Can self discipline actually influence and improve your feeling?
Today I sit here on my 215 square feet apartment having my second cup of coffee with a teaspoon of Matcha Green Tea from The Superfood Grocer. On most days I do restrain myself on having a second cup because of my palpitations but today is different. Today I want to talk about self-control and that’s why I need this second cup of Italian Creamy from Culture Blends.
Self-discipline is a vague term manifested through perseverance, restraint of oneself, commitment, all of which boils down to one thing — passing up on immediate gratification in favor of immersing oneself to effort-and-time-comprised activities that will yield satisfying results in the future time.
However, for someone struggling with anxiety, the negligence of self-control relieves stress on the surface level and creates an illusion of peace and calm. In fact, I am no different. Whenever I am bothered by anxious thoughts I find that taking a step away from my supposed tasks for the day induces an instant sedating effect but the problem is by the end of the day, guilt comes into play.
Today I want to share with you my top three self-control activities that I use as a solid guide to keep myself from lounging around too much because guilt-before-bed is something we don’t want to accompany us in our sleep.
1. Develop a morning ritual
If you haven’t read yet my Daily Slow Living Rituals for Beginners please do because in that post I described the joys of moving at a comfortable pace without rushing, without heavy pressure, but still productive and still you get things done.
The morning ritual for me specifically is where my structure for the day lies and for me to get the most out of my day, I have to control myself from deviating away from it.
The beauty of having a morning ritual is that we have a clear idea of what is going to happen soon as we wake up. It lessens the overthinking about future concerns because when we have a set of activities laid out for the day, this leads us into a mindset that the day is ours and we are somehow in control.
I recommend you start with morning rituals, maybe two or three activities which you will be willing to commit to. It doesn’t have to be productive, it can be as simple as, 10-jumping jacks, morning coffee, and then shower. That’s it, three-morning activities that will serve as a walking stick for us to start the day.
2. Help yourself improve
This one I’ve pondered for a long time but I came to a conclusion that setting aside activities that will help us improve ourselves will help in alleviating anxiety. Why? I think because it all boils down to the basics, that humans are the most evolved species on the planet and it is in our DNA to keep growing, to keep expanding, and to keep learning new things, adjusting whenever the need arises.
You don’t necessarily have to enroll in an online class, although if that is what you want then that is a good idea. I suggest you start with something small, something that’s just natural for us to be doing while spending time inside our homes like for example, spending three hours on Youtube. Why not instead of clicking-through cat videos, you give yourself a chance to watch a culinary show or something about DIY home decors, or if you’re feeling it, TED Talks.
When I resigned from my corporate job back in 2018, I was in shock for a while because it was the single most, terrifying decision I have ever done up to date. For a couple of weeks, I would just stay inside my apartment, staring blankly at the ceiling, making friends with shadows on my wall — literally from the lyrics of the song Unwell by Matchbox Twenty.
It was an emotional disaster until I decided to control things a little bit. I began watching craft videos and somehow they led me to crochet tutorials and the next thing I knew I was on fire, launching a crochet blog on Instagram and connecting with potential clients who would be willing to pay me in exchange for handmade crochet bikinis and it felt good. It was as if a new trail appeared in front of me, something that I can follow and prevent me from walking in circles.
3. Exhale, breathe it out
Writing a journal is one of those activities that I am personally struggling with even now. The reason is that when I try to write things down about my day, I feel like my hands are slowing me down. Soon as I decide to sit down, grab a pen, and write my thoughts, words flood out, and with me writing, my hands can’t keep up and eventually I stop.
So I tried another way, e-journal, in which I simply open a blank document on my laptop and I type.
Whenever we are filled with so much thought about the things in our life, past, and future, we are somehow on a prolonged inhaling. We keep acquiring and nurturing ideas that are most of the time, negative and stressing us out. Remember, a person can only take so much.
We need to exhale, to breathe things out and one of the best ways how to do it is to give our thoughts form, shape, color, to capture them into words.
Have you tried writing a journal or perhaps it never crossed your mind? One of the best bloggers I absolutely love is Lavendaire. If you want to learn more about self-discovery, her blog is the best place to be, or you can choose to watch her videos, which I do most of the time.
Self-control, self-discipline, or however you want to call it most of the time is a terrifying word for the anxious people because it demands commitment. This is one thing that an emotionally driven person would find difficult to sustain.
The trick here lies in how well you know yourself. If example you want to workout but the gym is a place full of people and sounds intimidating for you, then do so at home. If the exercise routine is too boring then play a song of Black Pink, dance to it. Getting in shape is not limited to signing up for a gym membership.
Routine, as they say, is deadly and discipline is a word we associate with things that we grudgingly have to stay committed to, but there are ways around it. We don’t have to copy exactly what others do. Do what is working for you, and you will see that discipline is not a stiff word after all, routine if turned into calm-inducing rituals is not deadly. Stick to staying who you are. You, do you.
Sending you a warm hug today. Lovelots.
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