May is National Mental Health Awareness Month, and feeling someone may need encouragement, I chose to write this message.
It is no surprise that we are bombarded with negativity, anger, resentment, bitterness, rage, and more daily. It seems the ugly outweighs the lovely at any given moment. We are constantly surrounded by noise and process high volumes of information daily, and the messages are loud and relentless. Society has a permanent set of rules and ideals on how we should look, feel, act, and even think. Influences are present in many forms, including social media platforms, politics, relationships, and peers. These ideals and influences can, and often do, impact our character and decisions and lead to feelings of stress, anxiety, and tension, which can take a toll on our mental health and well-being. They can shape who we are and what we believe, suffocate our true purpose, and destroy our overall vision. But did you know we have some control over what we focus on and consume?
Here are a few things I’ve discovered to help manage the overwhelming negativity and noise.
- Practice mindfulness: Simply be involved in being present at the moment. Do this through meditation, deep breathing exercises, or simply focusing on your surroundings and senses. Really hear the wind as it passes through your nose, the sun’s warmth on your skin, concentrate on the smells around you, etc.
- Limit media consumption: Although staying informed is essential, limiting exposure to negative news and social media is equally important. Set aside designated times to check the news or social media and avoid it before bedtime.
- Surround yourself with positivity: Seek out optimistic people, enjoyable activities, and experiences that bring you joy and happiness. This can include spending time with loved ones and engaging in hobbies or activities you enjoy.
- Take care of your physical health: Eating well, moving your body with a walk or exercise, and getting enough sleep can all help improve your mental health and reduce stress.
- Apply self-compassion: Be kind to yourself and provide yourself with time for self-care regularly. Take a break when you need it. Seek support from others. Engage in activities that make you feel good.
I encourage you, as so perfectly stated in Max Ehrmann’s poem ‘Desiderata”, “…With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.” to remember those words and recognize that there is also a lot of positivity and beauty in the world, even if it’s not always as immediately apparent.
Another great thing we can do is to practice gratitude. Focus on the present moment and be grateful for what we have. By looking for the good, being thankful, and seeking blessings, we can cultivate a more positive outlook and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. And, if the world is simply too overwhelming for you, try meditation, journaling, or taking a few moments each day to jot down three new things you are grateful for on that particular day.
Above all else, Stay centered. Stay true to yourself. Surround yourself with positive influences. Immerse yourself and your time in people, places, and things that bring you joy. Learn to transform your mind and remove yourself from the clutter, noise, and negativity. Learn to decipher what is good and true for you and what is not. Shift your focus towards the positive by actively seeking out sources of inspiration and uplifting content, such as inspiring books or articles, uplifting music, or videos that make you laugh or feel good and, of course, we like to suggest subscribing to this blog or Focus on Fabulous magazine (www.fofmagazine.com).
Girl, it’s time to shine. Don’t let the mud, maggots, and mess of the world cloud your vision or dull your sparkle. Whereas it is important to be mindful of the amount of information and stimuli you expose yourself to each day, I encourage you to set boundaries around social media and news consumption. Make an effort to prioritize activities that bring you joy and fulfillment. Be intentional as to what and whom you allow in your daily routine. By being intentional, you can create a more positive and uplifting environment for yourself, stay true to who you are and what you believe, and carry on your true purpose and overall vision.
© c. michelle bryant griffin