Ok! So here are a few simple things I learnt to incorporate into my daily life. I was never a fan of self help exercises; you know the kind of books I’m talking about? Normally there is a cheesy picture on the verso showing the self professed guru; often-times photo-shopped into a Disney character. Never did these shelf fillers have the subtle sense of authenticity for me.
These books will throw exercises at you – Ugh! Far too much like hard work. I really believe the process of getting to know oneself should be fun and fascinating, as the subtle changes rear their beautiful head – The fruit of the seeds of change you wish to plant.
Investing in your well-being is an admirable discipline and your responsibility, nobody can do it better than YOU. Yeah it takes a little work, but with time, I guarantee that the following 5 little things will bring about great change.
So! On to the few little things for you to play with (they are not new)…And I mean play. Try them out and take time to feel the almost instant subtle changes that will manifest into your little existence on this beautiful big blue ball called Planet Earth.
GIVE EM A GO, BUT PLEASE HAVE FUN. PRACTISE THEM DAILY. TRUST THAT YOUR MIND WILL REMIND YOU THAT THEY ARE ALWAYS AVAILABLE TO YOU; SHOULD YOU NEED THEM IN URGENCY OR AS A DAILY ROUTINE…IT’S OK, NOBODY NEEDS TO KNOW 😂
1: Learn to breathe correctly.
Yes! That old chestnut! (London cockney, for the tried and tested)
It has been studied time and time again that being conscious of the way you breathe can dramatically change your life and mental state. It is impossible (big statement) to feel anxious or in low spirits when breathing deep into your diaphragm. Try to remember that big talkers take shallow breaths as they churn the words out…So if that’s you; you can brush up on your listening skills in the process (win/win). Here’s a clue; the only time we breathe correctly is when sleeping. So insomniacs or those who like to ruminate…This is your fast boat to New Z land : ) Try this when walking in public and put your focus onto the soles of your feet whilst walking…You might just save a few dollars/ pounds/ euros on that impulsive comfort shopping.
2: Celebrate like a gladiator for no reason.
Now! This one is pure instant magic. You will release all of those feel-good chemicals deep inside your neural pathways. Dopamine the electro-chemical wonder drug produced by your brain will have your state changed in an instant…But use this with caution; people will be jealous of your god-like fearless state. You can use this little gem to approach that handsome or pretty stranger you want to get to know, or that presentation you are required to make, and so many more quirky human scenarios.
Make your way to the gents, ladies toilet or broom cupboard. Don’t do this in a public space for fear of a mass exodus. You’re not crazy; Are you?
Once inside this private little spot, place your arms above your head and celebrate like you have just won the lottery, or just won a fight for your freedom from the coliseum in ancient Rome. You get the picture? You are now shaking in ecstasy at the ceiling (pretend it’s the galaxy if you are more that way inclined).
At the same time silently shout with passion over and over, the word YES. Translate this into your mother-tongue as appropriate.
Do this for 60 seconds…
You have now caused a physiological avalanche deep within your mental state. But remember you need to act straight away, otherwise you risk an angry interchange for monopolising the WC or holding up the cleaner.
3: Smiling for no reason; especially when you can’t be arsed!!!
Once again, your smile is a set of muscles. Normally, your feel good mood will produce the smile. So here’s a trick! You are gonna turn the tables on your ever-changing mood. You are gonna smile for no reason; even if sad, lost or generally feeling like a wet weekend. What you are now doing is manipulating your mind into feeling good…because it knows that the smile is the trademark of happy. So the feel-good chemicals have found out that the mind’s one way street can be converted into a unidirectional highway of bliss. Chemicals will be released and your mood will turn from a ballad to a rock anthem. Give it a go!
4: Yeah! Here it comes again. Good old gratitude.
So! All I can say about this little old fave-rave is that if you don’t give thanks for the small stuff, then why should others, or bigger and better… The Universe, be bothered to shake it’s butt and send you the big stuff. So be thankful for that safe plane ride, that genuine compliment or that friend that dropped by to unconditionally say hello. This will make you smile as you do it with compassion, so get thankful and watch the chocolate cake land in your lap.
5: No more comparing…
This silly little behaviour is the number one fertiliser for insecure or inadequate feelings. Your life will constantly suck if you feed this little leech; so be aware that it is swimming right next you.
So next time you find yourself flicking through the timeline of others on social media; remember they only post the good stuff. They are fleeting moments of pleasure designed to put a plaster on the wounds of monday to friday’s mediocrity. Look at the selfies of happy smiling faces…then look again. No wrinkles or creases around the eyes says…Look at me! Don’t I SEEM happy?
So love yourself enough not to compare – It really is foolish. Walk with your held high in your authentic life and smile with all the creases, knowing that you have 5 little tricks up your sleeve whenever you lose awareness.