Hey beautiful people!
This blog is something that I wrote after a lot of you have reached out and asked me about things you can do to make your life more meaningful, happy and fulfilling. So here are 9 practices from my own life that can help you in the long run too. Read, contemplate, learn and share if you found it helpful. Let’s dig in then.
1. Using Social Media as a tool
An excess of news & information can trigger your anxiety, making you restless. Know when to stop, usually your brain tells you. Listen to it and shut your notifications off every so often. It’s the key to using social media to your advantage.
Facebook is forever overflowing with too much about everyone’s life which more often than not, can prove to be overwhelming and draining for your mental health.
Twitter similarly has an overload of everyone’s opinions and if you try and reply to every person of opposite ideology and mindset, it can take a toll on your emotional health and that’s why Instagram is one place where I feel safe, sane and the least attacked. Provided you are following the accounts that fill you with hope, helpful content, love and warmth; and not with envy, inadequacy and anxiety. (Pages related to food, fashion and entertainment)
If you need a lead on what accounts to follow, you can search for calminsights and see my following list and follow whichever account you find interesting and meaningful and work your way forward from there.
2. Music & Podcasts
Listening to nourishing and calming music and podcasts that you identify yourself most with can be the easiest way to feel better and learn with minimum effort, Spotify is the app that I use for it. My favourite kind of music is Indie & Country music where poetic words and acoustics merge to create beauty.
Ritviz, When Chai Met Toast, Coldplay, Cigarettes after Sex etc. are some of my favourites.
There are several good podcasts that you can follow too. My favourite is ‘The Savvy Psychologist’ on Spotify, in which there are multiple episodes designed around non judgemental sympathetic safe space where the psychologist Dr. Ellen Hendriksen talks about how emotions play an important part in our life and how we can live a better, more fulfilling life by understanding ourselves and listening to our hearts and minds more watchfully!
3. Working on your relationships
If there is one thing I have learnt in my life, it’s that cutting yourself off of people is the easiest thing to do, when it comes to relationships.
What’s difficult is sitting & working on resolving long-term issues that need your attention, be it with your partners or family, friends or colleagues. Understand that human beings are social animals, we are designed to seek other people, cling on to them and live together, doing that doesn’t mean you are weak or desperate, it just means that you are a human being and it’s perfectly natural to want to build strong relationships around you.
Still there are a few things I want you to remember here:
a. If any relationship is lacking compassion, respect, generosity, loyalty, kindness and acceptance, that’s not where you’d want to stay. There is a very subtle difference between a healthy and an unhealthy relationship. Think, decide and then make your call.
b. No relationship in the world is devoid of some give-take element in it. Accepting that while also knowing that, to keep the people who are important to you in your life, you would want to show tiny gestures to show how much you love and care for them. It’s much like nurturing plants or feeding the pets, your object of love needs you to show up, that’s how we fuel relationships and keep them alive.
c. And this one is an age old lesson that I have learnt the harder way. Actions speak louder than words. Notice how they actually treat you and if they really care over just believing in what they say. It’s not at all a good feeling to be cautious this way but trust me, this has single handedly helped me get over my Exes, eliminate unhealthy people from my life over the time.
Sometime before you switch off your brain and go to sleep, following a regime in which you sit and review your day and it’s events, the feelings and emotions you went through etc, reflecting on your thoughts and planning the next day can put your days and weeks through a perspective and help you become more productive and efficient.
It’s basically to give yourself some exclusive time away from the world either in the night time or in the morning, whichever suits you best. It’s for you to make most out of our life and stay in touch with who you are.
You can use any yearly, weekly or monthly planners available online to help you put a structure around your life.
5. Out in the Nature
Like all good things in my life, I realized the power of nature after reading a beautiful classic called The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. That book changed how I looked at the world.
Sunlight on your skin, wind in your hair, birds chirping in your ear and lush green treat to your eyes have something very uniquely calming, healing and reassuring about it on all possible levels. Emotionally, mentally and physically.
Alongwith it, including some form of physical exercise in your day, be it swimming/sports/running/exercise/yoga or just getting out and walking for some time in the fresh air can cause tremendous boost in your overall health and well-being over time.
Being physically active also helps raise serotonin levels in your blood which is a feel good hormone, and that’s why a lot of people feel motivated after doing gym/exercise/yoga/walk etc.
6. Indulging in your hobbies
The fact that it keeps getting interesting is one of the most beautiful parts about our lives, because there is so much to know and learn and feel and grow and become that it will perhaps take multiple lifetimes for us to really live through all that life has to offer.
There are endless number of things that you can pick up and pursue and in the process fall in love with life. I have picked up reading, advocating, writing, sketching, poetry, traveling etc over the last few years and am still discovering the unknown as I write this. The journey is beautiful to say the least.
Learning new hobbies in your free time both as an attempt for change from your routine work and as an act of self-discovery can help you fill your free time with something exciting while also saving you from the pits of loneliness and other mental illnesses. It could be learning a musical instrument or a new language, sketching, swimming, reading, writing, gardening, cooking, dancing or anything that really strikes your interest.
7. Help yourself by helping others
Volunteering, doing charity work or helping others out with things that you are good at, can provide you with a sense of purpose and fulfilment in life.
It can be anything from mentorship to teaching slum children, assisting someone to the clinic, or simply being there for people around you in whichever way they need and can get benefitted from you.
Science says, when you help others, your body releases oxytocin which is a love hormone, and that’s why we feel extremely happy and at ease with ourselves when we help someone or carry empathy in our hearts for people around us.
Think of ways in which you would want to give back to the society. Feminism, Mental Health and Education are areas around which I like to work.
Choose the one where you find your calling and work towards it either through NGOs that are already working on the issues or by starting something of your own.
8. Educate yourself
Self teach yourself things that you wish you’d learnt when you were in school or college. I have taught myself English Literature, Poetry, Singing, Psychology and Philosophy. It depends on your interest, many go for money and investing, astrology, blogging, digital media marketing etc.
One perk of the digital world is that everything we need to know is available at our fingers tips. Ask yourself what’s that one thing that you wish you knew more about, and then go learn it from the resources available on internet and books. It’s really that simple.
There are platforms such as Udemy, Coursera, Unacadmey and edX which provide you with a number of online courses on almost anything under the sun that you want to learn about, similarly for books there are websites such as Library Genesis through which you can download a free e-copy of any book that you want to read.
9. Be a responsible citizen of the world
Taking responsibility for your part in taking care of the environment that you live in is one amongst the noblest of things you can do.
Making eco-friendly choices, opting for no cutlery and straws, taking care of social hygiene, contributing to less noise pollution, turning off the AC, using public transport, reusing bags and containers, opting for menstrual cups over sanitary napkins and saving every drop of water that you can are some ways in which you alone can contribute to saving our dying planet.
And lastly my dear people, speak up against any wrong being done around you. It can be shoving patriarchial norms on little girls or women back at your hometown, or it can be someone making fun of people with mental illnesses saying it’s nothing important or women safety, animal cruelty, perversion, someone judging without knowing etc.
If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor!
Understand that not everyone is privileged enough to have the resources you have to know everything to the extent that you know, so it’s our responsibility to educate them whenever we can, especially when it’s someone that you know who is doing the err. It’s how we as a society can hope to end taboo evil practices such as dowry, superstitions, domestic violence, child abuse, rape, racism, sexism, indifference etc.
Take care of yourself and the world around you. Make most out of this life that we’ve been given. Difficulties and obstacles in one’s life are bound to appear, what makes life beautiful is that we hold our head high and keep going even when the going gets tough.
I am someone who lives in excruciating amount of physical pain every second of my life for almost 6 years now and if you ask me, I’d say it’s all worth it in the end. To quote Morgan Freeman;
I only have one life and I am not going to let Fibromyalgia take it away from me.
And so it is dear people. 🙂
Strength and Love 💙
Mindfulness and breathing practices, healthy eating and drinking, taking care of your mental and emotional health and having a good night’s sleep of min 8 hours are certain other things that have helped me be able to escalate from being miserable at a point to now being in control of my life. But that doesn’t mean I have all good days and I don’t stumble and fall on rock bottom very often. It just means that eventhough it’s tough, I am the one on the driver’s seat now in my life, unlike earlier when it was fibromyalgia.
I am always here if you need any more help from me in any way.
Reach out to me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Insta and Facebook handles of Calm Insights.
Tell me what you think in the comments section below and if you want to, you can support my work by buying me a coffee through the yellow button down below.
Let me also know what kind of vlogs or blogs do you expect from me, see you soon people. Have a lovely weekend ahead!