Three simple life changers

October 18, 2018
grass, long grass, woman, nature, outdoors,

grass, long grass, woman, nature, outdoors,

This post is part of the Gorgeous 50’s series inspired by a book given to me by one of my sisters on my 50th birthday – ‘Grown up and Gorgeous in your 50’s’ by Pamela Robson.  I will be sharing some of Pamela’s words and my own thoughts along the way.  To see all posts published as part of this series, go here.

Pamela says:

  1. PRACTICE MEDITATION – you don’t have to sit alone; it simply means focusing your mind on a particular situation, consciously considering your choices, and making a decision as to how to handle it.  It’s an exercise and, like any other, you’ll become better at it as you flex your brain muscle.
  2. LEARN TO BREATHE – it’s surprising how many women don’t breathe properly.  A few times a day, stop and check to make sure you’re not breathing shallowly and quickly.  Mental clarity and calmness will follow from deep breathing and correct posture.
  3. KEEP A JOURNAL – you don’t have to be a good writer.  Put pen to paper and let the thoughts come out, nonsense or otherwise.  You’ll be amazed at how liberating and healing it can be.

journal, journaling, lady writing, writing, desk, coffee,

My thoughts:

  1. PRACTICE MEDITATION – I’ve been interested in making meditation a part of my life for quite some time but have yet to successfully incorporate it into my daily routine. I will get there though because it is my intention to!  I first investigated ‘Mindful Meditation’ thinking it was different from just general ‘Meditation’ but all these years later I now realise that ALL meditation is mindful.  Being mindful is about being present and aware and that is what meditation is about. I always thought meditation required skill and expertise in order to get into the right state of mind and that you were failing at it if your mind was still thinking and not clear and empty!  I have learnt that this is not the case at all. Meditation is as simple as focusing on your breath, and having thoughts come into your mind is normal.  All you do is acknowledge them, put them aside to deal with later, and return your focus to your breath. Focusing on your breath takes you back to yourself and quietens the mind. It’s magical and ever so calming. Meditation is a great stress reliever, fantastic for anxiety, awesome generally for your emotional health, and so much more! Here are just some of the posts I’ve written on meditation – in 2014 in the context of a Simple Mindfulness Exercise, and more recently in my May 2018 Mindful in May series of posts.
  2. LEARN TO BREATHE – This is a subject on which I haven’t written, nor have I really thought much about.  However, I think Pamela is on to something!  Since reading what she’s said about so many woman not breathing properly, I have been observing myself and have noticed that when I am uptight, stressed or just busy – I barely breathe!  Of course I AM breathing or I wouldn’t be alive, but it’s not good deep breathing, it’s shallow breathing that fills up my chest but not my belly!  The good thing is that when I do my Reformer Pilates classes (3 times per week) I do lots of good deep breathing in and out and the same when I do yoga.  Deep breathing is usually encouraged during meditation too, particularly at the start of it – to help us focus on the breath and quieten the mind.  I think there might be a whole blog post in the future on the benefits of breathing properly!
  3. KEEP A JOURNAL – I personally haven’t the patience or commitment to write in a journal, and besides my hands are used to a keyboard and not a pen these days.  However, I write a blog!  My blog is my journal equivalent and Pamela is right – it is incredibly liberating and healing to “let your thoughts come out”.  I started blogging in September 2012 as a way to heal myself following a tough period in my life. Blogging (my version of journaling) did more than heal me, it helped me to discover who I am! It has taught me so much about myself, and it has opened up a whole new world for me.

Where do you stand with these 3 simple life changers?  Do you do all 3, 1 or 2?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Ciao for now,


Link up here at WOTM or with another of us in the Lovin’ Life Linky team:
Leanne of Deep Fried Fruit Kathy of 50 Shades of Age  |
Deborah of Debbish  |  Jo of The Hungry Writer – Joanne Tracey.
It doesn’t matter where you link up as it will magically appear on all five blogs.

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  • Reply Lydia C. Lee October 18, 2018 at 6:45 am

    In acting classes you spend a bit of time learning to breathe because no one breathes properly. It’s kind of interesting…

    • Reply Min October 18, 2018 at 10:07 am

      It IS interesting! I’d love to do an acting class! 🙂

  • Reply Joanne Tracey October 18, 2018 at 8:03 am

    I journal, & keep telling myself I need to do the other 2, but always forget, lose focus, whatever. I do, however, need to stop and breathe regularly through the day – especially at the moment when my work day is pretty manic.

    • Reply Min October 18, 2018 at 10:09 am

      I admire people that journal. I have a cousin that writes in her diary every night and has done as long as I’ve known her. She writes what she’s done that day, how she’s feeling, about her kids and so on. She can look back and see what she was doing/thinking on any day in any year. It’s quite amazing and something very special she can leave for her kids/grandkids etc. I hope work settles down for you soon Jo!

  • Reply Sydney Shop Girl October 18, 2018 at 10:36 am

    I’ve incorporated mindful breathing (for want of a better term) in my range of coping mechanisms. I’m better at blogging than journaling. Meditation is a huge challenge for me though.

    SSG xxx

    • Reply Min October 19, 2018 at 1:28 pm

      Mindful breathing is a good thing to have on board SSG. Same for me with the blogging/journaling thing. As for meditation – I love it – but I haven’t managed to make it a regular habit yet. That still eludes me! xo

  • Reply Deborah October 18, 2018 at 11:21 am

    I have a few meditation apps that I tend to listen to when I lie down – during the day now – but usually at night. They usually include advice re slowing the breath etc…

    I’ve journaled / kept diaries from time to time but not for a while. I suspect they’re useful when I do it – for the reasons you suggest!

    • Reply Min October 19, 2018 at 1:29 pm

      I have quite a few meditations I’ve found on YouTube that I like plus some saved ones from when I recently did Mindful in May. Most of them include focusing on the breath. It’s a great way to slow down the mind as your focus is on your breath. The only time I kept a diary was when I was in high school and it was full of rubbish mostly! lol

  • Reply Leanne | October 18, 2018 at 11:59 am

    These are all great suggestions Min – and I agree so much about the benefits of blogging in particular. I started for the same reasons you did and it has morphed over time to something else completely. In the process I have gained so much joy and a lot of insight into this stage of life. Midlife became something to celebrate rather than mourning the loss of youth. I sometimes wonder where I’d be now if it wasn’t for my blog.

    • Reply Min October 19, 2018 at 1:31 pm

      Blogging has morphed several times for me Leanne. The focus of my blog shifts and changes as I do. I couldn’t imagine not having my blog now. It’s the best form of therapy for me and a wonderful creative outlet (and more)!

  • Reply Kathy Marris October 18, 2018 at 5:26 pm

    The only time I practice meditation is at the end of a Yoga class, but sometimes I think I should practice it more regularly. Breathing is something I use (also being a Pilates fan). It really helps to relieve anxiety and stress I feel. Like you I don’t keep a journal (only when I travel). But like you say blogging is in a way a journal.

    • Reply Min October 19, 2018 at 1:33 pm

      I love that meditation/relaxation at the end of a yoga class (‘Savasana’ I think it’s called) so much! I also love the deep inhales and exhales that are done during pilates class. Doing that not only helps with the task at hand but as you say – it’s so good for stress relief! 🙂

  • Reply jodie filogomo October 18, 2018 at 11:01 pm

    I’ve been trying to practice yoga daily, which is a sort of meditation to me. It gets me out of my head and on the mat!!
    As for journaling…that’s where my blog comes in. I love keeping a sentence a day going for each month…it’s a great way to look back at my life!!

    • Reply Min October 19, 2018 at 1:38 pm

      I love yoga too Jodie but am only a beginner. I did a 6 week beginners class years ago and never got back to it. So I did another 6 weeks of beginners class just recently and again haven’t got back to it. This time though it is because I can’t really afford to. I already pay for my 3/weekly reformer pilates class. I’ve got my own yoga mat and bolster so plan to try and put a class together for myself to do regularly at home … or maybe find a video to follow or something. I’ll go to some actual yoga workshops now and then though. As for journaling – yes blogging is it for me too and it’s fun to look back and see what I was doing this time last year, or two or three years ago! 🙂 xo

  • Reply Patrick Weseman October 19, 2018 at 12:28 am

    Breathing and meditation are two that I do. I don’t really journal because I tend to try to live in the moment. #Lovinlifelinky

    • Reply Min October 19, 2018 at 1:39 pm

      You’re doing well Patrick if you’re watching your breathing and meditating. As you’ve got a blog that could be considered your version of journaling perhaps. 🙂

  • Reply Natalie October 19, 2018 at 2:42 am

    I do meditation and deep abdominal breathing daily. I used to keep a paper journal for many years until I switched to my blog in 2016. #teamlovinlife

    • Reply Min October 19, 2018 at 1:41 pm

      You’re so good Natalie! I need to make more effort to meditate daily.

  • Reply Candi Randolph October 19, 2018 at 6:41 am

    Like you, Jo, my blog is my way of journaling, and I find it very helpful. I pray, which for me is meditation, trying to focus my thoughts only on the prayer and not elsewhere. Didn’t think too much about my breathing until I was reading this post, but I will going forward! Thanks! #lovinlifelinky

    • Reply Min October 19, 2018 at 1:47 pm

      It’s funny how we don’t notice how shallowly we breathe until it’s brought to our attention. Good deep breathing feel so good and helps to alleviate some stress! Min (not Jo – LOL) 😉

  • Reply Denyse Whelan October 19, 2018 at 6:21 pm

    When I was first learning about meditation and mindfulness I wondered why it wasn’t working for me. I thought it was a magic bulllet…In the 3 years of my life not being wonderful and plagued with anxiety I sought and gathered many strategies which helped me learn more…about being a human.

    When cancer struck, I was shocked and days and weeks were hard but I did not know then that I know now, is how much I have learned from this and how I have grown. Writing a few sentences each day in an on-line journal helps me see how far I have come. Being out in nature, making art and going somewhere each day with purpose have all helped my inner health.

    Thank you for sharing your experiences

    Denyse x

    • Reply Min October 20, 2018 at 10:40 am

      You sure have had some bumps in the road Denyse, but you have been inspirational to all that know you in how you have managed it. Sometimes we don’t realise just how far we’ve come until something comes up that makes it apparent to us! xo

  • Reply Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit October 22, 2018 at 5:30 am

    Sounds all really great (in theory). I just don’t seem to have time to do any of it! Well … I don’t make it a priority anyway.

    • Reply Min October 23, 2018 at 8:02 am

      That’s a shame Leanne because they’d be very helpful to you considering your busy lifestyle. You do actually journal in a way through your blogging. 🙂

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