THE POSITIVITY CHALLENGE: IMPROVING MY MENTAL WELLBEING

For the month of October, I have set myself The Positivity Challenge. The aim of this is to incorporate mindfulness practices and positive thinking into my life for the month in the hope that it will stick. Ultimately, the goal is to make sure I live a glass half full life and always look on the bright side. I’m trying to change the way I react to situations and thoughts whilst incorporating mindfullness into my daily life to generally improve my mental wellbeing.

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WHY AM I DOING THIS?

Since starting this challenge, I’ve read about a lot of people who turned to mindfullness because of a certain situation or mental health issue. I’ve never been affected by any sort of mental illness nor has their been a specific incident in my life to turn me onto these practices. Basically, in a nutshell, I realised that my usually glass half full outlook on life had shifted more to the empty side. I have been finding myself getting increasingly annoyed by the smallest, little thing and rather than let it go, have let it stew and found myself constantly complaining or in moods over pathetic thingsr. I pretty much just want to live a peaceful existence where I don’t sweat the small stuff and react as positively as possible to any situation I face.

WHAT I SET OUT TO DO?

I wrote this list of what I wanted to stick to for the month:

  • Morning meditation
  • Write down everything that bothers me
  • Write down one thing I’m grateful for at the end of each day
  • Wind down properly, turn off social media and relax with a book
  • Try out sleep stories on busy days when I work late
  • Spend less time in the bedroom in order to sleep better
  • Exercise and spend more time outside
  • Eat better
  • Drink water and green tea only

    WHAT I’M SUCCEEDING AT

    I have successfully been getting out of bed earlier than my usual to time to do my morning meditation. I’ve been really enjoying it and am currently on a 16 day streak (go me!). I downloaded the Calm app to do this. So far, I’ve just been doing the free sessions as I don’t want to commit to the payment unless I 100% know I’m going to stick to it but so far, so good. In the past, I have attempted using the Headspace app but didn’t feel like it motivated me enough to continue.

    We have successfully spent less time in the bedroom. We have been in such a bad habit where we get home from work and straight into bed. We would watch movies in bed, talk in bed, scroll through Facebook in bed but overall, were not really sleeping well in bed which is the main point of bed, is it not? We have spent our days and evenings instead in the living room, only moving to the bedroom when it is time to wind down and sleep.

    As well as spending time out of the bedroom, I have also been winding down properly. I’ve been taking an evening bath and reading before bed, switching off all access to social media for a good thirty minutes before drifting off.

    Every time something has bothered me, instead of ranting to Ash or typing it out into a group chat, I have opened up my notebook, written it down and moved on.

    Water and green tea… in two weeks, I have had one Vimto, one 7Up and one chocolate milkshake but only in social situations. Ultimately,  I have been sticking to water and green tea.

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    WHAT I’M FAILING AT

    Sadly, I never did start writing down what I am grateful for every day but I will try to implement this for the remaining two weeks.

    I’m not eating better whatsoever but never mind, small steps at a time…

    Exercise is also not really happening. In the past two weeks, we have opted to walk to a handful of places rather than driving so I guess that’s progress but exercise definitely needs a bigger presence in my life.

    I tried sleep stories for the first two nights and they were great, I don’t remember the story ending because I’d already drifted off but the rest of the nights, I’ve been too tired to be bothered to put one on. I do think they’d be really helpful on a night when sleep is a struggle.

    HOW I’M FEELING
    Honestly, I am feeling great. I’m finding myself not quite as bothered by the things that usually annoy me and the things that really get to me, I forget about shortly after writing them down. I am totally getting a better night’s sleep and waking up easier on a morning. In the past, I have never been a morning person but after my morning meditation, I’m finding myself perkier in the am. There has only been one day since I started the challenge when I felt in a bad mood which was a mad half hour that quickly passed. I’ve only really struggled to get out of bed and focus on meditation one day and for two whole days, I didn’t even need to write anything down in my rant book. Even though it has only been two weeks, I am definitely noticing minor changes and I feel definite improvement.

    Only two weeks in but feeling great and doing well! They say it takes 21 days to make a habit though so I’ll reflect in an update once the month is over to see how it has gone. 

    Have you ever tried to incorporate any practices into your life to improve your mental wellbeing? Let me know in the comments what has worked for you!

    Steph x


    This blog post is not sponsored or endorsed in any way. All opinions are my own and just that: opinions.

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    11 thoughts on “THE POSITIVITY CHALLENGE: IMPROVING MY MENTAL WELLBEING

    1. Finding Kate (@_findingkate_) says:

      As someone who suffers with mental health issues, I have had it DRILLED into me that I need to do Mindfulness. I have downloaded the Calm app, too, but I need to give it a proper go! I’m mega impressed at all you’re managing to achieve – it seems like you’re totally on a roll for October! Love that you were honest about the bits you were struggling with, but I think, in the grand scheme of things, considering how much of your goals you’ve achieved, you should be really proud!
      Kate x
      http://www.findingkate.co

      Liked by 1 person

      • Stephanie Dring says:

        Thank you Kate! Honestly I am proud of myself. 22 days into my meditation now so I’ve surpassed the supposed habit making boundary. I’m feeling really good about this challenge and hoping it will become a lifestyle change once the challenge is over. I think the Calm app is a really useful tool, it’s just a shame that it’s a little pricey once you get past the basics x

        Like

    2. Abbey says:

      Steph, it is so wonderful to see someone embarking on a really positive lifestyle change and making it stick! I definitely need to start writing things down more, I find it really helpful just to get things out and it makes them stop playing on my mind! When I was away on a yoga retreat this summer we did daily meditation and it was wonderful, I need to start that up again!

      Abbey πŸ’— http://www.abbeylouisarose.co.uk

      Liked by 1 person

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