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

What is the Law of Attraction and How Can it Change Your Life?

Over the past few weeks I have been reading the book The Secret. For those of you who don’t know, it is a book filled with quotes and stories rooted in the law of attraction. It is so inspiring and has so much wisdom and insight into how we can go about changing our lives.

An overview of the law of attraction:

  • Whatever your mind focuses on most is what you attract in your life (e.g. if you spend time thinking about bad memories and negative thoughts, you will attract more of this, and vice versa)
  • The law of attraction is about taking responsibility for your life – no longer seeing yourself as a “victim” but as someone with enough power to change your circumstances 
  • Removing any “limitations” from your mind – instead of saying “I can’t” saying “I can” – there is no limit to what you can achieve 

 

I find the law of attraction super interesting because it is fuelled by energy, and the belief that we are all made up of energy. We give off positive and negative energies when we interact with others and this can change the way we receive things in return. 

When you think of times of struggle in your life, it’s so easy to focus on what you can’t do and what is causing your pain, but this only makes the pain worse.  I’ve found in my own life that when I started to focus on good and positive and healthy changes I could make, that the bad and negative and unhealthy thoughts went away, because I was actively striving to be better, not dwelling on everything I already was. This is the basis of the law of attraction in action.

The problem is that if you think negative thoughts 24/7, it comes as no surprise that everything in life is seen through a negative lens – your brain doesn’t know how else to function, because that’s all you’ve ever told it to do. However, if you try to focus on what you want (to be happy, to make friends, to get a job), then your brain is tuning in to positive thoughts and you are unconsciously seeking positivity wherever you go. 

You don’t have to already have all these perfect things (happiness, stability, independence) to become these things. You just have to think about having them in the future, to let yourself feel what it is like every moment of your life, until you retrieve it. If you can feel it as real, the universe will make it real. 

 

How do you Reframe Negative Thoughts?

One of the best ways to put the law of attraction into action is to start reframing all your negative thoughts. This way you can change your mindset to one of predominantly positive thinking and attract positive people and events as a result.

Perhaps your internal dialogue looks something like this:

I’m feeling so sad. I am alone. No one understands me.

Try changing it to:

I will be happy and I deserve to be happy. I will connect with people, accept myself as I am, and I will be understood. 

You can even change it so that it becomes a “fact” in the present moment:

I am happy and I deserve to be happy. I connect with people, accept myself as I am, and I am understood.

And yes, it’s not quite as easy as that, because you do have to think these thoughts constantly, reframing your negative thoughts until your brain has learnt to ignore them. But, if you keep repeating it, your brain will start believing it, and you will start believing it. And it’s only once you believe it yourself that you can go out and actually make it happen.

 

But “I can’t do this”?

You might be thinking right now: I’m an exception. You might be thinking: I can’t do this because of [insert problem]. And I think this is where the biggest setback takes place. None of us like to think we are at fault for our unhappiness. It’s triggering. We like to blame exterior things in order to push our responsibilities onto something or someone else. Because that’s the easy option, right?

But, stop for a minute and think: What makes you so unique that you can’t do something? What about all the other people who have that same problem and have succeeded? Do you really think that’s an act of pure chance? If they can do it, why can’t you?

It’s easy to let definitions define you. I think I used to do this a lot with anxiety: “I can’t do the presentation because I have anxiety.”

But you know what?

I can.

Many people who struggle with anxiety have done presentations and that’s proof in itself. I don’t have anxiety; I have anxious thoughts, and that can be changed. 

This is the same with anything – any symptom or problem or issue you have is horrible, yes, and it feels horrible, yes, and it does provide some limitation, but it doesn’t make anything impossible. Why can’t you be an exception?

So break down that thought inside of you that thinks you are a limited being with no potential. No one is limited. We all have things that hold us back, but it doesn’t mean becoming happy is impossible (even if it feels like it at that very moment in time).

Notice your thought patterns over the next week. Perhaps jot them down.

Are you focusing more on the good or the bad?

And what is life bringing you in return?

 

The Secret

 

Have you read The Secret?

Do you follow the law of attraction, or want to?

Let me know in the comments below!

You can find me on social media here:

Instagram: @mymindspeaksaloud

Twitter: @mindspeaksaloud

What is a Fixed vs Growth Mindset?

The mind is super powerful – more powerful than we often give it credit for. Not only does it allow us to do everything we do in everyday life – speak, walk, make decisions – it also produces thoughts.

The act of thinking is something that comes naturally to all of us. None of us have to think about thinking. It just happens. Or does it?

Turns out, thinking about thinking is probably one of the greatest things you could ever do. Taking time to stop and think: what am I really thinking? And why am I thinking this? And is this productive to who I want to be as a person?

The truth is that thoughts can seem like the truth, but they’re not. They’re not really real. The trouble is that a lot of humans fall into the trap of believing their thoughts define who they are, whilst the others have learnt that thoughts can be changed and overcome.

This is where the fixed vs growth mindset begins.

 

Definition of Fixed Mindset = 

This person often believes that the way they are – their thought patterns and behaviours – cannot be changed. They may see things as “impossible” or use the phrase “I can’t do this”. People with this mindset are often stuck in their ways, won’t accept the idea that a better version of themselves, or a better version of their life, can exist. They might think they will be and feel the same forever, and they often have negative self-talk.

 

Definition of Growth Mindset =

This person acknowledges that whatever is in the mind is a construct. Beliefs can be changed and new thought patterns formed. People with this mindset are often willing to change and learn new things. They are welcome to criticism – it gives them a chance to work towards being a better person – and they see everything as a learning opportunity (even things that are negative/bad). They often have (or actively try to) have positive self-talk.

 

My Story

I think everyone experiences a fixed mindset at some point in their life. We all have times when we feel stuck, as if the world is out to get us, as if we really believe nothing better can happen. However, it is also these experiences that can drive us into growth.

For the first nineteen or twenty years of my life, I believe I had a fixed mindset (I’m currently twenty one), but especially in the last four of those years. I saw the struggles I had as this overwhelming thing that meant I could never do this and I could never do that. I saw this idealistic version of myself as an impossibility. And I was extremely negative all the time. But to myself, not to others. I would beat myself up for every mistake I made and talk to myself in ways I would never dare to speak to anyone else. And I accepted it as reality. I accepted it so much that it only drowned me further and further until the negativity produced more negativity, and I found myself in a lot of internal pain.

Skip ahead to the last year and I’ve begun to really understand the value of a growth mindset. During my journey to overcome the struggles I’ve had with anxiety, stress and fatigue, I’ve realised that there is no such thing as impossible – that is simply your mind creating limitations that are not present in reality. My thoughts have stopped becoming something that control me, but rather I try to control them, reigning in the bad thoughts and reframing them with positivity until they will slowly dissipate. The bad thoughts still creep in sometimes, but I’m learning to push them away with self-love and accepting a new positive reality.

 

Moving from Fixed to Growth Mindset

I think the problem with gaining a growth mindset is that a fixed mindset is so comfortable. It’s so comfortable – and moving into growth seems like so much effort – that it’s easy to just sit and take the easy option. I know I did this for a long time. I think we’re all guilty of doing this at some point in our lives. Why risk everything for growth when you can just sit and accept things as they are?

Because this is your chance at real happiness.

Real happiness.

In my own experience – and I know this may be different for everybody – I only really experienced real and full and overwhelming happiness when I started to move into a growth mindset. This doesn’t mean I never had happy moments before – I had lots of happy moments before! But I never felt wholly happy and accepting and fully myself until now, until after this journey of self-development, and I think that says a lot in itself. Your mindset really does affect your emotions and mental health.

As I’ve mentioned above, I’m twenty one. I don’t know all there is about the world and self-development and whether you can jump between the mindsets like the flick of a switch. I sure hope I never jump back into my fixed mindset! But I think everyone has some sort of value in what they experience, and I hope that perhaps this will inspire you to look a little differently at your own life. Do you let your thoughts limit you? Do you tell yourself you can’t do something, until your mind believes it is real?

 

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Be the candle of positivity in the dark 🙂 

 

I felt a little wary publishing this post, because I think talking about a fixed mindset and reframing negative thoughts can sometimes trigger people. No one can be forced to change their mindset – you have to do it off your own accord. So this post is simply here to give you a perspective, to perhaps enlighten you, but at the very least to make you think.

And if you relate, have something to say, or have a positive story of your own, please share your thoughts in the comments below – I would love to have a longer discussion about this!

You can find me on social media here:

Instagram: @mymindspeaksaloud

Twitter: @mindspeaksaloud

Weekly Wellbeing Challenge: Week 2

The challenge for this week was: Gratitude Journalling!

The reason I chose gratitude journalling for this week was because I recently started journalling in January and it’s really helped me create a more positive mindset and focus on the good parts of the day, rather than the bad.

I continued with my journalling, as usual, this week. It has become a fundamental part of my nighttime routine, which consists of writing in my One Line a Day book, journalling, and then reading until I feel tired enough to sleep. This has helped me reduce my screen time, since I turn my phone onto airplane mode an hour before sleep to engage in these activities instead, and, as a result, has solved my sleeping problems. So I highly recommend it if you’re looking to improve sleep!

Journalling also give you a space of time to let yourself think and feel. A lot of the time we go to bed with thoughts running in our minds because we haven’t had a chance to shut off our brain for the day. Journalling is now my favourite way to calm those thoughts. I find that, even if something bad happens that day, journalling encourages me to reframe it into something good.

For example, instead of writing “I did really badly on my test and I’m so disappointed in myself”, I could write “I didn’t do as well as I would have liked on my test, but I know I tried my best and I will learn from it for next time”, or “I didn’t get the grade I wanted and it’s okay to be upset for a while, but I’m proud of myself for not dwelling on it too much.” – and you can apply this to any situation.

The more I’ve practiced reframing these “bad” events, the more I’ve come to believe that every bad thing that happens initiates something good, if you just look at it from a different angle. And the more I’ve trained my brain to think positively, the more I actually become positive, and I think that’s pretty amazing!

I’d love to know your thoughts on journalling, whether you were taking part in this challenge or not.

Let me know what you think in the comments below!

And if you want to join my Weekly Wellbeing Challenge (which is a Monday email newsletter sent straight to your inbox) you can sign up here.