“The more tranquil a man becomes, the greater is his success, his influence, his power for good. Calmness of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom.”- James Allen
I recently shared 5 benefits of staying calm in preparation to share this post which will give you some advice on how to bring some more calm into your life. If you haven’t already read that post click here as its important to know why bringing more calm into your life will benefit you so you have the motivation to implement some of the tips below.
“Gratitude is riches. Complaint is poverty.” -Doris Day
I’m here to share my rocky journey of keeping a gratitude journal and the best solution I found to keep it consistent. I have read so many books, articles and blogs about why we should keep a gratitude journal and there are even scientific studies that have proven that keeping a gratitude journal is beneficial for health and well-being. Just like I sometimes forget to eat the daily recommended intake of fruits and vegetables I often forget to write in my journal too, but I truly believe it is just as important. At the start of the year I stumbled across the perfect gratitude journal, it was simple, clean and even prompted you to write down a daily affirmation which is something else I wanted to incorporate into my daily routine. When I went on the website to order it I discovered they had an app version which was perfect as I’m a little embarrassed but not afraid to admit that if there is something I am VERY consisted with in life its checking my phone, so this was perfect, and I’ve never looked back! The APP is called “The 5 minute journal” and one of the the most valuable features for me is being able to set an alarm to remind yourself to do your daily entry.
If you are new to keeping a gratitude journal or are just lacking some inspiration to know what to write, I have shared below a quick overview of the questions you’ll find in the journal and some tips on how to answer them.
☼ MORNING ☼ (Focus on the good and set your intentions)
I am grateful for…. – Whether it’s a good night’s sleep, a sunny day, your children’s smile or your comfortable bed there is always something to be grateful for.
What would make today great…..– This is my favourite part to fill in as it really gives my day focus. I use my goals as inspiration for this part so for example, if it is a working day I might write “Have a catch up with my manager to plan our targets for the week” or “Do 5 coaching sessions today” or “Go and eat lunch outside.” On a weekend they may be “Take our children to the park” or “Wash the car.”
Daily affirmation, I am…….– Depending on how I am feeling or what I have planned in the day will inspire my daily affirmation.For example it is my day off today and I don’t have any plans so my affirmation is simply “I am going to embrace the rhythm of the day.“
☽ NIGHT ☾ (Reflect and empower)
3 Amazing things that happened today…..- I’ll be totally honest as this can be SO easy if your day has gone to plan or it can be SO difficult if you have had a really rough time. If I have had a rough day I think about what could have made my day worse and that really opens up a whole new perspective on the day and I start finding all the amazing things that did happen.
How could I have made today even better……- This isn’t about dwelling on the things you did wrong it’s about taking ownership of the choices you did or didn’t make that you can do differently to give yourself a better outcome. If I felt rushed in the morning I might write “Set my alarm earlier to give myself more time to get ready.” or if I snacked on junk food I would write “Prep my healthy snacks before I go to work.” Whatever it may be, it is an opportunity to empower our minds to take control and remind ourselves that everything we do is a choice.
Even if you don’t use the app or buy the physical journal I have recommended you can still use the above prompts to start and end your day. It only takes a couple of minutes but with some consistency it will transform your life forever.
“For there is no friend like a sister in calm or stormy weather; To cheer one on the tedious way, to fetch one if one goes astray, to lift one if one totters down, to strengthen whilst one stands” – Christina Rossetti
Some of my most vivid unpleasant memories I have of my life include some sort of irrational violence or unreasonable reactions caused by anger, stress or pain. I initially started to write this post with the intention to share some tips on how to be more calm but thought its probably better to share the benefits of calmness first to really motivate others to implement the tips into their everyday life.
So here are 5 benefits as to why calm is so beneficial to yourself and others around you.
“The way to develop the best that is in a person is by appreciation and encouragement.” – Charles Schwab
A HUGE thank you to Anita from Discovering Your Happiness for nominating me for this award. Anita has the most beautiful soul and continuously supports my blogging journey. Thanks again Anita!
The Versatile Blogger Award was created to feature and recognise blogs that have unique content, high quality of writing, and fantastic photos. As the webpage about the Versatile Blogger Award says: Honour those bloggers who bring something special to your life whether every day or only now and then.
“Until you value yourself, you won’t value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it. ” – M. Scott Peck
I recently wrote a post explaining “why I do what I do” but if you had asked me that question this time last year I would have completely blanked. It’s taken me 27 years to get to the point that I am at today and I couldn’t be happier. I sometimes wonder what my life would be like if I had got to where I am now quicker, but it is all my life experience that lead me to the path I am on now.
Below are some simple tips that helped me feel a little less lost and a little more confident that things would eventually fall into place.
“You’re not just creating your own happiness, you’re showing other people it’s possible.” Unkown
A couple of days ago I reached over 100+ followers which is an incredible achievement considering I didn’t think anyone apart from friends and family would read it so I want to say a huge Thankyou, Diolch, Gracias, Merci, Dhanyavadamulu, Dank u, Tack, Dankie, Kiitos, Arigatô, Terima Kasih, Takk, Grazie (I tried my best to say thank you in the languages of all those who have visited my blog from different countries) to every single person who has commented, liked, shared or followed Searching For My Inner Zen.
I thought this would be a great opportunity to share with you my “about me” for anyone who hasn’t already read it as I think its important to share with everyone why I write and share my thoughts with others all around the world.
“There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when circumstance permit. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results.” – Art Turock
I was looking through my note book yesterday and noticed that I had written down the word “DEFAULT” twice in a few days. I was in totally different situations and environments each time I wrote that word, but I remember the context being very similar.
The first time I wrote it I was in a coaching session learning about communication. The coach was teaching us that to become masters at communication we need step outside our own default to match other people’s default as it enables us to better build rapport and establish trust. The second time was during a conference I attended for work and had the pleasure of listening to an incredible motivational speech about obstacles giving us the opportunity to step out of our default and enable us to grow.
They say that words are the most powerful force available to humanity and I couldn’t agree more. This word has resonated with me more than I could ever have imagined. Default has suddenly challenged my thoughts, my now and my future as I don’t want to simply float through life and wait for things to come to me. I want to embrace change, face my fears, overcome obstacles and fulfil my purpose in life.
If you’re sick in living in default I would recommend asking yourself these 3 questions..
What is your passion?
What are your values?
What matters most to you?
Once you are clear of your answers make a plan to get to where you want to be as now you have something incredibly powerful; you have found your “why” and this is what drives motivation and activates commitment.
Please share with me your “why” as I love getting to know my readers!
“In every day, there are 1,440 minutes. That means we have 1,440 daily opportunities to make a positive impact.” Les Brown
I am SO incredibly excited to be sharing this post tonight because as you have probably guessed I have been nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award!! This is a pretty big deal for me, not only because of the recognition that my blog is making people happy but also because I was nominated by the beautiful Anita from discovering your happiness who was the very first blogger I had ever followed and inspires me daily. Thank you so much Anita!
“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” Abraham Lincoln
When I turned 18 I was probably the most lost I have ever felt in life. I was confused, anxious, lonely and desperate for some guidance and acceptance as I felt like I was constantly failing. It wasnt until I met my now husband just before I turned 19 that things started falling into place for me and a lot of that was because I spoke to my doctor and discovered that I was suffering from depression. Everything happens for a reason and im positive that I wouldnt be where I am today if things didn’t happen the way they did but there are some things I wish I had known back then to make it a less painful time.
I really hope these tips can help others and it’ll definitely be something I will share with my own children as they grow.
“To accomplish great things we must first dream, then visualize, then plan… believe… act!” – Alfred A.Montapert
I watched a TED talk a couple of weeks ago by the amazing Patti Dobrowolski about drawing your future and it had me so inspired that today I gave it a go. I have been really interested in visual goal setting ever since I started reading more about the law of attraction and already have a vision board but thought this could be a great addition.
The power of visualisation is incredible. If you can make a habit to mentally visualise an image of what you want or who you want to be your mind will subconsciously start making your dreams a realty. Visualisation also creates an optimistic, positive mindset as you focus on the things you DO want rather than what you don’t and this in itself helps keep you motivated. Adding drawing as a visualisation technique activates the creative right-side of your brain which will help you see new possibilities.
I downloaded a copy of the free template from Patti’s website and also printed the icon guide for some inspiration for what to draw.
Here are some tips that really helped me put this together.
When I am anxious it is because I am living in the future. When I am depressed it is because I am living in the past. – Author Unknown
Does anyone else get the Sunday blues? Well it turns out there’s actually a word for it which is “Smonday” and is described as “The moment when Sunday stops feeling like Sunday and the anxiety of Monday kicks in.” So many people I talk to experience this and I was really startled when my 7-year-old son started getting upset on Sunday nights because he was sad the weekend was over. If I’m honest the reason he would also feel the symptoms of “Smonday” is probably because my husband and I show them so it’s a habit we needed to change.
Below are 5 really simple tips that I have found make our Sunday’s less stressful and more enjoyable. Considering that on average we only have 4000 Sundays to live in our life why would you want to waste it feeling sad about the unknown?
Prepare for your Monday on Friday – It’s easy to get caught up with the excitement of the long-awaited weekend and wanting it to start as quick as possible but if we invest a little more time into doing things that will make your Monday that little bit easier you won’t have a huge workload hanging over your head on Sunday. This can be as simple as leaving a “to do” list on your desk at work so you are clear on what needs to be done
Weekday organisation – Don’t leave all your chores for the weekend. I always make sure that I do at least one load of washing a day and spot clean around the house so when the weekend does arrive I’m not spending the entire time cleaning.
Get outside – Whether you catch up with family or friends, check out that market you have never been to or even just walking to your local park, getting out of the house can do wonders. Its proven that having a change of pace and environment does wonders for your physical and mental health.
Schedule some weekday fun – My husband and I did this because we felt like we were stuck in a rut during the week and wanted to mix things up a bit. We find even going out for dinner on a Wednesday, or visiting some family and friends really breaks the week up and means you’re not relying on the weekend to have fun.
Find your why – Okay so this may not be something you can do overnight but I’m adamant that once you find your purpose in life it makes waking up every day that little bit easier as you are able to focus your energy on the things that matter the most.
I hope you find these tips useful and please feel free to share any tips you find helpful below!
I am SO overwhelmed and incredibly grateful to be nominated for The Kind Blogger award by Danielle from The Preemie-Mummy. This is special to me because the award (which Danielle created by the way) means my blog is doing exactly what I had hoped it would, which is to create a little inspiration and positivity in people lives all around the world. Danielle wrote a description of two types of bloggers she has discovered and I want to share with everyone her description of the type of blogger I have always inspired to be and that Danielle is.
“There are those who do it simply because they love it – they love writing posts, reading other people’s posts and are just happy and grateful to have readers who are interested in what they have to say.”
Thank you Danielle not only for the nomination but for creating this beautiful way of recognising the amazing people around us.
Be mindful of your self-talk. It’s a conversation with the universe. – David James
As I am going through my journey of becoming my best self I have found such an incredible amount of valuable practices, advice, wisdom and lessons to help me along the way. There is no denying that there is a cycle of thoughts, words, actions and attitude that impact everyday experiences. My latest challenge is what I say to myself and yes, I talk to myself a lot lol! I was so disappointed when I realised that the little voice in my head was the biggest negative Nancy I had ever met so I needed to take immediate action to turn her into a positive Polly.
Studies have shown that humans have anywhere from 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day but according to some research, as many as 80% of our thoughts are negative. This research really saddened me and got me thinking about my children’s future because self-talk patterns develop from the day you learn to talk and I want nothing more than for my children to be happy. I hope that by changing my own self-talk patterns it will create a positive habit for my children too.
Here are 3 quick tips to start your process
Mindfulness- Become aware of what you say to yourself throughout the day. We often start the day thinking about the things we don’t want to do or can’t do during the day which has a huge impact on the experiences we encounter. Set little reminders on your phone or sticky notes around the house to remind yourself to be aware of your thoughts so you can identify where you need change.
Find your trigger words- For me I have noticed I say, “I can’t” and “I won’t” way too much so I constantly have this on my radar. When I catch myself saying these phrases I replace them with “How can I” or “I choose” as it empowers me to open my mind and take control instead of giving up. For example, I caught myself saying “I can’t get all my studying done this month” so replaced it with “How can I get all my study done this month?” “I can’t” prevented me from thinking of ways around my situation where as “How can I” prompted me to find a solution to my problem. I now have a plan in place so I can get my study done and I feel far more positive and at ease.
Positive affirmations- Okay so you may roll your eyes at this one as there are probably a million books or cards out there with positive affirmations that people claim will change your life but guess what? Its true! If you create a habit to repeat a positive affirmation everyday that are focused on a goal or outcome your subconscious mind will create situations to make it happen. I have been repeating “My thoughts are under my control” as many times as I can throughout the day and I have noticed a positive change in being able to better control the frequency and severity of my anxiety.
Do you have a negative Nancy or a positive Polly floating around in your head? Dont feel defeated if negative Nancy is dominating at the moment as you CAN change by making some simple changes and I believe everyone has a positive Polly in there somewhere.
“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” – Leo Buscaglia
I’ve had “one of those days” today. You know those days when you feel exhausted but you don’t really know why and it only takes the slightest thing to irritate you? I was doing a quick dash to the shops to grab the one ingredient I was missing for dinner when someone stopped me and complimented my hair. I was a little bit confused as my hair was what I would consider a total mess but the kind comment made me smile none the less. It really got me thinking about compliments and how powerful they can be so thought I would dig a little deeper as to why we should do it more often and this is what I came up with.
It’s free – Seriously though, a compliment costs absolutely nothing but has the power to impact someone’s day so much more than any other gift you could buy.
It’ll create a snowball effect – When you give a compliment to someone they are more likely to compliment someone else or even give you a compliment back. The happy feeling you gave to one person then spreads affecting people everywhere.
Its selfless– Complimenting someone shows that you are paying attention to more than just what’s going on in your own world. It’s also a sign of genuine kindness and is a great demonstration of the person you are, especially if it’s the first time you have met.
You’ll see more good than bad – Once you have gotten into the habit of giving genuine compliments you will start to notice more of the positive qualities in people rather than the negative.
It can change someone’s life– Yep! We have all heard a story about how someones kind words have transformed another’s life. Your acknowledgement of someone’s efforts, actions or appearance can be the motivation they need to keep going.
So go out there, give someone a compliment but make sure its sincere. You don’t just get that warm happy feeling by receiving a compliment, you get it from giving one too.
“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”—Maya Angelou
I bet that if your bag got stolen you would never think that you would get everything back? Well neither did I and I’m also one of those naive people who thought “It’ll never happen to me” so when I had my bag stolen on Monday it was a complete shock and I started preparing for the worst.
Now I did not want this to be a sympathy post as what happened after this made the entire experience worth it and that’s why I decided to share.
“Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see.” – John W. Whitehead
I have seen quite a few of these sort of questionnaires getting around social media and I love reading the responses of other people’s children, not only can it be hilarious but also very insightful. I sat down with my 7 year old son and 5 year old daughter at different times and asked them the below questions. I was actually really surprised by some of their responses and it was super precious to learn a little more about them as well as share some giggles with them.
“Letting go helps us to live in a more peaceful state of mind and helps restore our balance. It allows others to be responsible for themselves and for us to take our hands-off situations that do not belong to us. This frees us from unnecessary stress.” – Melody Beattie
Resentment is a mixture of toxic emotions formed by anger, hatred and disappointment and is incredibly destructive. What inspired me to write this blog was the realisation that I am surrounded by multiple people who are so consumed with bitterness it has changed the person they used to be.
I have seen exactly what resentment does to people and how it impacts their quality of life. In the words of Malachy McCourt, “Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” While you’re latching on to the negative thoughts and emotions you are damaging the relationship with yourself with the people who care for you the most.
I don’t want to seem like a martyr in this blog because I myself have identified that I am resentful for things that have happened in my past too which makes sense as to why in certain situations my anxiety and depression can dramatically spike.
Forgiveness is the answer to letting go of resentment and now I have identified this in my life I can start making a conscious effort to do exactly that, forgive. Maybe if I am able to admit this I’ll inspire others to do the same so we can live in peace and happiness and repair any damage that has been done to ourselves and others.
“No winter lasts forever. No spring skips its turn.”
With the arrival of warmer weather, brighter nature and longer days I can feel the need for change floating in the air. Most people associate the arrival of spring with cleaning or working on your summer body but for me it’s a prompt to reboot my mind. No matter how much we change the physical parts of our life what truly makes a difference are the things going on in the space between your ears.
On that note I have done some research and gathered together a couple of ways we can freshen up our minds this spring that’ll make any external changes we make 100 times more powerful.