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Mindfulness in April

We are moving into a new month and, as always, it is very important to make time to practice mindfulness. I am constantly saying that a positive mental attitude doesn't just come about overnight, and neither does self-love. These are things that need attention - they will develop over time.

Over the last few months, one of the main things we have focused on during our sessions is setting goals and working out how to achieve them. These goals can be big or small, easy or difficult, and you can set as many as you like, but I would suggest creating at least two different goals; one that you know you can achieve in the time frame you have given yourself and that won't take up too much of your energy (you will get a morale boost when you accomplish this goal which will push you further with your others) and one that is perhaps a little more far-fetched and will require dedication and work (this one can have a much larger time frame, perhaps there is no deadline but it is something you can continue to work on).

To give you an example, I will refer to my own personal goals that I keep track of using my goal journal. One of my smaller and more achievable goals this year was to hit 200 likes on Facebook which I managed to complete slightly before the deadline I gave myself; this was a huge boost as giving myself something to aim for meant that I appreciated it more when it was achieved. One of my larger goals this year is to start the process of buying a house, hopefully by December; this is a much larger goal and I am able to break it down into smaller tasks that need to be done in order to get that - i.e saving money, building up a good credit score, and just sorting outgoing monies to scrimp as much as I can!

We are now one-third of the way through the year and although the Coronavirus Pandemic has held us back for a whole year in the UK, it is (hopefully) coming to an end soon and this is where I really want you to thrive! I see many people talk about coming out of lockdown skinnier than before and really wanting people to have that "wow" moment when they see them. Now, I don't disapprove of this at all, people want different things, but what good is a change of appearance if you suddenly look great but you don't feel great on the inside? Confidence and happiness can shine out of you and it really makes a difference to your appearance, even if you can't see it yourself! Having someone say "Wow, you look really happy!" is such a huge compliment and it is something that is achievable for EVERYBODY!

But how do we get there?

One of the most important things for your happiness is to talk yourself in a positive way. Think of yourself as a friend, perhaps going through a hard time, how would you talk to them? I can guarantee that you wouldn't say to them half of the things you say to yourself. You would never say to your friend that their tummy was protruding over their jeans or that their sleeves are looking a little too tight. Social media has made us far too conscious of how we look when we should be focusing on how we feel.

Something for you to work on is this; note a phrase that you find yourself saying often and flip it into a positive. Do you know what I mean? Like at parents' evening. If your teacher tells your dad that you are "a confident leader", they're really saying that you are a little bit bossy. Or if the teacher states that you "an avid listener", they probably mean that you don't get involved enough. They are still giving the information, just in a much more positive way. Do this to yourself!!! Change "I've eaten too much today" to "my body needed more fuel today and I supplied it". Change "I only managed to do half of today's tasks" to "I've only got half of my tasks left to do". Glass half full!

Positive affirmations are the way forward. And if you really struggle, say them aloud. Hearing those words about yourself can be quite heartwarming and you NEED to treat yourself in a friendly and positive way.

It's April and you've got this.

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