Mindful walking and cultivating loving kindness

This practice has been adapted from a meditation course on the app Insight Timer. The course was ‘Letting go of negative judgement and self criticism’ by Stephanie Nash. I highly recommend this course if you have or are thinking about getting the paid for version of Insight Timer (no affiliation here).

This practice, I find, also aligns with Robin Sharma’s personal utopia principle in ‘The 5 am Club’.

The exercise needs to be done either whilst on a walk outside or whilst people-watching, I recommend doing it whilst alone to channel your focus and attention.

The practice

As you go for your daily walk or are people-watching, perhaps sat on a bench, silently wish all the people and animals you pass or see loving kindness.

Internally say ‘I wish you well’ and send them some positive energy coming deep from inside.

Why?

It may sound a little bonkers but this simple practice has the potential to do so much.

  • It promotes mindfulness and in-the-present thinking
  • It causes you to pay attention to what’s around you and appreciate people and animals, their existence, their differences and their struggles
  • It allows you to cultivate a loving kindness towards others and experience more compassion
  • It sends out positive energy to the universe, a form of giving, vibrating at a higher frequency and manifest positivity in your life.
  • It allows you to see the bigger picture outside of yourself
  • It makes you feel more positive towards yourself and other people

In conclusion

For me, the biggest effort required is to remember to do it. Otherwise, this is a simple practice which reeps so many benefits and requires veru little effort.


Why wellbeing?

Everyone has mental health, in the same way everyone has physical health. This can be good, bad, neutral, great but in reality for most people it’s up and down.

I got to a point where I was down constantly. Determined not to keep what was happening my permanent reality and after a lot of reading, podcasts and research, I put in play in early 2020 a bunch of routines and exercises. I also maintained my reading and found more time to look after myself and put my mindset as the priority.

Despite still having bad days, I do feel I have come so far already. Self-improvement, mental health care and personal development are all a continuous journey and work-in-progress. And, I say this without judgement, everyone, is at a different stage of development. Some are happier, and some are sadder, some work at self-improvement hourly and others haven’t considered it yet.

Irrespective of where you are in life, it is my absolute pleasure to share with you what I have learnt and am learning. Alongside battle-proofing my own mental health, my aim is to promote a healthier, happier, more radiant life, (or lyfe as we call it in this blog) for all around me and to spread that reach through my writing.

I will constantly try to refer to further reading and my sources so you can get the full pictures around the concepts and ideas I am talking. I am not a mental health professional, just sharing my own experiences and learning from others.


Social media got you down? Here are 7 tips to turn your feed more positive.

In this blog, we are looking at some practical solutions to a problem I’ve seen a lot of my friends complain about on social media about social media.

Right now, COVID-19 is sweeping the internet. Without careful thought, this might mean our newsfeed is crammed with content associated with the topic. In the age of fake news, dark humour, and poor mental health, constant negative stimulation is not healthy.

My biggest belief is that – for the moment at least – your feed is what you make it to be.

Here I share some tips which have helped me escape from the negativity and news interpretations. As a result, this has also brought more light and positivity to my daily scroll. It does take a little while to work as you declutter your feed but it was so worthwhile. It was far more efficient then temporarily switching off for a detox and then returning to the same content, only to repeat a few months down the line once you have had enough.

OKAY! So here are 7 tips to positify your social media for your Wonderlyfe.

  1. Firstly, I removed all the meme pages. Now stick with me here. Yes, we do need humour in our lives and feeds. BUT! And a massive but here, if those meme pages are filled with one of two things, I strongly suggest finding a more mentally healthy funny page to follow. This is, of course, in-line with my personal opinion and humour. My big nono types of meme pages are those which:
    • remind you of the bad things, that includes dark humour. It might be funny to joke about the COVID-19 but all it did was remind me that I can’t see my friends and family, that people are dying and are losing their livelihood.
    • consist of self-depreciating humour. Yes, I get it, I’m British-born after all and for some strange reason, we find self-depreciation jokes funny, our British sarcasm sends the room laughing at our expense, and we love it! But, doing that constantly overtime, your subconscious is fed with it and eventually starts to believe it. Similarly, ‘relatable’ oh-woe-is-me memes are often detrimental too if you are trying to take care of yourself.
  2. Give “News pages” the snip. Yes, we all need to be more “woke” but when I see the news I want it to be on MY terms. I don’t want it to pop up on my news feed when I least expect it or perhaps if I am feeling a touch fragile that day. And most importantly, I don’t want it to be from an ‘OMGNEWS’ site, I want to be able to actively go to a trusted website and read it when I am ready, with the mental capacity to take it in.
  3. Follow the positivity. This is as simple as finding what sparks your joy and positivity and just following it. Robin Sharma mentions in his book ‘The 5 am Club’ and also in his podcast the principle of using ‘Joy as a GPS’. We can apply this rule here, ask yourself the following questions:
    • Which of your friends sparks your joy? Who do you find inspirational?
      • Set your profile to prioritise seeing their posts.
    • Who are your positive role models, both within the realm of people you know and outside of it – celebrities, philosophists, leaders, health gurus?
      • You know what I am going to say, follow their pages and prioritise their posts on your feed.
    • Which places spark your joy? Where do you find relaxing or inspirational?
      • Find a travel page associated with this place and follow it
    • What activities spark your joy?
      • Find how-to and tips pages of those activities. For example, I love dancing and my feed is littered with dance choreography and tutorials which bring me joy.
  4. Take a secret break. For anyone you see who spouts a lot of news-related posts repeatedly, especially those which don’t come from a kind place, Facebook has a wonderful option to ‘Take a break’ and on Instagram, you can ‘Restrict’. This means you can stop seeing their posts without actually removing them as a friend or blocking them. This is the polite way of protecting your mental health without upsetting anyone. How British!
  5. Be brutal. If anyone has made me feel sad or bad in the past and perhaps there are unresolved issues, I did the same as number 4 or just removed them from my friend’s list but then also personally worked on my hurt or issues with that person. Whilst I work on my issues, I do not want to constantly see them on my feed.
  6. Just get rid. Anyone racist, homophobic, sexist, misogynist, Islamophobic or any other religious discrimination, ableist and any other form of discrimination gets removed and blocked. I don’t have the time, need or space for this kind of people in my life. And, if they are close friends who you don’t want to cut off, it’s time for a serious chat.
  7. Take one step further to follow the positivity. I love those cheesy motivational posts, and I love having constant reminders to take care of my self because I need them. It is also great to be given self-care ideas and tips regularly. So my advice is for a more positive health feed is to find those mental health positive and follow them, force those sickly sweet and inspiring messages on your feed every day.

Those are a couple of my tips to curate your newsfeed to be more positive and mentally healthy. I truly think social media is what you create of it. So, with a bit of time and effort, it can be used for greater positivity and encouragement.

For something that so many people spend so much time on, let is become a tool to progress you rather than hold you back.

Do you have any other tips on how to make your social media feed more healthy? Please share them below.