If you follow me on Twitter you may have noticed that I have been a little more motivational over the last 7 days.
These extra good vibes stemmed from a collaborative project between Joe Blogs and Simplyhealth who were looking for bloggers to join them in spreading the word that it was Mental Health Awareness Week (11-17 May), as well as promoting the benefits of thinking positively. The concept was to tweet at least one upbeat message a day over the course of the week and in return for our contribution, £50 would be donated to the amazing mental health charity, Mind.
As you may already know, I struggle with my own mental health issues therefore I am always enthusiastic to do what I can to spread awareness. I believe that having open conversations, sharing information and experiences is hugely beneficial in breaking down the stigma surrounding such illnesses, hence my desire to get involved.
I began my blog a few years ago as a private place to store positive experiences, in the hope that it might enable me to gain some perspective when I was having a particularly low day. Since making Emma Inks public back in September I have stuck with these foundations, and tried to continue this upbeat attitude throughout all aspects of my life, because of this I did not think that tweeting positively everyday would be too much of an arduous task.
I soon found out that being positive and spreading positivity are very different things. I have alway had bit of an issue with motivational quotes. I feel that they are wishy washy generalisations and though they may come from a genuine place to me they often seem a little contrived. Despite this slightly harsh scepticism they seem to be a source of inspiration for a lot of people, so I though I would give it a shot.
Here are the 7 positive tweets that I sent;
— Emma Inks (@Emma_Inks) May 11, 2015
When things feel overwhelming it’s ok to take a break and give yourself time to reset #SHhealthyminds
— Emma Inks (@Emma_Inks) May 12, 2015
— Emma Inks (@Emma_Inks) May 13, 2015
— Emma Inks (@Emma_Inks) May 14, 2015
— Emma Inks (@Emma_Inks) May 15, 2015
“When something goes wrong in life shout plot twist and keep on moving forward” #SHhealthyminds
— Emma Inks (@Emma_Inks) May 16, 2015
— Emma Inks (@Emma_Inks) May 17, 2015
On reviewing these tweets I realised that the ones I wrote myself were the most beneficial to me, and hopefully to others. I felt like sharing my experience of turning a negative into a positive were genuine and more relatable. The quote from Lena Dunham I also think has value as I find her an inspiration. The others which are in quotations marks I got from Pinterest and, though they are nice, they do make me want to roll my eyes a little bit. This is because unlike the others they lack context and seem impersonal.
With something as serious as mental illnesses a simple quote that can be moulded to fit almost any scenario is not something that I have found helpful in lifting my spirits. What assists me is a genuine realisation that things are not as bleak as I first thought.
This can found in many ways, kindness from a friend, reading other peoples words and releasing that I am not alone, chatting online, looking back on my own blog or, as I said above, taking time to reset. These are not the ingredients for the perfect recipe for good mental health as everyone is unique and finds inspiration and positivity from different sources. I think the key is working out what makes you feel positive rather than being disheartened when a one size fits all method does not work.
This all sounds very negative, however, I do very much believe in the power of positive thought. Though I remain a realist and serial eye-roller I no longer let my bad attitude get in the way of my happiness. I have learned in the past few years to let the negatives go, unless it is something I am particularly passionate about, such as human rights, or that I can see someone may not have a voice of their own. I mention these examples as I don’t believe that positivity necessarily means that everything has to be sunshine and rainbows all the time, for me it has been about finding a balanced optimism that is not detrimental to my beliefs or general sassiness.
Making this mental switch has not only made me a more positive person, but also more open minded. I now take time to try and see the other people’s points of view rather than shooting things down that I don’t understand or I am apprehensive about. This mental shift has not just helped with my well being but has made way for new experiences, allowed me to meet new people and has grown my confidence which, in turn, has assisted with my anxiety.
Though I am still very much a newbie at the concept of conscious positive thinking, Simplyhealth have put together an easy to follow Five Step Guide that some of you might find useful.
Do you guys have any tips for positive thinking?