WHEN YOU FEEL DISENGAGED, UNMOTIVATED, OVERWHELMED – OR ANYTIME!
1. Your view of the world. Your perception. Your focus. – Do every morning.
How you are looking at what is going on around you or in your life can be scary or exciting! I learned this first hand when I moved back to the USA early this year. Several times I have had to ‘slap myself up the side of the head’ so to speak to challenge how I was viewing the situation.
At first I was cynical when someone said ‘what an opportunity’ and ‘how exciting’ because I was feeling sorry for myself and alone and rather lost. I could have kept feeling like that – overwhelmed with the newness and strangeness and not really knowing anyone. I could have – but I chose not to!
I made a conscious decision to focus on how much I was learning and believe that I could do this. I just had to make the effort to stretch myself. Then I reminded myself that being uncomfortable meant I was growing and my brain was actually becoming smarter! (that’s neuroscience truth!)
So – what will you choose to focus on today. I have a little mantra each morning – ‘I give thanks for this perfect day. Miracle shall follow miracle and wonders will never cease.’ Florence Shinn taught me that (from a book – I’m not that old!!LOL)
And even if I have to remind myself every hour to look for the wonders and miracles, I would rather be looking for those than focusing on the stuff that is overwhelming me! And…I get more done!
Every morning – how will you choose to start your day?
2. What story are you telling yourself today? – Do every time you feel anxious.
We are constantly in conversation with ourselves and often we don’t even know it! The trick is to become conscious of our thoughts, our stories that rumble around (and around) in our heads. They are usually based on fears and untrue. Become conscious of those stories and challenge them!
Replace them with a more truthful or at least neutral story. For example, if you are feeling left out, alone, ignored or you don’t fit in….ask yourself why you are telling yourself that story and most importantly, when did it start! What experience did you have as a child under 7 that created the belief/story that you don’t belong or you are not worth loving or good enough – and especially that you are unsafe.
When you feel anxious, stressed or upset, stop. Take a big breath in and out. Observe the story you are telling yourself to make you feel this way. Work out when it started. Ask yourself is this really true. And then choose to tell yourself something else about this situation and yourself that is encouraging and more truthful!
3. Be present. – Do every hour
My mentor David Martin told me several years ago that I had not been present at all in my life! It was a shock and he was right! I have spent the last several years learning how to be present. So far, I am at about 20% LOL. And I am trying really hard!
The thing I have learned about this is that once again I have to STOP! Take a breath. And remind myself to be here, NOW. With an open heart and non judgmental mind.
To observe my surroundings, to feel the ground under my feet or feel my body. To smell or feel wind on my skin. Something that brings me back into my body and this moment.
You will be amazed at how much less stress there is in every moment and how much more engaged you are when you do this. You will feel wayyy better and your relationships and work performance will improve too!
4. Gratitude and look for the good – Do when you feel other than joy!
Never under estimate the power of gratitude. It is a total game changer. Choose to find something for which to be grateful – and focus on it. And you will notice that you feel more peace very soon. This is such a simple and powerful antidote to misery – yet we forget to do it. Consciously focus on finding something for which to be grateful.
If you are dealing with a person or about to – and you are not looking forward to it or not enjoying it – do this: look for one good thing about that person. It might be that they look good in blue! Or that they are an opportunity for you to practice this skill – and then focus on that one good thing. You will be astonished at how your interaction changes. For the better!
The other little tip is to acknowledge this person in some way. Everyone – everyone – thrives with acknowledgment. In a world where people are generally self centered, to encounter someone who actually is trying to see your essence and acknowledge it is another game changer in a relationship!
5. What am I learning, Review the day backwards. Do every night.
Before you fall asleep, spend just a few minutes reviewing your day backwards (if you can remember it! LOL) and ask yourself what you learned. Everything, (and everyone) if you choose to see it that way, offers an opportunity to learn something about yourself.
Instead of churning over all the stuff that happened during the day and how frustrated or disappointed or worried you are, focusing on what you have learned can calm your heart and mind.
6. Your choices in every moment. Your beliefs. Breathe! Do all the time!
Be aware that in every moment of every day, you are making choices. Consciously or unconsciously. Choose wisely as you have no doubt heard many times! Or better still, choose consciously.
Everything you do is a choice. But our behaviours and thoughts are often reflexes – instantaneous reactions with no gap of consciousness between trigger or stimulus and reaction. So we think we have no control. But if we are aware and stop and take a breath – in and all the way out – there is a moment when we can become conscious and choose a different response. It takes practice but it’s so worth it!
Focus on your breath, pause, and then respond. It will change your life!
7. Tune into yourself. How are you feeling? Breathe and be in your heart. Do all the time!
Most of us are generally unaware of how we are really feeling. We are often aware of emotions but they are not feelings.
Most of us live in our heads. I did forever! Learning to be in my heart – to drop to my heart – to focus on that area and to say ‘ I am in the divinity of my heart’ or some phrase that works for you to remind you to take a breath and drop to your heart space – makes every moment not only more enjoyable but also more meaningful.
It’s the way I tap into peace if I am feeling distressed. Sometimes I say ‘I am in my heart, at peace in the midst of chaos’ and that helps at times. It’s a conscious reminder to focus on my heart space and get my head out of the way.
Choose the path to your heart – whether it’s through breath, words or consciousness.
8. Exercise and be in nature. Do every day.
It doesn’t matter what it is or how vigorous it is but do some activity that makes your body move. It can be a walk, star jumps, tai chi, qi gong, in a gym, at the pool or walking up and down your stairs at home. It doesn’t matter as long as you get your blood moving. It will change how you feel. Anything that breaks up the hours of sitting we all do every day.
If you can do it in nature even better! If not – watch a youtube video of nature while you are doing the exercise for a double whammy!
Being in nature is calming and connecting just by itself. Watch the wind in the trees. Feel the breeze on your face. Watch birds, squirrels, dogs or bees. Feel the sun on your skin and absorb the vitamin D. Being in nature is beneficial. Unless you are freezing! Then rug up and be in nature for a short time!
9. Help someone else and laugh. Do as often as you can.
You know this. It needs little explanation. Lots of studies show the benefits of both these activities.
It’s awesome if you can laugh with the person you are helping! But if not, then watch comedies, funny shows, animal clips on youtube, call a friend and tell jokes. My flatmate and I used to sit during the long evenings of COVID and find funny posts on SM and we would laugh ourselves silly at them – after which we both felt wonderful. Laughter – like breathing! – changes everything.
10. Be kind to yourself. Do all the time.
How often do you consciously do this? We beat ourselves up over so many things – so much so that most of us don’t need an enemy LOL! We do more than others can to ourselves.
You are an astonishing being of light. And if you hear a little or big voice saying ‘no you are not’ – tell it thank you and you don’t need it any more!
You are a human being, doing your best in tough times. You will make mistakes – it’s how you learn. You will upset people – and you can learn how to deal with conflict and apologize where necessary. You will be hurt – and now you have skills to help yourself gently through the process of healing.
No one started off as a nasty mean toddler! Humans damage our selves with our stories by the time we are 7 – and then we spend the rest of our lives (if we are conscious) becoming aware of those stories and changing them and becoming consistently the beautiful essence you really are.
You will move on and stop focusing on the things that upset you. And choose to focus on the things that bring you peace and joy. In particular, things and thoughts that make you feel safe.
And remember, most importantly, who you really are. And are capable of. A beautiful, loving, amazing being of light.
Download your 10 Tips for Joy reminder here – print it out, share it with your family, friends or colleagues!