Make Your Soul Sing
January 17, 2014
Sometimes life can feel tough… particularly in current times… pressure comes from all directions and can impact in many way and sometimes it’s hard to feel positive and upbeat. In the middle of winter with dark days and cold nights, when things can seem a bit routine and mundane, it’s easy to become a bit despondent (often without even realising it).
When I’m feeling “down” my default setting is a feeling of wanting to escape and seek comfort.
In the past “comfort” would often involve chocolate, sweets, huge amounts of cheese wrapped in pastry… or wine. However, in my effort to break my habit of comforting myself with food, I have been applying a different strategy to deal with those times I’m feeling a bit glum or downright unhappy.
My trick is to mentally take myself back to a happy time; to revisit something that triggers fond memories or which calms me down and takes me to a “state of grace”
The human brain is an astonishing machine. Its capacity to make “associative links” is amazing… that’s why when you smell the perfume your grandmother wore you are instantly transported back to times spent with her; or the smell of talcum powder… makes you smile as you remember baby bath times. You might hear a piece of music or the signature tune from an old TV show and find you are instantly taken back in time, reliving a happy memory.
And even if you aren’t feeling particularly gloomy or glum, there’s still no reason why you can’t take yourself to a place of peace or pleasure. It doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated and, once you build up a supply of “triggers”, you can take yourself out of your current circumstances and into a “better headspace” in a matter of minutes.
It could be as simple as hunting out a piece of jewellery which you have that holds special (happy) memories; or, if you find yourself wandering through town, finding a perfume counter and spritzing yourself with a happy-memory evoking fragrance perfume (or something wildly expensive that you love but that the bank manager wouldn’t approve of!) It doesn’t have to be perfume, so many smells can trigger our memories… the scent of a certain brand of hairspray always takes me back to being about ten years old watching my mum get ready for a night out… and a pine-scented soap always takes me back to a disastrous camping trip as a teenager (which was awful at the time but which, now, makes me giggle every time I bring it to mind). Or, if you are looking for a visual trigger, you might have a special photo tucked away in a drawer or album which you can hunt out, put on display, and remember good times every time you see it.
In the Hudson Household I know that music can instantly lift my mood. I have an mp3 player on the window sill and a playlist of songs – some which make me smile; some that make me want to sing loudly and proudly, or others which I just have to dance around my kitchen to.
And whilst the song can last less than four minutes, after listening to even just one of them, I find that, at the very least, for a few minutes I have distracted myself from whatever it was that was “bringing me down”. However, more often than not I find that, mentally and emotionally, I have moved myself to a better space – all without the aid of comfort food and drink - and my soul continues to sing long after the music has stopped.
When my soul sings my spirit soars and (whether it is a difficult decision as part of my “day job”; dealing with issues involving family ; or just trying to stay focussed on my weight loss journey), I find I have the feeling that anything is possible… and I get the message loud and clear that no matter “I CAN DO THIS”.
So if you get the chance… I highly recommend taking a few minutes out of your day. Perhaps ditch a little bit of the housework (because as far as I know no-one ever died wishing they’d vacuumed more), or make a little bit of time for yourself (even if that means having to let other people fend for themselves for a short while) so that you can go and explore all the possibilities.
Believe me… there is nothing better than discovering how to Make Your Soul Sing.
With a Hug