“A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.” – Roald Dahl
I LOVE this quote! As a primary school teacher I read a lot of Roald Dahl but this quote from The Twits has to be my all time favorite from the old fellow. What a beautiful way to teach our children that positive thoughts lead to positive outcomes. We are in control of our own happiness and being able to develop a positive mindset from such a young age is absolute key to living a healthy life.
Anyway, how do we make sure sunbeams shine out of our faces? How can we squash those negative thoughts that linger for hours, days and sometimes weeks? How can we teach our children to see positive in even the most negative situations? Here are a few tips that I use when my anxiety levels are high and the negative thoughts are preventing me from ‘looking lovely’.
- Start the day positively- Set your alarm early, wake up and make yourself a drink! This is so simple but I am often rushing around last minute getting ready for work so 9 times out of 10 I don’t have a drink and I don’t have breakfast. This is the worst thing to do! I really do find that by making myself a hot drink in the morning I feel much more awake and ready to tackle the day! My next step is to eat breakfast!
- Only use positive words- I am guilty as charged of moaning about people who offend me! Or moaning in general! I know you have to vent from time to time to get it out of your system but I have learnt to hold myself back a little more. It’s really not worth your time. If you are about to say something negative just stop and try to find one little positive about the situation. No matter how small it is it seriously makes you feel better!
- If work is becoming stressful…STOP!- This is something that has taken me a while to learn. Teaching is not a 9-5 job. The to do list is endless. One thing get’s ticked off, another 4 get added. I have begun to learn that life will still go on if one small thing isn’t finished in time. I work my socks off to keep up to date with my jobs but if I’m finding a particular job stressful to the point of a headache I just simply stop. Life goes on!
- Keep tidy- I find that by tidying my bedroom or my classroom can give me something to focus on when anxiety is looming. Wack on some music and tidy away. At work I find it much easier to concentrate on other jobs if my classroom is tidy and at home it helps my mind to feel de-cluttered. Also it’s a bonus to feel a sense of achievement when you have finished.
- Chill!- This is the most important tip! Every single day no matter how much work you have, find time to chill out and do whatever the hell you like. Set yourself a time to switch off and watch tv, read a book, exercise, play a game, see friends, paint your nails…anything! I have tried a few different meditation apps now to calm my mind when I’m feeling anxious or stressed. Headspace is a nice one which you can literally fall asleep to! Calm is another app which I would recommend. Really lovely music which helps you to switch off. I tend to use them when I’m struggling to sleep because of stress or if my mind is generally feeling cloudy. It really helps you to drift off momentarily and have a moment of peace.
These are super easy strategies that help calm my anxieties. Sharing them with you might just remind you how simple it can be. Every human on this planet will find it hard to be positive all the time and so it’s important that we help each other to think those positive thoughts and let them shine out of our faces.