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. 

 

 

 

M – Practise Mindfulness. #AtoZChallenge.

M – Practise Mindfulness. #AtoZChallenge.

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary badge

Our mind has this uncanny ability to wander off at the drop of a hat. It either goes away to some faraway land, or imagines some worst-case scenario that fills us with dread and anxiety.

Our mind rarely comes up with something favourable, something positive. Rare are the times, too, when it stands still, in the moment we live in

A hundred thoughts float around in our mind every minute of every day. We are not even aware of the many activities we do. We just go about our routine, mechanically, oblivious to the many experiences every minute holds in it for us.

Seldom do we make efforts to push away those thoughts and concentrate on the moment, live the moment, fully.

Being mindful of every moment helps us experience the moment in its entirety. Be it good or bad, difficult or painless, every moment has the potential to help us live life to its fullest, experience life to its fullest.

So, how do we practise this thing called, “mindfulness”?

TIPS TO DEVELOP MINDFULNESS:

What is that one activity you enjoy the most? While doing it, how does your mind work? Does it wander off on its own, or does it stay with you, in that moment, enjoying the activity?

For me, it’s when I practise Yoga, or draw and write, that my mind accompanies me…almost every moment. I still haven’t been able to tame it a 100%! I am glad I chose this topic, for, now I need to work on it in earnest.

Sharing today, a few tips from what I learned about taming the mind.

  1. Quit multi-tasking. It does not make you a superwoman, it makes you an exhausted woman. Do ONLY ONE THING AT A TIME.
  2. During a workout, for example, focus on: a) your breath, b) the part of the body that you workout on, and c) how it feels as you exercise. For instance, is there less flexibility that leads to discomfort? Does it pain while doing the particular exercise/bend/pose?
  3. While indulging in a creative activity, like art, cooking, or even your daily chores, put on your favourite music. Choose something upbeat, peppy, that entices you to dance along. Of course, you can’t dance while you draw/paint/cut/chop, in short, you cannot multi-task! But, the music will bring you into that moment as you work on your creation.
  4. Prepare a to-do list the night before, and tick off the tasks you complete the next day. A list helps you focus on the moment so that you fulfil the tasks, efficiently.
  5. Whatever you do–even small things like doing the dishes–do it with all your heart and soul. I know this sounds ridiculous, but it will help you control your wandering mind.

Sharing this link to a post on mindfulness written by my blogger friend, Vidya Sury. Her blog has loads of helpful posts on mindfulness. Do visit her!

Mindfulness is something you need to work at, each day, every day. Making it a habit will help you stay focused and keep your mind under control.

Begin today!

Love,

SHILPA…

Being mindful of every moment, helps us experience the moment in its entirety,

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

You will find my posts here.

L – Listen to music/Love yourself, relentlessly. #AtoZChallenge.

L – Listen to music/Love yourself, relentlessly. #AtoZChallenge.

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary badge

I know, it feels like you have been hearing this self-care tip everywhere, all the time! But, it’s only because music has such a therapeutic effect on our mind that people stress its importance in our everyday life.

There is a tiny problem, though. It won’t help if you listen to soulful songs when feeling low and lonely; it will only worsen the situation and send you deeper into the abyss. I did it for quite some time and realised how gloomy it made me feel, so I switched over to peppy numbers, motivational songs…anything cheerful that set the tempo when lethargy crept up into my system.

Listening to some lively tunes while making my artwork, fills me with an indescribable energy which gives me such a ‘high’, I can actually feel the adrenalin rush! The songs from this particular playlist are my companions in moments of loneliness.

Music does have that impact!

 

MAKE MUSIC A PART OF YOUR EVERYDAY SCHEDULE:

Make it a point to play your favourite music while working in the kitchen, completing your chores, travelling, and, especially, when in low spirits.

Prepare playlists that you can listen to during different activities.

When in the need to boost your energy levels, put on some lively numbers and dance along.

Dance like no one’s watching, because no one is watching! Just let yourself go! You will love this thrilling activity.

Don’t worry if you can’t dance, just start moving. It makes for a fantastic workout in the privacy of your home.

Sing along, too, even if you can’t. Sing at the top of your voice and feel the difference in your mood.

it’s the best thing to fight loneliness with.

 

So, tell me, how many playlists do you have? ;P

 

L – LOVE YOURSELF, RELENTLESSLY

I couldn’t decide on which topic to choose from these two for the letter L, so I chose them both!

So, do you love yourself?

It was quite late in Life when I realised what it meant by loving oneself.

Loving yourself means:

Accepting yourself as you are and celebrating your uniqueness.

It means refraining from criticising yourself, or admonishing yourself for things that go wrong.

It means not blaming yourself for all the heartbreak you suffer from.

It means respecting yourself despite your flaws; being proud of yourself for getting through the highs and lows of Life, bravely. Yes, you ARE brave…very very brave!

And, finally, loving yourself means, making yourself a priority.

(I know, this last point is very difficult to achieve, for there are so many people who vie for that top spot on our priority lists.  But, it pays to prioritise yourself alongside them all. For, only if you love yourself,  can you love others, and keep them happy!)

Sharing this really beautiful video with Sean Stephenson…

 

Lots of love,

SHILPA…

 

 

Love yourself, relentlessly!

 

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

You will find all my posts here.