Welcome to The Reflections Zone

At the end of everyday, it is brilliant for mind and body, to check back on what we achieved, what we learned and what we gained.

As families or in relationships checking in with each other over a meal or at a family sit down, will improve our understanding of each other, care for each other, and give us tools to express our feelings and thoughts. There are some tips and guidelines for maintaining healthy relationships through compassion and deep listening. We will keep updating our reflections pages with fresh and new ideas.

Why not share your thoughts with us and ideas we can add to the collection by contacting us on our social media #wildernessfoundation.uk or email us on info@wildernessfoundation.org.uk

Tips on how to keep relationships healthy:

We often beat ourselves up with thinking about all the things we think and believe we ‘cannot do’ or ‘should’ do, or what we ‘must do’ better. These are all concepts that create stress and anxiety – particularly when we use words such as ‘should’ or ‘must’ or ‘have to’…which are pressurising language and create a sense of stress.

A really good and simple practice is to change our language to ‘I would love to’, ‘want to ‘, ‘care to’, ‘like to’…and see how different that feels…for example ‘I must tidy my cupboard today’…vs…’I am excited to tidy my cupboard today’…one feels like a chore and one feels like an adventure. The language we use has a definite impact on how we feel, and how we feel has an impact on how we act. So- if we can start with a simple thought, and a word, then it will ripple through to a much more positive you.

‘Things I don’t want to stop doing when lockdown ends’…

1.Take a blank piece of paper and head it up with something like ‘Things I don’t want to stop doing when lockdown ends’…

2. Think of the things that you really appreciate doing now. What makes me feel good? What have I done that has improved my relationships? What makes me feel healthy? What brings me joy in the day? What is a new discipline that makes my life run more easily? Etc….

3. Write them down on a piece of paper and…

4. Stick it on your fridge, bathroom cabinet mirror, toilet door (!) or anywhere that you will catch sight of it on a regular basis.

5. Each week have a refresh and add to it or take things off that you don’t think work anymore for you…but keep reading it. The more you keep doing the action, and the more you reinforce it with reading it (outloud is ever better for embedding changes), the more chance there is of this happening!

Good luck.

No-one else can change your life for you. You can change your life.

Planning for the future me:

Find an old shoe box or a glass jar.

If you are feeling creative you can decorate it and create a great label for it called ‘My Strengths’.

Each and every day take a piece of paper and write down what you did well during the day – perhaps where you stood up for yourself by speaking your truth, maybe you grabbed hold of negative thinking and turned this around, or you decided that you would not respond to someone else’s irritability and hold your peace as a fight would not be worth it, when you put compassion before seeing something as a potential slight against you and realised that the other person was suffering, or you went for your hour of exercise when you didn’t feel like it…

At the end of a week or month – or if you are having a low moment or are being self critical – empty your box or jar out and read through all the things you noticed as your personal strengths.. just this will help you reevaluate and be kinder to yourself and prouder of who you are!

Share with us on our Facebook page what things you are proud of and feel strong about…give it attention, the more it helps you brain practice positive thinking, and over time can become a habit.

Children can really benefit from this exercise and families can build it into their family evening reflection when you have a meal together or sit down together..

(to make it even more eco and nature friendly – you could take photograph on your phone of something in nature that reminds you of one of your strengths..build up a strength album with these images and look through them whenever your spirit is sagging and you need a boost.)

Reflections

Every evening – take time on your own, as a couple or a family to ask each other these questions – and then share – making sure to listen and respect everyones’s contributions:

  1. What am I grateful for today?
  2. Who can I thank for a kindness or considerate act today?
  3. What made me laugh out loud?
  4. One thing I will do differently tomorrow that I learned didn’t work today!

Tips on how to keep relationships healthy:

We don’t always have to be right. There is a lovely Buddha quote that I try to remember :

‘ Would you rather be right or would you rather be happy?’

Now if you need to be right about something very important like someone abusing an animal or another person, then happiness is not part of the equation. You would really put up a strong case for your values.

When we talk about being right or being happy, think about all those futile arguments that we can waste so much time over, and destroy good moments for.

For example, I can know something 100% – such as the right way up/down to plant a bulb. If someone else contradicts this – then I can say ‘This is my understanding from my research and experience. If you want to do it differently then please be my guest, but I will continue this my way’.

(Now they may not talk to you again when their tulip doesn’t grow but then…that is up to them. Strange example but hope you get the drift…)

Planning for the
future me

Try to keep a journal in those quiet moments with these thoughts:

  1. Where did I come from…who were the influential people for my parents, my childhood, my family? What religion on culture was I born into?How did this affect my view on the world?

What was my family history and what were our family traditions?

  1. What dream do I have for my future in ten or twenty years time?Where will I be physically? What will I be doing?Who will I be with? How would I like to feel? Let your imagination fly!
  2. List the people you love in the world?Who are they and why do you love them? What qualities do they have?
  3. What wisdom have I learned through life that I would share?

Map your emotions through art

Check out tips on the internet for ‘My Emotions Wheel’.

  1. Take a plain piece of paper and draw a circle on it. A glass usually works and you can draw around the rim on the paper.
  2. Think of all your emotions and try to name them..for example it could be : anger, pride, scared or fearful, loving, trusting, rejected, sad, happy, fulfilled, shameful, guilty, valued, confident…try to map out these in colours on your emotions wheel. Try to have an equal number of positive and negative emotions. Remember it is always easier to think of the negatives, try to work hard on the positives. They are there.
  3. Think what these emotions do for you? How do they serve you? Where did they come from? How do negative emotions protect you?
  4. What emotions would you like to feel?
  5. How can you work with life to have more of these good emotions? List them and that makes them easier to achieve…

Building self confidence:

List out these things in a journal

  1. What am I most happy about in my life? Why do these things make me happy?
  2. What am I most proud of in my life? Why do these things make me proud?
  3. What am I most excited about in my life? Why do these things make me excited?
  4. Who do I love and enjoy spending time with? And why?
  5. Who loves and appreciates me for who I am?

Take time to enjoy this exercise… taken from ‘Your Pocket Life Coach by Carole Gaskell’
(a great book).

Breathing techniques when you are stressed or anxious

The outbreath is more important than the in breath…make sure you take your time to breathe in and out slowly.

Count your in breath, expanding your belly and your lungs so the air goes all the way down and is not shallow – for the count of 5, and breathe out from your belly all the way up for the count of 7.

Focus on the counting and the sensation of your breath moving in and out…this will calm you and help put your fight or flight response to bed….

Managing Stress and Anxiety