It´s amazing what impact our environments can have on us and our health isn´t it? Are you checking in with yours?
This week I was reminded about some advice i received in Norway (this is becoming like The Norwegian Chronicles, but really, i learned some of the best things ever on that journey….)
I was thinking about what a friend in Norway told me when i was struggling to manage the environment.
These words offered me so much comfort - and if you´re reading this, thank you again. We can all use a reminder now and then, to be with those who offer us good vibes and to keep some positive energy for ourselves.
Especially in these times.
Self care is so very necessary.
So if you´re struggling with environmental drama - be it the physical changes we experience when there´s simply more darkness in the world* or struggling with the company you keep, or where you're living, please remind yourself that you deserve to be in an environment that is nourishing and that helps you grow in a positive way.
*sidenote: time to check in with your vitamins and minerals you guys - check this link for a bumper pack of self care tips for managing transitions. Although a lot relates to the autumn season, much is still relevant any time of year.
If your environment is doing the opposite, or things are simply feeling too much, then perhaps it´s time to explore ways to create a positive vibe cocoon.
So here are some questions for reflection when considering tangible ways for to create a positive environment:
Identifying the environmental hazards.
- What´s in your orbit right now that´s not feeling helpful? Perhaps it´s a particular timeline or a difficult relationship. Or not getting enough sunlight.
- Is there anything you can do to resolve the situation? For example, it might be limiting your time on social media or deleting it from your phone. Is it dealing with that email you´ve been putting off once and for all. Or having that difficult conversation. Or getting outside during the day, or taking some vitamin d?
Creating a positive environment.
- What physical entities do you need to feel good each day? It might be a place you go to, or a thing you use or see or read or listen to or wear.
- Who in your life makes you feel good after being in their company (IRL or online or in your imagination!)
- What activities would you add to that feelgood list? It could be having a cup of tea or wine or going for a hike or laying on the sofa watching cat videos.
- Can you do something right now that implements one or all of these things? If it´s not possible, make a note of what those things are that you need, then continue to the next segment as we start to - forgive me, S Club - bring it all back.
Coming back home to yourself.
Think of a moment you felt most “at home” in yourself. Perhaps it was a time when you felt calm, or at peace, or safe.
- What elements of that experience anchored you? For example, was it the location? Or the activity you were doing? Or the food you were eating? Or the song or soundscape that accompanied the moment? Can you think about the objects that were around? The colours and textures you saw and felt? The smells and the tastes?
- Can you recreate something from that experience right now? Try to visualise it happening in your mind but as if it´s for real. Many of you know about the book i talk about on the regular called The Endorphin Effect (by William Bloom). He talks about us being able to conjure endorphins simply from imagining ourselves experiencing something good- which has a tangible effect on our mental and physical health. Pretty cool huh?
The power of a good vibe cocoon
To some, this practice of creating your own positive inner environment might seem simple or pointless (i guess essentially it´s daydreaming - or *ahem* we can call it a “mindful meditation” if you like- or rather, learning how to be), but your brain is so super powerful and influenced by so much stuff that´s going on all around us.
Our physical environments- be they the landscape, or the access they have to light, and/or the types of energies we surround ourselves with. It all has an energetic effect on us.
If your environment doesn´t feel so great at the mo, perhaps we can practice harnessing some direction for our thoughts, so they can support us a bit better and bring ourselves back “home” to that cosy safe space we all have the potential to cultivate inside.
When we can stay close to ourselves and create positive associations and experiences to connect to, (whether in real life if we´re lucky or, by developing a habit of experiencing them through our minds), we´re giving ourselves a great place to begin from. And hopefully, as we go on with our missions on this planet, we can feel that supportive sense of “home” no matter where we are, or what´s going on.
Perhaps our living situation might not change immediately, or that person who´s been annoying you won´t go away, but you´ll be stronger and more connected to yourself so that you may find a place to anchor whenever turbulence comes along.
So wherever you are, and especially if it´s feeling a bit dark, or you feel influenced by outside energies that don´t feel lovely, try summoning up positive experiences or directing your thoughts back to the things that nourish you. In ways that feel good.
If you struggle with visualisation, consider making something tangible to help you, like a self care box (some tips to create one here), a real life visionboard or a digital one with Pinterest for example.
Sidenote: i consider my curated youtube channel of “things that feel cosy with good vibes” a way of visionboarding - essentially, filling a place with stuff that lifts you up. It might contain r&b classics, cat videos or inspirational speakers or perhaps you create a place in your room where you can place things that you have a positive association with. So that you are regularly exposing yourself to the good stuff to top up on. Even if things feel grim.
Remember, even if you have wandered off track and find yourself in places that don´t feel good, you can practice protecting yo-self with a good vibe cocoon.
Sending you good feelings, always,
header illustration by Vincent Mahé