Start With A Smile
It's the last Monday in January, and I am hearing lots of people talking about how tired they are feeling this time of year, and how difficult it is to find the motivation to get things done. It would be nice to be like bears and find a nice cave to hibernate quietly in until the flowers bloom, but, life goes on for us humans.
What can help us get through our daily tasks with greater ease is to begin them with a smile. When we smile, the facial muscles used in turning the corners of the mouth upward send signals to the brain, telling it that something positive is happening. We essentially trick ourselves into being more positive, and when we approach tasks with a positive attitude, they are more likely to go well. And seeing as we are not bears, we may as well put our best foot forward as we walk on toward spring! :)
"Start every day off with a smile and get it over with." - W. C. Fields :)
To Be Right or To Be Happy
With 7.53 billion people on the planet, the odd disagreement is bound to happen from time to time. Add to that the daily pressures of work, family, bills, and it's easy to see how we can get into arguments with each other!
Being at war with someone (or something) can exert a severe toll on you mentally and physically, we can spend lots of time mulling over what was said, full of outrage at the wrongs that have been done to us, or insulted by the injustice of it all!
The truth of this is that the person who you are at war with is not suffering from all this thinking, you are. Thinking stressful and angry thoughts take their toll on the body, and on your peace of mind, and by keeping it up you are serving the person you are fighting with, not yourself!
So, a helpful question to ask yourself when conflict arises is: Do I want to be right, or do I want to be happy?
If we can take the long view, and remember that in a week this conflict will likely be forgotten, then is it really worth the mental anguish now? Isn't life too short to be stressed and unhappy?
Maybe we can put our own well-being ahead of the need to be right. It might be a challenge, but it's worth it!
"Resentment is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die." - Unknown
Instructions for "Right Now?":
Revisiting the past and trying to anticipate the future are helpful only to a small degree, for example, it can be a good idea to see where we can improve on past behaviors, or plan ahead to use up the leftover veg from last night's dinner. However, many of us (me included) stray into realms of unhelpful time travel such as mulling over the wrongs people did to us, mistakes we should have known better than to make, saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, fretting over next week's work presentation, or that family wedding we are dreading next July.
Dwelling in the past or future only invites them into your present, making 1 day next July last the 7 months from now until then. Do yourself a favour and spend no longer on it than the time it takes to pick a killer outfit, or take that lesson from the past mistake (i.e. attend to it in a practical way), and then leave the day in the past or the future, where it belongs. Your life is right here, right now, and corny as it sounds, each new moment is a new opportunity.
-Apologies for the long break between posts, took me a while to get out of holiday mode!
"The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly." - The Buddha
The Weekly Minute is a blog I write each week with the aim of providing proven tools to help promote positive mental health.
The collection of short, practical mindfulness and therapy tools for self-reflection and self-improvement, can equip people to take their mental well-being into their own hands, and improve their quality of life.
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