We aren’t living in the happiest of times, are we? Two years into a pandemic, with so much illness and loss, awful news headlines, people divided more than ever, and so much anger on social media. Obviously, reflecting this is a rise in poor mental health.
It’s getting harder to concentrate on the positives. Since the beginning of the pandemic I’ve tried to get out at least once a day for a walk, and consistently found nature to have a positive effect on my mental health. I’ve always noticed small, beautiful details in nature and enjoy photographing them. Now, I seek them out even more and make sure I consciously feel gratitude for experiencing them.
This morning I got out early and enjoyed witnessing the morning frost burning in the sunshine, and studied closely how pretty the frost looked on the leaves and grass. I imagine people found me rather odd and wondered what I was doing crouching down, taking photos of tufts of grass, but hey ho!
As a freelance video editor I spend many hours a day staring at a screen, so getting out, feeling the elements and connecting with nature certainly gives me the mental medicine I need.
I think we all need to take a few moments every day to focus on the beauty, not just in nature but in as many places as we can find it. In a world that seems quite bleak at the moment, it’s good practice for our mental health to seek out beauty – whatever lifts your heart.
The chirpy sound your cat makes, the smell of morning rain, the skill of your favourite football player, the brilliant writing of your binged TV drama, the infectious laugh of a friend, the warmth of your cup of tea in your hands, that guitar riff... experiences that are personally beautiful to you.
Be more mindful of things around you: pause, take it in and feel gratitude for them.
We can apply this to our work life too. Sounds a bit weird, doesn’t it? Finding beauty at work?
However, by concentrating on the positives and feeling gratitude we can feel happier at work.
Humans are hardwired to focus on threat – we have a greater sensitivity to negativity. Let’s try and flip every negative thought with a positive.
Image by Elisa Ventur - Unsplash
We often have a moan about things at work, and yes, it’s good to talk and get frustrations out – but do we speak about the positives aspects of our work as much as the negatives?
Being a freelancer I’m grateful that I get to meet so many different types of people and from different organisations. The people I’m lucky enough to work with are lovely, kind, passionate and have interesting stories that I'm able to help share.
I’m also thankful for the network that I’ve built up professionally, whether that be people I see face to face (when we are allowed) or online – people that go out of their way to support, guide and teach you. I’m grateful for the beauty in people.
Be proud of your work and your business, focus on how it helps people. You will find beauty there, whatever your industry. You will be contributing to something!
Find the little positives as well: the smell of the coffee at work, the office dog, the water cooler banter, a client’s positive feedback, the fact that spellcheck didn’t highlight any errors!
Make sure you also acknowledge great work – show gratitude and thank co-workers – this will give them a lift too!
Image by Clay Banks - Unsplash
Have a go! Find the beauty and see if this helps your wellbeing. A positive mind can lower stress and also boost your immune system. Try each day to pick three things, reflect and savour each for a few moments.
I’d love to know if these notes have made a difference for you – feel free to get in touch.