The entire prospect of emotion and feelings is something encompasses many different fields of study, such as science, literature, history, and psychology. The way a human being feels is the catalyst to their actions, thus impacting the life of the individual and those surrounding it in negative or positive ways. In the 21st century, the influx of technological advances, ever-changing societal roles, and the struggle of finding who you are and who you want to can make it very difficult to remember the important things in life. Try your best to follow these tips and see for yourself how your life can change positively if you make the effort.
1. Practice breathing techniques
With our busy lives and demanding schedules, it's not uncommon to be constantly bombarded with thoughts like: "Okay, once I'm done with this, I have to do this." or "I need this task to be over so I can get started on my other hundred." When our thoughts flood your mind, something as simple as breathing can become a second priority. Taking full, deep breaths has many benefits, that benefit not only your body but also your mind and spirit. Allowing breath to enter your lungs fully allows your cells to renew, posture to improve, and carbon dioxide to leave the body. You'll notice your mind clear up, allowing for more positive thoughts to flourish. As All Time Low sings: "Take a breath and let the rest come easy."
As someone who needs to always have their devices on hand, it's hard to imagine a day without using technology in some way, shape, or form. Technology surrounds us in quite literally every aspect of our lives, from the moment we wake up (ie, checking your phone) and till the moment we go to sleep. (Again, checking your phone) Studies show that unplugging from your devices for as little as half an hour every day can improve focus, self-control, and improve judgment. Personally, I love curling with a good book and a cup of tea. Given the weather, a good classic never goes out of style. My current reading list includes The Help, Penny from Heaven, and Classic Indian Poetry.
3. Connect with Nature
Forget about Nature vs Nature, think about how nature nurtures! Realizing how much beauty surrounds us every single day is the first step in letting nature heal you. You've probably all heard of the benefits of exercising outside, but given the stunning New York weather, it's a bit hard to get a workout in when there's ice everywhere. Even then, notice things like the way the sun makes the snow glisten, or how the overcast clouds make everything dark. Just like our emotions, the weather changes when we least expect it, but learning to adapt to both will lead to more personal growth.
4. Practice yoga.
Though this tip may not be the most realistic option for most of us, I've noticed such a positive change in my mind and body since I started practicing yoga regularly. Emphasis on holding a steady breath, holding your form still and being patient with yourself when you're giving out is all part of the process. Everyone has a different reason for practicing yoga, mine being to improve my focus and to tone my body. A great channel to start your practice is @BohoBeautiful on YouTube. Juliana's videos are beautifully edited and composed and I totally recommend her videos for someone who wants to dabble in the world of yoga.
5. Allow yourself to feel.
From a young age, we are unfortunately taught to suppress emotions, which is a toxic and destructive habit that can be difficult to shake off as we get older. Allowing emotions to come as they are is the most crucial component of connecting with your feelings. Recognizing how you feel and letting those thoughts that are attached to those emotions be expressed will allow negative feelings to pass in a healthier way.
6. Talk it out
When in doubt, talk it out! Letting your feelings linger in your mind will lead to even more anxiety and uncomfortable sensations of unsureness. Talk to literally anyone: a friend, a teacher, a counselor, your parents. Acknowledging the fact that people are there to help you will allow
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7. Nurture your body.
Being healthy doesn't only mean eating green food and exercising once in a while. Truly nurturing yourself means taking good care of your mind, spirit, and body altogether. When one aspect of our being is thrown off balance, other parts are affected negatively. Take it a step at a time! Being kind to yourself is a process that takes a while to adhere to, but once you establish an effective self-care routine that encompasses your spiritual, physical, and emotional health, the results will be truly evident.
8. Forgive yourself for what happened in the past.
Living in whatever happened in the past is not only harmful to your life in the present, but completely blocks off any opportunities to grow as an individual. Unfortunately, we all do it! It's difficult to let go of the person that you used to be and the negative experiences that happened in your previous days, but accepting the truth for what it is will allow an enormous weight to be lifted off your shoulders. One of my Taylor Swift lyrics is "Today is never too late to be brand new" from her song "Innocent". I believe it perfectly applies to when you want to move on and allow yourself to let go.
9. Look at things objectively
Objective thinking differs from emotion thinking in many ways. When someone thinks objectively, logical reasoning and facts are applied to the situation instead of acting based off of whatever emotion you're feeling. For example. if you win a $100 dollar gift card to Target, most of us would be so happy and probably spend it on whatever we find enticing, such as the shoe aisle if you're anything like me. Objectively thinking about the scenario would be perhaps budgeting your costs and spending the money on accordingly.
10. Journal/ Write it out
I strongly recommend journaling for many reasons. When your emotions are on paper, it's as if all of your emotions are forever immortalized on paper. I have all of my journals since the 5th grade and it's honestly so humbling (not to mention cringeworthy) to see your progression in personality, thought, and character. If you have anything to write: your emotions, what you wore to your friend's party, the color of the first bike you rode, etc.. get it down on paper! Your future self will thank you.
All my journals from when I was nine years old till now.
Connecting with the feelings that make us human beings will aid in our understanding of ourselves and the world around us. Take it a step at a time and see for yourself how your life can change for the better!