I hope you enjoyed my talk at the conference! As promised, here are some extra practices that you can implement immediately to start experiencing more fascination in your everyday life. Everyone's body is different, so try a number of practices to discover what works best for you. Environmental factors can also influence the effectiveness of these practices, so what works in one area of your life may not work in another, so be mindful of this and experiment.
Be aware of when you’re frustrated. What influences lead up to it? Being aware of these influences can help you to see possible threats ahead and prepare for them ahead of time.
Be mindful of your thoughts. Challenge your assumptions and change your narrative. We are who we perceive ourselves to be. By consciously seeking to maintain a positive orientation, we can apply a more optimistic frame as we reflect on our learning experiences and abilities to achieve our goals.
Read this quick story about the Treasure Hunters and the or Trash Collectors:
It seems that in life there are two types of people, and the first are treasure hunters. Every day they seek out what is useful and positive. They focus on it, talk about it, and think about it. Each of these moments is treasured like a bright, shining jewel that they store in their treasure chest forever.
And then there are trash collectors who spend their lives looking for what is wrong, unfair, and not working. They focus their energy, time, and thoughts on the trash, and every day they put that trash into a big trashcan.
The treasure hunters proudly carry their treasure into the future, while the trash collectors drag their heavy, smelly trashcan from one day to the next. The question is: When they get to the end of the year, what does each person have -- a treasure chest filled with useful, positive memories, or a trash can full of things they didn't like?
The choice is yours. You get to decide.
(I suggest being a treasure hunter)
Stay curious, ask questions, and challenge assumptions. Ask, “How can this be used for the good?”
Dr. Rick Hanson suggests “Changing the channel.” Go for a walk, watch a movie, read a book, grab a cup of coffee, go to the bathroom, take a shower, talk with a friend, or chew it over with Twix. The idea is to find a way to temporarily step aside from the situation to breathe so that you can come back with a fresh perspective.
Acknowledge what can and cannot be controlled, and then focus on what can be controlled while letting go of the rest. This easier said than done, but with practice it becomes easier! When making those kind of decisions I like to put my “CEO” hat on, and decide like a boss.
Get some physical exercise! It releases neurotransmitters in the brain that positively affects how we feel. Chemicals that have been associated with positive moods include dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin. Find yourself getting frustrated? Get some cardio in. Know you’ll be facing a trigger? Go to the gym first. Scheduling challenges immediately following physical activity can help channel your positive brain chemistry toward addressing the challenge.
Activate the parasympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems act like the accelerator and brakes on a car. The sympathetic system is the accelerator, always ready to rev up and take on a challenge. The parasympathetic system is the brakes, slowing us down when challenges aren’t present. You can learn to trigger your parasympathetic nervous system to immediately reduce anxiety and stress to lift your mood. Here are some tips backed by science:
- Focus on a word that is soothing such as calm or peace.
- Recite a repetitive mantra or prayer.
- Gently Touch Your Lips. Your lips have parasympathetic fibers spread throughout them, so touching them activates the parasympathetic nervous system. To do this, simply take one or two fingers and gently run them over your lips. (Or find someone to make out with)
- Do some simple breathing exercises. When you inhale, fill your lungs fully, hold for a second or so, and then exhale in a relaxed way. Do this for one minute. These long inhalations expand the bronchioles, and the constricting of the bronchioles is regulated by the parasympathetic nervous system, thus triggering the parasympathetic to bring them back to their “resting” size, thereby bringing you to a state of calm to reduce potential stress…just like magic!
Resiliency Training For Emerging Leaders & Their Influencers.