Here are 7 exercises to do one a day for a week to help you clear your mind, change your attitude and regenerate you.
You won’t need to change to your leggings for those, you’ll just need 5 minutes or less to dedicate to each one of them. Give them a go…
Leave the past in the past
Thinking about negative things, doesn’t help your karma to shine. Physically destroying negative thoughts has been shown to help them to leave your mind for good.
Pick 3 of the most annoying, negative thoughts or obstacles that have overcast your shine recently.
Write them on 3 different piece of paper.
Now destroy each piece of paper, ripping it, light it on fire, whatever you choose…make sure you do it safely.
Smiles all around! Research has consistently shown that smiling makes us happier, at least in the short term. This exercise is about finding your own smile-inducing activity to tap into when you feel down. Is it watching cat videos on youtube? Go for a run in the park? What if you just force yourself to smile (biting a pen might actually make you feel less silly) and see how you feel?
Take some time to define 2 or 3 smile inducing activities that you can always rely on.
Source: Kleinke, C. L. &Rutledge, T. R. (1998). Effects of self-generated facial expressions on mood. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74, 272-279
Giving feels damn good! And we know it pretty well…since we’ve just been through the season of giving. Why limit it to a single time of the year?
The goal of this exercise is to perform 5 completely random act of kindness all in one day.
These act of kindness can be big or small; buy a friend a coffee, donate blood, drop some clothes you don’t need to an homeless shelter, give up your seat on the tube. Your receiver doesn’t need to know it’s coming from you.
After each act write down what you did and how that made you feel.
Source: Lyubomirsky, S. (2012) Kindness counts
Look at your life right now
It’s important to pay attention to all major domains in your life that make you feel fulfilled and balanced.
The 3 most common spheres that bring people balance are: personal, health and career. However, there are other things that can fulfill you as individual: adventure, social, finance, personal development, love, etc.
Identify your 3-10 major spheres and do the following:
Create a “bar graph” and draw a bar for each of your categories.
Then, color in how fulfilled you are (the closer to the top of the bar, the more fulfilled you are). This will give you insight into where you feel abundance and/or where you’re running on empty. Then, take action to make yourself feel fulfilled by placing a focus on whatever you need more of while setting your goals for the year ahead (see example).
Source: Lululemon visions and Goals setting workshop
This is a two for one happiness deal; one boost when you press “send” and one when you get a reply.
Pick someone in your life that you are thankful for and tell him/her the reason why.
This only works when you are genuine and thoughtful about it. Take few minutes to write your text, email, or card now.
Source: Achor, Shawn (2010). The Happiness advantage
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”.
You probably know this already, but shared experiences make you happier and are the key ingredient of social connection. Go to a group exercise class, a party, cook a meal, volunteer together or go on a trip.
What can you do with someone that will bring you together?
“Calm your mind and your soul will speak!”
Find a comfortable seat in a quiet space where you won’t be disturbed or watched. Start breathing slowly and deeply. Set your time for 5 minutes.
This type of meditation is all about focusing your attention on your breathing cycle.
- To begin inhale, counting 4 seconds in your head.
- At the top of your inhale, hold your breath and count 4 seconds again.
- Now exhale, continuing to count 4 seconds.
- At the end of your exhale, hold your breath again for 4 seconds.
Begin the cycle again: inhale for 4, pause for 4, exhale for 4, pause for 4.
Continue until your time goes off.
Source: Davidji’s 16 seconds meditation method
Let me know how you feel after practicing these for a week. Comment below.