The Unmarked Road

Life On The Other Side Of Mental Illness

Category: Quietening the Mind

When Was The Last Time You Said Thank You Just Because?

When was the last time you said thank you for no reason other than to appreciate what you already have?

We are all, including me, very good at seeing what’s LACKING in our life – what somebody hasn’t DONE for us, what we haven’t ACHIEVED, what we don’t yet OWN – so that we forget how fortunate we actually are. When we stop and actually take the time to look at what we have instead of haven’t got, the list is usually much longer than the one of things we think we are missing from our lives.

I struggle at this time of year to consistently feel happy and at peace. Every year I go through the same, and every year I feel ashamed for feeling like I’ve become this miserable, ungrateful person who just feels down all the time. Just one day of sunshine and I sigh a huge sigh of relief because I realise that’s not the ‘real’ me. Like this massive weight just lifts as the grey clouds are physically pushing down on me. But it isn’t good enough to wait for these clear days. I can’t spend the rest of my life dreading winter or hormonal changes.

We all have down days and that’s ok. Some days we just want to curl up in a ball because we can’t cope with the world and all its inspirational memes that seem to have saturated social media lately (a new years resolution of mine is to stop posting so many of these pictures as I feel the effect of them has sadly worn off). Days like this I feel are important to right off;

The world won’t stop if you stop for a day or two.

Of course if you feel you are able to tackle simple tasks like the washing – things that require little thought – these can help ease the guilt and feeling of hopelessness. But if you don’t feel up to it, that’s ok too! [It is worth noting that weeks of feelings like this may be an indication that something more serious is going, which may need to be looked at by a professional. This something I am not able to advise on.]

For those days where we feel as though we want to pull ourselves out of that foggy funk however, simply listing all we have can help us to get a grip on the truth, instead of believing the lie: that we’re failing, that everyone else seems to be happy and moving on with their life, that we are lacking.

Sometimes just saying thank you to the people in your life can have a huge positive effect, not just on you but also those around you. Be it to your friends, your partner, your family, even just to your God or the Universe or life. Because we all have something to be grateful for and in a perfect world it’s these things that we would be concentrating on every day.

So today I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to:

  • My friends who’ve stuck by me, even when I haven’t been the best friend I could be.
  • My parents and family who shaped the person I am today. Each of you have impacted my life in so many positive ways.
  • My husband who only ever sees the good in me and who believes in me more than anyone else in the world, even when I don’t believe in myself.
  • My new family in law who have accepted me so open heartedly into their lives.
  • God, the Universe, life; you have given me opportunities and opened doors for me to make my own way and taught me lessons I didn’t always want to learn, but had to. You have given me a roof over my head, food to eat and people to care about. I am rich indeed.
  • Those who have done me wrong; you made room for better things in my life and taught me how to let go of hate and anger.
  • And lastly a thank you to all of you. You who have joined me on this journey and have taken the time to support it.

I appreciate every single one of you  and am grateful for so much love and blessings that are available to me in my life.

So what are you thankful for today? It can be big, it can be small, it can be something you’re looking froward to. What is the first thing that comes into your head? And what after that? Now watch it snowball.

How To Take Back Control Of Your Emotions – Part 2

Trigger alert: I understand in times of distress articles like this can be a trigger so please be aware that I wrote this while my anxious mind was quiet, which allowed me to see things clearly – a brief window of opportunity! It should in no way make anyone feel overwhelmed. Achieving a healthier mind is a long process – allow yourself the time. Just know that I get it, I’ve been there, and it can be different 🙂

Earlier on I wrote a post about the anxious and depressed feelings that had taken control of me. I have so much to say on this topic (I got to 1500 words and decided not even I wanted to read all that!) so I have had to simplify each section. I will no doubt go into more detail in later posts, but please feel free to email me if you would like to ask me anything privately at daniallsopp@gmail.com.

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How To Take Back Control Of Your Emotions – Part 1

Our perceptions and beliefs can influence how we experience things. However our experiences also shape those perceptions. It’s a kind of ‘chicken and egg’ conundrum. Which came first, and do we have any control over how we feel about the things that happen to us?

I’ve been feeling pretty down over the past month. My life hasn’t changed since then. The weather isn’t better, I haven’t had some breakthrough or massive success, and I still have an amazing fiancé, family and friends. Nothing bad happened to make me sad, just like nothing has happened in the past week to make me feel how I’ve been feeling over the past few days…like one of the luckiest people in the world!

But I know which one is the truth. One ‘state’ was my anxious mind taking control of me, whilst now I have taken that power back.

Doesn’t this prove just how fragile our ‘reality’ really is? If you feel lucky, you are lucky. If you feel depressed, you are depressed. If how we feel is influencing how we experience our lives and therefore our reality, can we change it?

Our state of mind is incredibly powerful, and yet we often give that power to influences outside of ourselves. We say we want someone to make us happy. We blame others when we’re not. We absolve ourselves from responsibility and say things like ‘well if I had what she had I’d be happy too’. Or ‘if that hadn’t happened to me I’d be more successful’. But that’s completely untrue. Feeling resentful will only make you resentful and you will remain resentful no matter how much you achieve. The key to being happy is in your hands, not someone else’s. If you don’t like what you see or how you feel, only you can change it.

To take back the control, you have to stop blaming other people/things/situations for your discontent.

But how? It isn’t easy. It took me nearly 5 years to change the way my emotions controlled my life. I decided I no longer wanted to be a victim of my experiences, of my own mind. To see how I am winning the fight, please see part 2 later on.

Dani xx

The 3 Minute Memoirs – How To Stop Others Disturbing Your Inner Peace

Sometimes it is too easy to allow other’s to take away our inner peace. We give them the power to affect how we feel. Through various tools, including meditation, I have and still am learning about how to rise above the pettiness that can penetrate our everyday lives. To realise the bigger picture and to take back the control of our emotions.

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