Recently I’ve not been feeling myself, I don’t know if it’s the realisation that I’m in the final year countdown to my baby starting big boy school or just the overwhelming and ever-growing to-do list that I have (which don’t get me wrong I love, but where are the hours in the day!?) but I’ve really felt the need to zen more than ever. In the past if I’d been feeling a bit ‘meh’ I would do things like shopping, as spending made me so happy but my life goals have taken such a huge shift lately and I’m so much more about self improvement, self fulfilment and contentment with less. So with that in mind here are the five ways that I like to zen if I’m feeling sad, annoyed, angry, frustrated and pretty much any other negative emotion:
Who even am I? It’s not only the physical act of cleaning that I find therapeutic but it’s the sense of accomplishment and satisfaction of a clean home that I just love. I can concentrate more when my home is clean, I have more peace of mind knowing that my children are in a clean environment and it just feels nice for my space to be clean so if I’m ever feeling crappy I know that whether it’s a whole house blitz or a quick power hour of the bedrooms – I’ll feel a million times better as soon as I pick up that cloth and spray!
Now you guys probably know that minimalism has been a huge part of my life over the past six months and of course there’s much more to the lifestyle change than simply decluttering but it’s one of the quickest, simplest and most effective ways to minimise and it really brings me so much calm. When my house is cluttered I feel overwhelmed, decisions are harder, tidying and getting ready takes longer and I spend more time being annoyed at the items that I don’t need than enjoying the ones that I do. Decluttering can be done in so many ways whether it’s a quick sweep of the house grabbing items at a glance that you don’t need or dedicating a whole hour to clearing out an entire room; whichever way I do it I feel instantly lighter, my spirits are lifted and I feel like there’s suddenly so much more time and room for the things in my life that I want, love and need.
Exercise releases endorphins and serotonin – our bodies natural forms of antidepressant and instant mood lifters; so it’s no wonder that when I’m in a funk, a spot of yoga or a session in the gym gives me that 360 to a completely different mood. I try to exercise every day, whether it’s a class, an hour in the gym or a home workout and I always finish feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and with a whole new outlook on life.
Now this one accompanies all of the above and that is a good old spot of music. I’ve used the example of Spotify as it’s the simplest way for me to find a playlist for my mood but of course I also listen to songs on Youtube, the radio in my car, on TV and through our Alexa. I find it so much easier to clean, declutter and workout if I have some good motivational music to listen to and in fact I can’t actually go to the gym without it so if I ever get there and have forgotten my headphones I turn right around to go home and get them. I don’t need music for classes as I listen to the instructors and their music but for a gym session I just cannot concentrate or be motivated on the cross trainer or floor without some good music. I also find that the type of music can change my mood; if I’m feeling sad I listen to some upbeat pop, if I’m angry then some calming tunes, it really does have a magical effect and if it can bring back memories of happy times than that’s amazing!
Now this is quite new to me; it’s a craze that’s been sweeping the ‘insta-world’ for some time now but I’d never really given it any thought, I guess because I never really thought that I needed it. Recently however I realised that perhaps instead of simply learning coping strategies to deal with my negative emotions, it would be wise to adapt my mood to be less susceptible to them and more able to handle situations before letting them negatively impact on my mood. Mindfulness does just that, training teaches you to focus your awareness on the present moment, so that you calmly acknowledge and accept your feelings and thoughts rather than simply letting them take over and reacting negatively. I was recommended a book called Mindfulness : The eight week meditation programme for a frantic world by Mark Williams and Danny Pennman. I got it in the audio version and listen to it most nights before bed or if I’m feeling particularly frantic. I also use the Headspace app which is really good and I honestly do feel like I deal with situations in a much calmer and clearer way.
Well there you have it, my five ways to zen. Alone they make a great impact but when all five are incorporated into my life I do feel a huge shift in emotions. I hope that you found this useful, please do let me know below how you like to zen from a negative mood – I’d love some inspiration!
Thanks for reading,