insideKENT Magazine Issue 59 - February 2017 - Page 106

HEALTH+WELLNESS CHANGE YOURSELF, CHANGE THE WORLD cont. MIND GO A DAY WITHOUT COMPLAINING What with thoughtless memes and outright trolling, there’s a lot of ugliness that’s thrown at people by people that don’t even know said people these days. It’s not good, for anyone, so flip it and start upping your positivity quotient. OK, there might not be any cucumbers left in Tesco, it might be cold and rainy outside, or Monday morning might fast be approaching, but every time you complain, you’re heaping a big dollop of negative energy not just into your life, but into the world overall. Complaining breeds complaining, so before you start waxing lyrical about your peeves, stop and try to think of a way to solve the problem – there will be other cucumbers; you’re lucky to have a warm, dry home; and, Monday marks a fresh week full of fresh opportunities. If you can’t solve it, move on. Life’s too short. SPEAK UP It’s all very well being appalled at how badly the trains are running, or shocked that you’ve found out your favourite cosmetics are tested on animals, but in order to make change happen, you need to take positive action. When petitions that you support pop up on your social media feed, sign them; if you really feel the road outside your child’s school needs a lower speed limit, write to the council and your local MP; if you’re outraged by the government’s treatment of the refugee crisis, stage a march or mass meeting and call them out on it. Turn your mental complaints into tweets, Facebook posts, forums, letters and meetings in a measured and proactive manner and you’ll find your voice and actions have the capacity to make a profound impact on the topics that niggle you. BE KIND Sounds simple. Is simple. You might think karma’s a load of airy-fairy nonsense, but thousands of years of philosophical thinking would disagree: what you put out into the world is what you get back. If someone irks you and you lose your rag, you’ll irk them and likely irk the person who they go on to tell; it’s a whole chain of unnecessary negative energy that can be stopped short if you take a step back and assess if the situation is really worth all the aggravation. Smiling at a stranger, carrying someone’s bags who’s clearly struggling, or giving a fellow passenger the 20p he needs on the bus to pay for his ticket are all small, simple acts of kindness; practice them whenever you can. HOME THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU WEAR As with food, your clothes have to come with somewhere and horror stories regarding dreadful conditions and backbreakingly long shifts in global sweat shops are, sadly, all too common. Is your shirt made from cotton laced with pesticides? Have your trainers been stitched by underage workers in China? Research the origins of your clothing by checking out the ethical codes of practice put in place by the manufacturer and boycott those that advocate mistreatment. LOOK AFTER YOUR HOME This can be as simple as turning off the lights when you leave a room, or as complex as making sustainable choices when it comes to building your own home, either way practice conservation within your home and it’ll benefit the bigger picture. Upgrading your insulation to ward off leaks and drafts in walls, windows and doors can improve your home’s energy efficiency by up to 30 per cent and thermal blinds will help retain heat throughout the colder months. Another good tip? Leave your shoes at the door – it’ll stop all of the invisible chemicals and pesticides picked up by your shoes outside being spread around your home. 106