I’ve recently been struggling with my head being far too full of worries, and the feeling of butterflies in my stomach has persisted over the past two weeks which I haven’t experienced in a long time. I read a beautiful quote on Instagram a while back which said, “You will find that it is necessary to let things go; simply for the reason that they are heavy,” and this has inspired me to lighten my load by letting go of some unnecessary concerns that are weighing on my mind:
1) Seeking other people’s approval.
Like I said in my recent post I want to be able to say, “I did it my way”, I’ve realised that I focus more on whether other people approve and are happy with my life than what I myself think of it. And actually, when I stop and reflect on it, I am happy enough with my life at the minute; I’m dabbling in things I enjoy such as writing blog posts and poetry, catching up with friends, and getting my head showered so I can start the new academic year at the end of September refreshed and ready to face all the labs and lab reports the year has in store for me (help!!)
I’ve worried about the fact that I haven’t succeeded at getting a summer job but I’ve come to realise that this worry was more based on how my life will look to others, and what their reaction might be when they ask me, “What did you do over summer?” and I reply with “poetry and writing”, than my worry actually having anything to do with my own thoughts and feelings on the matter. And in reality, what I did or didn’t do with my summer this year is probably not of much interest to others and is really just a conversation starter of which the response will pass through their head relatively quickly. And so I should definitely not spend my summer worrying about what I’ll reply to “How did you spend your summer?” so that in the end my answer will be, “I spent my summer worrying about what I’d say when asked how I spent my summer.” It really is ridiculous when you write it down.
So in conclusion, worrying about whether outsiders will approve of my life, is wasting my life, so watch me fling that weight of a worry far into the distance.
2) Worrying about times and obstacles yet to come.
I’ve also been spending a lot of time worrying about how I’ll manage in the final year of my degree as I keep questioning whether I’m good enough to be doing a masters (even though my grades and academic tutor say I am!)
I’ve worried about what uni life will be like once some of my closest friends have graduated (whose course is only 3 years), and about how I’ll manage living with a different group of people in my final year. I’ve even gone further into the future and done some worrying about, “What if I can’t get a job when I graduate?!” All of these things do not occur until September 2021 and the latter in 2022 so what am I doing sat here worrying away 2020 about something more than a year down the line to which I am currently completely powerless?!
Let’s cross all these bridges when we come to them!
3) Thinking about what others might be thinking.
As I informed you all about in my last post Exciting Poetry Update! I’ve been writing a lot more poems lately and I recently chose to share some of these with my friends. And when I tell you I felt ill after doing so, I mean I felt ill!!! Even though I had received an overwhelmingly positive and lovely response from everyone about the poems, my mind was plagued with thoughts about what others might think of them. This is a complete waste of time as:
- There is no way of knowing what is going on inside others’ minds.
- I’m taking away from the joy I should be feeling from the wonderfully positive comments by conjuring up in my head some negative ones that may not even exist!
- I read a lovely piece on Instagram recently by Harpreet M Dayal that said, “Fearing judgement dulls your shine as much as the sun would dull the day if the sun were scared to rise,” and I don’t think that message could be summed up any better. Don’t let yourself be put off from sharing your light with the world because your light will only shine brighter when it’s not trapped inside!
4) Always having to be doing something productive.
In my opinion this is a very toxic thought that is being fed over and over to us through social media. Like yes, it’s good to make the most of your time, but you do also need some time to just not do anything for a bit or else you’ll run out of battery fairly quickly. A poem I love for expressing this message is this one by Erin Hanson which contains the line, “For she was a human being, human moving, human seeing, but she’d never taken time to simply be a human being.”
It’s ok to have rest days and I often find that these allow me to perform even better the next day, so let yourself enjoy your days off without an ounce of gulit!! 🙂
5) Worrying about appearance.
Like I said in my post Aiming for a Jolly July, summer can be a bad time for body image and I’ve definitely found myself comparing my body to those of girls on Instagram a lot more lately, and wishing I could look like them; wishing my weight was distributed differently, that I wasn’t so pale (it’s a hard life being a redhead in the summer haha!) etc etc. But I want to instead try harder to focus on the much more important fact that my body is healthy and functioning and allows me to go places with friends and family, rather than picking it apart for, as usual, wanting to look good for others. I’m also going to share some quotes I’ve noted down for myself from the internet which encourage us to focus on our other qualities rather than just our looks:
“Make your heart the most beautiful thing about you.”
“Happiness looks gorgeous on you.”
“The kinder you are, the more beautiful you become.”
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and that it’s maybe inspired you to reflect on the worries that take up your time and have a bit of a mental declutter.