Anxiety, stress and depression are those shit friends who hang around because we're too nice to tell them to piss off, but this year I decided to get some balls and do something about them because they were dragging me down and I was letting them hang out at my place way too much.
We've all heard of this thing called 'mindfulness' and half of you are probably thinking it's some term used by a spiritual healer or yoga teacher - well it's not and it's actually a super awesome thing that has become incredibly important in my life and now I probably walk around sounding like a yoga teacher when I can't even bend down and touch my toes.
You know when you go to Byron and you think to yourself, "why is everyone so chilled out and care free?" well, it's either because of two reasons
1. They're on some decent plant based smoking substances
2. They practice meditation, yoga and care about their mind - AND TAKE CARE OF IT
Mindfulness is being consciously aware of your thoughts.
It's actually an incredibly powerful thing to use and gain control of, purely so that you start to become as though you're in control of how you feel and how you think. Imagine being able to stop yourself from feeling shit, crazy hey? Well, it's bloody possible and after many of you asking what I've changed about my life to start practicing this new way of thinking and feeling, I wanted to share my not-so-secret secrets because these are ways that everyone can use to CHANGE THEIR LIVES!
My mindfulness journey began when I went to the Brisbane Wellness Festival last year and I had no bloody idea who anyone was when I rocked up. I didn't know any of the speakers, I ate too many Nodo donuts and was there to gain knowledge on something I didn't know too much about. That is when Melissa Ambrosini (check out her website - you won't regret it www.melissaambrosini.com.au) popped up on stage and shared her story - I felt like i was listening to my own story be told by someone else. She'd been through hell and back and to be the inspiring and incredible person that she is today absolutely stunned me - and so I bought her book, "Mastering You Mean Girl" which I won't lie, sat around my house for a few months until I flicked off the telly and sat down to read it one day and I haven't put it down since.
I've let anxiety and depression rule my life for many years now, and although it was purely because of the situation I was in at the beginning, I was still letting that situation affect my life over 10 years later. I was happier, but I wasn't as happy as I could be and my anxiety was still taking it's toll on a nearly daily basis - which obviously affected me as a mother.
When I started to read this book, it instantly took affect. I decided that it was time to take my own mind back and stop letting those shitty friends hanging around in it. I was and am healthy, I mean, that's my job! However as much as I was exercising and eating well, I still needed that extra kick up the ass - and that's when I began to meditate and practice gratitude, mindfulness and of course, yoga.
Literally every single day since 2017 began, I have taken 10 minutes every single morning to meditate. I began with the Headspace app, the moved onto Melissa Ambrosini's guided meditations which I purchased as an investment in my health. These days, I practice meditation two-three times a day, depending on my mood and if I need to centre myself again. It doesn't matter where I am, I make sure that I take these 10 minutes to myself - and it also means that I have to wake up 10 minutes earlier, but that's completely OK with me because it means that if Madi or Max wake up on the wrong side of the bed, I'll be fine with it.
I've done yoga three times now and I bloody love it. I'm tight AF and can't bend for shit, but at least I walk my ass in the door and do it. My preference is hot yoga as I like to have that sweat that's sweaty but not "i'm about to pass out and die" sweat. I loved walking into a room that was free from judgement, stress or any care in the world because we were all there for the same reason, and I felt like everyone there had the same passion as I did.
There were also shirtless men.
When I was feeling anxious or depressed, I used to let those feelings build a brick home in my head and stick around. Never did I think that instead of dwelling on why I was feeling so shit, I could tell myself what I was grateful for - because they are all positive things that make my life as amazing as it is. It honestly changed my entire mindset. Yes, sometimes it's hard when things get really bad, however these tough times only make us stronger.
Here are my top tips to start changing your mindset TODAY
Take 10 minutes to meditate - EVERY DAY
Down load Headspace or Smiling Mind as they are great apps for beginners. They guide you though meditation and start to help you process your thoughts with great little videos as well.
Switch off the telly
Unless it's the Australian Open or something you absolutely have to watch, switch it off. I found after turning off the box that I was open to doing more active activities and having more energy because I wasn't lying on the couch feeling shithouse. Get off your ass, get outside or do something that's productive. Save the telly for a Friday night or as a treat for yourself.
Eat REAL food
Cut the crap. You will be AMAZED at how good you feel if you're eating well. Drink a shitload of water, eat vegetables, eat meat (I eat meat, I love meat and I will always eat meat), go to a market instead of supermarket because you'll be less tempted to buy crap and find healthy alternatives to your favourite foods! Eating well doesn't have to be boring - it's actually delicious and helps with your mental health.
Everyday on social media I see people posting photos with captions that give me the shits. Yes we're all partial to a whinge or two, but if you're unhappy with something, then CHANGE IT! Be grateful for the things that you have and it will absolutely shit on what you don't. Instead of dwelling on things you don't have or shitty things going on, look around you and focus on what you DO have and what AMAZING things are happening in your life. The smallest thing can turn your mood around.
Take me for example - I sometimes get shitty that I get fuck all work done when the kids are home with me but then I turn that into "I AM GRATEFUL TO BE A MOTHER!" and the work can wait until they are tucked up in bed.
Being active. Enough said.
No really, it's my job to make others feel good about themselves. Being active doesn't mean having a gym membership - it can be going for a walk to going for a surf, doing a boot camp or riding a bike, kicking the footy or lifting weights - it all makes a difference.
As a trainer, I put a HUGE focus on how my clients feel. Many of them suffer from crippling anxiety, but they know that when they come to see me, they'll walk out feeling good about themselves because they showed up. Moving your body gets the endorphins flowing and we all know that endorphins = happy.
So think to yourself right now, how do you feel? Are you happy, sad, angry, depressed, anxious or on top of the fucking world? Take a moment to breathe, focus on your thoughts, and if you aren't happy, what can you do at this very moment to change it?
I'll leave you with that thought.