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Why Awe Walking is Good for Your Mental Health

This article explains how to Awe Walk, and why everybody should take time to do it. 

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The benefits of Awe Walking are unlimited! 

What is Awe-Walking? 

Awe-Walking is not your typical stroll around the block. This type of walking focuses on appreciating your surroundings using mindfulness. It’s done to reach a ‘state of awe’.  

The awe state is thought to be a sensation of humbleness. It’s the feeling that you are part of something bigger as you open your mind to the world around you. Like when you stand on a sandy beach, feeling that you are a spec of sand in the vastness of the universe. Or standing on top of a tall building and seeing the night lit up by a city. 

This state of mind, feeling you are in the presence of something bigger, detracts you from your own life. Everyday stresses, work, commitments and responsibilities feel dwarfed for a while.  

Awe Walking is essentially experiencing places and feelings fully. Often, places that make you stand back in appreciation. So something a bit more interesting than the local park! Alternatively, awe walking can give you a newfound appreciation for places you love already. 

How to Awe Walk 

Awe walking is a meditative practice. So, it can ground you, distract you from your worries and make you feel more alive.  

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You can Awe Walk anywhere – it’s a state of mind. But try somewhere beautiful first! 

  • The first stage of Awe Walking is to get into the zone. Switch your phone off, be fully immersed with the moment, the sights and sounds.  
  • Once you have found a state of mind that allows you to be in the moment, focus on your breathing. Breath in for 6 and out for 6 as you prepare to start your walk. Keep an open mind. Continue to use this breathing pattern as you venture on. 
  • Throughout this walk, you will combine breathing with focus, taking in everything around you. Feel the air in your lungs, the smells and sights – big and small. Focus on shapes, colours, patterns.  

Here is a step-to-step guide on exactly how to Awe Walk, to get the most of out the experience: How to Awe Walk. 

The Complicated Bond Between Humans and Nature 

What is your relationship to the earth? Do you feel the urge to see new places, or are you more comfortable staying put? 

What do you do to connect to the earth? 

The current state of the world can make it difficult to feel connected to nature sometimes. And being in nature might sometimes feel like a reminder of the bad that is happening. Like an internal battle of knowing things need to change and feeling out of control. 

Technology has made it easier to see the world’s wonders on screens from our homes. But it’s just not the same! You can’t reap the rewards of being in nature through a screen. It’s a real issue for younger generations, who have been born into this online world.  

New generations may never truly understand what beauty has been lost already. Older generations have witnessed the earth’s decline – species dying, changes in weather etc. Some may even be afraid of nature in all its power. But really, we just need to appreciate it and look after it more. 

The truth is, the more we spend time in nature, and remember its value, the more we care and want to protect it. Being in nature soothes and nurtures us. It is humanity’s free remedy – to escape the stress and feel grounded.  

Why Awe Walking is Effective  

Turning your walks into Awe Walks helps you to notice the beauty in everyday life. Regularly taking time out of your week to do this has many health benefits. It can reduce stress and inflammation, boost creativity and open your mind. You can try awe walking with friends and family as a social event too! 

UCSF researchers conducted a study to assess the power of Awe-Walking. They asked 52 older adults to take a weekly stroll. Some were told to seek out physical vastness and novelty (Awe Walking). The others were told to take a regular walk. The ones who went Awe-Walking reported significant increases in compassion and gratitude. Also, their sense of wonder and appreciation for the outside world grew, among other benefits. 

This research is an example of how Awe-Walking can broaden the mind, heighten the senses and generally lift spirits.  

To Conclude… 

Walking in general has many health benefits. But Awe Walking takes it to the next level. Take fifteen minutes out of your week to try it out! It’s always good to get out of the house and explore the world – it has a lot to offer! 

For more help nurturing your personal growth, contact us at Ceed today! 

How to Tune in To Your Body and Reduce Stress

Have you ever noticed yourself feeling run down, worn out and emotionally numb when stress levels are soaring? You might feel like you’re carrying the weight of your worries on your shoulders, and you wouldn’t be wrong.  

Knowing how to listen to your body can help you identify when you might need to take some rest and look after yourself. In this article, we look at the connection between the body and mind and explore healthier ways to respond to stressful times, so that you can find a little extra peace! 

It’s important to look after your body and mind!

A bit of stress here and there is perfectly okay. It might push you to meet deadlines or walk faster when you’re late or sense danger and seek safety. But overactive and prolonged stress levels can be physically damaging, as the mind is intrinsically connected with the body. 

Why Does Stress Manifest Itself Physically?  

It’s all down to a science. When you encounter a stressful situation or thought, your brain transmits signals that release a steroid hormone called cortisol into the body. Cortisol, also known as the body’s natural alarm system, regulates certain processes in the body such as your immune system and digestive functions. However, much like anything out of balance, this hormone can put your health at risk when overactive.  

The short term effects of this could manifest in symptoms such as:

  • Tension headaches
  • An upset stomach
  • Muscle tension
  • Sleep problems

Long term effects include increased risk of heart attacks, arthritis and memory issues.  

Why Is It Important to Listen to Your Body?

We all get aches and pains sometimes, but persistent headaches, digestive issues or muscle pains could be your body’s way of telling you to rest and make changes to your lifestyle! Prolonged stress causes muscles to tense up in a fight or flight response. So, if you notice (in particular) your back, shoulders and neck aching, it could be that your body is signalling to you to do some stress relief exercises.  

Here are some ways you can destress easily in your day-to-day life: 

1. Exercise Regularly

Exercise increases the body’s ability to absorb oxygen, increasing blood flow and releasing endorphins, effectively de-stressing the body and loosening your muscles (remember to warm up first!). A little bit of regular exercise will release tension from the body and help you think clearer too, as you focus on the present moment and let your stressful thoughts go.

Read Now: How Exercise Benefits Mental Health

2. Sleep

Your body restores and repairs itself during deep sleep, so keeping an eye on your sleep cycles and ensuring you are getting proper rest is essential to staying healthy and keeping stress levels at bay.

Sleep is crucial to a healthy lifestyle.

Read Now:  How to Get Better Sleep and Why Understanding Sleep is Crucial to Your Wellbeing

3. Understand Your Stress

What is it that is stressing you out? How can you tackle this? Getting to the root cause of stress will help you to navigate your way through it. If it is work, for example, you may need to consider cutting back your hours or organising your life so that you have enough time for yourself. If it’s a deeper issue that is troubling you, you could consider some talking therapy. 

4. Strike Balance

Make sure you are taking time to have fun and let go. When your life is dominated by stress, your body will begin to feel it. Have a bath, go for a walk somewhere stunning, see your friends and family, and find new hobbies that give you pleasure.  

5. Breathe Deep and Stretch

This is useful for short term symptoms of stress, such as feeling tight chested and short-breathed, or to alleviate aches in your muscles. Getting your body moving and controlling your breathing pattern can help you to centre yourself and calm down.

Read Now: Four Effective Ways to Clear Your Mind of Stress

To Sum Up…

Our emotional worlds manifest in physical symptoms in the body. But this works in both ways: when we smile and rest and experience joy, it boosts our immune system and fights stress and aches. So, it is important to have a healthy balanced lifestyle with plenty of rest and quality time for you!   

For more help managing your health, wellbeing and lifestyle, contact us at Ceed today! 

How to Spring Clean Your Body and Mind

Coming out of winter and into spring feels like a great time to have a fresh start. Spring is associated with new beginnings and growth, so why not apply that to yourself as well? 

You’ve probably already thought about spring cleaning your house – getting rid of the clutter, reorganising your cupboards, deep cleaning everything. So, if you are willing to do it for your house, why don’t you do it for yourself too? 

Here are five ways to spring clean your body and mind, so you can feel refreshed and renewed. 

1. Drink Water 

It seems simple, but we tend to underestimate the power that water can have on our day-to-day lives. Drinking more water can help to cleanse your body and mind, by flushing out toxins and boosting energy. 

You should aim to drink at least two litres – or eight glasses – a day. This will help reduce fatigue and loss of concentration and even clear up your skin. The benefits of drinking more water are endless.  

Drinking water has great health benefits!

2. Fix Your Sleeping Pattern 

It’s difficult to feel refreshed and renewed if you aren’t getting enough sleep. It’s recommended that adults get between seven and nine hours of sleep a night, but it’s important to ensure that sleep is restful.  

Try to avoid using your phone or other screens for at least an hour before bed. Being exposed to the blue light that screens give off can impact our sleep quality, and makes it harder to fall asleep or get a good rest.  

You should stop drinking caffeinated drinks in the early afternoon, and switch to decaf instead. This gives your body time to flush the caffeine out before you go to sleep. If you are drinking coffee an hour before bed, likely, you won’t be falling asleep quickly or getting proper rest.  

Going to sleep even just half an hour earlier can help reduce overall tiredness, giving you more energy throughout the day. 

Read Now: How to Get Better Sleep 

3. Focus on Your Food 

What you eat can have an impact on your well-being and your mind. Constantly eating processed and unhealthy food can leave you feeling sluggish and unproductive, so it’s important to get a good mix of healthy foods in your diet.  

Having a nutritious breakfast is a great way to start the day. It gives you energy and helps to create a healthy habit. It’s also a good idea to try and eat fruits and vegetables that are in season, so you can align your body with spring in a natural way.  

If you struggle to find time to cook healthy meals during the week, consider meal prepping at the weekend or the start of the week. You can bulk cook the base of a meal, and then add your toppings throughout the week to save time. This ensures you still have a healthy and nutritious diet without the effort of cooking for hours every evening.  

Meal prepping can save time and still be healthy.

4. Declutter Your Mind 

When you think of spring cleaning, it’s likely you think about decluttering your home. But what about your mind? It’s easy for us to overthink and struggle to concentrate when our brains are full of information and emotions.  

Try to take time to write down everything that comes into your head, no matter what it is. Don’t think too hard about what you are writing, just let it flow naturally. You will realise that lots of your worries and concerns will be coming out, even if you don’t think of them often. 

Doing this will help you to clear your mind as you can physically see what has been troubling you. This will help reduce stress, and can often feel like a weight has been lifted.  

Journaling is a great way to let out your emotions and refresh your mind, as well as confronting what might be bothering you.  

Read Now: Why Journaling is Good for Your Mental Wellbeing  

5. Cut Down on Social Media  

Most of us are more addicted to social media than we realise, and it can have a really negative impact on our mental health without even realising. Think about who you are following and engaging with online, and try to question whether they make you happy or not.  

If there are certain people that make you unhappy when you see their posts or content, simply unfollow them. You aren’t obliged to interact with anyone you don’t want to. By removing negative posts on your social media, you can transform your online space into a positive place. This means that the time you spend online won’t have such a negative impact, and can even help you to reduce your time on social media.  

Read Now: How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others Online 

Conclusion 

So when you think it’s time to do some spring cleaning this season, don’t forget to consider yourself too. Following these simple steps will help to create a positive start to the season, and can really change the direction of your lifestyle for the better. 

For more information on improving your lifestyle and looking after your mental health, contact the team at Ceed today! 

The Importance of Congruence: How to Manage Your Thoughts

A term you might’ve heard a lot nowadays is how you shouldn’t “bottle up” your thoughts, let alone your emotions. This means that you’re deliberately holding back from expressing a thought. Especially if it worries or concerns you because you don’t wish to face the emotions that will follow.

There are many harmful effects caused by you bottling up your thoughts. Just a couple include: 

  • Feeling anxious. As you’re trying to trick yourself into not confronting what’s on your mind, your anxiety levels will increase. 
  • Developing harmful coping mechanisms. To avoid the thoughts that are bothering you, you may find yourself eating or drinking and, if you smoke, smoking more than before. 
  • Following from the previous point, these habits can lead to not just weight gain or loss, and digestive issues as well. 

This article will explain how you should not bottle up those thoughts by confronting and accepting that you’ve been having them. 

Read Now: A Happy Diet: 9 Foods Proven to Lift Your Mood

Write Things Down

Writing can help you to understand your thoughts.

Although it sounds simple, writing down your thoughts is an effective technique. It’s even proven that it helps create catharsis

Whether you’re using putting a pen to paper or typing on a computer, there are several ways in which you could do this. It could be a diary or journal entry, or even a letter to a person who might be bothering you. Remember not to send that letter, as it’s only being used for self-therapy. 

As you write, your thoughts will properly take shape and become a lot clearer to you. They can become more personal than you expect. But writing will help you understand them more and give you a proper idea as to why you’ve been thinking about them. 

Exercise 

At first glance, you might be thinking “if I decide to exercise, won’t I be avoiding confronting my thoughts?”

No matter what method of exercise you engage in or how long you’ll be doing it, you’ll have the space to focus on what’s on your mind. This can be as simple as going for a walk, or going to the gym and lifting weights. Regardless, exercise gives you a chance to reflect on your thoughts and emotions. 

After all, the brain is often likened to being a muscle, so you’ll be exercising that as well as you move around. 

Read Now: Surprising Benefits of Exercise: Confidence and Creativity

Consider Why You’re Bottling Up


Negative thoughts can be difficult to deal with alone.

Sometimes, you are already fully aware of why you’ve been bottling things up. 

There are a variety of reasons for doing this. You could be angry or upset (or a combination of the two) over someone or something, which can cause emotional distress. Thinking about and focusing on these thoughts might feel as though you’re reliving the initial experience that led to you having them in the first place. This can lead to you not wanting to go through them again, but ignoring them won’t make them go away.

By choosing to ignore the problem itself, you’re going to cause yourself numerous harmful repercussions. The biggest side effect of not challenging those thoughts is the increase in your anxiety levels, which can eventually make you feel anxious all the time. 

Express Yourself Creatively

There are times when you just feel as though you want to express yourself, but you don’t want to downright say what’s on your mind. The thoughts can be negative or positive. But, that won’t stop them from being intrusive and possibly distracting you from whatever you’re doing. 

There are many creative ways for you to convey your thoughts and ideas. Some methods include: 

  • Writing: We’ve already mentioned writing a letter or diary entry, but you could also write a story. It doesn’t matter if it’s too short or too long – go for it! 
  • Drawing or painting: It can be a pencil on paper or a paintbrush on a canvas; it will reveal how dedicated you can be when creating something. 
  • Listening or dancing to music: The latter is especially effective, as your moves will help you let out any suppressed emotions you might have. 
  • Cooking or baking: Whether it’s a treat or a meal you’ve always wanted to make, you’ll be surprised by the enthusiasm you’ll have due to the anticipation of seeing the finished product. 

Talk 

A problem shared is a problem halved!

This sounds like the simplest thing to do, doesn’t it? But just saying “I’m sorry” or “I was wrong” is not easy for some people. If you’re an introvert, or you don’t want to confront your thoughts and the connected emotions, then talking won’t be easy for you. 

But, this is the most effective way to relieve yourself of stress. It doesn’t matter who you decide to talk to – it could be a friend, a family member, a work colleague, or even a stranger. Just as long as you speak to someone and say what’s on your mind, you’ll feel the burden go away. 

Read Now: How to Practice Active Listening

This was just a small number of ways to prevent you from bottling up your thoughts. If you’d like to know more on this topic, or perhaps an entirely different one altogether, please contact us today at Ceed. 

How Listening to Music Can Better Your Life

Everybody has enjoyed music at some point in their life and has a genre they enjoy the most, whether it’s pop, rap, or reggae. No matter the genre, the feeling of listening to the genre that you like the most stays the same: it relaxes you. 

But what other effects can listening to music have on you?  

Mood Booster and Stress Reducer 

Nobody enjoys the feeling of sadness, but sometimes it is just part of our lives we can’t control. Music has a deeper connection beneath its surface than just a mix of sounds, and lyrics. It has been proven to stimulate your brain by releasing a chemical called “dopamine” which is associated with pleasure within our brain. This means that listening to music boosts yourself emotionally, and mentally reduces stress. Listening to a playlist of your favourite songs, and releasing the dopamine, can also reduce the feeling of depression

Starting your day off by listening to music can enhance the rest of your day. If you have issues with stress or just general sadness, then music is a great way to escape. Even if it’s only momentarily, it’s healthier than letting these negative feelings take you over.  

Read Now: How to Better Your Mental Health by Getting Creative

Mind Distraction and Improved Focus

It can distract your mind from your negative surroundings, keeping you occupied in a tranquil state. Noisy workplace? Just pop some earphones in and jam away. Drowning out sounds that stress you out and replacing them with dopamine fuelled music can enhance your mind to focus more on what you want to achieve. With this increase in focus, your productivity will rise higher than it did before and could even lead to avoiding work stress.   

Be warned however, as being overwhelmed by music can distract you from your work, or whatever you are doing while listening to music.  

Music can help you overcome personal difficulties.

Read Now: How Music Can Motivate You to Stick to Your Exercise Routine

Pain Management 

This effect isn’t just about physical pain, but mental pain as well. Whether it is stress, depression, or just general anger. Listening to music that relates to those emotions can cause you to push those feelings out of your mind. Knowing that someone went through the same situation as you and made a song filled with that emotion can let you know that you aren’t alone in this matter. This effect can also allow you to overcome blocks within your life. Whether that is writing blocks or mental blocks. 

It also reduces the pain you perceive and relaxes you a lot more if you are in any kind of physical pain. Which can be extremely useful if the pain is uncomfortable enough to keep you awake at night.  

Creativity and Sleep Improvement 

Music can be very tranquil and peaceful to listen to. It allows you to switch your brain off if you are listening to music without having anything to do. You create a narrative and envision the song in your head, which ultimately, can improve your creativity.

Most people listen to music when going to bed as this creativity that flows through you can help you sleep easier. The constant rush of dopamine to your brain makes your brain regulate hormones, and reduces cortisol which affects stress itself to help you sleep better.

Listening to music can improve your sleep schedule!

Mental Health Healing 

Improving your focus can also help to manage any effects that come with health conditions like autism, ADHD, or Tourette’s. As your mind becomes more focused on the rhythm, sounds, and lyrics, your brain momentarily forgets about reality and places you into a sort of daydream in your head. You remember who is in charge of your life, and it is you, and only you. 

Conclusion 

Music is of huge importance to our lives, even if you don’t listen to it every day. The deep connection between our brain and music is almost magical. You can always find websites online that allow you to listen to music, including:

Remember that there are people who are struggling or have struggled in the same way as you.  

If you require assistance with any topics mentioned here, or in general then please feel free to contact us here at Ceed today. 

How to Manage Dark Thoughts in 2022

The past few years have been somewhat chaotic, and 2022 is no different. It can be difficult to swat away negative feelings that buzz around your head in a hive of chaos, but this article will help you utilise, avoid, lose or even live with these dark thoughts. 

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Dark thoughts can come at any time anywhere.

What Are Dark Thoughts? 

Dark thoughts are generally negative feelings that may stem from sadness or strong emotions. Usually, dark thoughts appear from overthinking, whether about the past, future, or present. Empaths can experience dark thoughts when seeing others experience injustice like bullying, criminal activity or people that are upset.  

These dark thoughts don’t always involve violence as a result. Sometimes they can be a form of self-punishment – it makes you think of yourself in that situation and can make you angry or upset. They can often be intrusive when thoughts pop into your head that you don’t agree with or want to think about.

Read now: How to Overcome your Negative Thoughts 

Having dark thoughts can be distressing and can have a negative impact on your daily life if they become frequent. 

Can We Utilise Them? 

Fortunately, we can utilise dark thoughts that are incredibly powerful in imagination, and emotion to create something truly amazing.  

We can create a wide variety of recreational and artistic values with our thoughts, including: 

  • Art 
  • Music 
  • Writing 
  • Performance 
  • Drawing 

Many artists use their dark thoughts in songwriting to express themselves in creative ways. Songwriters that used their darkest times to write songs are typically regarded as “dark, gothic or emo”. These may have negative connotations to different people but, they all have the same meaning: dark. 

Songwriters like The Cranberries, Radiohead and Syd Barrett write from experiences or dark thoughts in their heads and release positive songs that help people through their internal struggles. 

Utilise dark thoughts by reflecting them upon your more creative work, this not only lessens the pressure of the thoughts but increases the quality and emotion of that work.  

Read Now: Creative Activities That Can Benefit Your Mental Health  

How Do I Avoid It? 

It is difficult to avoid dark thoughts since they are often in the back of your mind. Whilst they can be subdued by your positivity, they often surface unpredictably and when you don’t expect it. However, the best way to avoid them is to try to change your focus. 

Although it seems simple, focus and positivity can be maintained to keep your mind from wandering and drifting into the darker aspects of your brain. Focusing your mind on something else like music, videos, films or art, distracts your mind from the thoughts, and you eventually will lose their trail. They might pop up again but indulging in these activities will help. 

Healthier alternatives also help like going out for a walk, or with friends. 

Read Now: Creating a Healthy Routine is Good For You 

Can I Lose These Thoughts? 

Whilst it is difficult to remove dark thoughts entirely, it’s important to remember you aren’t alone. Everyone deals with negative thinking at some point. Someone who says they have never thought that way is not telling the truth.  

It is something that comes along naturally. As humans, we tend to be more empathetic and imaginative which leads us to be lost in our heads at times. It is hard to completely ignore them, but you can reduce their power.

Living With The Thoughts 

You can live with them; almost everybody who has an ounce of sympathy or empathy will experience them. It can sort of feel like a punishment at times for caring about other people and not being able to help but it is something we live with.  

Remember though, you can still help people to numb the dark feeling that surrounds you. Just because you may wallow in thinking of what could have been, it still means you can help in some way in whatever way you can. 

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Remember those dark thoughts do not make you broken.

Conclusion 

Our minds are incredible machines, and we still don’t know what they are fully capable of. They can be unpredictable at times, meaning dark thoughts could occur at any time especially if something happened in your past and reminds you of that experience.  

Don’t think you are broken because you have these dark thoughts; it makes you a good person that you would selflessly care about others more than yourself.  

We here at Ceed have a safe place for everyone – We have many different articles on similar topics. If you need any further help then contact us here! 

Why Creating a Healthy Routine is Good for You

Routines are the mind, and body’s natural clockwork – after getting used to a certain internal flow, a habit will fit into place like a jigsaw puzzle and can get stuck there. 

However, sometimes, these routines can be bad and ultimately unhealthy for you. Here are what a healthy routine can do for you: 

Healthiness is key to a long and prosperous life. 

Mentally 

A healthy routine doesn’t just have to be physical exercise. 

For your mental health, a healthy routine can do wonders for your mind. Spend a few hours a day listening to music, reading, writing, or going on a walk. This can lead to you spending your time being more mentally free.  

Clearing your mind from negative thoughts and clutter can improve your focus and lead you to a happier lifestyle. Your mood can improve but your focus and memory can also improve when involved in mental gymnastics. 

Being more mentally free allows you to be happier, and have a greater outlook on life.  

Physically 

Usually, when someone mentions a healthy routine, you think of physical exercise and diet, and that is what’s going to be covered in this section.  

If you are self-conscious, then physical exercise can make you feel better about yourself by improving your body, and diet. These are not only healthier choices but helps build confidence and courage in yourself to be proud of yourself.  

You can also just simply partake in a diet that will help you feel better and healthier and will have noticeable changes. You will end up feeling sick less, but it can also make your mornings a lot less groggy. 

Making it a routine to get up early would improve your sleeping pattern, and allow you to have more hours to yourself – about eight hours is healthy. This means you can have breakfast, which is stapled as one of the most important meals of the day. 

Read Now: How to Get Better Sleep 

Economically 

Your personal finance can be affected by your routine due to always buying the same thing at the shop, or for dinner every day. It can also be that you buy a takeaway frequently which can cause a decline in health and your finance as takeaways have a huge impact on you and your economy. 

By spending less money, you are also inhabiting a healthier diet – and improving physically, and mentally. As well as saving a lot more money in the long run. 

This can then be used as a sort of reward system. Let’s say you have a takeaway once a fortnight for reducing your intake. This gives you a reason for wanting to complete the challenge and results in saving money.  

Read Now: 7 Ways to Ease Financial Stress and Manage your Money 

Key to a Healthy Routine 

The key to a healthy routine is to stick to your ideals and beliefs, as delving from it can cause you to go back to your old routine. It’s about commitment, and focus. You need to want it to get it.  

It is recommended to start small and work your way up. For example, getting up earlier and having breakfast. This small step will show you what it is like to change and then can alter further changes in your routine to be healthier.   

Then someday you can tackle the more difficult changes! 

Push yourself and you will thank yourself later! 

Conclusion 

In conclusion, a healthy routine is one of the most important things for a healthier and happier life and by following your heart and not letting yourself trip on your attempts to gain a better routine, you will succeed.  

You will thank yourself in the long run. 

You are number one, and you should look out for yourself. Don’t think about how other people think, go out there and succeed. 

Hopefully, this has helped you find out why a healthy routine is good. For more information, contact us at Ceed here today. 

How To Overcome Your Negative Thoughts

When we have a physical injury, it’s usually easy to notice it. This makes it easier to manage, and eventually fix.  

The mind, on the other hand, isn’t so simple. We often struggle mentally without realising, and without anyone noticing. The way we think can easily impact our mental health, and it can be tough to break out of negative thought patterns.  

It’s perfectly normal to have negative thoughts, but they can become distressing when they start impacting your daily life. There is a variety of reasons as to why we might have them. Negative thoughts can come from stress, confidence issues, and even deeper mental health problems like anxiety and depression. 

Luckily, there are ways you can tackle your negative thoughts. This article will give you some guidance on how to challenge your negative thinking. 

Read Now: Better your Brain through Neuroplasticity and Positive Thinking 

Focus on The Thought Itself 

Take time to acknowledge your negative thoughts.

It might sound counteractive to focus on your negative thoughts. But the truth is, if you decide to ignore them by pushing them away, they’ll still come back. To make things worse, it’s likely that they’ll come back stronger than before and could become even more intrusive than they were previously. 

Allow yourself a little time each day to focus on these thoughts. Committing your focus to them, can help you to understand where they are coming from. Taking a moment to acknowledge them will prevent you from bottling up your emotions.  

Identify the Thoughts 

Now that you’re allowing yourself some time to focus on the thoughts themselves, the next thing to do is to identify them. This is not just the negativity, but the cognitive distortions created from them. Cognitive distortion is a more technical way of saying thought patterns, meaning you’ll be understanding why you think about those thoughts in the way that you do. 

There are multiple ways in which you may develop negative thoughts and thought patterns, which include (but are not limited to): 

  • Catastrophising – Assuming the worst is always going to happen, and not considering more realistic or likely outcomes. 
  • Blaming yourself –  Assuming you’re at fault for something that happened or might shortly take place. 
  • Jumping to conclusions – Making assumptions about something that will happen or what someone is going to think. 
  • Labelling – An identification method where we describe ourselves or the people around us. For example, you might not be good at cooking and label yourself as a “terrible cook”. This will then make you feel pessimistic about any activities that would require that skill. 
  • Overgeneralisation – If you’ve had one bad experience, you’ll develop a tendency to apply that to future experiences you’ll face. This can fuel your negative thoughts, increasing anxiety and making it seem as though another bad experience could happen again. 

Read Now: How to Overcome the Fear of Rejection

Stop Saying “Should” 

Remember what you are capable of!

‘Should’ is a dangerous word to use if you’ve been finding yourself experiencing a negative outlook on life. 

Saying “should” implies that what you’re already doing is bad – “I should eat fruit instead of crisps”, “I should walk or jog instead of driving to where I need to be later”, and “I should stop thinking about this” are all just a few examples of how we apply that one word to a problem.  

The constant use of “should” will lead to you developing a sense of guilt for not carrying out the actions or tasks which you know would be more useful for you. 

The solution is simple: replace “should” with more positive phrases. “I am going to eat fruit instead of crisps”, “I will walk or jog to where I need to be later”, and “I want to stop thinking about this and focus on something else” are all statements with an optimistic and determined approach opposed to the original’s pessimistic and not enthused attitude. 

Keep a Diary 

Keeping track of your thoughts is not an easy process. If anything, the mind can best be described as being non-linear. So how can we keep our thoughts organised enough to understand them? 

By using a diary or journal to jot down what those thoughts are, we’ll be able to understand not just why we’re thinking about them, but why we react the way we do when they suddenly occur. After this, we can learn what we’re being negative about and figure out how to be positive from then on. 

Read Now: A Guide to Handling Criticism

To Sum Up…

It can be hard to manage our thoughts, especially when they are negative. But it’s important to remember exactly what they are: they are thoughts, not facts! By following these simple tips, you will be able to reduce the negative thoughts you have and manage them in a better way. This is just one step in creating a more positive outlook on life.

If you’d like more advice on this particular topic, or perhaps another one altogether, don’t hesitate to contact us today at Ceed. 

Why Being Spontaneous Can Make You Happier

Be Spontaneous 

Spontaneity can have enormous payoffs for mental health and wellbeing. It can make you feel happier and more creative – it can even rewire our brains. 

When was the last time you ditched your plans and did something completely spontaneous? 

With our overfilled diaries and online planners, our lives are often packed to the brim, leaving little or no time for a sudden whim. But, although routines can help us get through everyday tasks, like cleaning our teeth, filling every single moment with planned activity can badly affect us. 

We often pack our schedules so full that we leave little room for unplanned actions, but doing so means you may be missing out on moments of joy.  

Read Now: 4 Mindful Ways to Help You Live in the Moment 

Wake up feeling happier!

The Benefits of Being Spontaneous 

Being open to spontaneous events and allowing our mind time to reflect on things, rather than rushing from one planned activity to the next, can benefit our emotional health. 

Keep Your Life Fresh 

Spontaneous people are always up to try something new. They’ll spice up the day any way they can. It could be as simple as ordering something new from a local restaurant for lunch. Because they’re always trying something new, spontaneous people never get bored and stay fresh. 

Be More Flexible 

Be ready to try and do something new. And if plans change, adapt to them. Spontaneous people don’t feel tied down to one goal and will be more than happy to accommodate a contingency, as long as it leads to an exciting adventure.  

This “go with the flow” attitude helps them avoid conflict and confrontation. Instead, they can ride the wave of excitement that continuously exists within their life. 

Be More Creative 

Spontaneous people aren’t constantly thinking about their next move – they do whatever comes to mind. This mindset means that they don’t set boundaries for what they can accomplish, and they can be more creative.  

Unlock your creativity today! 

Read Now: How to Better Your Mental Health by Getting Creative 

Less Stress 

People that are spontaneous tend to not stress out over much. They understand that life goes on, whether it goes as planned or not. And, of course, when life gets stressful, as it does every so often, spontaneous people know how to shake things up to relieve the stress and get over the hurdle they’re currently facing. 

Read Now: 4 Effective Ways to Clear Your Mind of Stress 

Be Happier 

Spontaneous people have a mindset that allows them always to see the bright side of things which optimises their ability to maintain a positive outlook on life, making them happier. 

How To Be More Spontaneous 

Becoming a more spontaneous person is certainly not easy, so here are simple things that you can do to live a more spontaneous life. Hopefully, these steps will encourage you to do something more when you’re finally ready to. 

Shake Up Your Routine 

It doesn’t have to be something drastic. You could start with something simple, like going somewhere else for your morning coffee or taking a new route home from work. 

When you do something different, you open your eyes and mind up to new possibilities. You’ll then feel more inclined and less afraid to try new things.  

Do Something New Everyday 

Whether placing a different order when you’re out at your favourite café, or putting on that shirt that you never had any confidence to wear, you need to break out of your comfort zone. There’s no need to plan for it; go with the flow. When the opportunity presents itself, don’t hesitate and do it. 

Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone!

 

Do What You Want 

Forget the rules, and do whatever makes you happy. Life is for living, so live it loud and proud. Focus on what makes you happy, and incorporate it into your life as much as possible. don’t get stuck doing things that don’t work for you just because it’s become your routine. Just be sure you don’t hurt yourself or anyone else. 

Start Saying Yes 

Whether it’s an invite to a party where you don’t know many people, an invitation to have drinks with co-workers you’re not very close with, take a risk and say yes. Something as simple as this can make a big difference to your day-to-day lifestyle. Once you start saying yes, you will notice more great opportunities arising that you otherwise might have rejected.

Stop Doubting Yourself 

The more you feel like you can’t do things, the more likely you won’t. When you psych yourself out to try something new that you’re uncomfortable with, you’ll likely break out of your monotonous routine. Spice up your life by telling yourself that you can do it, and you will. 

Read Now: How to Overcome Fear of Failure 

Turn Off Your Gadgets 

When you don’t have any distractions in the way, you will be more willing to get up and get something done. Taking a break from your phone or computer can force you into new situations that are likely to be more rewarding.

Speak To a Stranger 

More often than not, we tend to retreat into our comfort zone when we’re in unfamiliar territory and faced with unfamiliar faces. Don’t hesitate to speak to a stranger. You’ll be surprised at what you may gain.    

Your life is meant to be lived and not wasted doing things that bring you no joy. Despite your responsibilities, there’s no reason why you can’t inject some spontaneity into your life to make it that much more worthwhile.  

For further advice from our professional lifestyle coaches, contact us at Ceed today!  

A Beginner’s Guide to Meditation: Less Stress & More Peace

With the advancement of technology and the impact of covid, it’s easier than ever to become disconnected from ourselves. So, it’s important to find time to centre our emotions, and look inwards to create positive changes in our mindset. 

Meditation is a tried and tested method of looking inward and understanding ourselves. Used for centuries in religious and spiritual practices, it provides space to increase self-awareness, and redirect negative thoughts.   

Meditation uses wellness and mindfulness techniques to enhance our outlook on life. It’s often used to reduce stress, help sleep patterns and increase pain tolerance.  

You can include meditation as part of a daily routine, use it as a quick stress reliever, or a way to centre emotions. You don’t need loads of time to meditate, as it can be adapted to suit you and your needs. 

Meditation has many physical, emotional and mental benefits.

How Do You Meditate? 

There are many different forms meditation can take, and each has its own benefits. The form that is most suited to you depends on what you hope to gain from meditating. 

  • Guided meditation includes a teacher to help you through the steps of meditation, explaining how the mind works and how each step is beneficial to you.  
  • Mantra meditation works by focusing on a specific mantra, such as a word or sound, to let the subtle vibrations create positive change and help you reach a deep state of meditation.  
  • Mindfulness encourages awareness of your surroundings by engaging and focusing on all of your senses without judgment. 
  • Qi gong is a Chinese practice that opens energy pathways in the body called meridians, helping the energy flow through and heal the body.  
  • Yoga is a physical practice of movements that strengthen your nervous system, helping you to relax your body and relieve tension. It promotes physical balance, which helps with mental balance.  

Read Now: Practising Yoga: Combining Mindfulness and Fitness for Healthier Living  

What are the Benefits?  

Meditation has been heavily studied, and has been proven to have a wide array of benefits. Whether you want to become stronger physically, mentally, or emotionally, meditation can assist in improving your lifestyle and mindset. So, what exactly can it do? 

Reduce Stress 

When you experience stress, it increases the hormone cortisol, which can impact your sleep, cause depression and increase fatigue. Meditation can help to reduce this response, and instead create a relaxed response that calms your body. 

This means it can help stress-related conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome and post-traumatic stress disorder. By reducing the stress hormones in your body, it reduces pressure and can calm anxiety.  

It also helps you redirect your negative thinking patterns, which are often a large contributor to stress. 

Read Now: 4 Effective Ways to Clear Your Mind of Stress  

Improve Sleep 

Meditation can help those who have sleep disorders like insomnia manage their symptoms, and as a result get better sleep. Mindfulness meditation has been found to help those who suffer from chronic insomnia. It can also improve the sleep of those without existing sleep problems. 

Meditation can help relax your thoughts before bed and calm your mind, which creates a more restful environment to sleep in. As a result, it can also reduce daytime fatigue, giving you more energy throughout the day, and deeper sleep at night.  

Meditation before bed can improve your sleep quality.

Enhance Self-awareness 

When you meditate, you create space to understand yourself, which helps you learn how to grow and improve as a person. By focusing on self-awareness, it becomes easier to recognise any harmful thoughts you may have, and learn how to challenge them.  

This process of redirecting negative thoughts shows you what your emotional triggers may be, and how to best combat them.  

It can also increase self-awareness by helping you realise and focus on the positive parts of yourself. Through meditation, you can approach your emotions without judgement, and as a result you can learn to accept both the positive and negative aspects of who you are.   

Read Now: Better Your Brain Through Neuroplasticity and Positive Thinking  

Promote Emotional Health 

Meditation can lead to an improved self-image and create a more positive outlook on life. By focusing on the things around you and your own thought processes, you can reduce negative thoughts and appreciate the positive aspects of your experience.  

It can also decrease levels of the inflammatory proteins cytokines, which can contribute to depression. Meditation is sometimes used as part of a mental health treatment plan as the benefits can help reduce depression and anxiety. 

Meditation can improve your emotional health!

Control Pain 

Many types of physical pain are linked to stress, and our perception of pain can be increased significantly when we are in stressful situations. By learning to manage our perception of stress, it becomes easier to control our pain responses. This in turn decreases the level of pain we feel. 

Whilst it won’t completely rid you of any pain you are in, it helps to manage pain and decrease levels of stress that often enhance it. 

Meditation can also reduce strain on the heart by decreasing blood pressure. Stress can often cause high blood pressure, which can potentially lead to a heart attack or a stroke. Reducing stress can alleviate the pressure on the heart and relax nerve signals.  

To Sum Up… 

Meditation is a varied and adaptable way to improve your day-to-day life. It has benefits for everyone, whether you meditate for five minutes or five hours! A little can go a long way, and daily meditation has the power to really impact your life for the better.  

If you want to learn more about how to make small changes to improve your lifestyle, contact us at Ceed today! 

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