Encouraging Positivity

Encouraging Positivity

This is a bit of rant so apologies if it sounds a bit all over the shop. It’s just something that I feel compelled to write about today.

Life can feel light as a feather or as heavy as a boulder. It can change in an instant or it can feel like a song on repeat. We can’t control how this game unfolds and our roles we play can vary and transform. There are a lot of things that are out of our control but we can always control how we think about them. Please don’t confuse this with how we feel about them; feelings are something that happens without logical thought, it’s an emotion and we can’t choose our emotions but we can choose how we think about a situation.

I often get told that I’m a positive person and I’m always happy. This is nice to hear and on one hand, it is true. I am generally a positive person but I’m not always happy, I just choose to show more of my happy self then my other emotions like stress, pain, discomfort or sadness. It’s not possible to always be happy, and if you are always happy, how can you tell if you never experienced pain? You need both to distinguish the light from the dark and to understand it.

I believe we should encourage each other to be positive, to choose positivity and instead of choosing to just be happy regardless of what is happening. The more we say to others “oh just choose happiness” “if you want to be happy, then just be” it can sound like those other emotions aren’t important or if you can’t choose to be happy right now, that there must be something wrong with you. It doesn’t validate that person who may be struggling with depression or who may have gone through trauma. We must be careful with how we say to others to just be happy when we don’t know what is happening in their world.

Choosing to be positive is about allowing yourself to feel sadness or pain and giving those emotions time to just be without it affecting your mind in a negative way which in turn could mean destructive behaviours and poor choices. You can feel sad, and use logical thinking to look at the situation and try your best to make the most out of it and see what you can learn from it. It’s about seeking out the good, the light in a situation or person. Choosing to be positive is allowing your heart to feel and your mind to help you decide on how to move forward or how to be present in a way that’s helpful to your mind, body and spirit.

We often confuse positivity with happiness. Happiness is an emotion that we are born with and positivity is a learned behaviour, a mindset that takes practice and mindfulness to achieve. Learning to think positively, can bring more happiness to your world but happiness can’t always bring positivity to your world. This is because happy feelings can come from things that are fleeting, one-offs or from destructive behaviours that can ultimately leave you feeling negative and will not create a positive state of mind.

So let’s encourage each other to practice positivity. To learn how to see the light in any dark scenario that the world can throw at us because ultimately, shit happens. So if we can practise positive thinking in that moment, we will be armed with the best possible tools for getting through it in a more enlightened way that our mind, body and spirit will be happy with long term 😀

Peace & Love

Amy

FB: The Olive Tree

Instagram: @theolivetree13

xx

Check Your Self-Talk

Check Your Self-Talk

To live a more positive and loving life, we need to check in with ourselves; our mind, body and spirit. We need to reconnect, become aware of ourselves and make sure that we are giving ourselves the right things and treating ourselves the right way.

What I want to write about today is about checking in with ourselves and stopping that negative self-talk that can pop up from time to time. We all have those voices in our head that keep us up at night or create anxiety about events that haven’t even happened yet. It can make us feel down, doubtful and angry.

I’m not an expert in this field, but I do have tools that I have used in the past to help me keep a more peaceful self-talk and battle that negative mind chatter that comes with having anxiety.

Here are my tips:

  1. VISUALIZE IT

If you’re a very visual person like I am, this might help you. I picture my negative self-talk scrawled on a piece of paper. When I see it I scrunch it up into a ball and throw in a tiny bin in the corner. It may sound silly but it helps. It will help you see that the negative talk is something that is insignificant and not needed and that you are stronger than it and are in control of it.

  1. ASK YOURSELF, WOULD YOU SAY THAT TO YOUR BEST FRIEND?

We are our best friends cheerleaders, we love them, support them and encourage them. When it comes to our own stuff, our self-talk can do the opposite. Things like “I’m an idiot, I always mess up” “I can’t do that” or “OMG I can’t do anything right” start to fly through the landscape of our mind like a blimp. Why do we do that to ourselves when we are the complete opposite for the people that we love? When you start seeing that in yourself, stop and ask yourself, is this something I would say to my best friend? A simple question can stop that flow of negative talk and give you a chance to regroup and rethink.

  1. THE RUBBERBAND

My psychologist recommended this to me each time I noticed that negative self-talk come in. I would pull the band and let it snap my wrist as a way if snapping me back to the present and keeping me from being consumed by my negative mind chatter. You don’t have to use this if you don’t want to, obviously. But having something around that will help you get out of that pit and back to the present can be helpful.

  1. ACKNOWLEDGE IT, AND TALK TO IT

This may sound crazy but hear me out. One thing that can help is seeing that it’s there and talking to it like it’s another person. This person needs to be calmed down and needs to be told to go away and that it’s not needed. This person isn’t a part of you, it isn’t who you are. Become the kind inner voice that you need and let it drown out the negative.

  1. IMPERFECTIONS ARE A PART OF US

We need to stop holding ourselves to impossibly high standards. Perfectionism can be soul crushing, it can feel so heavy on our shoulders that even when we are progressing and improving, we can’t even see it because we are looking for that perfection. If you make a mistake, remind yourself that it’s a part of life and now you have gained more knowledge from having made that mistake. It’s okay to be imperfect and to make a mistake. Go easy on yourself and embrace your imperfections.

I hope you all have a wonderful Sunday and thank you for reading <3. If you enjoyed reading this and feel it speaks to you then please give it a like and share it around. If you have any tips you would like to share then please do so in the comments.

Amy

Xxx

Using Creativitiy To Come On Top Of Negativity

Using Creativitiy To Come On Top Of Negativity

Today I want to write about how to use creativity to get on top of negativity. This is something that my mother has fostered and nurtured in me since I can remember. I’ve always been a sensitive soul, someone that always feels emotions deeply whether it’s my own or someone else’s and at times it can be stifling and heavy. When I was little and my mother saw me falling into that black hole, she always told me to go draw, paint, get moving, or write it out and creativity always got me out of that funk… I came out feeling lighter and calmer in my mind. (Note, if these moods and negative thinking persist over long periods of time, then seeking help from health care professionals may be necessary) Over the years, I’ve found some ways of using creativity to battle the negative nellies and anxiety that I struggle with and I would like to share that with you.

Automatic Drawing, AKA Doodling

Not judging your art is key. Don’t worry about where it comes from, the aesthetic of it or the subject matter. It’s not meant to be a masterpiece, it’s more than that – it’s your soul, your emotions, and energy. It is authentically YOU and that is beautiful! Pick up a pencil, pen, crayon of whatever your choice of medium is and start doodling. Let your hand flow, don’t question it or rub it out just trust your hand and your mind’s eye and let it flow. I always find this a great way to get out of that negative space and put it on paper.

Dance

We don’t have to be professional dancers to feel the music and move 😊 Put on whatever you like and let your body respond. Sometimes I play some Black Sabbath loud in my backyard and swirl and headbang to their energy, and other times it’s Disney classics in the loungeroom with my little man and we bust out some moves together. It is known that exercise gives you the happy vibes aka endorphins and dancing is a great creative way to use that and let you get that tension out. Music is such a powerful tool in affecting our state of mind – so make sure you use it wisely 😊

Colour in and get crafty

Colour in, cut out shapes, stick on things, sew – all these things help me battle out the negative nellies because, with this, it’s not about using that negativity but rather focusing on the present and quietening that part of your mind. We are never too old to do arts and crafts and when you are doing anything like that, you are using different tools, mediums and skills and that helps you stay in the present. This requires critical thinking and using both parts of your brain and that is a powerful tool. When I sit down with all my bits and pieces or sewing, I don’t have room in my mind to focus on those negative thoughts and it gives me space to just be and make something beautiful. Amy 1 – Negative Nellies 0

Paint It Out

Splatter paint, throw it, smear it, spray it, drip it – I’ve used all these techniques to help me get rid of negative thinking and negative emotions that if I did not utilize, could turn into something destructive. You don’t have to go as far as Gestural Abstraction or ‘action painting’ and produce a Jackson Pollack lookalike, it can be figurative, it can be whatever you want it to be. When you attempt to visually represent your negative emotions and thinking, it can be confronting, scary or messy. I mean some of my work that I’ve done in that headspace is just dark and kinda freaks me out but when it’s out of my head and onto canvas or a wall, you can look at it and confront it. For me, it’s empowering because I feel in control of it. I see you, I see what you do to me and you don’t have power over me anymore. It becomes a therapeutic and reflective experience for me. There’s something about getting it out that calms the chatter in my mind.

Automatic Writing

Write something unstructured and uncensored. Don’t judge your words or who or what it relates to, just write what comes to your mind’s eye and let it flow. Express your emotions and your thoughts through words. When I have done that, it’s started off dark, angry or sad and then it transforms into reflective and questioning which I didn’t expect at the time, but it was a way for me to work through whatever it was that was keeping me down.

There are endless ways we use creativity to get on top of our negativity. There’s music therapy, art therapy, drama, dance, even cooking and gardening. You don’t have to be an artist to utilize creativity to make sure your negative thoughts and emotions don’t become destructive.

What creative things do you do to get on top of that negativity?

Have a beautiful day!

Amy x