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Is It Time For Chocolate Cake?

Is It Time For Chocolate Cake?

Monday 1st May 2017

Is It Time For Chocolate Cake?

Okay folks, it's the last check in with Feel Good Month and today is a great one. We've hopefully made some conscious decisions about food, caffeine, vitamins, breakfasts, exercise and sugar this week - these can all have such a huge impact on our mood so it really is worth a try applying a few changes, especially if you are one that finds moods, irritability and fatigue wear you down.

So, to the last day: Not only is our mood affected by what we do and how we feed it, it is also unbalanced by external influences. Our environment and how we perceive ourselves.

I refuse to get too deep with this, as this should be quite black and white. To make this simple, if you were in a relationship with an abusive partner, where you felt bullied, insulted and brought "down" by comments and emotional slaps, you may feel you needed to get away and hopefully would end the relationship quite promptly. Many of us continue to hear these comments though, the negative pull and the mockery from taunts and put down, but not from a boyfriend, girlfriend, husband or wife, but from ourselves.

This can be referred to as negative self talk, and we are all very capable of this self beating which can become quite a habit; one you are actually unaware of and one that you continue to subconsciously feel the force of the words from. How many of us have reached for the biscuit tin, actually by-passed that and reached for the whole packet instead and then consumed a large amount of them? Was this behaviour followed by a good telling off, resulting in feeling guilty and unhappy? Sound familiar? Bet you gave no thought to all the days you DIDN'T eat those biscuits.

Today I would like to highlight the power of positive self-talk, being drip fed, daily, physically, and even subconsciously. I would like to introduce you to -

-Rewards
- Pride
- Self-Congratulation.

These 3 things can produce a positive affect in the most negative of us and with a conscious effort to produce them it can be a subconscious result to feel a brighter mood from them.

How?

- Rewards
When you have done something well, no matter how small, you should feel reward. It could just be that you managed to take yourself a properly packed lunch out every day, rather than the usual mad dash to a street based "Pop Up" or Supermarket. You have both saved money and probably eaten much better so how about a reward? That café latte you wouldn't always embark on or a magazine/newspaper you wouldn't always pick up?

- Pride
Many of us live by habit, the same foods, journeys, holidays, restaurants, clothes, whatever! How about making a decision to do something outside of that habit, each day? The pride felt from doing something outside the "norm" can give you quite a high believe it or not. It's so easy to follow the pack, do the conventional thing, fulfilling your personal traditions. It takes a bit of nerve, imagination and thought to do anything differently! How about driving a different way to work or school (obviously leave yourself plenty of time still!)? Cook a cuisine for your evening meal that you would never have a go at. Wear something considered quite "whacky" for you or just go for a walk by yourself...because, believe me, if you don't have a dog and it's not something you usually you do, it can feel quite weird and liberating actually!

- Self Congratulation
It can be quite easy to fall in to the trap of feeling frustrated and annoyed at yourself for making a mistake. It takes some time and effort to re-train your thoughts to bombard yourself with "Whoa, you fantastic person" and, "that was pretty awesome", when your mind is so used to "what the hell did you do that for you idiot?" If this were a partner, would you accept such a telling off? Everyone needs to feel appreciated; it's human nature.



I have a little list of things you can do to FILL your life with, to gain this Reward, Pride and Self Congratulation. Choose the things that are not usually part of your behaviour, skill set or comfort zone - that's important. The MORE you do them and adopt this way of thinking, the more it will seem natural and become part of a new, more positive YOU.

- Read A Poem
- Spend Time With Friends
- Paint a Picture
- Jump On A Trampoline
- Bake A Cake
- Dress Up In Your Best Outfit for NO Reason
- Take yourself on a walk
- Take yourself to the cinema to watch a film you would NEVER normally watch
- Run a bath at lunchtime and take a book.
- Book a day trip or weekend away to somewhere you have NEVER considered to go before.
- Learn a new craft
- Make some origami or napkin fold
- Buy YOURSELF a bunch of flowers
- Swing on a swing at a park
- Remove an item of emotional baggage from your mind - eg forgive that person, you will be the one that benefits.
- Contact an old friend
- Read a book from a genre you'd never usually read.
- Lie on the grass and make shapes with the clouds
- Wake up an hour earlier, make yourself an AWESOME breakfast and enjoy the leisurely time and the gift of extra time.
- Stay awake all night!
- Stay off Facebook and Twitter for a week.
- Take your phone out but keep it switched off for 5 hours.
- Take a random day off...for no reason!
- Book a massage
- Visit a book shop and browse
- Walk barefooted somewhere
- Re-arrange your bedroom
- Drive a different way to work
- Wild swimming
- Climb a hill
- Ride a bike somewhere - even just to the local shop!
- Go on a litter pick around your home
- Clear our your wardrobe/garage/shed
- Take your unwanted items to a charity shop
- Climb a tree
- Go to the seaside and breath in the sea air
- EAT SOMETHING YOU LOVE - we all deserve a treat from time to time!
- Lie on the floor
- Take a partner on a night walk
- Visit a zoo
- Give yourself a hug!



I will be honest, I am one for routine and I can wake at exactly one minute before that alarm goes off in the morning, so I know I am one who definitely reaps many benefits from embarking on activities like the above. I do climb hills, take walks barefooted, lie in fields and climb trees - it's invigorating! And my children find it quite amusing. One of my favourites though? I pat myself on my back regularly for all the good stuff I do and the odd reward? Chocolate Oreo Cake...why the hell not?

Look after youselves...xx