P – Pray, be grateful! #AtoZChallenge

P – Pray, be grateful! #AtoZChallenge

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary badge

 

Gratitude is one of the best ways to bring happiness into our life. By merely thanking the Universe for everything it has blessed us with, makes us feel so fortunate for living the life we do! All you need to do, is look around you and you will know how truly blessed you are.

Last evening, as I strolled at a park with my closest friend, as we discussed Life, we realised how much difference it made having all that we had with us.

Our parents, our closest friends, our health, our work, the ability to fulfil our dreams….and also, the things that went wrong and how these taught us so much about life and how it changed us into better versions of ourselves…

…we felt we were the luckiest people–God’s chosen ones!

The peace and happiness that we experienced left us overwhelmed.

Since some time now, I have given thanks to my Creator for all the problems I have had to face–the worst of the worse situations I went through…all of it. It’s because of those problems that I learned a lot and changed myself, for the better.

For all the difficulties we have experienced in Life, we need to be grateful. It’s thanks to those difficulties that we could unravel the true meaning of Life, that we feel truly close to God.

It’s thanks to those difficulties that we could discover our hidden strength, meet the people who truly care about us, and gain an understanding about things for the way they are.

 

PRACTISING GRATITUDE WITH A DIFFERENCE:

Every night,  think of 3 things that did not work out as you planned, or things that stressed you.

Next, jot down what you learned from your experience. You could even just reflect on it, there’s no need to write it all. Just 15 minutes of reflection on the day gone by would suffice.

And, finally, be grateful for those problems, those stresses. It will seem difficult being thankful for the tension in your world, but trust me, when you think hard about it, you will notice how blessed you truly are!

THIS is what I mean by practising gratitude with a difference.

It’s the adversities that we, actually, need to be grateful for; we are forever grateful for all that gives us joy, but rarely for the times that test our patience and resilience.

Gratitude is definitely one of the most important ways to self-care. It’s because of all that we experience  that we learn to fight, take care of ourselves and focus on what truly matters, on the bigger picture. Do you know  how good this is for your mental health?

 

Points to ponder:

“PROBLEMS ARE LIKE WASHING MACHINES. THEY TWIST US, SPIN US AND KNOCK US AROUND. BUT, IN THE END, WE COME OUT CLEANER, BRIGHTER AND BETTER THAN BEFORE!”

 

So, be grateful for it all!

 

Love,

SHILPA…

 

Be grateful for all that goes right and also for all that goes wrong in your Life.

 

I am participating in the April A to Z Blogging Challenge. My theme this year is, ‘SELF-CARE’. You will find all the posts here.

 

O – Observe your thoughts. #AtoZChallenge

O – Observe your thoughts. #AtoZChallenge

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary badge

One of the most important things my doctor told me during a counselling session, was to “observe my thoughts”.  

As someone suffering from anxiety for so many years now, I realised how I would be filled with self-doubt, with words that wrecked my self-esteem and drove away any peace I enjoyed.

Words like, “You are an utter failure,” or, “You are so worthless, what have you done with your life?” haunted me so often. I began to doubt my capabilities. There was also the comparison with others that was going on in my mind, and when I would watch others “getting ahead”, it would only make me more conscious about what a loser I was. “What had I achieved in my life?” 

Don’t we all do that? Telling ourselves that we are no good, that we might never make it in “the race” where others are way ahead and we haven’t even begun? Telling ourselves how we can’t even manage the simplest of tasks by ourselves?

It’s these words full of negativity and slander, that we so need to keep out of our mind. Our mind can, and will, help us, provided we learn to control it. And, observing our thoughts is the first step to controlling our mind and lifting our morale.

Our thoughts become our beliefs and our beliefs show in our actions. 

The way we think about ourselves and our life takes no time to manifest in our actions.

In short, our thoughts become our reality.

Failure is a word we fear. And, the biggest mistake we commit is when we compare ourselves with others. Rarely do we understand that no two people live a similar life; that none of us here is in any race, and that not a single soul is so blessed as to have a “perfect” life.

So, if you find yourself on the receiving end of these barbs through your ‘self-talk’, just order yourself to shut up.

 

CHANGE YOUR THOUGHT PATTERN WITH POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS:

Look yourself in the mirror, look yourself in the eye, and tell yourself, that,

  1. You are NOT a failure
  2. You are perfect in spite of your imperfections.
  3. You are enough.
  4. You are in no race, whatsoever, and you compete only with yourself.
  5. You can, and will, succeed in whatever you set your mind on.
  6. And,  you are worthy of love and respect.

Observe yourself when any negative thoughts crowd your mind. Observe your breath and you will find your breathing shallow; a sense of unease swallowing you up and a discomfort in your heart.

Our thoughts have that power over us.  They can completely destroy our inner peace, our sense of self-worth and any amount of happiness we experience in Life.

Learn to control your mind by being mindful, every moment.

Practice gratitude, every moment of every day, for every little thing–good or bad–that happens in your Life. You may not know, but there’s so much to your life that makes it beautiful!

Feed your mind good thoughts about yourself and your Life, and then see the difference it makes to your world!

 

Love,

SHILPA…

Your thoughts become your beliefs

 

N – Never put up with abuse. #AtoZChallenge

N – Never put up with abuse. #AtoZChallenge

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary badge

ABUSE: Treat with cruelty or violence, especially regularly or repeatedly.

Be it mental, physical, emotional or financial, abuse of any kind devastates the victim, completely, and scars her for life. It leaves the children traumatized and fearful, and causes a breakdown in the family, beyond repair.

It’s what we hear from someone else; someone getting physically abused by her partner, someone being mentally abused by a man who promises to change, but doesn’t. Someone, who fails to find the courage to raise her voice because she is financially dependent on the man and has little kids to look after. Someone, who is desperate to flee her marital home, but can’t, because of societal pressure or for lack of parental support

Often, it is also something we fail to notice in our own world, rather, something we try to ignore. It could be  something as “minuscule” as a taunt repeated every once in a while. A taunt that has a sting to it that pierces the heart and leaves a deep wound that seldom gets cured.

Usually, the person inflicting the wound promises it was “just a joke”, or that they are “sorry”, and they will be careful with their words–a promise that gets forgotten soon enough.

The taunts, the verbal or emotional torture, the behaviour oscillating between good and bad–it goes on and on, often leading the victim to suspect her own mental condition.

She keeps mum, hides it from her family and lives her life wondering, and hoping, that things will get back to “normal”.

But, do you know that, keeping mum is the biggest mistake you make? You actually give the man the power and the confidence to continue with his behaviour, which in turn, ruins your Life. And, one of the most important part of self-care is to NOT allow anybody to damage your self-respect, your peace of mind and your Life.

 

STAND UP AGAINST YOUR ABUSER AND RAISE YOUR VOICE

Seek support if you find yourself in an abusive relationship.

DO NOT STAY SILENT. Wipe those tears, raise your voice and show him you cannot be dominated. I know, it isn’t as easy as it sounds, and is possible only if you have a support system in place. So, ask for support–from your parents, siblings, friends, someone you are close to.

Contact a therapist to share your fears, your story, if you cannot share it with anybody.

Get in touch with a psychiatrist if you feel your anxieties/panic/fear getting out of control.

Contact a lawyer, or police, if you wish to get out of the relationship.

Contact the National Commission for Women to help you with your rights, entitlement, legal aid et al that you will need.

 

Remember, you deserve respect.

A relationship which abuses your trust, treats you with disrespect, inflicts physical, mental and emotional wounds is not the kind of relationship you need. It’s a short, uncertain Life we live–one you cannot spend living in fear every minute. Get out of it and seek support….TODAY!

Love and hugs,

SHILPA…

 

 

 

 

Seek support if you find yourself in an abusive relationship.

 

I am participating in the April A to Z Blogging Challenge, and my theme this year is, ‘SELF-CARE’. You will find all the posts here. 

 

 

 

E – Emotional Independence. #AtoZChallenge

E – Emotional Independence. #AtoZChallenge

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary badge

 

 

If you want to live a happy Life, tie it to a goal, not to people or objects.”

“Do not put the key to your happiness in another person’s pocket.”

We live our entire lives in pursuit of happiness; seeking it in the people in our life, in materialistic objects that lose their shine in a matter of days. Being by ourselves frightens us and leaves us feeling incomplete.

But, in reality…

Being able to enjoy one’s company, being able to find happiness in activities we do for ourselves, being responsible for our own emotions and happiness, makes us emotionally independent!

It’s what I wanted since years–to not be in a desperate need to have someone around me to feel happy, being comfortable with myself and find happiness in my work.

The craving for a company all the time, made me desperate and dejected.

However, I realised that people aren’t constant in our lives. People leave after they have fulfilled their purpose in our life. The ones who do stay, are the very few who we call our “soul mates”. But, even our soul mates might not be around precisely when we need them!

“Everyone leaves. Learn to survive alone.”

…is a quote that made me realise this fact about LIFE.

Friends leave, some stay, some drift away, some find new friends; we grow emotionally distant from our partners, too, after spending years together; our children grow and leave the nest.

Who are we left with, ultimately? Just ourselves!

It is we who will be with us for the rest of our lives. So, why not be our own best friends–develop a strong bond with ourselves, learn to love ourselves and our company so much so, that we are never in need of another person to make us happy!

The best way to do this, as Albert Einstein said, is by having a GOAL in life. A goal that consumes us, our time, our thoughts, our energy, to such an extent, we hardly find the time to rue a person’s absence around us.

The GOAL could be your work, your hobby, volunteering at an NGO for kids, the elderly or an animal shelter, where we give our time to others, which, in turn, brings us immense peace and satisfaction.

Looking after your family’s needs is not your ‘purpose’; it’s your responsibility towards them.

A ‘PURPOSE’ is what will be your responsibility towards YOURSELF, one that will make you truly happy!

If you are wondering what is it that could be your purpose/goal, write things that make you happy–an activity/hobby/work that fulfils your emotional & creative needs, choose the one that’s closest to your heart, and just go for it!

 

 

THINGS TO DO WHEN FEELING LONELY:

  1. Go on a solo date. You will love it!
  2. Write your feelings in a journal
  3. Pursue a hobby.
  4. Learn a new skill that you can add to your CV
  5. De-clutter and re-organise your wardrobe/kitchen cabinets
  6. Spend time gardening/crocheting/sewing
  7. Go for a walk/jog/swim.
  8. Join a gym/yoga class
  9. Doodle/solve puzzles
  10. Read
  11. Visit a theatre/a museum
  12. Go to your favorite cafe.
  13. Have a spa-day at home
  14. Call up your friends/sisters/mum
  15. Spend time with pets
  16. Scrub your house to a shine (my fave therapy!)
  17. Prepare a to-do list for the next week/month
  18. Listen to music and dance along
  19. Watch a movie at home with some popcorn to set the scene
  20. Cook your favourite dish/bake

 

 

Wish you the best!

Much love,

SHILPA…

 

Be your own best friend and you will never be lonely!

 

I am participating in the April A to Z Blogging Challenge. My theme this year is SELF-CARE.

You can read all my posts here.

 

 

C – Connect with your tribe. #AtoZChallenge

C – Connect with your tribe. #AtoZChallenge

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary badge

This is one of the most essential things to do, especially if you are a loner, like yours truly!

Being an introvert, I preferred keeping things to myself–my anxieties, fears, my thoughts–all of it. Until last year, when I realised how important it is to reach out to those who know me, who care about me and who have only my best interests at heart.

it did bother me that I would be burdening others with my worries, but a cousin gave me quite an earful about how it was necessary that they know what I am going through, for they were MY PEOPLE!

People who would keep aside their worries when you need a shoulder to lean on belong to ‘OUR TRIBE’.

And, it is this tribe that we need to connect with, reach out to, share stuff with, because they understand.

Ladies, to be frank, it’s only your girl friends who will truly LISTEN to you, UNDERSTAND you and make your troubles theirs. Am I right, or am I right??

If you are suffering from the dreaded PMS related stress/anxiety/fear, or feeling low and lonely, and you speak about it to your partner (read, husband/boyfriend), you can only imagine the response you will get.

But, if you share the same things with your girl friends/sisters/mother/aunt, they will just gather you in a tight hug, and let you cry your heart out/complain/rant, and help cheer you up, sometimes by saying nothing at all! Isn’t it?

This the reason you need to CONNECT WITH YOUR TRIBE!

I made it a goal for 2019, where I decided upon days of the week when I would call up my girl friends/cousins and talk…just talk. Having deep, meaningful conversations with these women lifts my spirits, cheers me up, lessens my anxieties and drives away my scary thoughts.

These women live in different cities and countries and there’s no way I can meet them in person on a regular basis. So, I put my phone to good use instead of mindlessly scrolling through social media.

I came across this quote which I am sure you will relate to:

I have come to realise that the only people I need in my life are the ones who need me in theirs even when I have nothing else to offer them but myself.”

Don’t you agree?

So, reach out….

Connect with your tribe, with those closest to you, with whom you are comfortable, and who, you know, can save you from any situation you might find yourself in.

Just go ahead and call them/write to them/meet them. But, do it regularly. And, be there when they need you. That’s what will cement your relationship!

Much love,

SHILPA…

 

I am participating in the April A to Z Blogging Challenge and my theme this year is ‘SELF-CARE’.

You will find all the posts here.