Originally a guest post on www.lifehack.org
Too busy in your hectic life to “take ten” to ground yourself for the day? Too much to do and too little time? Stressed out beyond belief and you can’t imagine sparing any extra time to stop and take stock and take a daily pulse? Do you want to get off this endless cycle of “to dos” but can’t seem to get away from your life “inbox?”
Just when you feel like you cannot take “one more thing,” perhaps it’s time to try this “Get Your Head Together” plan for just one week.
What have you got to lose? No more than 60 minutes.
And what you can gain? A lifetime of a clearer head and a happier heart – and a chance to manage your stress rather than carry it.
Isn’t it worth the trade off?
Even if you exercise in the morning before you start your day, surely you can spare 10 minutes to exercise your mental muscles! So let’s start by giving a ten minute plan to start the day off right!
1st Minute: Start the day by writing out one positive intention.
Think of an action or resolution that will help you put a positive spin on the day. Examples: Today I will make an effort to smile more. When I am in the meeting, I will say at least two things even if I fear sounding stupid. This will help me to less immobilized by my fears.
2nd Minute: Take a mindfulness moment for a morning mediation.
Consciously slow your breathing, taking deep breaths and attempt to focus only on the sensations around you. How do you feel? What do you smell? What do you visualize? Example: Help yourself breath deeply by putting your hand on your stomach, feeling it extend and deflate as you breathe. Most of us have shallow breathing and this “backwards breathing” as they teach in Yoga takes in more air to nourish the mind!
3rd Minute: Have on hand a menu of inspirational quotes or passages that you can choose from every day.
A moment of inspiration will prevent a lot of mental perspiration! Example: “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” – Milton Berle; “We might not have it all together, but together we have it all! ” – Unknown.
4th Minute: Think in “victor language and not “victim” language.
Take an inventory of any negative thoughts that interfere with a positive outlook and take a minute to W.A.I.T. and ask yourself What Am I Thinking? Identify irrational, judgmental thoughts and replace them with more rational thoughts. Separate fact from fiction! Example: Replace negative and illogical thoughts such as ”My boss made me so mad yesterday. I can’t stand him” with “ I was mad when my boss raised his voice to me yesterday and scolded me, and I will tell him I do not deserve to be talked to like that.”
5th Minute: Each day strive to be conscious of gratefulness for the gift of life.
Identify at least three things you are especially grateful for. Example: “I am grateful that I have a family that loves me and to whom I can give love, that I have freedom to choose a positive attitude, and that I get another chance to learn from and build on my successes and mistakes of my yesterdays”
6th Minute: Surrender any grudges and bitterness.
Realize that a lack of forgiveness pulls you into the world of negativity, and strive to forgive everyone for everything. Example: “I forgive my ex-spouse for falling short in his behavior towards me, and although I do not condone certain behaviors, I will not keep the bitterness within – it only poisons me.
7th Minute: Visualize a successful outcome today.
Even if it does not come true the way you visualize, the positive visualization makes your attitude more positive no matter what! Example: Roleplay in your mind or visualize a calm response in dealing with your argumentative children.
8th Minute: Smile and Say Cheese!
Swiss Cheese is full of holes – and so is our lives. It’s how you get through these holes that counts! So smile and embrace life’s imperfections! Learn and grow from them! Example: “I will make an effort to have a sense of humor when faced with obstacles instead of losing my sense of humor when things do not go the way I think they “should.”
9th Minute: Stretch your mind!
Think of a metaphor that will inspire you today. Comprise a list of metaphors to pick from each day. Think of your metaphor as your daily mascot to keep you in check! Example: One powerful metaphor is that of the sunflower. A sunflower is big, bold, loves lightness and with enough light grows rapidly and robustly. It reminds us that if we keep thinking positively, we will flourish!
10th Minute: Tell yourself something nice about yourself each day.
This is called a positive affirmation. Tell yourself something you really admire about yourself, and this reminder will help you start the day off right by thinking straight to feel great! Example: ”I am proud that I keep trying new things and I embrace change.”
Wishing you the best on taking a time out as you work on transforming your life and yourself 10 minutes at a time! Are you truly too busy for that? I welcome comments to hear your reactions and tips!