Anchor Your Day ~ a mental health blog by Counselwise ~

Anchor Your Day

Thank you for visiting! The purpose of this blog is to provide short, daily counsel on a variety of topics and interesting facts about mental health. We all live busy lives which is why the focus of this blog is to have something relatively quick to read; it can act as an “anchor to your day” so to speak. If you would like to have this blog sent to your email directly on a daily basis, please follow the link below (you can unsubscribe at any time) and join me on the path to self-care. 

The Treasured Wound

We all have instances where we have felt hurt by another. There are times when we can accept and heal ourselves from those wounds, and then there are those we treasure. We think about them, talk about them, we keep them fresh by reliving the hurtful things that were said or done to us. Sometimes those wounds come from childhood; other times from feelings unresolved. It may be a person from our past, or one in our present, but we struggle to accept it; in our focus of the treasured wound, we inadvertently hurt ourselves.

We are much better served to recognize where our valuable, soulful energy is going. Perhaps, when we recognize that we are focusing too much of our time on a treasured wound, we can remind ourselves that:

“It is time for me to heal from this hurt. I can not help that it happened to me, or that it exists. But I can choose to not focus on it. I can remind myself that accepting it is not excusing it; but it is no longer my job to seek atonement from another.  I can only accept it for what it is. My goal is to feel peace, to settle my soul where this matter is concerned.”

When we choose to no longer give something our time and space, we grant peace an open door to enter. Let us heal from our treasured wounds. 🙂

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The Effect of Another

I love this passage by writer, Victoria Erickson:

“There are certain people that’ll 

inhabit a small, quiet space inside

your heart despite any circumstance,

happening, or situation. They 

left a piece of themselves when

your souls collided upon impact.

And there they’ll always subtly remain.”

– Victoria Erickson

There are times in our lives where someone we loved is no longer present. Perhaps through their passing, or a relationship that was not meant to last a lifetime. Perhaps we have had to let someone go because they have hurt us in some way. Regardless, the effect of another, for the time that there was love, is still of value. Thank you for the lovely reminder, Victoria Erickson.

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“I’ll Just Do it Myself”

I came across this cute meme the other day that struck a chord with me. It went as follows:

Me: I need some help around here

Also me: No, not like that, here I’ll do it. 

I can remember when I first began asking my youngest daughter to take the laundry in off the clothesline, I would remark to myself how she certainly did not fold them like I did. And I also have to admit, that in the beginning, I would refold them. Tsk. Tsk.

Routine and developed patterns are a part of our comfort system. We have certain ways of doing things that are right for us; and soon become the only way to do it. Affecting us both at home and at work, we soon have too much work on our hands; landing us in the unyielding territory of rigid thought and expectation.

Perhaps at this point, we can move to readjustment; being more flexible in both our expectations of others and our ownership of task. Not only does it allow us to lighten our load, it also teaches a most valuable lesson; one that encapsulates effort, acknowledges the emotional bid and builds the healthier option of flexible thought.

In other words, no more refolding of laundry for me. 🙂

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Our Spiritual Side

In a former post, we explored the importance of the balance of well being. One of the areas that often gets neglected is our spiritual side; the part of us that seeks deeper connection with the world around us. Spirituality as defined in the Webster’s Dictionary: attachment to all that concerns the life of the soul // the quality of being spiritual. And the definition of the word soul: the vital principle which moves and animates all life. 

For some people, spirituality includes religion. Being a part of a religious community, being able to celebrate in a place of worship, and incorporating prayer into daily life are ways that one can feel closer to an entity that is greater than themselves; touching on an inner connectedness to peace.

Spirituality, however, is also independent of religion; it is about how we connect to our own soulful life, how we nourish and foster tranquility, leading to acts of grace. We may find it in nature, in time spent with a newborn, in the undisturbed moments we carve out for ourselves, in the mindful practice of meditation, in our thoughtful intentions, in the gratefulness of our blessings.

Regardless of how we tap into our spiritual self, the act of building leads to a greater attachment to our soul.

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What Is the Point to Positive Affirmations?

We often hear the phrase “just think positively” as a strategy to replace negative thoughts with positive ones; the reality is, it’s not that easy. Our negative thought patterns are often ingrained as a rumination loop in our brain, getting stuck on what feels like an endless cycle; our actions often follow, reinforcing core beliefs. Positive affirmations can help.

The definition of affirmation is: the action or process of affirming something or being affirmed. It stands to reason, that if we can repeat a message to ourselves, aligning with our goals, we can begin to lean into the neuroplasticity of our brain; an ongoing remodeling of its function and framework that lasts a lifetime. In other words, it is never to late to change a thought pattern.

Positive affirmations need to be daily, goal oriented and personalized so as to best suit your own needs. My biggest tip on how to create positive affirmations for yourself is to use google :). Identify your negative thought pattern, flip it so as to recognize the opposite, and then google “positive affirmations for ___________”

An example: If our negative thought is “I always feel sad,” we want to flip it to “I want to feel happy.” When I googled “positive affirmations for happiness,” I was able to pick out ones that would suit me, such as:

  • By allowing myself to be happy, I inspire others around me to be happy as well.
  • The most simple things in life bring me joy.
  • I am willing to be happy now.
  • I will focus on the happy moments today will bring.

Reading (or writing) our personalized affirmations first thing in the morning will help set the tone to creating a new thought loop; a healthier one that is aligned with our overall aim to foster movement and growth.

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“Batten Down the Hatches”

Coming into yet another emergency order for lockdown, we are faced with feelings of weariness and discouragement. Coupled with the isolating effects of not being able to socialize, it can be quite tempting to follow those feelings into the rabbit hole of depression and disengagement.

Perhaps now more than ever, we can proceed as we would in any storm – by battening down the hatches. In order to do that emotionally, we can:

  • create a self-care routine that allows us to feel taken care of, highlighting the joyful satisfaction of the present moment.
  • continued connection with family and friends, albeit in the most inventive of ways.
  • get outside. Yes, we are told to ‘stay home’ but we still require fresh air 🙂
  • get back on track. If things have slipped for you, right the ship. (Yesterday’s post can help you with this one!)
  • be grateful. This can be a tough one as our negative bias is going to rally against counting our blessings. Perhaps; however, it is the most important one. As the German mystic Meister Eckhart once noted:

“If the only prayer you ever say in your life is ‘Thank you,’ it will be enough.” – Meister Eckhart

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How Can I Stay Motivated?

We decided something needed to change; perhaps that involved a decision with your health (“I am going to exercise more”), a boundary that needed to be set (“I am no longer going to answer ‘baiting’ texts”) or a self-care goal (“I am going to meditate every morning.”)

When we establish goals we are full of motivation. Fueled by a feeling of “that’s it, something has to change,” we feel confident in our decision to establish a new habit and have faith we can get ourselves there. And then ….. things fall flat. Our best intentions have lost their mojo, and one ‘off’ day can send us right off track.

Willpower and motivation are fed by emotion. When we are feeling great, both are by our side and we can conquer the world. When we are feeling crummy, willpower and motivation are the first fellows out the door. So how can we stay motivated? Two words: planning and discipline. 

When choosing a goal, we need to ask ourselves “What is the best plan for this to succeed?” As as example, when I want to increase the amount that I exercise, I know that walking suits me best, first thing in the morning is the ideal time for me, and if I have a nature trail to walk on, that will entice me ten times more than walking through streets in town. This plan will help to keep me on track. Our goals should be achievable and tailored to what we know works for us. 

From there, we move to discipline. We don’t rely on “how we feel in the morning,” but rather rely on a “regardless of how I feel, get to it anyway.” We have all had the experience of not wanting to do something, forcing ourselves to do it anyway, and then feeling better after we have. And that is because, at our very core, we are meant to live our full lives.

Planning and discipline, you can invite them to join your team 🙂

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A Podcast of Possibilities

I have discovered a new podcast that I am passing along to you. Hosted by success coach and registered psychotherapist, Hina Kahn, “Possibilities” provides to the listener short episodes that promote self-reflection and end with a gratitude practice. Some episodes that I have recently listened to include: “The thing about money,” “Let’s go on a mental detox,” “The thing that will change your year,” and “How to create a better morning routine.”

Hina creates an energetic kindness in her delivery of the topics. What I really love about the podcast is that the episodes are only about 12 minutes long. In a very similar fashion to this blog, we can give ourselves a way to anchor our day that doesn’t take up a lot of our time but still gives us something valuable to think about and work towards. Hina also ends each episode by getting us to jot down something in our gratitude journal that is reflective of the topic she spoke about – what a great way to reinforce the nugget of great information she has provided! “Possibilities” is a wonderful addition to our self-care routine 🙂

To check out the podcast “Possibilities” by Hina Kahn: https://frequencypodcastnetwork.com/podcasts/possibilities-with-hina-khan/

(It also comes up when you search for it through your Podcast app)

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The Basics of Self-Care Strategies

In an article entitled “The Top 10 Self-Care Strategies for Stress Reduction” by Elizabeth Scott and featured on verywell mind, we are reminded of some of the basics of self care and that sometimes we can let good habits slide, such as maintaining the right amount of sleep and getting proper nutrition. Two points that I especially appreciated:

  • Have the right attitude: Scott talks about the importance of leaning into an optimistic frame of mind and having positive affirmations as a part of our overall self-care strategy.
  • Maintain a spiritual practice: the article mentions that research shows that a lifestyle including spirituality is generally healthier.

I also appreciated Scott’s point that we should pamper ourselves; pretty sound advice indeed. Find some time today to celebrate you 🙂

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To read the full article: https://www.verywellmind.com/self-care-strategies-overall-stress-reduction-3144729

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A Quote About Hiking (it’s really about life)

I stumbled upon this quote about hiking (author unknown):  Hiking is a bit like life: The journey only requires you to put one foot in front of the other….again and again and again. And if you allow yourself opportunity to be present throughout the entirety of the trek, you will witness beauty every step of the way, not just at the summit. 

Very often, the “summit” is our goal. We fall into the notions of society that if we earn a certain amount of money, own more things, live to an expected, yet unrealistic level of perfection, we will be rewarded by the rich view of the summit. And perhaps we will. But what about the journey?

I have always loved the mantra “one day at a time;” not only for the times in my life where my emotional capacity was challenged, but also as a reminder to slow down. It is meant as a reminder to focus not only on our goals for achievement, but also on our peaceful moments, our rewarding moments, our rich moments, our simple moments. One step at a time, until the summit is reached.

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