How to Keep Smiling!

With everything we’re surrounded with in our modern world, it can be a challenge sometimes to keep smiling through it all. I love to laugh and smile (often to people’s annoyance but who cares!) and this leads people to assume I never get sad or I’ve never had anything bad happen in my life or seen anything bad.

Of course this isn’t true, just like for most of us! On my travels and in daily life I’ve seen animal abuse, been treated horribly by a few people with closed hearts, had loved ones die, family dramas and had years of past personal depression- things a lot of us go through- but I always see that the good always outweighs the bad. And that’s what I really do believe- that the goodness here is always stronger than any badness.

 

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Singing always makes me smile!

Here are a few ways I keep smiling…

 

  1. Avoid the News. This isn’t saying be ignorant to current events, just choose how much you are surrounded with images of death and hopelessness which is the mood those who script the News programmes and publish papers seek to create. Avoiding biased, fear-based programming is the first step to clearing your head of the fog that keeps us from being happy.
  2. Nature! It’ll be a running joke soon that I suggest nature as the answer to most challenges, but it is true that immersing yourself in a natural setting gives a perspective that is hard to find otherwise. Using the calm of nature to still your own anxieties and running commentary really helps if you find it difficult to switch off at home. With practice, you’ll be able to bring this peace with you anywhere. Take deep breaths and focus on the birdsong, letting your own thoughts drift away as you listen to the music of nature.
  3. Connect with others. My recent blog post on this shows ways to become involved in your community to help others which in turn will help yourself. Volunteer, see family, support local shows and music and art scenes and a beautiful community spirit will grow, one you’ll be very much a part of.
  4. Travel. See the truth in the world before believing everything the media tells us. Meet people from different cultures and decide for yourself where you think people’s hearts lie and who they truly are. This again will connect you to the truth in the world, that we are not so different from each other at our core.
  5.  Create! Feeling you’re making a contribution to the world will increase feelings of happiness. This is closely related to the connecting with others idea, that by creating something others find useful or beautiful, you’ll be helping to make the world better and. Music, crafts, art, poetry- anything that you feel drawn to. It’s probably something you enjoyed doing as a child and once you pick it back up, it’ll be like you never stopped and you were meant to do it! This is how music was to me after a long break which left me very down, but once I came back to it I realised how much I love using music to make others (and myself!) happy.
  6. Get off the Internet!! I do realise the irony of saying this whilst writing a blog, that I’d like people to read- on the internet. Too much though is soul destructive as it drags us down into a world of frantic notifications and comparisons to people we barely know or people we think we know but don’t really because everything is edited beyond any meaningful reality! So spending time away, doing the above can be so beneficial. A lot of us use social media for work now so I know it’s not always easy to cut ties completely but limiting use is a great start!

 

There’s a reason smiling is also called “beaming” and that’s because it’s like a ray of sunshine beaming across all those who encounter it! Smiling really is infectious and if you share your smile with others, it’ll spread across all those you connect with and beyond so share your beautiful smile today!

Best Wishes,

Bexi

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A Colourful Life!

Earlier this week I talked about a simple life, but now I want to share thoughts about a colour life with you! Something that brings me so much joy when experiencing other cultures, is how much colour there is and … Continue reading

Going Solo!

Hello there!

I’ve just returned from beautiful Morocco, a trip I almost thought about cancelling due to others’ responses when I mentioned it. That I must be very careful, there will be so many scams, and even that I should not go! I knew I would be fine though and would see and learn so much from going there that it was important for me to go.

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I appreciate people’s worries, that they come from a loving place and so I don’t dismiss them but I listen to my own feelings and faithfully follow those. Usually their words are not the true voice of the person speaking them, instead they are the vocalisations of a society that wants to keep its population (and in particular it’s women) in a constant state of fear. This is because fear equates to control and someone who lives in fear cannot truly be free.

Even walking alone in the woods near my house provokes this response! I’m asked on an almost daily basis by fellow walkers why I don’t have a dog with me or am I really going on my own? I love walking and it’s so vital to be out in nature. It saddens me that so many of us are discouraged from our natural surroundings due a disproportionate fear of what lurks waiting.

Use your intuition- your ‘common sense’, do hear others’ stories of particular places and use that information to decide on your own path but at the same time listen to your own instincts more so than anyone else, those telling you something is safe or unsafe, if you feel otherwise- trust this.

If I had followed all the people telling me I shouldn’t be doing something, I would have missed out on some of the most incredible experiences of my time here so far, meeting warm friendly people, seeing beautiful nature and learning some of my most important lessons (future posts to come on these hehe!)

Here are my thoughts on how to speak lovingly with a friend or family member who is concerned about your path…

  1. Don’t react immediately! Initially in response to someone telling you that you shouldn’t be doing something, you may feel a rising surge of anger in your stomach and want to argue back with them. This will not work and just confirms in their minds that you’re too reactionary and emotional to keep yourself safe. Instead, calmly tell them that you understand their feelings but that you feel very secure in everything and are looking forward to your trip.
  2. Often people are swayed by what they’ve recently read in the news or watched on TV, for example I know people who wouldn’t dream of visiting Eastern Europe after seeing the film Hostel and so if you tell them that’s where you’re heading, they conjure up visions of that ridiculous film instead of the beautiful scenery and people that are there. Keep this in mind when discussing your trip and show them the beautiful side of your destination, one they may be unaware of.
  3. Be realistic when talking with them. Don’t pretend as though nothing bad ever happens in the world or could ever happen to you as this comes across as naïve. Acknowledge that for example if you’re travelling to Africa, that yes people have encountered trouble but remind them that there have been people go on a night out in Manchester and never return home due to a simple bar fight.
  4. Show them how prepared you are (even if you’re not yet!) Be detailed as you describe your trip even if you’re certain your plans will change and evolve along the way. Once people know you have a schedule, they usually feel safe. I book hotels and hostels very last minute which drives my family wild as it’s something they would never dream of leaving until the day before travelling!
  5. If they’re very logically minded, providing some statistics may be useful. For example on my forest walks, I remind people that women are more likely to be attacked in their own homes by someone they know, not whilst out on a sunny day walking! Not a nice statistic of course but one that might put things into perspective.

 

If you are scared, don’t be afraid to admit it! Don’t feel you must put on a show of bravado and say that an upcoming trip trekking India alone is the same as nipping to the corner shop to you- it’s not and it’s perfectly ok to feel apprehensive. The key is to listen to your body and note the differences between feeling truly terrified of a situation or feeling excitedly anticipative of the unknown.

And most importantly, remember that although it’s good to keep people happy, don’t do this at the expense of your dreams. Never let other’s views influence your own plans to the point of cancelling your dream trip. Reclaim your freedom!

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Best Wishes,

Bexi