Tag Archives: life

The important basics of life

 

life basics photo

The important basics of life

One way to feel safer in a world that is becoming increasingly unsettled is to remind yourself of the most important basics of life. These four things are all you need in order to live life, express yourself and get your needs met. Everything else that you think you might need are not that essential…

Life

While you are living you are empowered. Others see you, hear you and they can touch you. You are physical presence on this earth and with that magnetic force comes a lot of power. You are in this physical world for a reason. Let go of fear and make the most of this ability you have to let others notice you as well as our power to influence others.

Voice

Your voice is there to communicate and express your wishes and your wants. You can have an opinion and you can ask for what you want. Your voice in unique to you. Don’t hide in the shadows, make the most of your voice and use it to improve your life and the world around you. It would be a waste not to.

Mind

The power house of you, the captain of the ship. Your mind is so incredibly powerful and it can help you to create the life you want. Positive thinking leads to a positive happy life – it is simple and it works. Your mind is in charge of how you interpret the world around you. Use it well, watch your thoughts and only believe the ones that work for you and keep you well, happy and coping with life.

Heart

Our hearts help us to feel connected to others and to feel that we belong. It enables us to be kind and compassionate and keep our feet on the ground.

You may feel you need money and possessions in order to survive in the world. Of course I am not naive enough to believe we can live without any money but it is worth challenging your ideas about what you really need to be safe. People who have been homeless and without a penny to spare have still been able to use the above four basics to help them get back on their feet. We are not as helpless as we think we are…

Focus on strengthening and valuing the above four basics and you’re on the right track to happiness and fulfillment.

Mandy X

In the eye of the storm

eye of the storm photo

In the eye of the storm

None of us like to be in the eye of the storm. In the thick of it where everything is going wrong, where it’s stressful and we can’t always see a way out. I want to give you a different take on being in the eye of the storm, one that might just help you to feel more comfortable about being there…

When you feel overwhelmed and stressed by life, this is the time that you gain the most in terms of personal development. This is when you realise your strengths, you get to test your mettle. So when it all feels too much, remind yourself that this is real life, you’re not observing..you’re in the thick of it. Pat yourself on the back and remember that things will calm down again.

Mandy X

 

Photo by NASA Goddard Photo and Video

Things to do when you’re bored

 

bored photo

 

Things to do when you’re bored

1) Play – Find the invisible cow  game

Check it out hereinvisible cow game

 

 

2) Do nothing for two  minutes, mini meditation  do nothing

Click here

 

3) Receive a virtual hug and feel good. Click here    virtual hugs

 

4) Find your inner music maestro (I had such fun with this one!)

Click here                incredibox

 

 

5) Does the dog die?

Find out here whether the ending will be a sad one.

Click here

 

6) Write upside down

Click here

 

7) Killer whale follows your mouse. Waste hours here

killer whale mouse

8) Get your own drum kit…

Click here

drumkit

 

9) Become a cartoonist!

Click here

 

10) Pointing at your cursor/mouse. NO matter where you point your arrow an image will display pointing at it…

Try it here

 

11) Mind reading genie…think of any character and see if the genie can guess it.

See if you can trick the genie here

genie guess

 

12) Try daft punk, make it stronger, faster ..better  🙂

Click here

daft punk fun

 

Well  I hope these will keep you out of mischief for a little while  🙂

Mandy X

monotony of life

Breaking the monotony of life

boredom photo

 

Breaking the monotony of life

I don’t know about you but there are times when I really struggle with the routine and monotony of life. Another morning, another round of getting ready, doing chores and getting through the day only for it to all start again in 24 hours time. Have you ever seen the movie “Groundhog Day?”. Well, it seems to be that many of us relive the same old stuff day after day. Housework is a never-ending thankless job. Unloading and reloading the dishwasher, unloading and reloading the washing machine..and so it goes. There has to be another way…

Some parts just cannot be avoided but there are ways to reduce the mind numbing monotony that pervades many lives:

1) Try something new at least once a week.

Whether it’s a new perfume, new type of fashion or a different type of food – make sure you are introducing something new into your life at least once a week.

2) Shake your routine up, if you dare.

If you have a strict routine where specific things happen on specific days, try moving them around a little. You may wonder why you should mess with a perfectly good routine and, if it works  superbly, perhaps you can skip this step. For those of you who feel bored and need inspiration – rejigging your routine can help you to see things with fresh eyes and make changes for the better.

3) Learn something  new every day

It’s easier than ever to teach yourself one new fact every day – just get on Google and look up something that you have always wanted to know. The psychological boost is worth it – instead of feeling that you are stagnating, you will feel that each day you are that little bit wiser. If you’re really feelin daring – sign up for a university course or a part time online course.. see my post on free online education: http://thoughtsonlifeandlove.com/websites-where-you-can-learn-for-free/

4) Travel

Try new places far and near. Take a different route to get somewhere or simply drive down a road that you’ve never been down before. Exploring the globe is all part of expanding your horizons and widening your comfort zone.

5) Reject routine as a form of safety

Some structure (framework) is a good thing but it can become an excuse to remain rigid in one’s ways which ends up affecting how we think about ourselves and the world. Rigidity encourages judgemental thinking and a resistance to change. Learn to be flexible – it will improve your confidence not derail it.

6) Resist planning too far ahead

Part of shaking off monotony involves feeling comfortable with the unpredictable nature of life as well as developing the skill of tolerating uncertainty. Research has shown that the more we expose ourselves to unfamiliar surroundings and situations, the more our brains stay active and ‘enquiring’. An element of surprise and challenge also helps with reducing the likelihood of dementia.

Learning to live outside your comfort zone is the quickest route to self reliance and a high feeling of being able to handle whatever life throws at you. Learn to be flexible and adaptable and shake off the boredom that can so easily set in.

Mandy X

believe it's possible

Things to appreciate for a richer life

appreciation photo

 

Things to appreciate for a richer life

1) The Sun Shining

Even if you live somewhere where the sun shines regularly, appreciate that warmth and the fact that your body is making vitamin D. Sunshine is good for the body and the mind.

2) Birdsong

Birdsong reminds me that all the frenetic activity goes on, and the birds still sing at the beginning and end of it all. It’s a reminder to slow down, to listen to nature and not take life too seriously.

3) A kind deed from a stranger

When someone smiles or lets you in the traffic during rush hour, take time t appreciate this small kindness.

4) Animals/Pets

There’s no game playing with animals, they love you unconditionally. Treat them well.

5) Yourself

Instead of being hard on yourself and focusing on your perceived negative bits, think about how clever your body is – it works when you need it to. Gets you to places, helps you communicate and express yourself and allows you to feel and experience life. I used to dislike my body because I have Cystic Fibrosis but then I reframed this by thinking how well my body has coped with all the extra challenges it has had compared to a ‘healthy’ body. It’s all about perception.

Say it to yourself often “I love my clever little body, I love who I am”.

6) Music

A powerful way to boost your mood. Use it to your advantage

7) Genuine people in your life

Look after those people in your life that are always there for you, care for you and check in on you. They are a special gift to be cherished.

8) Fleeting Happiness

Happiness isn’t a state that remains endlessly. It appears in spurts…a sudden realisation that life is good at a certain moment. I get it sometimes when sharing a silly joke with my son or playing rough-and-tumble with Socks, my Yorkshire Terrier..although the image of chucking pairs of socks around a room for entertainment does make me smile – wacky!

Slow down, remind yourself of the little things in life that we often miss in our quest to complete our daily “to-do” lists. Life will be richer for it.

Mandy X

 

 

Photo by country_boy_shane

Photo by country_boy_shane

life experiences

Experiences we all share

life experience photo

 

We all feel alone at times but the truth is that we are never truly alone. Someone, somewhere in the world is experiencing something similar to you, whether it’s bereavement, divorce, rejection, a miserable relationship or self loathing…we are not unique in our experiences.

This idea that there are experiences we all share is a  comforting one. When we feel alone in what we are going through, we rarely divulge this  and so we experience life in isolation. When we open up, it is often amazing how often others open up too and confess to feeling the same way now or in the past.

This got me thinking about experiences that we all share during our lives:

1) Birth

We all go through this traumatic experience but cannot recall this experience as it is believed  at that age, our brains don’t yet function in a way that bundles information into the complex neural patterns that we know as memories. The jury is still out on whether we experience trauma at birth but either way, we all experience this and arrive having shared our first common experience.

 

2) Death

No one likes to talk about it yet it happens to us all some time. If we paid more attention to this inevitable part of life, I imagine that many of us would alter our lives and change our priorities.

3) Rejection

No matter who we are, we all experience rejection in some form. I see this as a comforting fact as it shows that it is just a part of life and should not be taken personally. We aren’t right for everyone and all those around us aren’t always a good match. It’s down to personal preferences.

4) Failure

Another concept with real negative connotations yet it is such a natural part of life. Adjusting our attitude to failure is key to working with it and learning from it. Never fear failure as it shows you are experimenting. That’s what life is about. Failing doesn’t mean YOU are a failure.

5) Pleasure

A beautiful sunset, a hug from someone you care about or a delicious meal. There are many ways to experience pleasure especially if we focus on gratitude and what is good in our lives. Watch that negative filter.

6) Connection

Bonding with others and feeling that someone understands you is one of the most amazing experiences and it’s free. A deep conversation about life, a chance to bond emotionally, even if for a brief moment – that’s what life is all about and we can all experience this.

7) Fear

Fear can be a good thing as it keeps us from danger. Sometimes our fears are unfounded though and we buy into our fearful thinking far too often. Have you ever anticipated an event with a large amount of dread only to find the event itself was not as bad as what you had imagined? Some fears are self induced. Life involves risk, learning to accept uncertainty is a key characteristic of mentally strong people.

8) Hope

Hope is like glittery fairy dust. It injects positive feelings into dismal situations and offers extra strength when the going gets tough. Hope is free and keeps dreams alive. We can all nurture hope whilst challenging our fearful thinking.

9) Expectation

Expectation is a double edged sword. Having expectations sets the standard and when we expect positive things in our lives, we are hopeful and more optimistic. When expectations are unrealistic however, we can end up resentful and angry. It is best to have expectations around your chances of success or a bright happy future, rather than placing expectations on the behaviour of others. When we place expectations on others, we tend to come unstuck.

10) Anticipation

Another double edged sword. Anticipation is great when it helps us focus on our goals and stay on track but it becomes the enemy when we spend our life in anticipation. Statements like “I’ll be happy when…” can lead us into hot water. Practise mindfulness and try to be in the present moment as much as possible. This is definitely the best way to keep your spirits up. I liken anticipation to swimming. You put your head in the water and focus on your breathing and your movements (being mindful) but every now and then you look up for air and to check you are heading to the right destination. Look up every now and then and check you are going in the right direction, then put your head down and be in the moment.

I wish there was a proven formula for staying happy in life but there isn’t one. We can all do things to increase our happiness quotient though. There are experiences we all share and we can use these to connect with others. We really aren’t all that different to each other.

Mandy X

Photo by hlkljgk

guardian angel

Things you need to remember

angel photo

Things you need to remember

 

1) There are many others who feel the same way you do

It can often feel as if we are unique and so alone when experiencing fear, vulnerability or rejection. There are many emotions and situations that can leave us feeling like misfits. We berate ourselves with statements such as “Why do I feel like this? I should feel something else…”(happiness, gratitude….fill in the gap). We can become quite egocentric when we struggle. This does not mean we are selfish, it means that we tend to only see things from our point of view and can lose sight of context and perspective.

You need to remember that whatever you are going through, someone, somewhere in the world feels exactly the same way you do. You are not entirely alone. You are not odd or strange, just human like the rest of us.

2) Live life without constantly evaluating

We tend to live life whilst all the while deciding whether our experiences are good or bad. When we see life as good, we can relax and feel we are on track. When we feel life is bad then we are restless and ill at ease. It’s not so much the good and the bad but it’s how we go about evaluating. What exactly makes something good or bad? Have you ever taken the time to define what the universally appropriate definition of these two words might be? The truth is that what might be good for one may be bad for another and vice versa. There can be no universally accepted definition for experiencing these ‘words’. Language can limit our experiences in so many ways. Enjoy life, as it comes to you and trust your emotions rather than intellectualising what should be good or bad. Often, our ideas of good and bad are set by society and this is when we lose our own instinctive leanings. So, do what feels right for you irrespective of what others may think of that same experience. What is good for one does not always apply to another. When we stop evaluating in terms of good or bad we tend to be more accepting of life and happiness becomes easier to achieve. You need to remember that life is what it is…

3) Everyone experiences fear, self doubt and failure

It’s so easy to get caught up in the idea of how everyone else is so successful yet so many things we try tend to not work out. The truth is that it is very rare for someone to try an idea or start a new business and for it to take off immediately. Look at someone you admire and find out more about them. Undoubtedly you will find that they have had failure, rejection and self doubt along the way. Widen your approach to progress and see the first obstacle as a necessary part of the plan. Pat yourself on the back for experiencing life as everyone else does. Welcome to the human race where trials and tribulations are part of the mix.

4) Optimists lead happier lives than pessimists

Why would you want to be a pessimist if it means that your quality of life will be lower? A pessimist mistakenly believes that their cynicism helps keep them safe. Actually, optimists do risk assessments too but they do not dwell on the possible negatives. Pessimists engage in something called cognitive bias – where they look for things that confirm their negative views of the world. The more negativity they witness, the more entrenched their thoughts become. In the end all they see is negativity – a self fulfilling prophecy.

Pessimists tend to miss the positive stuff as they are not open minded to good things. Good things don’t fit their thinking style. Optimism can be learned. Focus on the positives, force yourself to look for good things every day – a smile from a stranger, good weather or a pleasant unexpected surprise. Imagine the opposite and see if you can find evidence to support your more positive thinking. You’ll be amazed at how your world will change!

5) You make more of an impression on others than you’ll ever know

When I first started writing this blog I expected that I would receive a lot of positive feedback regularly. Well, that’s not at all what happened and if I had rigidly believed that, I probably would have given up by now. Despite no feedback either way, I kept writing, six days a week, irrespective of whether many people were reading or none were reading. Some days it was a struggle to keep going but I enjoyed writing and that kept me on the right track. After many months of writing, feedback began to filter in slowly. People would mention reading my blog from the very beginning and would tell me how my blog had made a huge difference to the way they see the world. Wow! Music to my ears. It made me realise that even if I wasn’t getting solid feedback, it didn’t mean that no one was enjoying reading my posts. Not everyone will leave feedback. I regularly read funny tweets on twitter or a friend’s post on Facebook but I don’t always comment. The amount of joy you bring to others is immeasurable. Know this for a fact, there will be so many things you will have done in life that will have made an impact on others – things you will probably never know about. Keep doing what you’re doing…

We all feel scared, unloved, useless, unworthy etc etc at times in our lives. Just because we feel a certain way does not automatically mean it is true. You need to remember that our emotional landscape is often very different from the reality. Remind yourself that you are experiencing life, this is what happens to all of us.

Try to see the funny side, tell yourself that you will be okay and keep on trucking. We’re all in this together…

Mandy X

 

Photo by Free HDR & Photomanipulations – www.freestock.ca

Poignant Life Lessons

life lessons photo

Poignant Life Lessons We Can All Relate To:

I’ve learnt that…

  • you cannot make someone love you. All you can do is be someone who can be loved. The rest is up to them.
  • no matter how much I care, some people just don’t care back.
  • it takes years to build up trust, and only seconds to destroy it.
  • it’s not what you have in your life, but who you have in your life that counts.
  • you can do something in an instant that will give you a heartache for life.
  • no matter how thin you slice it, there are always two sides.
  • you should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them.
  • we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.
  • there are people who love you dearly, but just don’t know how to show it.
  • true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance. Same goes for true love.
  • just because someone doesn’t love you the way you want them to, doesn’t mean they don’t love you with all they have.
  • maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you’ve had and what you’ve learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you’ve celebrated.
  • no matter how good a friend someone is, they’re going to hurt you every once in a while and you must forgive them for that.
  • no matter how bad your heart is broken the world doesn’t stop for your grief.
  • just because two people argue, it doesn’t mean they don’t love each other.And just because they don’t argue, it doesn’t mean they do.
  • we don’t have to change friends if we understand that friends change.
  • you shouldn’t be so eager to find out a secret. It could change your life forever.
  • there are many ways of falling and staying in love.
  • no matter how many friends you have, if you are their pillar, you will feel lonely and lost at the times you need them most.
  • the people you care most about in life are taken from you to soon.
  • although the word “love” can have many different meanings, it loses value when overly used.
  • love is not for me to keep, but to pass on to the next person I see.
  • there are people who love you dearly but just don’t know how to show it.
  • even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one.
  • every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love that human touch-holding hands, a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.
  • I still have a lot to learn……

– Anonymous

Photo by h.koppdelaney