Sometimes, it's all too easy to become glum: the weather, work commitments, family troubles, or impending festivities at this time of year can push people over the edge into gloominess. Whatever the poison, there will always be an antidote. Cheerfulness is one option: it not only boosts the spirit of the person experiencing it, but it also brings a lightness to others. Being cheerful is not difficult if it is a genuine and authentic expression - and it is easy to spot if it is fake. Try out your version of cheerfulness today and see how, in many respects, cheerfulness is like a magnet of altruism. Pass on your cheerfulness and see what comes back to you!
You know the score: just keep on doing these sorts of things below, rather than reaching for artificial 'solutions' to reduce stress and calm your mind. As First Aid Kit sings, "Keep on keeping on".
1. Walk in daylight and look at the sky - every day.
2. Learn to breathe from the diaphragm, rather than the top of the lungs.
3. Listen to a meditation: find one you like online. There are millions to choose from.
4. Go swimming. Feel warm water on your skin (and overlook floating plasters!).
5. Take up yoga, or similar mindful type of exercise.
6. Do some cardio exercise: get the blood pumping and feel your endorphins flow.
7. Learn to play a musical instrument. Study anything new and feel immersed in it.
8. Watch or listen to something funny - do this every day.
9. Spend time with calm people.
10. Gain some perspective by asking yourself whether what is bothering you now will matter next week, next year, or even in a few minutes.
After last week's reaction to world events, here's a shorter offering for today's blog, and it's a very simple idea.
Let the past be the past. There's no need to keep repeating the past in your head. Whatever happened, happened; and it's fine to move on. When you stay in the present, everything is pleasant.
I love autumn! Colours galore, crisp weather and getting to wear lots of wool - especially from Made By Raspberry Tart in Wallingford.
One final thing: I will be selling raffle tickets in all my classes for the next two weeks. It's for the Purbeck Workshop in Wool, Dorset: they have a race night every November to raise money to keep the Workshop running as a creative outlet for people touched by cancer. Tickets are £1 each and there are some great prizes.
Hmm... What to write about today... How about this?
A lot of negative situations are bound to come our way, resulting in disbelief, grief, pain and disappointment. At the time, such difficulties feel insurmountable and seem to last forever. It might feel difficult, but we need to recognise that the difficulties we face are like passing clouds. These clouds gather around us all at times, and are temporary - sooner or later they will fade away. Determined thoughts disperse clouds of negative situations. And understanding that no problem lasts forever will help us develop the determination we need to work on our own lives and create positivity and love around us. We will then be able to face any situation with ease.
And as my wise sister says (borrowed, I think, from the Sufi poets): "This, too, shall pass".
(This week's picture highlights the importance of a hyphen, which should never be underestimated: chin up, not chin-up!)
This week’s blog was going to be something very different, but I witnessed such a lovely exchange on a train to Devon yesterday that I wanted to share it.
I was in the Quiet Carriage, and the lady sat behind me was on the phone, informing the person collecting her from Paignton station that she was going to be late as the train was late. She was chatting for a few minutes when the man next to me got up and reminded the lady on the phone that this was a quiet carriage and mobile phones are not permitted.
At this point, I imagined the following scene: the lady on the phone would get embarrassed, huffily make a big deal of ending the call, and mutter a sarcastic comment; and the man would frown and mumble under his breath, while everyone else within hearing distance would try not to make eye contact. This has happened before and it usually plays out like this. Awkward…
However, this time it was different. The lady on the phone said that of course she would finish her call, she had forgotten about the phone ban, and that she was sorry for disturbing anyone; the man acknowledged her apology and quietly sat back down. Everyone else got on with what they were doing. From my perspective, it was a masterclass in not taking offence. Of course the man who asked for the quiet carriage rules to be respected wasn’t trying to embarrass the lady, and his intention was genuine. The lady’s response was without attitude or retaliation: she just accepted it.
This sort of exchange seems quite rare – and perhaps because both people involved looked over 80, it was different to what might usually happen. It was so delightful to have seen something so sincere. No tricks, just a real treat!
Hi, I'm Joanna from Clean Well-Being.
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Clean Well-being ramblings