A little appreciation post

Hello everyone, I hope you’re having a beautiful; morning, afternoon, evening or night no matter where you are in the world!

I wanted to write a post today about something that some of you may be able to relate to, and that is insomnia and sleeplessness. It’s literally something that is constantly the pain of my life and it’s a nightmare to deal with sometimes.

It doesn’t just affect me, if my boyfriend is to sleep over at my place there’s a 99% I’ll be keeping him up with me as I’m rolling around like a marooned whale trying to calm my restlessness and get comfortable. When you’re both working full time it’s not reallyyyy ideal to be going in on 3 hours sleep, but that was the case for us both on Monday morning this week. I couldn’t appreciate you more Luke for putting up with me, I know you’re reading this.

Why does insomnia happen? Ding ding, the bell for anxiety rings once again. I know this may not be the only cause, but for me I’m pretty sure this is at the core of it all. Whether it’s anxiety from overthinking the following day, or anxiety that I’ll get woken in the night (because I’m such a light sleeper) or whether it’s simply because I’m counting down the hours until I need to be awake again.

Although this is a pain, and it’s something I’m slowly trying to cope with, through meditation and reading before bed to calm my mind, I flip this negative into a positive because it makes me have a deeper appreciation for my body. Even on 3 hours of sleep yesterday I was able to be seriouslyyyy productive at my new job, and I didn’t even need a coffee to help me!

I was able to function, my legs held me up, my brain managed to stay focused, my eyes willingly stayed open and I still found the motivation and energy to do a mini workout at home that evening.

Now if that isn’t strength I don’t know what is!

For you mothers or fathers out there I’m sure you’re more adapted to this sleepless cycle, and I’m sure there are times when you couldn’t pray more for a decent nights sleep. But if anything should keep you positive and motivated, it’s that your body won’t give up on you, it will keep going, it will keep you moving and it will hold through.

Staying strong mentally and telling yourself you are capable of doing something changes your physical world too.

If anyone as any tips for insomnia or sleeplessness please do let me know, either shoot me an email or write a comment for me, I’d love to hear your suggestions!

All my love,

HG

Pat yourself on the back

Hello beautiful readers, and a happy monday to you all! Who else remembers being told to do this at their primary school? After any little activity or small achievement we would be told to congratulate ourselves, appreciate that we had done well and then move forward.

Why am I talking about this? Because I feel like it’s become habit for so many of us to ignore the small achievements we’ve made, and only focus on the large and most ‘life-changing.’ The trouble is with this is that we’re left with a sense of never being satisfied, always wanting more, bigger, better.

Sometimes it can even stop us pursuing those things which we really want, our biggest dreams and goals because we believe they are so unattainable, out of reach. When really, if we’d payed attention and noted all the baby steps we were already making towards them then we would realise that we’re on our way there.

To be honest this is how I’ve been feeling recently, a little defeated you know. One of the ways I find helps me when I’m feeling a little lost, or feeling as though everything I desire is so far from my grasp is I remember all the little things I have achieved. Things such as starting this very blog! This was a major thing for me this year, yet I so often over-look it because it’s become part of routine now. I can tell you that setting up a website is not easy people, it was a mission and a half to do this, yet still I forget to pat myself on the back for it.

Another achievement is over-coming the worst of my anxiety. You know I’ve vowed to myself I will never allow myself to sink that low again, all the counselling, all the meditation, all the mind-training was worth it. Yet I still forget to pat myself on the back for it. If I could take myself back to how I was feeling in January of this year I know I was begging to feel this normal on a daily basis like I am now, rather than so up tight and miserable.

Whenever things are getting a little hard, whether you’re going through a break-up, mourning a loved one or are stressed for exams, remember to pat yourself on the back for the little things. If you’re struggling with a break-up, pat yourself on the back for the first day you’re strong enough not to cry. If you’re mourning someone you love, pat yourself on the back for the day you actually get out of bed. If you’re stressed for exams, pat yourself on the back for the that time you nailed that one practice paper.

Because the little things matter, heck, they matter the most, because if we didn’t appreciate them we wouldn’t be able to reach the bigger goals. Don’t overlook them or become blind to them, embrace them, and keep progressing.

All my love,

HG

Over-coming anxiety- part 5

Hello beautiful world, this is the final post I will be making on over-coming anxiety but if you want more posts like this just let me know in the comment section down below! I’ve been feeling very motivated recently, if you’ve read my last post you’d understand that I’m slowly coming to terms with living with uncertainty and not always having a plan. I just think that by putting all our hopes and dreams into one plan, one direction, if we come across bumps in the road or things don’t go as they ‘should have’ we get dissapointed and more sad than we should do. Personally I think that this was always part of the problem with my own anxiety, my awareness that this may be something I should work on has helped considerably in a recovery from something that got me down more than I realised at first.

So this final post is all about ensuring you’re loving yourself, and that you allow yourself the time you need to heal yourself. The process isn’t going to be over-night, and you will have your wobbles every now and then, but overall you’ll be a better person mentally and physically. Healing anxiety isn’t just about improving mental health, it’s about following your soul and changing your lifestyle for the better. It’s the reason I’m partly against taking medication for it, because in my opinion that’s more of a quick fix, instant help, that won’t heal you internally but give the false impression that you’re doing good. Of course if you’re really struggling and medication is what you need I encourage that! But in order to help yourself in the long-term you need to start getting honest with yourself, dig deep to discover where all this is stemming from, what is laying in your subconscious that is making you anxious?

Over-coming anxiety will be a steady process, and you’ll find a few hurdles along the way that may distract you from your end goal. The most important thing is not to fall and stay down. You pick yourself up every single freaking time and dust yourself off, keep moving, keep progressing, because that’s life! Life will throw hurdles at you, whether it’s in work or personal stuff, it’s going to happen, but you can’t use that as an exuse to stop the process of bettering yourself.

It’s like my breakup—- in case you didn’t realise this is what my The Broken Pearl blog post is about. That was a major hurdle for me, I was the one who did the breaking up but that didn’t make it much easier for me. I know I did the right thing, and I’m still glad I did it, I have no regrets. I gave myself 3 days to mourn and not do much at all, after that I had to start being productive again, and I stuck to it. Don’t wallow in pity and negativity, pick yourself up from that shit because you’re so much better than that. Allow yourself time, set a date when you need to get back on track and stick with it.

Have faith in yourself, if you’re not all for it it’s only going to make it harder for you. Believe you’ll overcome it and you will. I’m a firm believer in the Law of Attraction, the energy you put out to the world you receive. The way I envision it is, when you’re in a good mood and radiating good energy you have on a pair of glasses with lenses which only allow you to see love, colour and positivity. If you’re in a bad mood the negative spectacles come on and that’s all you’ll see… The thing we all forget is that we can change those glasses whenever we like you just have to change your perspective, change your mood, the world is only what you make it. Life is the dancer and you are the dance. Never forget that.

This is the post for you to come back to when you need to become motivated again, because you may need it. If I can do it you sure can, I beleive in youuuuuuuu. Let the journey commense.

All my love,

The Broken Pearl

Over-coming anxiety- part 4

Hello beautiful people, how have you all been? Being out of my routines for so long has left me feeling rather de-motivated and lazy to be honest, and that resulted in me not feeling so good in myself. Today I’ve started a project come back for myself, I went over all the goals I have made for this year and revised how I was going to make them happen, the short-term and the long-term. Since we’re over halfway through the year I would highly encourage this of everyone, go over your resolutions or goals for this year and go over how you’re going to make that happen. It’s super important to stay focused, never lose sight of what you desire.

This all ties into the topic for my fourth post on over-coming anxiety which is staying commited to the routines and little things which help motivate and inspire you, the things that help create a positive mindset for yourself and create a forcefield for negative thoughts and emotions.

We all break routines from time to time and this is normal, it’s also important to remember not to be too hard on yourself if you’re not up for meditating or couldn’t find the time to exercise on one of the 7 days in the week. Being too strict with yourself will only result in these things becoming a chore for you, not things that actually help and relieve you from a troubled mind.

For me my routine includes waking up and not allowing myself to go on my phone for at least an hour. By waking up and immediatly looking at what other people are doing instead of prioritising what you could be doing with yourself, will only distract you from any goals or things you want to get done in the day. Writing a list of things to get done in the day and then writing down how I’m feeling and resolving any problems in my journal is what keeps me focused and positive throughout the day. In immediatly dealing with or emptying you mind of worry in the morning, you are more likely to have a more fulfilled and positive day, as you’re essentially losing the burden of carrying around stress with you.

I can’t emphasise enough in how having a positive mental attitude can change and releive you of anxiety and low mood. Lifestyle change is just as beneficial, becoming more active and eating for wellness and health will naturally help too. But in building a routine of little things such as meditating or going on a daily morning walk which helps calm your mind and ground you will gradually cause improvements with your self-esteem and a decrease in an anxious mind.

Try it out, find out what works for you, write down the routine so that it’s set in stone, try it for 2 weeks, write daily and notice the change and improvements by reflecting back in your journal.

Something I should do more of is reading jounral entries from months ago, sometimes I forget how far I have come with my anxiety. It’s humbling to have been somewhere so dark and low, it makes everything else, any improvement, a day of positivity and love 100X more exciting and I have so much more gratitude for the smaller things. Although we all think our anxiety is a burden from time to time, it makes us ensightful to the smaller things, opening our eyes and finding enjoyment and gratitude in things that would be overlooked by most.

Remember this is a jounrey, don’t expect immediate results, be kind to yourself and be patient. You’ve got this.

All my love,

The Broken Pearl

Over-coming anxiety part 3

I just wanted to start this post by saying that although you may perceive this series as a sign that I’m 100% clear of anxiety this is not the case, and that’s normal. Your anxiety makes you who you are and sometimes it may pop up to say hello. It’s just learning to manage it and control it, it’s important not to fear your anxiety but treat it as a part of you, remember it doesn’t have to be a negative. Travelling to South Africa last week was rather hard for me I’m not going to lie to you guys, I had a bit of a panic on my second plane journey and as soon as I got here had a mini panic about making friends and did experience a wave of anxiety for a couple of days.
Obviously it’s hard and it’s frustrating because I’ve come so far you know, I’m a changed person to how I was a few months ago and all it takes is for me to be 5,000 miles from home, on my own and I start to forget everything I’ve taught myself. 

This is why having routines and understanding yourself comes into play, all you need is a few things that you can do that will help ground you to the present. I find that the reason I get anxious or low is because I look ahead too far into the future, and forget to appreciate the present moment. Living and breathing the present is so freaking important! I preach it. As cliché as it may sound I find that this is one of the biggest ways of overcoming anxiety, and you can help yourself do this in various ways, all it takes is a bit of experimenting and time and eventually you’ll be an expert at mastering gratitude for the present moment. 

This may all sound a little mad, but I find that it has helped me considerably, even if you don’t have anxiety this is something we should all work on! So often we forget to appreciate everything happening around us now, because we’re either thinking ahead or we’re sucked into our phone screens becoming caught up in other people’s lives rather than our own!

So these are the tricks I have learnt to help become present: MEDITATION- I will always swear by meditation, even though I may not do it every day I know that by quietening your mind you will cut that thought process of worry and far-thinking and this will help ground you to the present. 
BEING OUTSIDE- I know this may sound silly but in being outside you get to appreciate more, and distract your mind, fresh air is also really good for clearing your head. Being in an enclosed room by yourself will only worsen your anxiety, get yourself outside, go for a walk and appreciate your surroundings.
FOCUS ON YOUR BREATH- again it may sound silly but simply closing your eyes and focusing on your breath will again help break the thought process of overthinking, you can seek gratitude for the health of your body and the air that you breathe. I’m not crazy I swear, it’s just the little things that can help you out here!
START WRITING A GRATITUDE JOURNAL- this will seriously help you, because writing a list of at least 3 things in the day that you’re grateful for will help ground your throughout the day, because you’ll be paying attention to the little things that make your day such as a smile from a stranger or appreciation for the book you’re reading. 

Of course you can come up with your own ways of becoming grounded and present, these are just my own personal ways of finding appreciation and calming my mind. I hope you’re all having an amazing morning, afternoon, evening or night wherever you are in the world! I’ll be back again with another post about South Africa towards the end of this week.

All my love,
HG 
(The Broken Pearl )

Over-coming anxiety- part 2

Welcome back to my over-coming anxiety help guide! If you haven’t already read the part one of this series go ahead and do that first before jumping ahead to stage 2.

So, we’ve established that the first step to over-coming anxiety is being aware that you have it, and accepting that rather than fearing it. (I would highly suggest documenting this jounrey you’re on by the way, just so you can refer back to, and motivate yourself when you’re having troubled times). In acceptance we can find an inner peace, and once you are more peaceful on the inside, you are more capable of controlling your exterior life better and more positively.

For me, part of the reason my anxiety spiralled into depression is because I found that I was no longer myself, and that I was essentially an empty body, with no burning passions and desires. The social anxieties I had lead me to believe I was no longer capable of making friends because I wasn’t interesting or cool enough for people, and that really ground me down till I convinced myself I had a personality that no one liked. Which is of course a recipe for disaster when you’re all alone at University, coming with 0 friends from your local town, can’t drive to get home, and hate the course you’re studying.

So yeah, for me at least I found that my anxiety worsened because I subconsciously was rejecting the things I really enjoyed doing, I lost myself because I didn’t accept myself for who I was. I know now that I’m a freaking amazing person, and I do the things I love daily! But at this difficult time in my life with my ever growing anxiety and low mood, I was spiralling hard.

This is where the whole concept of mirroring other people came about (check out my blog post for more- You are not a mirror), I essentially tried to reflect the other people around me at university in order to ‘fit in’ and tried so hard doing this I burnt out… and CRASH—– breakdown.

Therefore the next stage to over-coming your anxiety is emersing yourself in hobbies that you had forgotten about, or if you’re feeling confident enough try something new. Write a list of all these things, physically not mentally, get some paper and write that shit down, you could even write them in order of what sparks the most joy in you. Having this physically there will help, because whenever you’re feeling low or need to reassure yourself that you’re good, this list will give you a greater sense of purpose. If possible you can go and immediatly do one of the things on your list to break yourself free from a panic attack, you can climb out of the black hole of low mood and replinish yourself mentally by doing something you enjoy!

I know this second step may seem a little much, and perhaps you may be in a position right now where you’re thinking- I don’t love anything enough, I don’t have any hobbies, or- my life isn’t interesting I don’t do anything fun. Take your time. You don’t need to write this list in a day, be aware of when you feel most at peace, when you feel connected to your true self, when you get that tingly sensation of doing something and being proud of it or that exhilaration of wanting to run 100 miles after doing something you’re super passionate about! You’ll get there.

Even the little things such as taking a walk with the dog, or reading a good book. Re-emerse youself in things you forgot you loved, or feel that you lost apprecation for, and in time… you’ll re-ignite. The second joy is sparked within you things will really begin to shift, the days will become more bearable and you’ll find ways to fill the time you used to dread of doing nothing. Keep yourself busy, but busy in a good way, busy doing things you adore, not things to keep those negative thoughts at bay!

You’re doing amazing, I know you are, because you’re making the effort to read this, and that shows strength and courage.

All my love,

The Broken Pearl

Over-coming anxiety: Part 1

So… The big, scary, intimidating yet often overused word of ANXIETY. In this day and age it seems as though everyone has anxiety, yet it doesn’t get talked about, normalised or accepted enough.

In this series of blog posts I’m going to talk to you guys about my experiences of having anxiety, and how I’ve ‘cured’ myself in a sense. I truly do feel like a better person for it, and although counselling is an amazing option and should be considered you don’t necessarily need it. In the advice that I give, and the support we can give each other in the comments or over email, we’re going to make you into the best version of yourself you can possibly be!

So as I’ve mentioned to you all previously I have in the recent year suffered from anxiety which spiralled into a form of depression for me. If you met me now you would never guess it, and this is the problem with mental health, people don’t see past what you give them on the exterior. Even in my worst most darkest periods I continued to keep up the smile even though I was broken on the inside, it’s why I call myself the Broken Pearl because we all have our cracks and flaws and that’s what makes us beautiful.

For me my anxiety was a subconcsious thing for many years, looking back to when I was as young as 10 I would have panic attacks in the middle of lessons. The feeling of my lungs filling up with water, sweating, struggling to breathe, while somehow remaining that calm exterior, convincing myself this was normal and that it wasn’t something I should be concerned about. This is the problem, there isn’t enough recognition for mental health, if I had known from that age that this was anxiety I could have prevented rather than had the trouble of curing my really bad anxiety in my early adult-hood!

The first step to over-coming anxiety is not allowing yourself to be ignorant to it, it’s about having the awareness that you may need help and that this is something that needs to be fixed in a sense. However, your anxiety does not have to be a negative, it does not make you a broken person. As I said earlier when I related us all to broken pearls, our cracks aren’t flaws they make us into our perfect beautiful selves, you can make your anxiety into a positive.

Fuck it, I’m grateful for the fact I have and have had severe anxiety. There I said it. For me my anxiety has been a turning point in my life, it was a wake up call that I was on the wrong track and it turned me around, re-awakening me to new joys and a new perspective on life. I truly believe a third eye for me was opened through my anxiety, and I became connected to my spirituality. I will forever be grateful for that, and you will be too, the moment you recognise your anxiety and give into it, accept it, is the moment everything changes.

All my love,

The Broken Pearl