Your mind can be your greatest ally or your greatest enemy. That outcome is deciphered by what you feed it: mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually (holistic, remember?). We take in a lot of crap, when just a few shifts could entirely change your relationship with your mind and as a result, yourself and your life. Let's make friends with that mind. Here are some things I no longer do that have drastically improved my mental health:
1. Drink caffeine everyday.
I drink caffeine 2-3 times per week at most and it's usually a matcha or a green tea and maybe a celebratory coffee when I really just want to savor the taste and party that day. Caffeine is a drug, my friends. And as anti-drugs as I am, it's almost hard to even justify that I indulge in it myself. It exhausts our adrenals, dehydrates us, and causes anxiety. If you're out there crying about how anxious and depleted you feel, but are drinking coffee everyday, take a good hard look in the mirror, my friend. I know it's hard to wean, but give yourself two weeks and you will feel more stable than ever. As an ex-caffeine freak, I promise you this.
2. Say "should."
Are you should-ing all over yourself? Because that's what saying and believing "should" feels like. It soils everything within you. Who decides what anything should be anyway? Who and what are you surrendering all jurisdiction over to? This word creates shame and self-criticism. Try "could" for a softer approach.
3. Look for negative comments.
I'm talking social media, but honestly: real life too. I caught myself in this strange loop of looking for the negative comments. Sort of like slowing down to watch the car wreck on the side of the road, I know this is human nature, but we need to stop feeding into the negativity - even if it's passive. No more hiding behind other peoples' judgmental opinions or lurking in the shadows of the drama. You're feeding into it even if no one knows. Your energy knows and it's sucking the time and life out of you. Look for the positive or nothing at all. Leave it at that.
4. Unconsciously listen to music that makes me wallow in a negative emotion.
I know, I love an Amy Lee sesh and a good cry to Banks or Adele every once in a while, but only with intention. For deliberate nostalgia, to express my pain, to move emotion through me, or occasionally just to feel something. As a deep feeler with a huge appreciation for dark art, this hurts me to say as much as it may hurt you, but if you're unconsciously putting on the heavy, angry, or bluesy music, you're gonna experience the heavy, angry, bluesy blues. Music imprints us. It's here for you, but don't be naive to its potent power. Y'all know how I feel about reggae for good irie vibes, but if it's not for you, find your version of your positive or neutral default.
5. Follow people that make me feel bad about myself.
This advice may not be the freshest, but it really helps. During my most insecure era, I was following people that made me feel the most insecure. Coincidence? I think not. It doesn't help to see things that make throw you into a comparison loop with no realistic or practical solution. Inspiration, education, connection, realness, joy - that's what your media feed should be full of. If it doesn't fit in one of those categories (and CERTAINLY if it makes you feel bad), get it out of here.
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