I am thankful each day for the pleasure I receive from my physical experiences and intentionally cultivate the joy I get from them.
I even find necessary chores, like exercising, to be pleasurable. If I feel tired or lacking in motivation, I remind myself of the pleasure and move past any protests that may come from my mind. Moving my body is exhilarating, so I do it as often as I can.
I choose physical activities that I enjoy the most so that I can get the most satisfaction from my experiences. If I want to swim, I give myself permission to do it regularly. If lifting weights or doing yoga feels best to me, I carve out time for those activities.
My senses also delight me in everyday life. The fragrances of childhood holidays or warm summer days bring great richness to my life. Foods I love entertain my palate. And I luxuriate in the feel of soft fabrics moving over my skin as I go through my days in clothes that I love to wear.
Today, I make time to revel in my body and the joyous experiences it provides me.
1. What are some physical activities I love that I may not have participated in recently?
2. What are some physical activities that feel good to me that I have done recently?
3. What are my three favorite scents? Most-loved foods? Clothing items that are enjoyable to wear? How do I feel when I smell, eat, or wear these things?
Analyzing past experiences provides me with valuable life lessons.
I acknowledge that my past is a wide open window to my future.
Past events hold the key to the outcome of situations I may be faced with later down the road.
When I experience something, I avoid taking the experience for granted, regardless of how trivial it may seem. I understand that there is a lesson in each situation, and I endeavor to determine what that lesson is.
I stop and take note of each experience, reflecting on what I can learn from it. Perhaps the lesson can help me solve a challenge I am facing now. Otherwise, it might prove to be valuable in overcoming, or even preventing, a challenge down the road.
I view every experience as an opportunity to understand how to live. I take a look at the impact of the situation and allow myself to be inspired by what has happened. Even if the situation is negative, I extract the positive out of it.
I am able to teach my peers and family how to live positively with others by analyzing my own feelings from past experiences. I use those memories – both negative and positive – to help those around me to create good memories.
Today, I commit to looking forward by looking back: using past experiences to help shape my steps towards the future. I know that at the very least, I can learn what actions to avoid by analyzing the outcome of past experiences.
Have you ever found yourself unfocused, distracted…essentially spinning your wheels at work?
Even if you are passionate about your chosen career path, are there days during which you accomplish next to nothing?
You know the kind I mean–you start the day with high expectations and a solid plan to accomplish your goals, but come day’s end, you’ve got very little to show for your efforts. And worse, you feel like you’ve been working hard all day.
Many of us experience these days (or weeks.) Here’s the thing: even if you absolutely love what you do for a living, you may find yourself feeling overwhelmed or stressed at work.
And, especially if you’re passionate about your work, you may not even realize it’s happening until you’re deep in the throes of the apathy and “brain fog” that comes along with workplace stress.
Left unchecked, workplace stress can have significant effects on your health, both mental and physical. And, when you don’t feel good, your perception on life can become corroded with that negative energy–effectively drawing more negativity into your life.
Is workplace stress a problem for you? Ask yourself the following questions:
Are you consistently anxious, irritable or depressed?
Have you experienced a loss of interest in your work?
Are you having problems with sleeping? Fatigue?
Do you have trouble concentrating?
Do you have physical symptoms like muscle tension, headaches or stomach problems?
Do you find yourself withdrawing socially from friends and family?
Have you experienced a lower sex drive than usual?
Are you using alcohol or drugs to cope?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, it’s time to make some proactive changes to promote positivity in your workplace and in your life. Doing so can reduce stress levels and ultimately eliminate many of these issues.
So what can you do?
Take Care of Your Body
An imbalanced diet can significantly contribute to “burn out.” And, ironically, in an effort to make their lives easier, busy people tend to make the unhealthiest choices. Many “convenience” foods are laden with fat, sodium and sugar, the effects of which will only make you feel more stressed.
Eat healthy, whole foods as often as possible. Reduce or eliminate intake of alcohol and nicotine. Get at least a half hour of exercise, most days of the week, and get enough sleep. It won’t kill you to pull an all-nighter on occasion, but in general, keep to a regular sleep schedule.
Take Care of Your Soul
When you love your work, it’s easy to over-commit and over-schedule yourself. This can lead to feeling overwhelmed, and eventually to apathy and loss of interest. Be sure to schedule down-time, especially if you’re a perfectionist who can’t stop until the job’s done. Sometimes, you just have to step back and regenerate. Otherwise, you may end up getting nothing done.
Sometimes, taking a couple of hours to do a little deep cleaning at your house can help you to release your stress.
If you’ve got an office or cubicle at work, clean that too (or have it cleaned.) Many people believe that the condition of your home represents the condition of your mind. So, if it’s dusty and cluttered, you might be feeling a little blocked yourself.
Do yourself a favor and spend a little time cleaning up around the house, and you may just find that your focus snaps back into place. You’d be surprised at how therapeutic a little cleaning can be.
Priorities and Planning
Sometimes, feeling overwhelmed is just the result of not having a plan. Especially when we love our work, many of us take on too many projects and before we know it–we’re spinning our wheels, getting nothing done.
The best way to create a daily plan is to have a basic daily routine, but one that’s flexible enough to allow you to focus on the most pressing issues of the day.
So, for example, let’s say you’re a customer service rep who lives in a cubicle 40 hours a week. You arrive at work to find three voice mails–one from an angry client, one from someone who needs information (a potential client) and one from your boss inviting you to lunch to discuss what you suspect is a promotion. And, on top of that, you’ve got two co-workers waiting to ask you questions about their own customers.
When you develop a basic schedule, you can prioritize these types of things in advance–so, in the case of our customer service rep, she might have a morning routine like this:
1. Deal with any co-workers waiting for me.
2. Return phone calls in order of urgency.
3. Check email.
4. Start taking calls from customers.
The point is that whatever your job, simply putting an outline of your day together can help you to reduce your stress levels at work by helping you to prioritize your tasks. Of course, there will be times when an urgent situation throws all of it out the window–and this is where you need to allow for flexibility.
Change Your Mind
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again–it’s all in your head. Life is what you make it.
So, if you’re feeling stressed at work, change your mind–change your perception of the situation. Instead of feeling angry and frustrated that you have to deal with so much, feel grateful that you have a job (and that you love what you do–if that’s the case.)
It’s easy to forget why we chose our career paths when we feel overwhelmed by our day-to-day lives.
Don’t hate your job. Love it, even if it’s not ideal.
Be grateful for it, and do it to the best of your ability. If the job you’re currently in isn’t right for you, start imagining yourself in one that is.
Feel what it feels like, and then focus on having it. Always focus on the positives and the things for which you are grateful–and you’ll attract more of it into your life.
Spend time hating your job and wishing away your time–and you can be sure to expect more things to hate in your life. Remember that like attracts like–so feel positive and happy and more good things and situations will be attracted into your life.
What do you think? Have you experienced workplace stress? How did you handle it? Share your experiences in the comments section below. And don’t forget to update your Bliss Book!
“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” ~Oprah Winfrey
When you’re feeling down, unloved, unworthy, unhappy–all you’ve got to do is look around you and find things for which to be grateful, and you’ll feel an almost immediate shift in your energy. This will lead to an improved perception, which inevitably leads to more good things in your life.
If you ever get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life, you know how out of touch you can get with the things that really matter. You might feel like there’s no hope, nothing that could possibly make it “better”–and you might find yourself wondering if you have anything good in your life.
But no matter how bad it gets, you’ve got something to be grateful for–no matter who you are. After all, you woke up this morning–there’s one in the ‘win’ column, right there.
Everyone’s got his or her own unique list of things that bring simple pleasure, feelings of pure joy, or just a sense of comfort each day.
You can be grateful for physical blessings like where you live, the climate you reside in, or even your residence. You might be thankful about certain people being in your life. This may include your kids, your grandma or your best friend.
The most important function of thankfulness is that it allows you to open your heart, mind and soul to goodness, gratitude and light.
So, that all sounds great, but you have no idea where to begin cultivating gratitude? Try these tips.
Take five. Allow yourself five minutes each morning to experience thankfulness. Take these moments to simply think about the past day. Say to yourself, “One thing I’m thankful for is___.” Fill in the blank with something you noticed from the last 24 hours. Think on it for a minute or so. Smile about it. Then go on with your morning.
Appreciate your world openly. Share your gratitude with others. For example, if you’re chatting on the phone with a friend, you could say something like, “I am so glad that I painted the living room that beautiful light teal color. The sunlight reflects on it so nicely.”
Another example is, “I went shopping with my sister yesterday and she was so helpful when I wanted to pick out a new dress.” When your verbal acknowledgements to others demonstrate the gratitude you feel, you’ll develop a habit of recognizing what you’re thankful for.
Notice the small stuff. Promise yourself you won’t take little things for granted. Because life becomes crowded with people, tasks, and objects, you may feel challenged to notice small bits of wonder in your day. But if you put your mind to it, you’ll be astounded at what you see.
Open your eyes to the wonders all around you. They won’t cost a dime. A sunset, a warm cup of tea, or an ice-cold glass of water when you get home from work can be great reasons to feel gratitude. The smell of honeysuckle as you walk by the vine or your daughter’s impish smiles are still more things that might remind you of your blessings.
Learn to turn your thoughts around. When you discover you’re thinking negative thoughts, imagine a big stop sign and say, “Stop” out loud. Then, replace the stop sign with an image of something around you that you’re grateful for right at that moment. Think about that object, experience, person, or situation and bask in your positive experience.
Keep a gratitude journal. If you find you’re having difficulty remembering to notice the things that stir your inner thankfulness, perhaps starting a gratitude journal would help. A journal is a tangible visual aid that will trigger you to think about what you’re grateful for. Try just putting put the date on the page and jotting down what you’re grateful for at that time. You can write as much or as little as you wish. Place your journal in a spot where you’ll see it frequently, like on the dining room table, the kitchen counter, or near your favorite chair. This way, you’ll be prompted to experience your gratitude more often.
Each time you consciously decide to experience your thankfulness, you’ll feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Open your eyes and mind to the people, places, things, and experiences you’re grateful for. You’ll feel so much better about your life–and feeling better is the first step to truly being better.
What are you grateful for today? Share your gratitude and your thoughts with me in the comments section, below!