To make my day just a little bit brighter, I do a few of these simple things every day. While some days are just bad, it's okay - these tools are like having an emotional toolkit that I can access when I need them. Simple things like this can help us become more aware, accept our feelings, and act when necessary, while keeping things in perspective.
Try these five tips and see if they can brighten your day.
Gratitude is a well-known way to change the way we feel and how we think. Whether you practise this daily or only occasionally, you can bit-by-bit build appreciation for the good things into your life. Personally, I find that waking up and recognising three things I am grateful for helps to set the mood for a positive day ahead.
I’m not talking about meditation here, although that’s also a good way to take a few moments to yourself. I’m actually referring to a practice I’ve come to love recently, which involves setting a timer for about one minute and doing a ‘body scan’. This is just a way to be present, genuinely giving my body my full attention for just sixty seconds. It’s amazing how quickly it can shift my state of mind. This exercise is all about focus, and we know how quickly our focus can be shifted during the day, so having to stop and narrow down our focus on us in the present moment can be very uplifting.
Now, to give it a try, find a spot to sit comfortably and count your breaths, focusing fully on how your body feels. For those who want to get started here is a YouTube video to help guide you.
It might sound a bit corny but smiling at a random stranger can have incredible benefits for your state of mind. The simple act of smiling encourages joy in yourself and others – putting a smile on someone's face is a small act of compassion that can inspire many more to do the same, forming a ‘pay it forward’ effect. This helps everyone involved, reminding people of the kindness in the world.
No, seriously – everyone knows that bananas are full of potassium, but you may not be aware that they also contain tryptophan, which is a chemical that helps regulate your mood.
Creating art by colouring in isn't just for children; in recent years, it has been proven to help with anxiety, stress, focus, and even sleep, so there are now beautiful and readily available colouring books available for adults.
This is another way to focus on the present as you direct your attention to the image before you. The satisfaction of neatly filling in some line art shouldn’t be underestimated!
So, there you have it – five little ways you can improve your day by staying present, keeping focus, and spreading happiness. These acts all help me in my everyday life to stay grounded and positive despite our ongoing lockdown here in Melbourne, so I hope they can help you, too.
If you liked this article, you might like our feature about taking care of your mental health during lockdown.
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