Take Charge of Your Thoughts
St. Vincent de Paul is kicking off 2021 with a Mind.Body.Spirit. wellness blog series. Below is the first part, which explores wellness of "the Mind" and is a guest post by Community Health Educator Elizabeth Biggs from SVdP's Ben & Catherine Ivy Center for Family Wellness.
Have you found yourself spending more time with your thoughts lately? You are not alone.
Current social distancing practices have left many isolated in their mind with unwanted thoughts. If left unchecked, they can leave us feeling distressed and frustrated and can ultimately lead to stress and anxiety. Although stress and anxiety for most people are transient, some individuals find they interfere with their daily life and can eventually manifest physical and mental duress.
Below are some daily tips that may help us embrace solitude healthily and productively. It may take some effort, but these tips are a good way to change your perspective and take charge of your thoughts.
It’s always good to take some time for yourself. Self-nurturing is a way of showing self-love. At the end of the day, you will be there, so take care of yourself.
“Taking care of yourself doesn’t mean me first; it means me too.”
- Be kind to yourself. You need the same love you give others.
- Drink plenty of water and eat food that nourishes you. Ditch the processed stuff.
- Get 7-9 hours of quality sleep.
- Relax either through meditation or a bubble bath.
Staying grounded means you are connected to the present. When storms around you get turbulent, your roots must remain centered and calm, giving you the ability to weather the storm. It does not mean that we pay no mind to the chaos going on around us, simply that we do not give in to these situations. We step back, gather our courage, and then approach the matter with focus and strength.
“Get yourself grounded and you can navigate even the stormiest roads in peace.”
- Body scan. Close your eyes and pay close attention to every part of your body. This will ground you by bringing you into the now.
- Emotion scan. Connect with your heart and your emotions and ground to the present.
- Senses scan. Connect with yourself by bringing awareness to what each of your senses detects. What do you see, hear, feel, taste, and smell?
Brain studies show that the higher our self-esteem, the less vulnerable we are too emotional mishaps. The dilemma with self-esteem is that it can fluctuate from day to day and leave us open to feeling anxious and stressed. The trick is to build lasting self-esteem. It is only by this that we can take criticism and use it constructively. Remember, your inner dialogue matters!
“Self-esteem and self-love are the opposite of fear; the more you love yourself, the less you fear anything.”
- Learn to identify what you are good at and develop those traits/skills.
- Know your worth. If you are met with rejection, do not take it to heart, and understand that your value is not measured by someone else’s point of view.
- Become comfortable with being complimented and assume it is sincere.
Remember that no matter where your thoughts linger when you are alone, the mindset you create can help prevent roadblocks to your personal growth. Be compassionate and love yourself. Allow yourself that time to learn, embrace, and develop new skills that will help you perceive even common situations in a new light.
Are you or someone you know interested in more expert wellness advice? You may qualify for a free virtual wellness classes offered through SVdP's Center for Family Wellness.
The seed planter harvests joy through service
Farm volunteer Tom Jones, who has a visual impairment, finds fulfillment in helping with his hands and serving toward something greater than himself