5 Ways To Incorporate Positivity Into Your Day-to-Day Life

Being positive in general or positive thinking may seem like fluffy terms. Until recently, I myself was quite sceptical but I have discovered that there is more to positive thinking than simply saying positive things, it’s a skill in itself and has numerous benefits.

Positivity all comes from a place of self-care and self-love. It can also help you to learn to love yourself, allow you to grow and to focus on more important things/the bigger picture in life.

There are many positive thinking techniques – below I have listed 5 that you can start to incorporate into your day-to-day life. It will require practice and patience but the benefits will be worth it.

1. Keep a Gratitude Journal

Every morning, evening, or night before you go to bed write 3 things in your life that you are grateful for, it can be anything simple like “I am grateful for my morning cup of coffee for giving me a boost this morning.”

2. Spend time in nature and away from your phone

Studies suggest that spending a lot of time on your phone everday can have a huge impact on your mood. Think about it… when you’re on Instagram and bombared with skinny, tan, toned people living a luxurious life you are going to compare yourself to them and ultimately feel shit about yourself. Spending time in nature and making an effort to focus on the present e.g. focusing on the colour and shapes of the trees and flowers around you, the different smells, sounds etc., can do wonders for your mood.

3. Surround yourself with positive people

You are who you surround yourself with, don’t let it be nasty, bitter or manipulative people. Find people who support you during the good and bad times.

4. Positive affirmations

To start, think of 1-3 positive affirmations. They can be based on your positive qualities e.g. I am a loyal friend, or they could challenge your negative beliefs about yourself e.g. I am worthy. Write your affirmations on coloured post its and place them around your room, apartment, or house.

5. Do activities you love or you loved as a child

Some examples may be:

  • Watching a funny fillm
  • Watching your favourite TV show
  • Spending time with loved ones
  • Going to the library
  • Going to the museum
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Mindful colouring

Also, it’s exciting to explore new activities with a childlike curiosity.

 

Hopefully this was helpful to you all 🙂

 

Tara

 

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Goodbye fat, hello messed up hormones: The consequences of losing too much weight too fast

This may be a bit much on a Tuesday morning but I was reading through a few blog posts I had written for my old blog and I came across a post about how, although unknown to me at the time, my eating disorder had led to me having osteoporosis at the age of 21. This was mainly because my menstrual cycle was so fucked up from my binging and restricting – I lost about a stone and a half (21lbs) in less than 3 months.
It took months of numerous scans, blood tests, and visiting specialist doctors who just couldn’t tell me what was going on – I know I could’ve had it far worse but at the time it was very frustrating (and expensive!). Then one day when I was scrolling through my Instagram feed I found an article by The Merry Maker Sisters about how losing weight can cause you to lose your period. This article could not have come at a better time, it made me wake up and realise just what I had been doing to my body. Here’s a little testimony I wrote to Emma and Carla after I had read their brilliant article for the first time:
I just wanted to thank Emma and Carla for helping make sense of what I have been dealing with for the past year and a half and for perfectly explaining it, better than any doctor I have seen so far, for being so open and honest about their personal experience and for helping to create awareness about the issue.
This really brought home the importance of staying healthy and losing weight safely and slowly. It also put things into perspective of just how intense I was with exercising and eating to get “the perfect body,” I had unrealistic expectations and I was just simply not living a sustainable lifestyle. Despite what we are made to believe by the media, there really is no one perfect body. Happiness with yourself has to come from within, not from looking a certain way or weighing a certain amount. I hope this will help you to realise the importance of treating your body with the respect it deserves by exercising, eating healthy while allowing yourself a few ‘treats,’ and losing weight (if you want) at a slow pace. I understand that if you are feeling really shit about yourself you want to lose weight as fast as possible and stop feeling so low but I promise you this is not what you want to do, faster does not mean better. Take it from not just me but hundreds of thousands of women who have done this, it will only fuck up your body and will leave you with all sorts of health complications. Complications that will last much longer than the time it would take you to lose weight steadily. It is always better to take it one step at a time, making small changes in order to achieve a sustainable, balanced, and healthy lifestyle.

The bottom line is your body deserves to be treated with love, care, and respect and when you intentionally binge, restrict, overexercise etc. you are not giving your body the love, care, and respect it deserves.
Tara

Mind Your Head

In recent years, the stigma around mental health, especially in Ireland, is slowly evaporating which is amazing but we still have a long way to go!

When it comes to our mental health we really need to make more of a conscious effort to build a healthy mindset, being healthy is not just going to the gym, it involves your body, mind, and soul. For example, for a few years I was constantly on some sort of a diet and I believed that if I was a certain size I would be truly happy and could start living my life, achieving my goals, and chasing my dreams. In fact, it was quite the opposite – when I reached my goal weight I was miserable, anxious, and terrified to leave my house or to go out with my friends. Through these experiences and from talking to others I’ve noticed just how important having a healthy mindset is. I’m by no means a professional or trained in this area but I want to share what I find helpful, especially when I’m having a bad day. I’m also not naive, whilst I do have mental health issues myself I do understand that some people have it much worse than I do and can find getting out of bed a daily struggle. However, I do hope that this post provides you with some ideas or inspiration on how you can take steps to make things a bit easier for your day-to-day life.

Challenge Negative Thoughts 

Negative thoughts about yourself are the worst aren’t they? They can be so difficult to control and very easy to believe. A complete lose-lose situation. What really helps me is to write these thoughts down and to challenge them – are they fact or opinion? Is there evidence for or against these thoughts? Quite often you will find that these thoughts are not true and over time the more you question these thoughts the less you believe them and you will slowly start to gain more confidence in yourself and see that you are an amazing human being who deserves love, kindness, and to live a happy life.

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SBC/ Instagram

Positivity 

This one is particularly difficult when you’re having a bad day but I would recommend writing 1-3 things that you are grateful for, no matter how big or small, every night before you go to bed. Also, add a bit of structure to your day by setting daily goals, again no matter how big or small, and share these goals with your loved ones so they can encourage you to complete them.

 

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Foundr Magazine/Instagram

Self Care

Firstly, it is important to put yourself and your recovery first and to stop trying to be a people-pleaser (this will only lead to resentment). Simply put, self-care is about recognising that you do deserve love and that you need a break, even if it’s only for 20 minutes a day. Self-care does not have to be extravagant, it can be something simple like watching your favourite TV show or film, reading a book, having a bath etc., as long as it’s something that you enjoy.

 

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Support

You cannot go through your problems on your own, support from family, friends, and professionals are extremely important and although the thought of asking for support may terrify you I promise you won’t regret it. It is essential that you have a support group who you can rely on especially during your recovery. Personally, I’ve always been afraid to ask for support especially from professionals but recently I started an eating disorder recovery program and it has honestly been one of the best decisions I have ever made for my mental health. Professional support is also great for having an outsider’s view on your problems and for identifying and addressing your underlying issues.

 

Exercise

Exercise both physically – running, swimming, gym etc. (if you’re in the postion/healthy mind frame or weight to do so) and mentally – practicing mindfulness e.g. mediation. Headspace is a great meditation app!

 

I hope this post is of some help for you. Focus on your recovery, nourish important relationships, and remember this too shall pass.

 

Tara

The Importance Of Setting Weekly Goals

Good evening!

I’m going to keep this post short and sweet because really the bottom line is that setting weekly goals is so important as they can help motivate you and add a bit of structure to your life. You should have a combination of long-term goals and short-term goals that led up to these long-term goals.

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Each week, maybe the Sunday before the beginning of a new week, write down goal(s) under the following headings;

Self Care

What will you do this week to treat yourself? E.g. get your nails done, have a bath, get your hair done.

Compassion/Social

How will you interact or nourish your most important relationships this week? E.g. meet up with a good friend you haven’t seen in a long time, spend some quality time with your brother/sister/parents/partner? When thinking of your compassion/social goal for the week don’t do anything that makes you uncomfortable or that you simply don’t want to do, this is YOUR goal so it also has to be of benefit to YOU. For example, although a relationship is a two-way street and support is essential for any relationship, I’m sure we all have one friend that can be a bit of an ‘energy vampire’ and it is just not good for your own well being so don’t feel that you HAVE to listen to their problems, especially if it is exhausting and draining for you.

Meal Plan

This is particularly relevant for those who, like myself, are recovering from an eating disorder. An example of a meal plan goal could be to stick to your meal plan for the week (typically 3 main meals and 2 snacks a day), or to try foods that you might consider ‘bad’ or have a fear around.

Fitness

Shona Vertue perfectly explained fitness goals on one of her Instagram posts: “Time and time again I realise in my own fitness regime the importance of skill based goals to help sustain motivation to train. Aesthetic goals just aren’t enough to empower us to keep pushing through a program or plan. We all want to look good, but if you haven’t got a deeper motivation for training than just simply a low body fat percentage, your enthusiasm will waiver.”

Job/Career

This can be anything big from going for that promotion to maybe something smaller like managing my time more efficiently or getting certain tasks done on a certain day or week.

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I hope this post helps you and feel free to share your own weekly goals with me in the comments section or on Twitter or Instagram.

Don’t forget to take it week by week but to also check in every other week and remind yourself of the bigger picture/long-term goal.

 

Tara

5 Mindful Eating Techniques

Love it or hate it, mindfulness is everywhere today and while it may not work for everyone, for some the benefits can be huge. One way of incorporating mindfulness into your life is using a technique called ‘mindful eating.’

 

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Mindful eating is a great mindfulness technique that involves you tuning into your body as well exploring the different colours, textures, aromas, and tastes of your food. It allows you to appreciate every single meal and it can be very helpful for people who struggle with an eating disorder, especially binge eating. Below I have written 5 simple tips to get you started.

 

1. Put your phone away

This is very hard but necessary when eating mindfully but it’s simple really, smartphone = distraction. In fact, those who eat while scrolling on their phone at the same time are actually more likely to gain weight than those who don’t, so leave your phone to the side and concentrate on the beautiful meal you’ve made yourself!

 

2. Listen to your body

Before you eat, ask yourself “am I really hungry?” Listen to your body, is your tummy rumbling and in need of food ASAP, are you starting to feel hungry, or are you just bored? Likewise, listen to your body to determine when you are full and don’t feel that you have to finish every meal, you can always save some for later.

 

3. Use your senses 

This is another important mindful eating step, use all of your senses (sight, hearing, taste, smell, and even touch) to really pay attention to the different textures, colours, smells, sounds, and tastes of your food.

 

4. Slow down

It is important to slow down and chew your food (don’t count the number of ‘chews’), again, savouring the flavours and appreciating the meal you have made for yourself. There’s no rush!

 

5. Portion control

Smaller plates leave you feeling fuller for longer.

 

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It can be hard to sit still and actually concentrate or remember to do so but practice makes perfect and you will soon find there are lots of benefits to this exercise.

 

Enjoy the rest of your bank holiday weekend!

 

Tara