Is It Possible To Always Be Kind To Yourself? [Insightful Discussions #1]

This is the first post of mine and Niraj’s Insightful Discussions blog series, where we will blog on interesting discussion questions! In this blog post we will talk about whether it is possible to always be kind to yourself, which is a common discussion topic when approaching mental health.

When describing the concept of kindness, there is no concrete definition – it will mean different things to different people. For some people, it means not judging themselves for not being perfect, for other people it means being their own cheerleader. For some, it could simply involve being kind to others. The most important thing is that you find your own way to be kind to yourself.

There are plenty of reasons why we should be kind to ourselves. These include boosting our wellbeing or helping us through stressful events, such as a breakup or rejection. However, sometimes we can be unkind to ourselves too, such as forgoing our relaxing time when facing busy schedules. Therefore, is it unrealistic to ALWAYS aim to be kind to ourselves? It’s in our human nature to question, to be curious as well as to doubt ourselves, because we all want to be the best we can be. However, we both believe that we can all take crucial steps everyday to make sure we are kind to both ourselves and others, because there is never an endpoint to finding new ways of improving upon the way we see/feel about ourselves.

Ultimately, whether we are kind or unkind to ourselves is dependent on our mindset and our thinking. Similar to external habits, our mind creates habits too. We can get stuck in rotational thinking processes (whether positive or negative) and this can determine the way we show up and experience the world. As a result, if we’re used to tearing ourselves down over small mistakes, questioning our self-worth, or any version of being unkind to ourselves, we are more likely to continue doing so because it’s ingrained in our system. But how much control do we have over this? Can we not adapt the way we react to these thoughts and try to reframe them?

The truth is that, like anything, learning to be kind to yourself is a journey. If it doesn’t come easily to you, or you’re stuck in a negative thinking cycle, then it will take work, but it’s entirely possible to improve upon the way you see and feel about yourself. Whether you start practicing positive affirmations, replacing bad thoughts with good ones, or setting aside time each day to focus on your wellbeing, it all makes a difference. 

We personally believe that being truly kind to ourselves is acknowledging those days when we don’t feel great and our mind seeps back to a negative space, and accepting it for what it is. Our mind isn’t a perfect place – it doesn’t always have positive thoughts – but it’s how we react that matters.

Do you think you are kind enough to yourself?

And if so, what strategies help you do so?

Let us know in the comments below.


Gratitude In A Crisis [Guest Post by The Autistic Panda]

This week I’d like to share a guest post by my friend The Autistic Panda! We’ve been friends for such a long time, since we were 13, and she was the person who initially convinced me to create my blog, so I’m super grateful for her friendship.

And, on the topic of gratitude, she’s here to share her personal thoughts on how gratitude has helped her deal with depression and low moments in her life. I think it’s a really inspiring post and I can’t wait for everyone to read it.

Plus, don’t forget to check out her blog over here and give her a follow 🙂

I’ve suffered with depression for a long time and it is hard to get those negative thoughts out of my mind. I’ve often felt like I’m hanging by a thread in my life, but someone is always there to remind me about the good that surrounds me, and I thought I’d share some ways I’ve learned to appreciate my life.

It took a while to open up to the idea of gratitude at first because, when you’re depressed, nothing seems to make sense. But eventually, I realised that there are some positive parts of my life and I always cling to that positivity when I’m deeply sad.

I have an amazing mum, who cherishes me and I am so grateful to her. I have pets, who need me to be there for them. I am grateful for the many licks they give me, the many times they remind me to stay alive, even if they don’t realise it. I have a future, even if it seems bleak when I’m in the depths of depression. That future is vast and beautiful, even if I don’t see it right now. I just want to remind you that you have a future too, even if you can’t see it. We all do.

I am grateful for existence itself, as the gift of life has allowed me to meet many amazing people, animals, and explore interesting places. Whilst sometimes I hate the very thought of existing, I have realised lately just how cool it is. To be alive, right now, in this tiny span of time, is pretty awesome in my opinion. We may be specks of dust in comparison to the universe, but we have the power of imagination and creativity. That allows me to feel like I’m more than a speck of dust, I’m a galaxy, and you are too. Our own bodies are so interesting and unique, it is almost like we are our own galaxy.

Remembering the good things in life allows me to realise that I have a reason for existing. I have a purpose, even if I do not see it. That purpose is lost in the planet that is my brain; it is just one small atom amongst billions, but it is there, and it is just as important as the other atoms. You have to do a bit of searching, looking through a telescope, but you will find that purpose. Just you wait. You’re important, for you build up the universe just as much as anyone else. The universe would be boring without you.

Gratitude is just one of the ways I keep myself alive when I’m feeling like I don’t want to be, but it certainly helps. When you feel like everyone hates you, and that no one wants you there, it is easy to forget that your mind is a mischievous place. It sets up traps, trying to lure you into the darkness, but you can remember what’s real. Stay grounded. Remembering all the things people have actually said to me, rather than what my mind told me they’d say, makes me realise that they do care, and I’m grateful for that. No one is any more important than you; our value is the same. Forget what you’ve told yourself and remember what’s good in life, however small, because small things do matter. Whenever you think you’re small and don’t matter, remember that I said you do. You matter a lot, just like how bees are small, yet their role in the world is so vital. Your role in the world is vital too. I’m grateful that you exist.

Thank you so much for reading this,

The Autistic Panda

I hope you enjoyed reading this guest post from The Autistic Panda and that it added some positivity to your day.

What strategy do you use to help you overcome your low moments?

Let’s share some wellbeing tips in the comments below.

Do You Feel Guilty About Relaxing? (+ 4 Tips To Overcome It)

Are you the kind of person who loves to be busy? Do you pride yourself on productivity? Do you feel bad on those days when you’ve slumped on the sofa and not done very much? Well, perhaps you’re also one of those people who feels guilty about relaxing.

We now live in a world that glamorises being busy. We think that the more we can do, the better. If we can be successful at work, have a family, do 3 hobbies, meet friends every weekend and work towards all of our goals, amongst many other tasks, we think that’s what equals being a good, functioning human being. We say “I’m busy” like it’s a wonderful thing, and in some ways it is, but not if we are sacrificing our wellbeing at the cost of it.

I admit, I am a bit of a productivity-addict. I love to commit myself to lots of projects on the go because I find it fun, exciting and a great learning opportunity too. But, I can also admit that, as a result of it, it has made me feel guilty about relaxing in the past. And over the last couple years I’ve learnt that relaxing isn’t just a reward, it’s a necessity.

When the mind has created a thought pattern, it’s very difficult to get out of it, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. I think those days when I would feel guilty about relaxing, I would have thoughts such as: “I’m wasting my time” and “I could be more successful with my goals if I got up and did [said task].” The truth is, relaxing is never a waste of time if you use it wisely.

Strangely enough, I’ve found it a lot easier to relax since I’ve graduated. Perhaps other university students can relate, because when you have a schedule that is not 9-5 and you are expected to produce assignments and do extra research outside of studies, it does make you feel like you should be working 24/7. Even the university library is open 24/7, as if it’s promoting students to stay up all night.

However, after university, I’ve found it easier to switch off after the end of a work day. No one is expecting me to work then. And I don’t feel guilty about not working on the weekends because it’s totally normal not to, whereas at university I often would.

If you have or have had similar struggles with feeling guilty about relaxing, know that you aren’t alone and there are many ways you can start to tackle it so that you get that much-needed rest.

Try these 4 tips to help you feel less guilty about relaxing:

  • Remind yourself of your achievements – If you struggle to relax, you’re likely always looking ahead at the next step, rather than valuing everything you’ve achieved so far. So, bask in your achievements. Don’t feel bad about doing so.
  • Give yourself a “logging off” time – Whether you’re working 9-5, studying at university or running your own business, set yourself a specific time each night to completely switch off. And you can even turn off your phone too. After this time, you’re allowed to relax. Nothing will stop you.
  • Think of the long term – In the short term, relaxing may seem like a waste of time, but in the long term it is releasing tension, boosting your wellbeing and putting you in a more positive and productive mindset for the following day, so you can actually achieve more than if you hadn’t relaxed at all.
  • Try active-relaxing activities – For those who find it hard to sit still and relax, choose activities that are relaxing yet also feel a little bit productive, such as going for a walk, meeting with a friend, or reading a book.

Do you feel guilty about relaxing? What tips do you use to overcome it?

I’d love to hear your experience in the comments below.

How To Believe In Yourself (Actionable Steps)

When was the last time you truly believed in yourself?

When was the last time you had complete faith in what you were doing and where you would end up?

The truth is: a lot of us struggle with belief, whether we like to admit to it or not. Whether we are super confident or quiet in nature, we often get that niggling doubt that seeps in at any given moment. It’s like something is sitting on our shoulder telling us that we could be wrong. Sometimes we give in to it more than we should. Sometimes we let it control our lives.

But we don’t have to.

If I was to explain what it felt like to have complete faith in myself, I don’t think I could explain it. I don’t think any of us could. I don’t think anyone on this earth has ever been 100% certain of what they’re doing 100% of the time. We all have doubts.

However, I think to live the life you want to live, you can come close to it. You can work at self-belief to the point where, yes, you still have those moments of doubt, but you’re better at tuning in to the process, at ignoring that negative self-talk and at having confidence in yourself as a unique being.

We’re all on a journey of self-belief, whether we realise it or not, and I’d like to share some actionable steps for how you can become more confident in your ability to simply be you!

Practice Positive Self-Talk

This is the most important step you can take towards working on self-belief, but, unfortunately, it’s also the most difficult! With our brains working at a hundred miles per hour all of the time, it’s not an easy task to control our thoughts. Sometimes we may feel like they are, in fact, controlling us.

Practicing positive self-talk is the best method of eliminating negativity and all the emotions that appear alongside it. It’s something I’ve been working on personally over the past year, and I can say from experience that it helps enormously. However, you can’t expect to make the jump overnight; it takes time.

Try these two methods of practicing positive self-talk:

  1. Positive Affirmations – Speak positive phrases out loud to yourself in front of the mirror (or mime them, if you’re worried about anyone hearing!) – “I am successful, I am confident, I can do this” etc. It feels super strange and unnatural at first, and will most likely make you cringe, but it is a great way of securing positive words into your thoughts. The more you say them, the more you believe them.
  2. Reframe Negative Self-Talk – Every time you notice yourself speaking about a situation, a person or yourself in a negative light, reframe it. Change your perspective to the positive/realistic side of the situation. For example, instead of beating yourself up for getting something wrong at work, remind yourself that you’re human, that it’s okay, that it’s a learning curve for the future.

Remember Your Achievements

Often, in life, we forget about all of the amazing things we’ve done. We’re constantly pressured by society and education into thinking about the future – what we’re going to do next – that we forget about everything that came before that. As a result, we often gloss over our achievements.

TASK: Try writing down all of your achievements (both big and small!) It could be as simple as starting a new hobby, to as great as getting a promotion! At first, you may think the list will be small, but you’ll be surprised at how many things you have achieved. And it’ll motivate you to go out and do more too!

Embrace Your Unique Self

Sometimes, it’s really difficult to accept ourselves for who we are. In a world of constant comparisons, we often define our value based on other people – whether that’s how we view them, what they say about us, or what we think they think! At the end of the day, it’s only about perspective – and this is changeable!

TASK: Challenge yourself to write a list of your best qualities. These are qualities that matter throughout your life, that are consistent and at the core of who you are as a person. It could be kindness, a good sense of humour, intelligence or modesty. These qualities are the reason you excel in communicating with those close to you.

Many of us struggle praising ourselves, but it is only when we acknowledge our strengths that we can have true belief in who we are. Ask family and friends to help you if you’re feeling stuck. There are so many good things about every single person on this planet. You are no exception.

What steps do you take (or want to take) to help you believe in yourself?

Feel free to share your experience and/or tips in the comments below!

The Power Of Gratitude Journalling (And Why You Should Try It!)

It’s been 1 year since I started gratitude journalling and, no word of a lie, it is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

When we hear of the task gratitude journalling, many of us may think: but I’m already grateful for everything in my life, so I don’t need it.

However, gratitude journalling is for everyone, regardless of whether you’re grateful for your life or not. It is not just about being grateful; it is about forming a positive inner dialogue and focusing on the good moments of life, rather than succumbing to the struggles – something which we all like to think that we do, but most of the time is a lot more difficult to master than we think.

I’d like to share a few tips on how to start gratitude journalling and how gratitude journalling has positively affected my life. I hope it will be helpful for anyone who is looking to reduce stress/anxiety, or simply live a happier and more positive life.

How To Start A Gratitude Journal

  1. Choose a notebook to start your journey. I would recommend picking one that you really love as you’re more likely to gravitate towards using it!
  2. Place it beside your bed with a pen, so that it is in easy reach for you to fill in before you go to sleep.
  3. Every evening, carve out some quiet space for yourself, without phones or other distractions, to reflect on your day. What did you do? What conversations did you have? What went well? What didn’t?
  4. There are many ways you can go about writing in your gratitude journal, but I would recommend the following sequence, which is inspired by Dr Chatterjee’s book Feel Better In 5:

3 Things That Went Well Today

Write down 3 things that went well for you today, focusing on gratitude and embracing the feelings that arise. It can be something as small as someone saying good morning to you on your walk, or as big as receiving a promotion at work. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as you write down how it made you feel.

For example: When I went on my morning walk today, a man stopped to let me know that I could walk in the adjacent field rather than the path so that I’d avoid the mud. It was so lovely and thoughtful of him to stop specifically to help me out, and I really appreciated his kindness.

Reframe A Moment

It’s inevitable that there are moments in our day that don’t go as well as we’d hoped. Perhaps we snapped at someone, spent too much time on our phone, or didn’t do that exercise class we said we would do. Pick one moment in your day to write about and reframe it. Explain what didn’t go to plan and what you will do next time instead.

For example: I would like to reframe the moment I reached for my phone whilst chatting to my friend. I wasn’t listening properly to what they were saying. Next time, I will give them my undivided attention so we can really connect over mindful conversation.

TOP TIP: Always write in a positive tone of voice, even if you don’t feel positive. The more you practice it, the more you rewire your brain to think in this manner.

The Benefits Of Gratitude Journalling

Gratitude journalling is one of, if not the most, effective way of feeling genuinely appreciative for your life and everyone/everything in it. In our busy day-to-day lives, we often forget to take time out to think about what we like about our lives, what we don’t, and what we want to change.

Gratitude journalling decreases stress/anxiety because it helps put situations into perspective. Often, when we have a particularly stressful or anxiety-inducing day, we go to bed thinking about how bad we feel. However, if we are gratitude journalling, we are forced to recognise the good parts of the day, rather than wallow in our struggles. And if we’re focusing on the good, in true law of attraction fashion, we then attract more good and positivity in our lives.

For me, personally, gratitude journalling has really helped me rewire the voice in my head. Every time I’ve had a difficult situation, it’s encouraged me to flip it on its head and see it as a learning opportunity for growth. A month ago, I tried a different kind of journalling – writing out all my bad thoughts to get rid of my negative feelings – and found that, surprisingly, every negative thought I wrote down I was counteracting with something positive. I had officially trained my brain with gratitude journalling so much that I actually couldn’t write down a fully negative piece of writing. I was shocked, but I also felt proud of the progress I’d made.

Perhaps you’re reading this and love the idea of getting started on your gratitude journal. Perhaps you’re reading this and you’re a little bit sceptical about whether it could actually be effective…

Whoever you are, I would recommend starting with a month, or even just a week. Give it a go, and notice how you feel.

It only takes 5 minutes out of your day, but 5 minutes can make all the difference.

Have you tried gratitude journalling before?

Or are you willing to give it a go?

Let me know in the comments below!

4 Wellbeing Tips To Help You Through Lockdown

For those of us in the UK, we are now in a national lockdown. We’ve been there before, we made it and we can do it again, but that doesn’t always make it easy. I thought I would put together some tips to help any of you struggling with your wellbeing, and to remind myself of the ways I can stay in a positive mindset too!

Find a Purpose

When we think of finding a purpose in our lives, it can seem super daunting. We think of it as this giant thing looming in front of us, trying to work out what it is that is actually driving us forward. However, finding a purpose doesn’t have to be some “big goal” – it can be as little as playing your favourite song each morning.

I found that, during the previous lockdown, finding a purpose was what helped me each day. It took me outside of the situation and helped me focus on a project, rather than think about the uncertainties of the future. For me, this was finally writing the first draft of a book. For others, it may be an exercise regime. For some, it could be starting up a new hobby, like cooking, or art, or starting a blog! Find that little something that makes you excited.

Embrace the Quiet

Lockdown gives us a lot of time to sit with empty space. I think this is one of the reasons why it can seem terrifying; when we’re busy with our lives, we often don’t give ourselves time to think, and it’s only when we think that we face emotions and circumstances that perhaps we were trying to avoid.

As a result, this time is necessary. For some it may be uncomfortable. Emotions may rise we didn’t know we felt. It teaches you how to breathe when there is only the present moment, and I think that is really powerful.

Get Moving

This is undoubtedly an obvious tip, but I find that it’s so easy to let the days pass and forget to go on that walk that I’ve been planning to do all week! And during lockdown, it can sometimes feel like the world is on a go-slow.

Getting moving doesn’t have to be about doing a 10 mile run. It doesn’t even have to be about leaving the house if you don’t want to (although fresh air helps). It can be finding a YouTube workout, or dancing to your favourite music, or walking up and down the stairs before lunch. Just a little something to get your heart rate up and release positive endorphins.

Stay Connected

In an age as technologically advanced as this one, it should be easy to stay connected, but sometimes it can be a little challenging. Keeping up with text messages, wanting to reduce screen time, not feeling like it’s quite the same as in person – however, it is so important for our wellbeing.

Staying connected doesn’t have to mean being glued to your phone 24/7; staying connected means dialling in when it really matters. Schedule in video calls with people you want to see, or reach out and message when you have a free moment. No one is expecting you to be there all the time, even during lockdown, so make sure to give yourself some space amidst it all.

What is your number 1 wellbeing tip for lockdown?

Share your advice in the comments and let’s help each other out!

5 New Habits That Genuinely Changed My Life!

Surely it can’t only be me who is wondering where this year has gone? We’re somehow only 3 months away from 2021!

Looking back on this year, it’s been an unusual one for us all, but this post is not going to be focusing on all of that – instead, I’ll be sharing 5 new habits I started doing this year that have genuinely had a huge positive impact on my life. (Feel free to share yours in the comments below too!)

Gratitude Journalling

When I was younger, I used to write lots of diaries. Sometimes I find them in the depths of my cupboard and cringe at all the things I used to say, but journalling is always something that has been cathartic for me. It’s a release.

However, this year I started journalling with a different approach in mind. Instead of writing down everything I was feeling (positives, negatives, the lot), I only wrote down what went well. Every night I do this same routine, writing down 3 things that went well, and reframing one negative situation into a positive. As much as writing a diary is cathartic, journalling with positive words helps reinforce that positivity, rather than dwell on bad events. I am convinced it has helped me stay positive and strong, even through difficult moments, and I’m excited to look back on it in December and see all the amazing things that happened this year!

Phone on Airplane Mode Before Bed

This is a very specific habit I’ve started this year but one that has helped my sleep hugely. I’ve always been a classic overthinker, especially at night, but I never really realised until this year how much blue light, from phone and TV screens, was exacerbating this.

My routine is to now put my phone on airplane mode at least an hour before bed, giving me time to really think about my day, how I’m feeling, and read a good book. I think in a world full of so much noise, we often drown ourselves out. This is my moment to try and reclaim that back.

Reframing Negative Thoughts

I feel like this is one topic I’ve covered in a lot of my blog posts this year, and there’s a reason for that! It’s because it’s the most effective way to get out of a negative slump.

None of us have positive brains 24/7 – that is just unrealistic. However, we can try to change those negative thoughts when they start creeping in. We can do this by rationalising any unnecessary thoughts or changing our focus onto something else. It’s not easy, and I still have moments where I struggle with it, but once you know it’s achievable, it really can help with the most difficult of situations.

Writing a To-Do List

Not only is writing lists super productive (and fun – if you’re like me), but it is genuinely the best way to stay on top of everything that needs to be done. Since the beginning of this year, even on the days when I was in lockdown and had nothing scheduled, I would write a list of what I was going to do that day. And it helped me stay sane. It gave me a purpose.

Lists don’t have to be boring. Write with a colourful pen. Buy yourself a beautiful notebook. Jot down fun things you want to do that day, like watching your favourite show or seeing a friend. A list can be full of anything you want it to be. It’s a nice reminder that you have autonomy in the world.

Reading Before Bed

I’ve always been an avid reader – ever since I was a child. Entering new worlds and understanding new perspectives has always been interesting to me. However, on the road of education, it’s unsurprising that I lost my passion for reading a bit.

It was only at the start of this year that I started reading regularly again. Books for fun weren’t just for the holidays, but something I could read everyday. And the way I managed to do this was by reading before bed.

It’s funny looking back, because in hindsight it’s so obvious, but at the time, I didn’t realise that all this TV I was watching was eating up my reading time. Now, I do both, and I love having the variety. I’m finally making my way through my overflowing bookcase!

Have you taken up a new habit that has genuinely changed your life?

I’d love to know – please share in the comments below!

You can find me on social media here:

Instagram: @mymindspeaksaloud

Twitter: @mindspeaksaloud

Removing Toxic Labels That Others Have Assigned To You

Have you ever had someone tell you that you’re something so many times that you’ve believed you are defined by it?

Perhaps someone has told you that you’re bossy, impatient, sensitive, that you don’t think about others. Perhaps you’ve been labelled as smart, funny, but these things have become something to live up to. How has it changed the way you live your life?

The truth is that we often define ourselves through the lens of someone else. When we are asked to describe ourselves we often use adjectives we’ve heard other people say to us, because we think they know us better than we know ourselves, but is that really true?

When we use labels other people have given us, we are focusing on them so much that they become the truth, even if they’re not. It’s the law of attraction in play. We are constantly giving these thoughts attention and unintentionally they are becoming detrimental to the way we live our lives.

Personal Example

For me, the one label that has become toxic in my life is being called “Quiet”. It’s something that I was told throughout my whole time at school. I would go to Parents Evening and I would feel good because I was doing well in class and I was getting the right grades, but the teachers would constantly tell me that I was never putting my hand up in class. I’d heard it so many times across countless years that being “quiet” became something negative. It became a limitation. It made me feel like being a good student didn’t matter because I wasn’t very good at talking about it.

Turns out, there are so many positives to being “quiet”, but I forgot what these were because I was told so many times that it was bad. I forgot that quiet could mean reflective, observant, calm. I forgot that it could mean being conscientious, intuitive, sensible. But it can mean all of these things and so much more!

Finding our True Selves

It’s interesting because the labels that become toxic in our lives don’t often stem from a singular source, and even when we know roughly where they came from, we can’t blame those circumstances. I’m sure no one intended for the word “quiet” to completely change the way I lived most of my life, but it did, because of the way I personally experienced it, and that’s okay, but it’s about breaking the mould and fighting to regain our true values, not those other’s have given us.

When we start to believe we are the labels others have given us, that’s when we lose who we are and that’s when the label we’ve been given is then accentuated by our behaviour because we feel like that’s all that we are. Or, we go in the opposite direction and try to become someone we’re not, because we think that’s what the world demands of us. But there is no limitation to who we can become, and one label doesn’t mean you will be that kind of person forever. We must accept ourselves as we are.

What is the Solution?

I don’t think there is any simple solution to this; I just wanted to share my thoughts on the topic. But I do think it starts with getting to know yourself and exploring what does make you a good person. It’s about letting other people’s thoughts of you go, because they don’t matter. You know who you are inside, and if someone doesn’t understand that, that’s not your problem, right?

So, next time you have a free moment, sit down and think about what labels have been given to you over the course of your life. They could be negative, or they could even be positive, but what negative experiences have occurred as a result of them? Has it caused you anxiety in a certain situation, or have you felt like you are defined by the negative parts of yourself?

If you’re feeling confident, share it with me in the comments below. Let anything you’ve been holding in go and encourage positive change.

You can find me on social media here:

Instagram: @mymindspeaksaloud

Twitter: @mindspeaksaloud

I Asked 17 People What Happiness Means to Them…

A while ago, I was on Instagram and I was inspired by a post that said “Happiness is…” – I turned to my Mum and asked her what her answer would be, and found that it was completely different to my own. Whilst I answered with an abstract definition, my Mum answered with a real-life concrete example. It made me wonder what everyone else would make of this question.

So, on my quest to figure out different people’s thinking processes, I asked people I know to answer the question too, with the first thought that popped into their head!

At first, I thought about the Myers Briggs personality type – would intuitives be more likely to reply with an abstract answer, and sensors with an example grounded in real life? However, I found there wasn’t a pattern at all, and both overlapped one another.

I found it so interesting listening to everybody’s answers and I think it’s also a great way of learning more about others and the way that they think. So, here is a list of all the answers I received!

I hope it brings a little more happiness to your day!

Happiness is when you are accepting and at peace with yourself and the world around you.

Happiness is walking in nature.

Happiness is being content with what you have in this world and being the best version of yourself.

Happiness is pets.

Happiness is peace.

Happiness is good.

Happiness is to forget about the world and just concentrate on dancing, creating art with the flow of your body to music.

Happiness is travel.

Happiness is freedom and laughter, being lost in a moment where all you feel and all you are is in the present moment.

Happiness is hope.

Happiness is spending time with friends and family and being grateful for what you have.

Happiness is a choice.

Happiness is feeling loved, feeling like you have enough and are enough.

Happiness is when you find beauty in the simple things of life, when you put love of nature before your own desires.

Happiness is seeing your children happy.

Happiness is contentment, a treasure buried inside of you, waiting to be found within.

Happiness is hugs.

Happiness is happiness.

I hope you found it interesting reading everyone’s answers!

I’d love to make this into a series with more fill-in-the-gap questions, so let me know if you’d be interested in reading this kind of post again, or feel free to suggest future questions!

And don’t forget to leave your own definition of happiness in the comments below – I’d love to hear it!

How to Naturally Increase Your Energy Levels!

When I think back to my life a year ago from now, I was at my lowest ever energy level. I was struggling with extreme fatigue and it worried me that I couldn’t get things done because I didn’t have the energy to do it.

Skip forward to now, I feel the complete opposite. This is the most energetic I’ve ever felt, and it means I can really live life to the full because I feel fully alive in my body.

Reaching and maintaining a high energy level is difficult – sometimes the things we have to do to get there aren’t naturally what we want to do. But it is also very important for our health and wellbeing. So I’m going to be sharing some tips on how to naturally increase your energy levels, based on my own personal experiences.

I hope this will help some of you out there!

Stop Overthinking

Impossible, I hear you say. How can you stop your own thoughts?

Trust me, I used to feel the same way.

Turns out, we can change the way we interact with our thoughts. If you really think about it, when you are overthinking something of the past, or something that might happen in the future, your brain is working. You are placing concentration and emotion onto something that isn’t happening, and surely that’s a waste of energy? Couldn’t you use that energy on something else?

Stopping overthinking is all about reframing and replacing negative thoughts into positive ones and shutting off the overthinking before it spins out of control. Once we have done this, we can truly let go of all the emotions that come with that.

Identify Food Intolerances

Over the last month or so, I’ve been doing a little experiment: I’ve given up cow’s milk. Random? Yes. Crazy? You might think so. But it’s completely changed my life.

I find it so interesting how most of us go about our daily lives eating food without really thinking much about what it does to our bodies. I’ve always drank milk so I don’t think about it. However, when my Mum gave up milk, I wondered if perhaps it was causing chaos inside my body too.

Ever since I’ve given it up, the tight throat and fatigue I used to get upon working has reduced significantly. At first, I was completely blown away (and to be honest, I still am!), but I realised that this whole time I was intolerant to something that was causing a lot of stress inside my body.

So, sometimes it’s good to check in with your eating habits and see if anything could be going wrong there. If the body is clogged up with food it doesn’t like, it’s no wonder it’s going to feel tired.

Create a Consistent Sleeping Routine

I think there are a number of factors which tie into this one, but consistency is absolutely the key to making sure your body knows exactly when to be alert and when to fall into sleep.

These are my favourite tips:

  • Go to bed and wake up at the same time (even on the weekends) – our bodies naturally catch up on lost sleep by sleeping deeper, so, contrary to what we might think, we don’t actually need to sleep for longer!
  • Expose yourself to daylight as soon as you wake up – as tempting as it is to lie in the dark, this only makes us feel more groggy
  • Turn off your phone (or put on airplane mode) at least an hour before bed – the blue light from screens tells our bodies it’s daytime and will likely affect how easily and how deeply we sleep, decreasing our energy
  • Write a gratitude journal before bed – Whilst this doesn’t directly affect energy levels, it increases our overall satisfaction in life and the happier we are, the more energy we have!

Save the image below to remind yourself to keep your energy levels up!

There are many more natural methods of increasing energy levels, such as exercising and eating healthily, but I wanted to talk about the ones that are often overlooked and not talked about enough.

I hope this list provides you with some interesting insight into the changes you could make in your own life to boost your energy levels.

Let me know in the comments below if you’d like to try any of these tips, or if you already do them!

I’d love to know what you all think!

You can find me on social media here:

Instagram: @mymindspeaksaloud

Twitter: @mindspeaksaloud