What’s been on my mind?

I’ve been feeling a bit low and unmotivated lately. I’m slowly completing the Journalism course (that I’ve lost all interest in), as I paid for it and would like to still complete it and gain my certificate. It hasn’t helped that my tutor has been harsh with his feedback – not very encouraging! Only two more assignments left, and then I’m done.

I’ve completely neglected my Instagram page, as I’m questioning my use of social media and if it’s a good way to spend my time. It’s so relentless that I can’t keep up. Even so my screen time is, frankly, horrific! I averaged about 6 hours a day in the last week. Some of that is from listening to podcasts, which I don’t mind too much, but I need to do less mindless scrolling. In a weird way, podcasts make me feel less lonely, and they’re good for learning new things.

It’s thanks to podcasts that I hear from lots of interesting, inspirational people. One person that comes to mind is Gelong Thubten, a buddhist monk who gave up his regular life at the age of 21 after having a breakdown and joined a Tibetan monastery in Scotland. Hearing him speak about mindfulness meditation and what it has done for him is very inspiring. After all the therapy I’ve had, acceptance and mindfulness make the most sense to me. It’s one of the few things that helps me come to terms with my anxiety.

I’m trying to focus on what’s truly important to me for now. I will get back into my blogging routine, but I might be a little quiet for a while.

I’ve you’ve read my other posts you might know that I enjoy an inspirational quote, so here’s one from Gelong Thubten:

“Meditation has given me a different view about happiness. You start to notice that you can make yourself happy and that it’s a moment-to-moment skill, rather than some huge achievement that happens when you get everything in your life right. It’s actually an inside work that is about making your mind strong.”

Small moments of happiness

I’m still plodding on with life but thought I’d share a nice experience I had. I went for a walk yesterday (everyone’s top lockdown activity) and had a moment when I stopped to appreciate my surroundings. It was a cold crisp day, and the sun was shining. As I walked along a tree-lined street, a dark cloud passed over and it started to snow gently. The sunlight ahead made the snowflakes sparkle, it was quite beautiful.

Even though it was a route I’d walked many times before, I still managed to see something new. I love it when quiet little moments like that pop up on my walks, whether that’s the beauty of nature or the times I see a cute little dog trotting along in its winter jacket. It makes up for the times I felt fed up with walking.

It reminded me of the self-help book Resilient, by Dr. Rick Hanson. In it, he suggests that when you’re feeling good or are enjoying yourself, that you should try and amplify it to embed it in your brain (or words to that effect!) – “Mental states become neural traits.” So that’s what I did on my walk, I tuned in and tried to ‘turn up the dial’ on my feelings of happiness and contentment.

It’s a lovely thing to do, as it’s all too easy to focus on feelings of boredom or frustration at the moment. We need all the happy moments we can get!

“Whatever positive facts you find, bring a mindful awareness to them—open up to them and let them affect you. It’s like sitting down to a banquet: don’t just look at it—dig in!” Dr. Rick Hanson

I’d love to hear from you, have you had any small moments of happiness that you’d like to share?