Getting Friendly with Feelings

Ask yourself:
How am I feeling right now?

I’m going to guess that you used a word like “good” “fine” maybe “happy”… maybe “tired” “stressed”… maybe “angry” “frustrated”…

For most, myself included, language to describe emotions is limited.
Here is a list of feeling words.

For a larger version of this image click HERE

This week I am challenging myself to expand my feelings vocabulary.

Why bother doing such a thing?
To better understand myself. The better we understand ourselves, the more clearly we can express ourselves to others and be understood. The better we understand one another the better we can all just get along and be happy :) (Okay so maybe there is a little bit more to it than that… but it’s a start.)

Step 1 is to FIND the name of the feeling.
Step 2 is to FIGURE out why you are feeing that way.
Step 3 is to ACCEPT it.

I write a lot about being happy.  Part of being happy is accepting all of our feelings. Nobody is happy all of the time. If you were always happy, you wouldn’t know you were happy because you wouldn’t know what it feels like to be sad!

:)

RESOURCES

(I did not use any outside resources for this post)

 

Happy First

Shawn Achor is a leading figure in the research of Positive Psychology. He focuses on the link between happiness and success. What Shawn has found is that in order to be successful, in many cases happiness needs to come first.

Many have believed for a long time exactly the opposite. Once I am successful, once I get the raise, once I’m done with school, once I complete this or that… then I will feel happy!

Scratch those old beliefs and get happy NOW

So, if all of this “how to be happy” stuff is a bore to you, do this challenge instead to increase your work productivity! Whatever your reason to do it, find one and try!

Again, here are the five habits to choose from:

1. Three Gratitudes: Take a moment each day to think of three things that you are grateful for. This will retrain your brain pattern for looking for the positive things in life.

2. Journaling: Find one thing that you are grateful for in each day and write it down. This task will hep you find meaning in daily tasks that may seem mundane otherwise.

3. Exercise: Choose an exercise you enjoy and it for 10 minutes each day. Exercising for 10 minutes a day not only brings physical benefits, but it also teaches your brain to believe your behaviour matters. This belief then carries into other activities throughout the day.

4. Meditation: (I wrote about this yesterday, same challenge) Mediate for 2 minutes per day. See my post from yesterday on some of the benefits you will retrieve.

5. Random Acts of Kindness: This can be as simple as sending an email to friend you haven’t spoken to in sometime, or buying a stranger a coffee. Give someone praise and both of you will reap the rewards of kindness and both will feel further supported.

 RESOURCES

More information on Shawn Achor
http://goodthinkinc.com/speaking/shawn-achor/

Another great blog and resource for inspiration, mindfulness and happiness
http://www.shawnellis.com/blog/page/5/

A Simple Secret to a Happier Life

I have some really good news;
You can re-wire your brain to become a happier person and it’s really, really easy!

Now, let me tell you what to do, step by step.

Step 1: Do nothing
Step 2: Keep doing nothing
Step 3: Be happier

It’s that easy!
They call it…

MEDITATION

Why is doing nothing so hard?

Maybe it’s because we have schedules that are “too busy”. Maybe it’s because we get addicted to completing tasks. Maybe it’s because we are made to believe that we are lazy if we aren’t being productive… Whatever the reason you don’t make time to meditate might be the same reason you are not feeling exuberant today.

Meditation has shown to

  • Help focus
  • Lessen anxiety
  • Better memory recall
  • Boosts creativity
  • Increases compassion and empathy
  • Produces more grey matter in the brain (leading you better able to make decisions, process thoughts, and evaluate rewards/consequences)

Meditation can be intimidating. Many people when they start think that they don’t know how or that they are doing it wrong. The good thing about it is that you can’t do it wrong.

Take 2 minutes
Sit or lay down anywhere you want, however you want. Whatever is comfortable for you.
Take a breath in and let it out. Keep your eyes open, or if it is more comfortable, close them.

Now feel. Feel what it feels like to be alive. Feel your blood running through your veins, feel what it feels like to have oxygen in your lungs and what it feels like to blow it out.

If thoughts come in to your head, that is fine. Meditation doesn’t mean that you are free of thoughts necessarily. Let go of trying to block your thoughts, let the thoughts come but let go of attachment to them. Witness them. Wrap them up in shiny air balloons and watch them float into the sky.

Feel your heart beating. Where can you feel it? In your chest, in your arms, in your toes? Notice without judgement….

Towards the end of your meditation, wiggle your toes, do some micro movements in your body to come back to reality.
Go on with your day more focused and more able to take in information and respond calmly and creatively.

Meditating even for a short amount of time has an effect on your entire body and mind. It’s anything but a waist of time and it will make you a more productive person afterwards.

I challenge you to try to meditate for 2 minutes each day for the next week if you’ve never done it.

Unlike anything else that promises the effects that meditation offers, with meditation there is no come down, no side effects and no cost. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Let me know how it goes.

More on this topic to come.

:)

RESOURCES

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111129131135.htm

http://blog.bufferapp.com/how-meditation-affects-your-brain