This blog should be called ‘how to feel great now!’, but recently I’ve noticed many people question whether they can feel great and if they’re even allowed / supposed to. I think its a good idea to develop some healthy ways to feel great, (positive and productive, happy and confident) at any time you want. Most people would at the very least agree that its OK to feel OK. So we’ll start there.
We all know why, the feeling itself is enough of a justification, but we also all handle situations and people better when we feel happy and secure.
There are a lot of different ways to do this, most involve some kind of meditation. Today (in part 1) we’ll look at one possibility.
We’re going to start with a fairly generic breathing exercise, then we’re simply going to direct our attention for a short time to images and memories, and or plans for the future that make us feel happy.
- Find somewhere you can sit comfortably without being disturbed, turn your phone off!!! (This is important, commit to 5 mins without anyone being allowed to interrupt your peace of mind.)
- Begin to take notice of your breathing, in your head say ‘breathing in’ as you inhale, ‘hold’ where appropriate, and ‘breathing out’ as you exhale.
- Do this at least three times.
- Now, you’re going to allow yourself to think only about things that make you happy, they can be memories, things you would like to happen in the future, or completely made up. If your mind drifts to something negative or unpleasant, dont try and stop the thought, but as soon as you notice whats happened, remind yourself that you can worry about it later, but this is your time now to relax.
- Try and construct a ‘picture’ in your mind of a scenario where you feel comfortable. I use a beach which is actually combination of two beaches I’ve actually visited… (You can use an actual picture, or a movie, or hear the voices / sounds associated or simply remember the feelings you like).
- See if you can turn up and exaggerate the intensity of the colours / sounds / feelings in your mind, make them as ‘unrealistic’ as you like. What is important here is feeling good (or at least ok…) not the accuracy of the memory or how likely the ‘dream’. When I use these ideas with school children, we imagine turning up or down a big dial… (If you really must, you can be ‘realistic’ the rest of the day…)
- Notice how you feel when you do this.
- If any feelings pop up you dont want right now, try playing with them too, see if you can turn them down, at least a little bit, or off completely!
- Enjoy the time!
- When you’re finished, say thank you to yourself for the time, and slowly count down from 5 in your head, open you eyes and see how you feel!
Some other ideas:
Make feeling good part of your daily routine, some people are already making feeling bad part of their routine, we’re going to do the opposite.
- As soon as you wake up, take 5-10 mins max to do the exercise above. For 5 mins, allow yourself to feel good, whatever else you have to do that day, whatever you’ve done wrong, whatever you could worry about, you’re definitely allowed 5-10 mins to feel ok. (or even better)
- If you notice feeling anxious / restless / uncertain during the day, go somewhere and take 5-10mins to do the exercise. (Jack Black of MINDSTORE suggests even using a toilet cubicle, he calls it his ‘alpha closet’ in reference to the alpha waves of the brain becoming more prominent when deeply relaxed.)
- If you want to make plans for the day, need to make some important decisions / make a phone call or if you’re pursuing a particular task, do this exercise first.
Jack Black ‘Mindstore’ | Mindstore Blog
Tony Robbins ‘Unlimited Power‘
… and finally…
I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog, to make feeling good (or at least ok) a habit, you’ve got to practice it, like any other skill. Condition those neural pathways in this way, rather than choosing less positive options!
Don’t look at your email / Facebook / Twitter when you wake up, DO THIS FIRST!
Let me know what you think, feel free to ask any questions via firstname.lastname@example.org
or on twitter at @keyideatweeter
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Have a great week!