“Sparks” is a recurring feature bringing you five topics to ignite inspiration every first week of the month.
Ever feel a bit low after a long workday? Low energy and low mental state? Me too, and it’s completely normal! Sometimes you just need that little boost. Here are five things to help as a pick-me-up in your life. (Btw, so happy to be writing this section again. It brings me so much joy to share!).
“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”
UC Berkeley has a research center specifically targeting positive psychology, and their website content is wonderful. Couldn’t get enough of it for awhile (at times harbored fantasies of joining their department because I found it so great). I specifically chose their page on mindfulness versus happiness because sometimes you get so wrapped up in being happy that you forget to take a step back. And that just might be all that you need. Practice acceptance. Don’t resist how you’re feeling, but face it head on. Name the emotion, and it will have less power over you . If you’re feeling sad, be sad! If you’re feeling mad, be mad! Everyone has these feelings, so don’t shame yourself for feeling that way. Emotions are like waves, and they will pass.
A little nugget from their page,
“Mindfulness is good for our minds: Several studies have found that mindfulness increases positive emotions while reducing negative emotions and stress. Indeed, at least one study suggests it may be as good as antidepressants in fighting depression and preventing relapse.”
How fantastic is this song?? And how can you NOT feel happy after listening to it! The buildup of the first two minutes is my favorite. I absolutely adore music with gospel or soul undertones. The energy behind them is often so raw and full of feeling. Regardless of your religious affiliation, you can’t deny the power behind a superb gospel tune. Let yourself be swept up. (I stumbled upon this gem at indieshuffle.com. Ending a New York summer dance party on a Sunday with this number? Yes, please. And thank you many times over.)
Can we go dance now?
“Self Compassion” by The School of Life
Self compassion is vital when you are going through low or tough times. Acceptance of whatever emotion you’re feeling and positive self-talk is so important. Not to the effect of ,”be happy, happy!”, but in the way you would comfort a family member or friend. You wouldn’t criticize them or guilt them for feeling the way that they do. Instead, you would say things like “it’s okay” or “it’ll get better”. You let them feel what they’re feeling and simply give tons of love. Another website addiction that I had for awhile was the youtube channel, “School of Life”. They made this cute little animated video on self-compassion. In it, they describe six ways to reflect on and decrease our self-criticism.
1) The task was very hard
2) We were’t properly equipped by our histories
3) Failure is not unique
4) Luck is real
5) Your whole worth is not dependent on external things
6) This too shall pass
I agree with their ideas for the most part — they try to make the point that it’s not your fault. However, try not go into blaming others mode either. It comes down to giving yourself love and forgiveness no matter what the situation. It will be okay, and you will be okay. Imagine someone or something you love sooo much — now turn that feeling back on yourself.
This little bundle is a sweet bedside book. It has five different sections: be good to yourself, enjoy life, build strengths, engage the world, be at peace. If you need a small boost before sleeping, it’s an easy read. I would take the things that you learn from the book a step further and turn it into a meditation or prayer practice, just like the real Buddha.
“You’ve heard the expression, “It’s the little things that count.” Research has shown that little daily practices can change the way your brain works, too. This book offers simple brain-training practices you can do every day to protect against stress, lift your mood, and find greater emotional resilience.
Just One Thing is a treasure chest of over 50 practices created specifically to deepen your sense of well-being and unconditional happiness.”
Feeling 10x better after writing this article, thanks guys! Hope you enjoyed and picked up your spirits in the process. Now let’s dance. Happy Wednesday ya’ll 🙂