Creating and Safeguarding a Positive Mental Spirit in the New Year and Beyond
by Melissa LaScaleia
Emma Ware is a maven in the worlds of nutrition, weight loss, and alternative health and holistic healing. For twenty years, she’s coached people to reach their health, weight-loss, and happiness goals, but noticed that often our mindset gets de-emphasized in the conversation about living the life of your dreams.
“The past couple of years have felt heavy and overwhelming for everyone, and the number one way to combat that is through self-empowerment,” Emma says.
There’s a great deal of collective social emphasis on people who rely on families or close friends for support when they’re down mentally, but little said about those who are alone.
“So much of the same advice is given,” says Emma. “Connect with your family and loved-ones. But there are many people who don’t have a spouse, children, family, or friends— maybe they got a divorce, are estranged from family, lost a job, moved, or starting over.
“But the number one thing you need when faced with that reality, is to know that you are strong, and you can control your life. People forget the power they have, but the only way to recall it is to create what you want for yourself.
“If you see people laughing together and you want that, then create it. Don’t wait for an invitation, be the initiator. If a door closes, try another until you find the right fit, right partner, right group of friends, right career.”
To get there, Emma recommends that people find something new to do in their community, like taking up a craft, hobby or sport that they enjoy, or volunteering at a charity that resonates. She also emphasizes the importance of spending quality time with yourself, doing things that make you happy.
“Many people do not enjoy being alone,” Emma says. “But cultivating inner contentment and making yourself happy is what makes you able to connect with others authentically.
“Find something that you can immersive yourself in, be it a craft or handy project; read a favorite book; watch a funny movie; or have some spa time at home. Be present with yourself and show up for yourself as you would for others. Collapsing on your couch and flipping through the TV lineup doesn’t count. The time I’m speaking of should cultivate joy, give you energy, and make you feel uplifted.”
Another secret hack— planning.
“Planning keeps you in a positive state of looking forward to something and ensures that you’ll actually do it,” she says. “Spontaneity is wonderful, but can be a pitfall because change is hard and scary for most, and if you wait to commit to doing something new to how you feel in the moment, you may never feel quite ready. In the meantime you’re waiting and wasting your life. You just need to do, and even if it doesn’t go perfectly, it’s still okay.”
But perhaps the most important component of happiness is to change your attitude. The simplest way to do this is to focus on the positive, not the negative— to bring conscious thought to gratitude.
“It sounds hokey, but it works,” she says. “When I first wake up, I look around and soak up the world I live in, letting myself feel grateful for everything. As I move throughout my day, I continue the practice, feeling grateful for each opportunity.”
“When I meet a grouchy person, I don’t accept grouchiness in my spirit, mind, or consciousness. I won’t allow it to enter, because I’m in control of me, and that’s my choice.
“It’s so easy to meet someone and start complaining, gossiping and judging. It’s so easy to get sucked into other people’s negativity, to relate to them on that level. It’s much harder to work at being positive everyday. But when I’m positive all the time, a lot of good things happen in my life.
“Let go of situations that happened in the past. Instead, create a new future. Don’t dwell on what’s wrong. Dwell on what’s working well. Take ownership of and responsibility for your thoughts and what you create.
“Life is constantly revealing new opportunities to us. But sometimes you can’t see that if you don’t open to it. Change is hard, because we get into routines, even if those routines don’t serve us. These are the things that will help you change mentally, and ultimately, change physically. The next thing you know, you’re able to welcome everything new into your life with less fear and greater anticipation of joy.”
Emma’s School of Healthy Eating