|Here’s an excerpt from my book. Five Ways to Wellness (now available on Amazon).
Life can be stressful and seem overwhelming at times, but in the words of Mark Twain: “I have known many troubles and most of them never happened”. This quote illustrates that a lot of our stress, fear and negativity is of our own making and most of the things we fear or anticipate never come to pass.
If you deliberately confuse your brain by changing your focus, you can jolt your mind out of that negative thought loop and find yourself on the way to a happier outlook. This art of redirecting the mind and opening up new pathways of thought is a very powerful tool for happiness and satisfaction in life. So with that thought in mind, here are seven things you can do today to alter your perspective and turn a bad day into a good one.
Give something away: Buy a coffee for the person behind you in the drive through, do the same at the toll booth or check out line. Give something you own to somebody who really needs it. Make a donation to charity. Contribute to a random GoFundMe. It’s impossible to feel bad while doing a good thing for someone else.
Lend a Helping Hand: People always appreciate some assistance, whether it be picking up some groceries for your neighbor, helping a friend fix their car or helping someone move house, many hands make light work and light hearts. Doing random acts of kindness helps the giver as much as the receiver.
Take a walk in the outdoors: We are supposed to be outdoors and we are supposed to move, sitting inside, in stale air and artificial light, puts you in a funk. One of the easiest ways to measure what you are doing to improve your health is to count your steps with your watch or fitness tracker. So take a break, walk round the block, have your lunch in the park. Make it a point to get outside today.
Pet a dog: Who doesn’t love dogs? Man’s best friend and for good reason. Dogs are very intuitive about human emotions and respond with love and enthusiasm to any attention you give them. Many employers now allow workers to bring dogs to work because of the bad, but thinking makes it so”. Sometimes all it takes to lift your spirits is to change your perspective. There is nothing either good or uplifting effect they have on morale. I have to say though, if its not your dog, or a dog you know, be sure to ask the owner first before you approach their pooch. If you can’t find a dog, or dogs are not your cup of tea, other pets like cats, bunnies or micro pigs work almost as well.
Forgive somebody. Forgiveness is hard. If somebody has done you wrong, its difficult to let go of the hurt and the insult maybe even for years. Its also true however that if you can’t forgive, that person lives in your head rent free. Forgiveness is not forgetting, it simply allows the forgiver to move on and permit themselves to be happy.
Deep breathing: Deep breathing helps refresh your heart and lungs. Many relaxation techniques use deep breathing as a tool to help you calm your beating heart and your anxious mind. Deep breathing is the basic tenet of meditation and mindfulness, focusing on breathing allows us to step out of our situation for a moment and achieve some objectivity and calm.
Thank someone: Think about someone who really made a difference in your life, a teacher, your parents, someone who prevented you from making a big mistake, someone who showed up in your time of need or gave you a big hand up in life. Many of these people may have been simply doing their jobs or acting out of a sense of duty not realizing what a huge influence they had on you. Call, text, or write them a note to let them know how valuable their presence is in the world and in your life.