Navigating life’s perils through your 20s as a woman can be tricky. There’s so much to consider and take in: weight, shape, love life, sex life or lack thereof, skin, work, success, money, not having money, housemates, roommates and mates in general.
Glamorous as it may seem when these benign trivialities take to the silver screen (cue Sex and the City episodes circa early 2000s, Fleabag circa now), these trivialities are often not so trivial. Rather they infect our life and emotions and will determine whether ‘today’ is in fact a good day, or bad.
Before we know it, a six-month period has passed and the cloud and fog of social, body and love life anxiety has not lifted – no matter how many downward dogs, mediation apps or Veganuary’s you engage in. No matter how many times you tell your mind and soul to ‘stay positive’ the reverse happens instead. You’re not positive but instead tired and dragging your feet. Despite the fact that your birthdate tells you that you are indeed 28, you end up finishing the day feeling like a bedraggled 60-year-old with sore feet and an even sorer head.
I have to admit, I have found myself indulging in this I-feel-so-sorry-for-myself mood quite a lot since moving to London. Perhaps it’s the weather, the stress, the people or the daily commute – but life’s trivialities have been niggling away at me and broil over under the backdrop of ole’ London town.
How to remain positive? The marketability of ‘positivity’ (thinly disguised as ‘wellness’) has soared but is it truly having an impact? How many of us are living and breathing examples of the affect of the wellness movement?
Grappling with cynicism
I have to admit, I was such a cynic at first – but then again, I am a cynic on so many things. This cynicism and judgemental attitude had landed me in hot water, not least because it shrouds me in negativity. But really, how would a morning meditation change my daily outlook?
We live in a bubble of stress and it is our go-to emotion, so much so that when we are not stressed, we feel guilty. ‘How are you?’ a friend asks. ‘Ahhh – I am so stressed’ is our immediate response.
How do we negate and override this emotion? Firstly, it starts with the mind. My mind is my most powerful entity, it has the ability to control my emotions and subsequently my day. Over the past year I have slowly come to terms with the concept of positivity and feel better for it. It’s not a fad, or a passing trend, rather it’s an emotion which has been wrapped up in consumerism and marketed to millions of women (and it is mainly women whom it is pitched to).
So, on that positive note, enjoy that downward dog, sign up for that night class, engage in hobbies, drink that rose, write down that daily affirmation, gossip, giggle, live, breathe…life’s too short to have your mind in a darkened room cloaked in negativity (please note: this token flippant scrawl does not in no way apply to anyone with mental health issues!).