I woke up this morning to find that Donald Trump has been elected the 45th president of the United States. Brexit repercussions continue to play havoc in the UK. In India, Prime Minster Modi has decided to stop 500 and 1000 Rupees notes from circulation to reduce the amount of Black Money in the market. And these are just the three countries that personally affect me – as these three countries have been my home.
Whatever happens in the rest of the world also affects all of us. We live in a global world, and isolating ourselves in a national cocoon is no longer possible, unless you are satisfied with a hermit life and very little in the way of material ambitions and needs. 2016 has been pretty eventful from the deaths of many beloved celebrities such as Alan Rickman, Victoria Wood, David Bowie and Ronnie Corbett. On a personal level, I lost an aunt this year, my mother’s only sister. On political front, it has been a disaster, no matter which way you voted. It’s like we are living in the middle of a storm, waiting for the aftermath, so we can see exactly how much damage has occurred.
Of course on a more micro-level, each of us have our own lives, our own issues, our individual struggles to contend with. It is easy to be overwhelmed. It is understandable to want to hide under a duvet, and never come out. It is perfectly reasonable to seek escape. But we can’t escape from our minds, or from ourselves.
So the only thing to do, in a very British way, is to keep calm and carry on.
But how do you keep calm? You need to find it. You need to discover that peace within you. That’s where journaling can help. Use it as a tool to unoverwhelm your over-burdened mind. Here are 5 steps to get started:
1. Dump everything on the page
Just write your heart out. Keep going. Don’t worry about being fair, or clever, or indeed anything. Just write what you feel. Vent. Be subjective. Be honest. Give your thoughts, your fears, your worries, your hopes a place to exist. In the pages of your journal, they can come alive in that moment of you writing them down. And they can be out of your mind. Relieve the pressure in your head, by letting it all out. Then when you are done, when you can’t write anymore, when you feel empty, take a deep breath.
2. Make a list of all the things that you are grateful about
Ok, now let’s bring some positivity into focus. What are you grateful about? What are the good things in your life? Don’t forget to include simple pleasures too that you may take for granted. It can be your family, your health, your work, your sheer love of life, the place where you live, your room, your mind, the stranger who smiled at you, the outfit you look and feel great in, the meal someone made for you, something nice you did for someone else…just about anything. Find moments of gratitude. (Gratitude can also make you instantly happier.) Write them down. Cherish them.
3. What is your next step?
Of course, here, we believe in action. So what is the next thing you want to focus on? What is your next step? In the world of uncertainty where things seem to spin out of control, find the things that you can control. Things that you can do something about. Where can you take action? It all begins with one step. And that’s what personal development is. Action taken, one step at a time. What is going to be your next step?
ACTION YOU CAN TAKE TODAY:
Give yourself the time and space to do this journaling meditation by unoverwhelming your mind. And then, take your next step. Because action is what you need to progress. Remember, stagnant is a path to decay. To thrive, you must keep moving.