Our lives are full of physical and emotional clutter, most of it unused, unhelpful or downright damaging. We are bombarded everyday from society, social media, friends, family, colleagues with things we should be doing, things we should be buying, things we should be thinking. It’s no wonder we feel overwhelmed at times . Detoxing your life gets rid of all the stuff we don’t need to make room for all the things we do need and that serve us – here are some pointers in how to detox your life.
- Declutter your home: this is everything you no longer use or love. Start with clothes that clog up your drawers and wardrobe. Seasons dependent, get rid of anything you haven’t worn in the last 18 months, clothes that no longer fit or “just in case” items that have sat in your wardrobe for the past year unworn. Only keep the things that fit you well and make you feel good.
- Declutter your mind : Our minds can become so cluttered and full and unfortunately a lot of the internal chatter we have is negative. Ever heard yourself say the following ; “I’m not good enough to….”, “That’s not for the likes of me” , “ I’m rubbish at …” “ People tell me I should…”All of these thoughts are self -critical often with no evidence to back them up. We worry about the future, we regret things from the past and in doing that we forget to enjoy being in the moment. The best way to calm a cluttered mind is to focus on the present. Simply find 10 minutes in your day to focus on your breathing – and only that. Find a quiet place and focus on your in breath and out breath, if thoughts invade don’t fight them just acknowledge them and let them pass. If it helps in your mind say the word calm as you breathe in and peace as you breathe out. Making this a daily habit will reduce stress, put things into perspective and increase your overall well-being.
- Think Positive :We have all been guilty of focussing on the negative instead of embracing the positive. Even as children doing a maths test for which we got 8/10 –we focus on the two that we didn’t get right as opposed to celebrating the eight that we did get right. So when you start hearing yourself say negative things – refocus your thoughts on what the positives are
- Get Grateful : It is a known fact that people who practice gratitude are happier and have improved levels of well being. Keep a gratitude journal and everyday write down 3 things you are grateful for, they needn’t be huge things, it could be something as simple being grateful for a great nights sleep.
- Reframe your perspective : It’s a fact that at times life throws us a few lemons, we can’t always controls what happens to us but we can control how we respond to it. Ask yourself is it helpful to ask your self the question “Why has this happened to me ?” or is it more helpful to ask “This has happened now what can I do to change it ?” By reframing your questions you are programming your brain to find solutions.
- Good habits/bad habits :Habits are things you do over and over again. Ask yourself do these habits serve you or hinder you ?
- Realistic Goals: Its great to have goals to aim for but they do need to be manageable and achievable if not you will give up on them. eg it would not be a realistic goal to want to run the London Marathon in three hours in the next three months if you have not done any regular training. Running the London Marathon is not an unachievable goal if you break it down into action steps and see each step through.
- Declutter negative people from your life : Surround yourself with peoplewho lift you and champion you not drag you down.
How to be happy
In recent years there has been a huge increase in depression, anxiety and negative thinking. Serious mental health issues aside, many people have forgotten the simple art of how to be happy. We know that if we continue to think negatively we focus on all the things that COULD go wrong not that WILL go wrong. The great news is that we are in complete control of those thought processes and we can find simple ways to be happier every day.
- Be the puppet master not the puppet :When you accept you have a choice of response to every situation and believe that you are the master of your own destiny you will gain full control and responsibility for your life. Making our own happiness rather than relying on others to make us happy is key to empowerment. We have a choice in the life we choose to make for ourselves.Knowing you have this power will fire you up to live the life you really want.
- Have a clear goal :Being clear about what you want is key to personal success. You have a focus and steps that will take you towards what it is you want. Achieving each step will give you a sense of achievement, pride and confidence and when you do achieve your final goal it will give you more confidence to try other new things that stretch you out of your comfort zone increasing your levels of happiness.
- Celebrate !!!Allow yourself to celebrate your achievements and celebrate the achievements of others. Remind yourself of what you have done to achieve what you have, this amplify your sense of self- worth. Enjoy the moment and celebrate each landmark.
- Get outside : Good old fashioned vitamin D from being outside – even on cloudy days .Surround yourself in nature and go for a brisk walk/bike ride/run everyday and get your heart pumping – all of these things will boost your happy hormones.
- Be curious : Learn something new, go somewhere new, try something new, say yes when you want to say no – how dull if we do the same thing all the time.
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger as the saying goes. We need to have resilience in all of life’s challenges big or small, the ability to bounce back after these challenges gives us a better ability to deal with stress and remain calm and positive.
- Find the rainbows after the storm : We may not be able to see it at the time but there is always something to be gained or learned from life’s challenges to help us move onto a better place through its lessons in the future.
- Nothing stays the same : Change is a natural part of life, the more you resist change the more stressed you will become. Savour the good times but also know that the bad times will pass too. Whatever happens you can’t avoid change, so go with it.
- Reach out :When tough times come calling don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for support when you need it. Build and maintain a strong network where you can rely on each other when times get tough.
- Look after yourself : Challenging times can be exhausting, take the time to look after yourself both physically and emotionally. You will be able to build more resilience if you have the physical and emotional energy to deal with it.
- Be objective : Look at the challenge with your objective goggles on. Stand back and look at the situation with objectivity. What has happened, what is in your control, what is not in your control, what needs to change, what ideas do you have to adjust to the new situation ?
- Face your fear : Pretending the situation is not happening will not only prolong the issue but will stop you moving forward in a healthy way. Focus on the solutions that will make your situation better even if it takes you out of your comfort zone.