I know most people will agree that listening to cheesy advice or inspirational quotes seems pretty pointless most of the time and just quite ridiculous to be frank. I would need so many hands to count the amount of times I’ve said to myself ‘How can breathing deeply possibly help with how shit I’m feeling?!’ or ‘Don’t you dare tell me to exercise off my low moods.’ Instead of trying the ‘crap’ techniques that so many people have suggested to me for so long, I’ve moped around and tried to hide myself from the world or pretend I’m feeling ‘tip- top’ when it couldn’t be further from the truth. What I’ve never actually done is change my mind-set to give those supposedly ‘shitty’ bits of advice a go.
In life I always try to make decisions based on the theory of, why not? After all you have literally no idea what is around the corner and life can change before your eyes. Shit happens, it always has and it always will. But the one thing I’ve realised I can personally change is my own perspective.
The last few months for me have been a struggle. I’ve had to come to terms with my own mental health and the way in which I see myself and the world around me. For years I’ve blamed my unhappiness on the world and the bad things in it but in actual fact the real bad thing was my perspective on everything, including the way I see myself! As ridiculous as it sounds, something which stood out to me and changed the way in which I viewed my place in the world was from a TV Series called ‘My Mad Fat Diary.’ Ray is the main character and is suicidal, her friend asks her a question which has stuck with me ever since, ‘Did you really think you could slip out of the world without anything changing?’ It is so easy in such a fast paced society to disregard your own importance and value yourself lower than everyone around you, but every person has their own little piece of this world and loosing a piece of the world would not go unnoticed.
So I took it upon myself to listen to the wise owls around me and take baby steps towards happiness. That is so unbelievably important when it comes to mental health. One day at a time.
Exercise has been a crucial part of my journey. You can ask anyone that knows me and they will laugh and tell you about my obese younger self, so its safe to say that exercising publicly has never been my favourite activity. However, after hearing countless speeches on serotonin being a natural anti-depressant, I thought why not? Daily activity and getting the blood pumping around my body has really lifted me and given me drive to be me! I’ve surprised myself and have actually for the first time ever, enjoyed exercise…shock horror the cheesy advice was right all along. That’s what I seem to be learning the older I get, all of the things you laugh at as a child you live by as an adult. Even changing my diet has done wonders and simply eating a little healthier has physically given me more energy to get up and get through every day! Not that I’m some kind of gym goddess or fitness guru or anything, but little changes go a long way (whether its a placebo or not, its working)!!
Another thing I’ve really tried to change is my own thought processes, at the end of the day your thoughts cause feelings and feelings cause behaviour…blah blah blah I’m sure you’ve heard it before! So, your thoughts are quite important really and influence your happiness! Just by trying to view people in a more positive light I have personally found a happier me. Doing nice things for people and saying nice things to them too, actually makes me feel nicer. After all you cant change your face but you can change your attitude and your… (you guessed it) PERSPECTIVE!
Everything is a work in progress and no one is perfect or happy all of the time, I know that. But I just want people to realise the impact of the small things you do everyday on your mental health and happiness. You cant cure depression with healthy eating and a run, but you can change your perspective on life and that in itself may just be enough…