If you're a regular follower of my blog or YouTube channel you'll know that I had been feeling down and frustrated quite recently, all of which came to a climax after a bad personal experience while in Ukraine. What that bad experience did do however, was get me to the point where I'd decided that enough was enough and I was going to stop letting external things I can't control dictate my happiness; that it was now time instead, for me to take control of my life and to focus on the things I can control and become the best person I can be.
So after making a few changes in my life I was actually able to pretty quickly get myself to a much better place mentally, I was much happier, less frustrated and much more grateful with greater perspective.
These techniques have came in particularly useful for me right now during the current coronavirus pandemic and the difficult times that we are all facing. So this is the perfect time for me to share the simple steps I have taken in my life to quickly go from being less frustrated, less anxious and focusing less on the negative things in my life to being much happier, much more grateful, more productive and a lot more positive about myself and my life.
For more in depth examples on all of the changes I've made, watch the video at the top of this page, otherwise I will summarise as best I can below, but to put it as simply as I possibly can, the easiest and quickest way to change your mentality is to:
Fill your head with as much good stuff as possible on a daily basis
I do this by listening to podcasts every day which bring me value, inspire and motivate me and teach me new things, by reading everyday and by doing just 5 - 10 minutes of guided meditations every day.
The key is to do these things on a daily basis though, as momentum plays a crucial role. Take listening to guided meditations for example, 5 minutes of mindfulness - taking control of your thoughts and your focus - does not sound like much, but by doing that every single day, all that knowledge and focus continues to grow and grow and builds on top of each other and pretty soon it can have a massive impact on your life.
So start off small, you don't have to overwhelm yourself by making sudden huge changes to your lifestyle. You don't have to give up Netflix completely and only watch online courses instead, you don't have to give up reading fiction in favour of only reading self help books, but do be more conscious about the things you are consuming and if there are any small changes you can make.
For example, when driving to work, perhaps you can listen to a helpful podcast or audiobook rather than listening to Spotify.
Even if it is just small amounts though, make sure you are consuming things each day which do give you value, which help inspire and motivate you and improve your focus and perspective. The more you fill your head with good stuff the better but even small amounts can make a big difference so long as you are doing it every day.
And if you do have a bad day, if you do have a day when you're feeling very down, nothing is motivating you, you feel lazy and lethargic and you haven't consumed anything of value, make sure you reflect and learn from this. What caused you to feel this way? What can you do tomorrow instead to feel better?
It's fine to have a bad day, that is normal, everyone has bad days. The key however, is not to have two bad days in a row. As I've said, momentum is incredibly important and it can get you back into a rut just as quickly as it can get you out of one.
I will leave you with an example of a recent book I have read which has probably been the one thing which has quickly made the biggest impact on my perspective and overall mentality: The Little Book of Stoicism: Timeless Wisdom to Gain Resilience, Confidence, and Calmness by Jonas Salzgeber
I cannot recommend this book highly enough, it has had a huge influence on the way I view and approach life and to try and prove it, I will finish off with a few quick quotes from the book (and their are so many I could have chosen)
"External events are not what matters, but what you choose to do with them."
"Only you yourself have access to your mind, and only you can ruin your life. You're responsible."
"It only seems that life gets in the way; in reality, it's our negative emotions that get in the way."
For more detail and for more specific examples of tools I am using, please watch the video at the top of this page. If you have any examples of good books you have read, any podcast recommendations you might have or anything else which has helped you, which you think may benefit me and others, then please leave a comment below. Finally, if you would like any more of my recommendations then please feel free to drop me a message.