Tagged: Daily Thoughts

The Reason Asians Carry Umbrellas In The Sun

When I’m living in Taipei, I feel like it’s completely normal to put up an umbrella when the sun is out. It’s very common in many Asian countries, such as China, Taiwan, Japan and Korea. On Summer days like today, the sun can be very harsh in Auckland, and I tend to use an umbrella to stay cool and avoid getting sun burnt. Skincare is incredibly important, particularly in Eastern Asian culture, where beauty products have an emphasis on having healthy, bright skin. Our skin is the largest organ, which is why we must take good care of it, as it reflects our health.

Protecting your skin from early signs of aging. In order to avoid blemishes, wrinkles, spots and sun burns, sun protection is very important. I do feel that this is one of the reasons why some Asians look younger than their age, as many spend a lot of time taking care of their skin. Many people invest in skincare products that help maintain healthy and glowing skin.

Keeping cool under the umbrella shade. When the sun is blazing hot, an umbrella can be a great way to create some shade. It allows one to stay cool during the hot Summer months, when it seems like 2 minutes in the sun will make one start sweating. I find an umbrella helps, as my hat can only cover parts of my face, but an umbrella can cover your face and neck.

Avoid getting a sun tan. I still remember when my sister and I were in Taiwan as children, and we walked past two elderly ladies. One of them said “她們好黑!” which translates to “They’re so black!” because growing up on a farm, I tended to be playing outdoors all the time and had a very tanned complexion. There is nothing wrong with having a tan. As I grow older, I prefer to embrace my natural complexion.

The beauty standards are different. When I was living in Sydney, it was common during the Summer time to see topless men and women in bikinis at the beach, park and backyard tanning. It’s similar in NZ, where many Caucasians feel that a tanned complexion gives a warm glow that’s attractive. In East Asia, Pale skin is seen as beautiful.

It’s important to get enough Vitamin D from the sun each day, however this ranges from 15-30 minutes. If you are in the sun for several hours or travelling a long distance, then it can increase the chance of getting a sun burn. Remember to always wear sunscreen. It’s good to have a habit of wearing sunscreen everyday and protecting yourself from the sun. What are your thoughts? Do you carry an umbrella when it’s sunny? 

Nana Komatsu for Kimono hime November 2014 Shodensha Mook 

Surround Your Life With Positive People

076bd6af65cff195bb7e8e38ce9dfa0aIn our day to day lives, it may not always be possible to interact with only positive people and even if we are a positive person ourselves, everyone has days where they feel under the weather. However, if we want to surround ourselves with positive friends, then we need to strive to be someone who is positive. Having good influences in one’s life will greatly improve our attitude and ways of thinking on many things and it will contribute to the peace and happiness in our lives. I really do believe that we attract what we project to various extents, in the sense that if we’re kind and caring to others, we’re far more likely to attract people who are also kind and caring towards us.

This may not be always the case, and sometimes in life there are those who need positive people to help them escape their negative feelings. However, in the end we are the ones who are in control of our own feelings, thoughts and actions. We should all strive to be the person we truly are. I say this, because I believe that everyone has a light within themselves, but it’s a matter of switching it on. Surrounding your life with positive people includes yourself, as what you feed your mind is so important and living in the present means you aren’t robbed of thoughts from the past and worries about the future.

Positive people are motivating, inspiring and have values of being kind, friendly, supportive and encouraging. It’s being confident in your skin and realising that life goes on. It means not allowing certain people to get the reaction they want out of you, knowing you’re in control of your actions and learning to be patient, caring, loving and understanding. I do find people who are unkind always teach us a lesson, because they teach us to not be like that and they remind us we should treat others how we would want to be treated. They also teach us to learn to forgive and let go, rather than hold on and feel bitter about small things.

I believe that the friends we surround ourselves with are so so important, because they also show a level of reflection of our identification of who we connect with and what characteristics we are attracted to. Some of the most positive people I know are selfless, non judgmental, truly caring, very honest, good listeners, willing to help and encouraging. We should manifest what we attract and project what we believe in. The moment I feel negative, upset or angry is very often when I think of thoughts from the past or worries about the future, and that’s why there are countless books advising us to stay in the present. Striving to stay in the present is the best gift of all.

Positivity ties in with gratitude because it tells us of all the things we have which are overflowing when we recognise it. I recently read an article here that says that 90% of the things we worry about don’t ever happen. That is to say, most of the things we tend to worry about don’t happen. There is a paragraph that reads “人們總是浪費太多時間在後悔過去和擔心未來,以至於無法好好感受當下的人生,不僅無法好好愛自己,同時也錯過許多美好的時刻。” which says: people tend to waste a lot of their time by regretting their past and worrying about the future. They are not able to live in the moment, they aren’t able to truly love themselves and they miss out on many beautiful moments. 

Sometimes pain is mixed with pleasure and it becomes a habit, which makes it harder to stop. This means a negative person may complain a lot, feel a lot of anger inside, feel that their life is hard and blame other people. They project how they’re feeling onto other people, and often the things they say to others are simply a reflection of what they’re feeling inside. No one is perfect, but when we practice gratitude and letting go of parts ourselves that don’t help our self growth, we can feel true freedom. Being negative holds us in a cage and it grows bigger if we keep feeding it bad thoughts, but when we think positively it flourishes even quicker and it’s contagious and encourages other’s to do the same, because it feels good.

There are people who have a lot of money and are unhappy, have no money and are happy, have money and are happy and have no money and are not happy. Life is what we make of it in any given situation, and it’s the willingness to create the life that we want to live. That’s why our thoughts are so powerful, because they allow us to take the first step and create the path we want to walk on. When we become more positive, we attract beautiful things into our lives and we feel good about ourselves. It’s all energy that is projected into the world. Happiness is not relied on others, and can only depend on yourself. This means that you have the ability to make your own choices.

Long-term happiness is from the relationships we have with people. Truly positive people make you feel beautiful, because they see the beautiful qualities you have inside and bring the best out of you. Positivity makes us complain less, want to be a better person, feel motivated, become more resilient, judge less and be kinder. This is why people often say comparison is the thief of joy, because it is one aspect that grows and feeds negativity if we don’t use it as motivation. It eats us alive and tells us that we aren’t good enough, but you absolutely are. Every person is good at many things, but the most important step to being positive is to love yourself and believe in yourself.

Art by Lieke van der Vorst

How Did You Become A Vegetarian?

During last year I tried to become vegetarian, but it only lasted 3 months. At the time, I stopped because I was lacking energy and my mood was greatly affected. If you know what foods you eat as a vegetarian that really help to boost your energy, please let me know! I’d love any advice in how you transitioned into becoming a vegetarian, from gradually easing into it or going cold turkey on meat completely. I previously wrote about how I eat very little meat and don’t cook meat for myself, yet it’s still a difficulty for me to completely cancel out fish or chicken if I’m eating out. What did you do in terms of giving up on meat completely?

The reason I want to be a vegetarian is for health and ethical reasons. When I used to eat beef or pork it didn’t sit very well in my belly, and I find it can feel quite heavy and bloated. I don’t drink dairy milk, but there are many alternatives that anyone can try from coconut, rice, soy and almond milk. When I was at work a few days ago, it was my first time making a beetroot latte with coconut milk and it has a certain consistency that makes it rich and tasty. Dairy and meat are often the end product we see in the supermarket, yet we don’t see the process of the meat throughout.

There are endless varieties of meals from fruits and vegetables, as well as other meatless foods, such as oats, bread and baked goods. I think my main concern is getting enough nutrition, protein and energy from a vegetarian diet. How did you become vegetarian? What vegetables do you find are great for protein? Is it difficult to find vegetarian options when eating out? What foods and meals do you normally eat? What are your reasons for becoming a vegetarian? Feel free to share your experience of being a vegetarian, I’d love to know.

Photography by Jeanine Donofrio from Love and Lemons

Five Tips On Living A More Eco-Friendly Lifestyle

katerina-plotnikova-photography-1Everyone has pet peeves, but one of mine is when people don’t recycle. I’ve been flatting for 5 years now, and everyone has their own habits. However, in one of my experiences the household would put all their empty wine, beer, shampoo, conditioner, soap bottles, paper, cardboard, fruit tins as well as milk and juice cartons straight into the rubbish bin. Growing up, both my parents recycled and still do, and it’s something I’ve always done. I find it’s a good habit, and it’s one of those things that really tick me if people don’t care about recycling, because we all contribute to the environment.

No one is perfect, but I really do think there are some simple tips that we can live by, in order to be a bit more eco-friendly. In the past, I worked at an organic beauty and skincare company, and I’m currently working for another organic company now. What I love about the company is that they aim to have products that use minimal packaging. It’s great to support brands that strive for a better world, are natural and ethical. I think it’s also good to make a decision to eat less meat. We live in a consumer society where we are constantly told to buy, but the best value is to buy things that are good quality and will last a long time.

1) Drink from your own reusable water bottle. Buying bottled water can really add up, and we are very blessed to walk a few steps to have water come straight out of the tap. If you have a flask for warm and hot beverages, as well as a drink bottle for cool water, you’ll never go back. They are very convenient and are easy to fill up and carry around.

2) Eat less meat and more vegetables. Eating less meat and consuming less dairy also means that you save money. It’s okay to have it from time to time, but meat is not the best for the environment.  Meat production results in a significant amount of carbon emissions. It’s easy to replace dairy milk with soy, almond or coconut milk.

3) Recycle and carry your own canvas bag. I tend to bring a backpack and canvas bag, but I’m so guilty with plastic bags, because there are times I end up taking plastic bags to take home to line my rubbish bins. However, I hope someday New Zealand will ban them. Recycling is a habit that you won’t even have to think about it after you just do it.

4) Go second-hand shopping and support ethical brands. Make sure to watch out for green washing, which are brands that are disguised as ethical, but really aren’t. I like to use ecostore for my laundry because they don’t have that strong and unnatural deodorant smell. If you have sensitive skin, organic products tend to be more gentle on the skin.

5) Invest in good quality items that will last a long time. Treasure the things you have. Use your technology until they’re no longer usable. Buy things that are good quality and will last, because then you practice minimising consumption. If you need to throw things away regularly, then this only encourages the amount of rubbish we create in the world.

Photography by Katerina Plotnikova

Don’t Let Fear Stop You From Your Dreams

486f7e926b2270b84179c3bb3b1e9c24This is one of the most important reminders in life that we need. Getting outside of your comfort zone is important, because for a very long time I allowed my anxiety to take over my daily life. Most fear is built up in our imagination. Once we conquer our fear, it never is as scary as you thought it would be. Playing it safe can limit us. Sometimes taking risks, challenging ourselves and breaking our safety barrier can make us stronger and wiser. Fear of Failure stops us from taking the first step. When we fear failure, we have already set ourselves up for failure in our mind. It means that we don’t give ourselves the chance to try.

Many goals and successes that someone reaches, has conquered many failures. I remember watching the ballet, The Nutcracker. The ballerinas make every move look graceful and effortless, yet it took a lot of hard work, time, energy and passion. Through all of that, they have faced their own failures. It took moments where there may have been many bad practice days or rejections from auditions, but there they were on the stage now, because they had a dream and worked hard for it. Fear tells us to not try and it tells us we’re not worth it. It stops us from enjoying life and being happy in the moment.

In order to achieve our goals, we must start with the first step. Our mind is so powerful because every thought we feed it affects the actions we’ll take. If we tell ourselves we can, then we’ll make that action to do it, and that’s when we set the path in the direction we build for ourselves. Everyone is on a different journey, and we all want to achieve different things in our life. Life is unpredictable, but having dreams is what makes it worthwhile. I saw the quote the other day, that we aren’t here to pay the bills and die. It’s absolutely true!

Life has far more meaning, and dreams are within all of us. We often want to wait for the right moment when we feel ready, but often that moment won’t really come. Most things in life start when we take the first step, just the way we learn to take the first step as a baby. We might have fallen over, but we have to keep trying until we learn to walk, and now it’s something we don’t even think about, we just do. In that moment we might have been hesitant, but when you pass that feeling of your comfort zone, there is so much you realise you have the ability to achieve. It all starts with taking the first step.

Art by Naomi Wilkinson

What Did We Do When There Was No Internet?

When I think back to my childhood, I’m grateful for a time when technology hadn’t been as nearly prevalent in our lives. We weren’t surrounded by a screen for a significant amount of the day, and we cherished the moments of going to the cinema to watch a film or played outside in the grass. Children didn’t have any phones in their hands, and there were more eye contact and in-person interaction. We’d hop on over to the neighbour’s house, bounce on the trampolines to play and walk to the beach together. If the internet disappeared tomorrow, what would happen?

There were always shelves of books at home, and almost every weekend we would stop at the local library to borrow books. If I wasn’t practising my flute or piano, playing with the animals or walking around the farm, I’d be reading a book, drawing a picture or playing with my toys. The difference now is that children grow up playing games on a screen, interacting with one another through online and are growing up learning through technology. I felt that we still experienced that feeling in a classroom with only a pen and paper, writing our essays by hand.

Til this day, even at university, I prefer writing with a pen to paper. There are certain things that are still preferred without the internet, such as reading a book or a magazine. There’s nothing quite like having the physical element of a book and being able to flip through each page. Before technology became what it is, life seemed far more innocent and thinking back, we spent a lot of time outdoors running around, and more time talking to strangers. The lack of technology meant there was no form of escapism, and so everyone would talk to one another.

When there were moments that you wanted to escape, you’d draw or read a book in class. I’m sure children now have just as many hobbies, however, I can’t help feel that back then the lack of screens meant that we spent more time exploring with our imagination, and trying new things. We’d spend time going to drawing classes, going to ballet classes, learning new instruments, learning new languages and spending our time experimenting what we like and don’t like, and finding our own unique ways to entertain ourselves and use our time.

In many ways, it was far more polite back then, because if you think about it, anyone who uses their phone constantly when they’re with other people, are not really present there with them. Creativity meant writing little stories, going outside to explore nature and always craving a sense of learning. It meant researching and getting books out to do your projects. I still remember listening to Beethovens Tape to sleep, and the fact that there is barely anyone who still listens to the tape, even though it was only over 10 years ago.

Simplicity and interactivity would be the two things that I think of, that have changed in a drastic way. The way we interact with people has changed immensely, and the simplicity of life has become noisier with the chaotic nature of the online world. In anything, there requires a balance, as too much excess of anything makes it a negative. This means Social Media, the internet and the online digital world can have their positives, but it’s all a matter of balance. We live in a time where things are changing at a rapid rate.

We live in a time where businesses rely heavily on having the internet, students need the internet in order to do research and individuals have the internet to stay connected to news, entertainment and socialising. Meeting people (whether friends or dating) were done in person, sending an email meant sitting down to write a letter and going to the post office to send it and calling a friend meant sitting on a chair where the phone had a wire on it. There was a sense of greater patience we had because the internet is so greatly convenient and fast. I still remember rather than spending 2 hours online, we’d spend 2 hours playing with the cat or going out to slide down the hills on cardboard boxes.

There was a sense of innocence. There was a sense of still not knowing many things, but now with the internet children can know things from such a young age. Remembering life before the internet was a part of our lives reminds us of how much has changed. It reminds us to stay true to our own core values in a trending world. It meant meeting someone in person, before knowing what they looked like from a photo or their profile. It meant playing games together, rather than sitting in a circle looking down at a screen. I miss those elements of simplicity and not knowing everything, but each period of time is a different stage in history, and this is just one of them.

Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady (1964)

Five Tips On Reducing Plastic Bag Use

If you have heard of the environmental impact of plastic bags, then you know how much harm they can cause. In the late 1970’s, according to bagmonster.com, the “Paper or Plastic” wars began. The plastic bag was introduced to the supermarket industry, and were beginning to overtake the paper bags. Did you know that the World Economic Forum says oceans will have more plastic than fish by 2050? If you recently saw the images of sea turtles that have died from ocean pollution, it’s heartbreaking. Every year, more than 100,00 marine mammals die every year after ingesting or becoming entangled in ocean pollution, ingestion or entanglement in waste.

Sea turtles and other marine creatures mistake plastics for food (such as jellyfish) and ingest it. This mistake causes blockages within their digestive system and eventual death. In Huffington Post, it states Some 240,000 plastic bags are used globally every 10 seconds, according to the Sierra Club, and fewer than 5 percent are recycled…the average American now uses 300 to 700 plastic bags per year.There are small ways in which we can use less plastic over time. It could be buying products that aren’t over packaged with plastic. Raising awareness of the affects of plastic on the environment, or bringing your own reusable bags when purchasing from stores.

Bring your own reusable bags to the supermarket. Most supermarkets sell their own reusable bags, or you can bring your own. I like to bring a school bag, a side bag and a large handbag to fit most of my groceries without needing to use a plastic bag.

Buy less items with over-packaging. Whenever possible, look for produce and other items that aren’t over-packaged. There are many products and companies that have good ethics, but make sure they are not simply green washing. Using less plastic over time, also allows companies to realise that many consumers are not willing to support over packaging.

Don’t buy bottled water and carry a reusable drink bottle. Try drinking water from home, boiling it or keeping it cool in the fridge. Plastic bottles are one of the top five most common types of litter found on beaches. You’ll save money, as bottled water can be expensive and really add up over time.

Create awareness of the importance of recycling. It’s good to educate and raise awareness to others why recycling is important. It’s easy for many people to forget, and simply toss all the rubbish into one bag. If we encourage everyone to recycle, we become more conscious of the difference we can make through small actions.

The Law Of Attraction And The Power Of Positivity

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When we have gratitude, it reminds us of how much we have. We see our lives as full and abundant, rather than lacking and empty. When we say thank you, it acknowledges the person, as well as the small things in life. It makes us feel good, as well as the other person. Do you ever notice when you see someone smile or laugh, how their eyes light up, and how contagious it can be. You might smile with them or see them radiate. No one can be happy all the time, but being positive is attractive. The law of attraction was introduced to me by my mother several years ago. At first, I felt hesitant, but over the years it began to manifest.

After reading the book  Excuse me, your life is waiting, it goes more in depth on the power of our feelings. As important as our thoughts are, the way we project our feelings into the world, has more power than we may realise. They act like magnets, that attract what energy we put out. According to new habits, a habit can take around two months or more to truly stick with it. When we learn to stay calm in many situations, and create a sense of peace, it becomes a habit over time. It comes more naturally, and therefore we feel less tension over time. When we put our focus on negativity, that can also become a habit. We become used to feeling worried or stressed in certain situations.

I talked to my dear friend today, and we chatted about how our 20’s are the years where we will be learning so much more about who we are as a person, the new experiences we’ll have, what we love and how we see our lives in the near future. The thing that we talked about is how it’s easy for us to look at others and think that they have it all together. They look like they know what they’re doing in their life. However, it’s more often that no one else knows what they’re doing either. Perhaps we might have plans, but then there is the unpredictability of life. It’s a simple reminder that life can take different turns, changes and it can be hard at times. We all go through different seasons.

Even if there are those who look like they have it all, you never know if someone is going through a hard time. It’s how we react to certain situations that sends out that energy. Some people might take something more strongly, and others can feel that, whereas some people might take it calmly and you can’t tell they are going through something hard. There are so many good things happening in this world. I really want to reiterate that so many good things happen today, because we are constantly reminded of the bad things in the world. It’s important to be aware of realities in the world, but it’s as important to remember the beauty in life.

The people we surround ourselves, the things we do in life, the way we react and how we attract better things into our life comes down to ourselves. When you ask yourself for positive, intelligent and kind friends, and hold that thought with a sense of calm and send that energy into the universe, you are far more likely to attract those sort of people. Imagine the feeling of laughing and talking with them and feeling wiser and truly happy when you’re with them. Make it feel like it’s in the present, and let the feeling of gratitude fill you up. When you’re in a rut in your life and hit rock bottom, you can decide whether you want to attract those who want to help you, or those who will give you bad influence.

Seeing the strength in yourself and having self love is really important in the law of attraction. When I watched Cartia’s video below, I like that she talked about how she doesn’t like it when people say the word “Impossible”. I completely agree, because impossible, makes me think of words like no, can’t and won’t. Those words immediately stop us from wanting to reach our goals, or attract the right things into our lives. Having a sense of gratitude, widens our window and makes us realise how much is possible, and how much we’re capable of.

When we have judgment, doubt and negative thoughts, we stop instantly for the path to continue. We dim and turn off the lights, rather than help ourselves to keep growing. The truth is, many people who just hear of the law of attraction, will think it’s a fad, however over time when you truly use it, you realise that it’s a way of living a fulfilling life. It reminds us that we have the power in our lives to attract what we want. We know that there are things in life we can’t change, but it puts the focus on what things we can change in our lives, and we use it to our advantage. When we feel and visualise good things into our lives, we’re creating a gift that gradually unwraps over time.

Law of Attraction Videos and Articles: Law of Attraction & Manifestation | The Law of Attraction changed my Life | Celebrities Talk the Law of AttractionHow to use the Law of Attraction | Will Smith on the Law of Attraction9 Habits To Manifest Your Dreams Using The Law Of Attraction | The Power Of Positive Thinking And How It Attracts Positive People | How To Combine Positive Thinking And The Law of Attraction

The Fine Art Of Not Giving A Fudge

eva.jpgWhen we care less about certain voices in our minds or the words of others, we become more happy and free. We let go of negative judgment from those we aren’t close to, and we feel unaffected by criticism that has no value to our self growth. It means wearing what you want, saying what you need to and being the person you truly are. The art of not giving a fudge, means that you know that people will judge no matter what you do. Which is why you know the importance of being true to yourself, because no matter what, we cannot live our lives to please others.

The fact of the matter is that many of us do care to different degrees what someone may think of us. These will be a range of aspects, which may be the way we look, move, talk, wear and the list goes on. Some people will care less and some will care more. I find that as you grow older, you start to care less and less. For many people, they feel more grounded in who they are, and embrace themselves as a person. An example in the past, would be how I would be conscious of how I’m a much more soft spoken person. However, over the years it’s something I really embrace about myself. It’s part of who I am.

The beauty of not giving a fudge is the comfort you feel in your skin, and the self love you give yourself. Picture a person walking a long the street in stylish clothes, and completely pulling it off effortlessly. They walk with complete confidence, and an air of not giving a thought or care of any judgment from the passerby’s. You can feel how comfortable they are. Then imagine someone who looks uncomfortable in what they’re wearing. It’s not always a visual aspect, but the way we communicate, act, move and talk can express a lot in terms of who we are as a person.

It means that you don’t give too much time wondering if people like you. The thing about being yourself, is that you are less likely to spend time wondering what other people think. It means that you accept yourself for who you are, and you make peace when you hear negative judgment from others. You have an open mind, and can differentiate between what words should be absorbed and what should just go from one ear and out the other. It means making your own decisions in life, without feeling the need to conform to popular opinion or have validation from others.

When people judge, it’s none of our business, because it’s very often a reflection of who they are as a person. It’s a reflection of how they are feeling inside. There’s a huge difference between constructive criticism and blatant judgment. The truth is people don’t think about others as much as you may think, because they are likely thinking of themselves. We are our own biggest critic. Most people are preoccupied with their own lives. The destruction happens when we compare our lives to other people. Instead, there’s an importance in appreciating and understanding that everyone has different jobs, career, relationships, hobbies and path in life.

If you like to wear certain clothing, do your makeup a certain way, have a quirky sense of humour, laugh a certain way, like to dance in public or talk about topics that interest you, embrace that. That’s what makes you you. Give yourself that benefit of being the person you were born to be, rather than molding into what society expects. The truth is that we can’t be best friends with everyone. Self respect means that you stick with your own values and are not easily swayed by what others say. You stand up for what you believe in. That’s when you can feel fulfilled in life.

I find that going more and more out of your comfort zone, means you create more experiences. You explore and discover more of the things you love. You surround yourself with people who you truly connect with. You don’t waste time on thoughts about others, but focus on self improvement and enjoyment in your own life. More often, we care more about what our loved ones think, because we value their opinions and advice. In this case, it’s different compared to what a stranger may say. We have a choice in what we give care and time to. No matter what, no one knows your journey. Be comfortable with being different, no one should try to be same as one another.

Eva Green in The Dreamers (2004)

The Struggle Of Writing What You Can’t Express

270d872fe2b0588ad4bbc2322d2d0b96Do you ever have those moments, where the thoughts in your mind are not as eloquently expressed when spoken out loud? Perhaps you have a day where you sit down to write in your journal, but the words don’t seem to flow. Your mind is at a pause. It’s the difficulty of expressing how you are feeling, and being able to put them smoothly into words. Sometimes it’s because there are just simply no words to express how you may feel. Other times it’s something that makes complete sense in your mind, but it doesn’t make any sense when you speak them out loud. I find that happens often when I want to express something, it doesn’t always make sense to someone else.

The truth is it is much easier to express your feelings through writing, rather than speaking them out loud. If you ever feel very deeply, sometimes the only way to understand those feelings is to listen to music, surround yourself with nature or do something peaceful. It may be finding self expression in drawing, cooking, exercise, dance, playing music or singing. There are also many things that we can’t understand, unless we experience it ourselves. I know for those who have ever been through depression or anxiety, may also feel the struggle of expressing how exactly it feels. It’s very often an invisible feeling, that one can only fully empathise with if they experience it themselves.

Have you ever had someone ask you a question and it takes a while for you to respond? I’m someone who sometimes talks slowly, because I tend to think before I speak. I choose my words wisely depending on who I am talking to. When I’m faced with someone who is asking me a lot of questions, I explain myself, and there are some cases where they still won’t understand what I’m trying to say. Then there are moments, where many people expect an immediate answer or they want you to express how you feel on the spot. If you have anxiety, speaking fluidly can be hard at times. It’s something that takes practice. It’s something you learn, because as you grow older, it’s better to say what you need to say even though it’s not always easy to do so.

Many introverts prefer to write, because it enables us to communicate with more sense. Many introverts are deep thinkers. This means that although we may not be as talkative, we have a colourful mind. There are moments where we need to be direct, but when it comes to complex questions, it can take more time to think of the words to say. Small talk is something that as an introvert, it can be draining and make one feel easily disconnected. When we can’t express out loud how we’re feeling or we can’t write the feelings out on the paper, often we just need to laugh, smile or cry. Articulating oneself doesn’t always come from what we speak. It’s an important aspect of it, but sometimes we just need to read a good book, go to the cinema, attend a seminar or listen to someones story to gain a new perspective and understanding.

Art by Monica Barengo