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Mental Health

Mental Health

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” ~ Oprah Winfrey

 
 
 
The east coast, my state of Connecticut in particular, has had two huge power outages in the last few months. The last one from Hurricane Irene lasted a week and this one looks to be about the same amount of time from a snowstorm nobody was prepared for.

I am currently sitting in a coffee shop trying to get internet. I spent about 45 minutes trying to figure out why my internet wouldn’t connect when I realized that I needed to stop.

And breathe.

Not having power, again, is frustrating. But finding a purpose for it makes us all that much more sane. For whatever reason we needed this in our lives. We need to slow down. We need to appreciate how convenient our lives are. Whether it be our power, electricity, internet, refrigerators, showers, simply being warm, our families, whatever it might be for you. Try paying attention to what you are taking for granted and appreciating it even for just five minutes.

Sitting by the fire last night we decided to go through what we are learning, what we need to change and what we never would have realized if it hadn’t been for these power outages.

Everything is happening for a reason and truly are all blessings, even if they seem to be highly disguised by snow storms, hurricanes or whatever is going on with you right now. You can do this in any area of your life, job loss, ending a relationship, anything. What good is coming from it? There is ALWAYS something, find that something and focus on it.

 

A few things we’ve learned:

 

1 The obvious one: being grateful for the things we use everyday like electricity, water, heat. REALLY grateful this time, mother nature!
2 How nice is it to just sit and be with each other next to a fire, no TV, no phones, and just talk. We decided to have a once a month (hey, it’s a start) no TV, internet, or phone nights and sit by the fire & candle-light and talk or play games. It brings an incredible peace that we hadn’t felt in a while.

3 How grateful we are to have our families living so close to us.
4 That the universe gives you exactly what you ask for. I voiced to my friend wanting to be a better sharer and for a few days we were the only ones with power so everyone came to us – I learned how much I love to help my family when they are in need and how of little importance a clean floor is.

5 How big of an impact not having email & internet has on our creativity. Productivity is another story. But really creativity is what is important. We meditated and wrote first thing instead of last. We are going to schedule days when we turn the internet off and just create & think.

 

6 We decided to do our best to increase the amount of time we meditate or just take time for ourselves in the morning. Since we work from home it’s so easy to dive into emails and get lost in them all day. Meditating changes your entire day. We made a new rule that we are not allowed to work within 30 minutes of waking up. We don’t have to meditate, we can just sit with tea and do nothing, but we need to take that time for ourselves.

 
My Komucha I’m drinking says, ‘Take time for less doing and more being.’ Ubaldo Riboni
 
And because I let go and wrote, as I finish my post, the internet starts working – all in perfect timing.

FAST FACT: Being annoyed and stressed wreaks havoc on your body. The increase in cortisol is worse than any junk food you could be eating. It lowers your immunity and inflammatory responses, increases blood pressure and suppresses thyroid function, to name a few. Which is my belief as to why some people eat terribly and are still healthy; generally, it is because they are very happy people. Your attitude really is everything.

ACTION: I know it can feel like the last thing you want to do when you are stressed & grumpy, but focusing on even one tiny positive thing when you want to throw a chair out the window will change everything. It will also attract more positive thoughts and things into your life, maybe even your electricity back 😉

 

What do you do to de-stress or change your state of mine? What have you recently learned from what could have been a stressful situation? Please let me know below!

Love and brussels sprouts,

  

  1. April says:

    Thank you for sharing this Brenna. I agree that we can all get lost in the day to day hustle and bustle. I haven’t lost my access to technology, but I have let that hustle and bustle lead me down a very busy and noisy path. I’m going to make a choice now to take a little time to breathe and slow down so it isn’t up to Mother Nature to bring me the opportunity.

  2. April says:

    Thank you for sharing this Brenna. I agree that we can all get lost in the day to day hustle and bustle. I haven’t lost my access to technology, but I have let that hustle and bustle lead me down a very busy and noisy path. I’m going to make a choice now to take a little time to breathe and slow down so it isn’t up to Mother Nature to bring me the opportunity.

    I think that all of those ideas that you and your guy came up with are awesome. I hope that you will be able to stick with the plan. I can’t wait to hear what your life is like a month from now with regular practicing of this new way of life. 🙂

    I once heard that a smart person learns from experience. A wise person learns from the experiences of others. I think for one moment, I choose to be wise. 🙂

  3. maria says:

    So true. It is sad that we usually appreciate things when they are not there (power, heat, water, your routines) But at the same time it opens you up to a different perspective and also fuels your creativity. I also want to start meditating on a regular basis. It is a challenge for me because of all the internal chatter but I think if I set small goals (like starting for 3 minutes with a timer) it can work. Thank you for sharing your insights through this whole experience!!!

  4. heather b. says:

    yesterday i kept my plans to go for a hike (a healthy thing I knew i’d enjoy!) even after driving an hour back to new york for power, having realized i have a final paper due next week. after the hike, i realized i have ANOTHER paper due next week. my theory is that if i’d remembered about the second paper beforehand, i never would have gone on the hike!

    the lack of heat & light was a pain, but no internet was such a treat. i loved reading a book for hours, instead of distracting myself with blogs.

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