How many of us complain and gossip? Are unhappy when someone doesn’t do what we expected of them? Unhappy when life doesn’t turn out the way we envisioned? Unhappy or jealous because we don’t have certain material things? When a situation doesn’t meet our expectations? What are the true sources of our unhappiness or coping mechanisms like using food for comfort? Stressed out because we are constantly worried about tomorrow or next year or 10 years from now… We have all been there but we don’t have to stay there. Being mindful is an important aspect for your long term mental and physical health and life long relationships and fulfillment.
Mindfulness is defined as the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something. Also defined as a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.
Essentially, being present and positive. Reframing our mind when we start to turn to blaming, stress, anger, negativity and the like.
The following are some very simple things you can do that will be a real game changer in your life as they have been for me.
1. Change expectations to appreciation
This one is so simple yet highly effective in. I heard it when listening to the most incredible person Tony Robbins during an interview. When I stopped expecting people to do or be or act certain ways and simply appreciated that fact that they were even present in my life… huge attitude shift, a significant decrease in anxiety and no anger… at all. This doesn’t just apply to relationships but any situation you may encounter. If you want to say, “I expected this,” stop it. Appreciate the situation for what it is. Find the good in it and know that any anger is really unnecessary. You choose how to react to life. Choose the positive side. 🙂
2. Seek fulfillment not achievement
This is another great one I heard listening to a Tim Ferris Podcast called: Tony Robbins on Achievement vs Fulfillment. Okay, so we all want to achieve our goals right? How many people get to a goal and are still not happy. Many say that is the attitude of a champion and they may be true but, some of the most successful people in this world meet all their goals and beyond yet are still unhappy. Where is the fulfillment in those situations? What is missing? For some it may be relationships, fear, holding onto anger, running from something and the list goes on.
Don’t know what might truly make you happy? Start by helping others without expecting anything in return what so ever.
3. 21 day no complain challenge
” You can’t complain your way to health, happiness and success!” Will Bowen has a little, okay big mission to get people to really step out of our cycles of negativity and lighten up! He provides free rubber bracelets where you which the bracelet from one write to the next every time you complain or gossip. It does have the word “challenge” in the title for a reason. See more about Will’s challenge here.
4. Thank one person every day
Sometimes the “thank you’s” just aren’t used enough. Show someone that you really appreciate them. It could be your spouse, your children, your friend, a past friend or teacher you haven’t seen in a while but really appreciated them in your life at one point. Thank them and don’t expect anything in return. Just show your appreciation.
5. Joy jar
This is a jar you can keep on your counter or office desk as a reminder to take a minute to write down good things that happen. They could be any achievements made, fitness goals achieved or appreciation for someone or something. Anything positive worth noting and celebrating! Write it down, put it in the jar.
6. Nightly recap
A little nightly recap is a great way to focus on the good things in life.
At night, write down 3 things you are appreciative of:
- A relationship that helped you- past or present
- An opportunity you had today or something great that happened or that you saw.
- Something simple like the cumulus cloud outside of your window or the feeling of your super comfy bed or the great pen you are writing with.
Do this nightly with one rule; each point must be different from the day before.
7. Take a deep breath break
Throughout the day, take time to take 3-10 deep slow breathes. Do this anytime you are feeling angry, anxious or just plain relaxed. There is a device called Spire that will remind you to take deep breathes when you haven’t in a while. I know when I am focusing really hard or am anxious about something I will forget to breath! Taking deep breathes is instantly calming (too a point of course you may have to do more work beyond that).