: when we answer the question ‘what is your favourite colour?’ or pick out our outfit for the day or notice the sunset in the evening. We think about colour and yet do we really think about colour at all?

I remember a while back in secondary school, we talked about how colour could be subjective. I have a particular vision of what red is, but red might look completely different to someone else, yet we have both come to know it as red since this is what we are taught. My friend could point at yellow and say this is yellow, but her version of yellow might look like my version of purple. How would I even know?

To take this even further, I find it intriguing how colour seems infinite (since you can mix multiple colours together to make new colours) and yet all those new colours are still colours that exist. It isn’t possible to create a colour that doesn’t exist – or is it?

This is something I’m not sure I have the answer to – does anyone? But I would love to know what you all think so please leave your thoughts in the comments!

How False is your Facebook Profile?

If I was told to imagine myself on a page, I would not imagine my Facebook profile. I would not imagine specifically chosen photos and an endless list of ‘friends’. I wouldn’t imagine birthday messages from fake people or tagged posts of empty happiness. I wouldn’t imagine any of that because, in reality, it doesn’t sum up me.

I find it so weird when I look at my Facebook profile. I want to say it is me but it isn’t, not really. I’ve chosen photos I genuinely love to feature on my page, and yet it still doesn’t feel real. That’s because everything on Facebook is shared due to a chosen decision. The user decides to share it and that’s why it pops up on our newsfeed. It makes sense that we want to share the happy moments. We want to remember the good times so we can look back on it and smile. But, ironically, we look at others and frown.

Social media is something I have a love-hate relationship with. There are days when I have to switch it off. There are days when I can feel the lives of other’s creeping into my head and those are the days I have to stop myself from endlessly scrolling. You’d think my profile is a more confident version of me – I think for a lot of people it is. But a lot of the time I feel like it is a weak version of me. It is the type of me who isn’t completely myself. It is the type of me who is aware of all these people and feels scared to confront them all at the same time. Equally, I feel like I don’t owe it to them. Most of my friends on Facebook I’m not that close with, so why should they see the real me? How would I even go about presenting the real me on Facebook without posting all the time? And if I did post all the time, wouldn’t that just be an act of justification, as if I have to prove to others that this is how I am? It’s all just an elaborate game and there’s no way to win.

Social media would be a lot different if we shared our lows. It would actually be a real portrayal of life. However, imagine scrolling through your newsfeed to look at a bunch of crying faces or depressed statuses. Wouldn’t that make us just as sad, if not more sad, than seeing other’s happy when we ourselves are depressed? It seems there’s no way to avoid negativity when it comes to social media. We are either saddened by other people’s tragedies, or we are saddened by the fact that we can’t be as happy as others.

I’m really glad I started blogging because, although WordPress is a community similar to social media, it is a place where I share the real me – both the highs and lows. It is a place where I don’t feel afraid to say that I’m feeling down. It is a place where if I see another blogger’s post and it saddens me, I don’t scroll but I actively involve myself in trying to help. It’s the kind of interaction that you just don’t get on Facebook – at least, not with those you’re not close to. On WordPress, it’s as if everyone is a friend – a real friend – whether you know them or not. And that’s what I love about it. It’s the kind of social media we never had.

If you’re reading this post and you think your Facebook profile does sum up you, look again. Look harder. Because an online profile can never live up to your life as a person, as much as you try. It can never replicate the pure joy of laughing until you cry; endless conversations into early hours of the morning; silent car journeys that are more meaningful than talk. It can never replicate the most important parts of being human. It can never replicate the unique personality that is you.

Do you ever meet someone and find them intriguing, for no reason?

Do you ever meet someone and just think they’re really interesting? Not in the way that they seem like a cool person or that you want to be friends but you feel drawn to them in some way?

It’s hard to explain, but I get this feeling sometimes. I’m a very observant person and I like to analyse people – not in a weird way, but in a way where I like to figure out who they are as a person. I look deeper into their mannerisms or the way they talk and I think about what they could be hiding. I’ll never know for sure by just looking, but a lot of the time I’m very good at sensing a person.

For this reason, I sometimes meet someone – or even just see them from a distance – and I just feel really intrigued by them, as if I know them in some way. It sounds really odd because it’s not a “wow I’m drawn to you because you’re attractive” feeling, but it’s also not a “you seem really nice let’s be friends” feeling either. It’s like some weird soul connection that doesn’t even involve any talking. And I probably sound insane but it’s something that just happens to me.

I think about this sometimes and wonder why or how it happens. It’s kind of similar to when I read a book and I feel like the writer knows me because they think in the same way as me. It may be because that person has been through similar experiences or they have a similar personality. But it’s very weird that I manage to pick this up from someone without even knowing or speaking to them. I’ve always been an empath and very susceptible to feeling other’s emotions so maybe that is part of it. Either way, I’ve made some strange connections out there, and the other person probably doesn’t even realise! I’ll always wonder if they feel it too.

Do we Really Need Everything That’s in our Lives?

As I was washing my hair this morning, it suddenly struck me how weird it is that humans use shampoo. It makes logical sense, since our hair gets greasy and we want to look good, however I have no idea how this concept came about.

When you think of packing a suitcase for holiday, you make sure to pack all the essentials – underwear, socks, toothbrush, and of course, shampoo – but none of these things are actually essential. When you really think about it, these things have been turned into necessities by humans as a form of making us look better or more respectful.

If we stripped back our lives, is there anything that is essential, except for food and water?

I think it’s interesting to stop and think about this. We put so much energy and reliance into things that we simply do not need.

Take a break.

Think of everything you have in your life as an optional luxury that you are lucky to have.