Some days it feels like your mind is playing tricks on you, doesn’t it? When everything that could go wrong does, when you are doing your very best but no one notices or when it appears that everyone is doing great things, having fun and happy except you.
Research shows that 40% of the variance in your life satisfaction is dependent on your intentional activity—what you think, feel and do.
To help you leverage your 40%, here are 28 tips and strategies, if committed to and used intentionally, will increase your flourishing capacity to enjoy more life.
Self-care is the new health care. You feel better when you ease your mind and body. Self-awareness enables self-compassion which enables self-care. Anchor your mind to one particular activity by reading inspirational messages or putting on soft music and elevating your feet. “Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer.” – William S. Burroughs.
Optimists are more likely than pessimists to find meaning or growth in stressful experiences. I’m not saying to ignore the negative but control how it makes you feel. When facing a negative situation, learn to shift your mindset to thinking about some things that made you feel happy, excited, or joyful. Recall one thing that made you proud of yourself. Optimism fosters positive thinking, improves performance and provides opportunity to gain insight about your priorities, motive and emotions.
Practicing three funny things (TFT) has been shown to increase happiness and reduce depression in adults. Every day for one week, write down the three funniest things you’ve experienced or did and an explanation why those things happened to you. Journaling about humorous experiences can shift your long-term perspective. Over time, you may become quicker to laugh and more open to seeing the humor in every day.
When you hear music, dance! Grove and sway with the beat. Loose yourself in the rhythm. This is one of my favorite ways to enjoy the moment. I dance just because, and you should too. Dance like no one is watching.
You can find much enjoyment in exploring and researching different subjects. You’ll experience a sense of purpose and meaning.
The more curious you become, the more actions you will take. The more actions you take, the more creative you’ll become. The more creative that you become, the more solutions you’ll find. The more solutions that you find, the more of life you’ll enjoy.
Self-expression—through your passions and purpose in the workplace–is your opportunity to flaunt the best of who you are. Ladies, express your authenticity through your femininity. What incredible skills, ideas and energy do you bring to your life and your work?
Three things you should never compromise: your self-respect, your dignity and your values. What you compromise, you will lose.
Explore new things, places and cultures. These opportunities offer a different world perspective and add a healthy dose of motivation and possibility to your life.
Whatever it is you’re called to accomplish, use all of your divine greatness in doing it. Perform well in spite of pressure, competition or opposition. Deal quickly and effectively with change.
Challenge the thoughts that get in your way so you can think more productively. At the very moment you hear your mental chatter trying to get you off of your A-game, challenge it. Tell yourself why the thought is not true. That’s your evidence. You will feel more confident, composed and focused on whatever is the task at hand.
Playfulness makes the brain more receptive to learning. Appeal to your fun side. Having fun sparks creativity and positive energy.
I cannot stress enough the importance of sleep. It is a vital indicator of overall health and wellbeing. Get eight or more hours of sleep each night. If you need a natural sleep aid, visit a health food store. I drink herbal tea that contains a sleep aid and spray my pillow with lavender for relaxing into sleep.
Nelson Mandela said, “Our human compassion binds us to one another–not in pity or patronizingly, but as human beings who have learnt how to turn our common suffering into hope for the future.” Forgiving is not the same thing as forgetting. Forgiving is a gift you give yourself of not letting the situation continue to plague you and a great practice to help you enjoy more life.
Things are only as bad as you allow yourself to believe they are. What you allow yourself to believe is your reality. Change your perspective and you’ll notice it isn’t as bad as you thought.
Start tracking how you’re spending your time. When you’re conscious of your day-to-day activities it helps you to be more productive.
Start off your day with gratitude. Research shows that grateful people are less negative, more social, more other centered, more optimistic sleep better, have more vitality and more satisfied with life. It’s the best way I know of to boost your positive emotions while looking to a brighter side.
A woman’s growth comes by knowing and accepting that you don’t have to put on masculine traits to survive and be rewarded in the workplace. Savor life, commit to your goals and appreciate your innate gifts and inner beauty.
Multitasking is far from being productive. It takes too much effort to switch from one focus to another—losing about 40 percent of productivity. You get your best ideas or easily find solutions to a nagging problem when you focus on one task at a time.
Ask yourself, “What do I accomplish by watching the news?” Remember, the news will exploit your negativity bias. Don’t buy into the drama, negativity and fear. It sells, but you don’t have to buy into it. Turning off the news helps you to feel and will improve your mood.
The PP treadmill is living as a “procrastinating perfectionist.” If you are a procrastinator, you are probably a perfectionist meaning you want to hold-off until you’re perfect at it. Perfectionism is the enemy of productivity. People who flourish are productive and being productive means creating a mindset that allows you to start, get-going and efficiently accomplish your work. You’ll enjoy more life when you do.
Here’s a quick way to outsmart your negativity bias: identify meaningful moments in your day. Everybody has at least one. Begin your day with it in mind. Work optimists are 5 times less likely to burnout than pessimist and 3 times more likely to be highly engaged in their job.
A courageous woman’s desire to grow is more comfortable than her fears. She is a woman who understands that challenges come with her job description. She recognizes her stress indicators and knows how to use her core strengths. She persists in the face of setbacks, uses her passions to fuel her purpose and persists to achieve her goals.
24. Exercise Kindness
Thoughtfulness and generosity are effective tools for outsmarting stress and burnout. Think back on one of your acts of kindness and revisit how it made you feel. Do it again when anxiety flares up.
25. Take a Dose of Laughter
Laughter really is the best medicine. In a stressful workplace or situation, get out of the stressful environment for a few minutes to think of something funny. Laugh out loud. It will decrease those cortisone and adrenaline hormones that aggravate stress and will release your feel-good hormone, dopamine. It will also shift your attitude.
26. Get Juiced Up
What makes you feel juiced, free, uninhibited and alive? Howard Thurman said, “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it because what the world needs is people to come alive!
27. Use Your Strengths
It’s simple when you know and celebrate the real you at work. Research shows that drawing on the right personality strengths, in the right amount, in the right situations can create the outcomes you want, help you effectively buffer against, manage and overcome problems, improve relationships and enhance health and overall wellbeing.
28. Choose Words Carefully
Words create worlds. If you want the dog, then why are you calling the cat? If you want to be happy then why are you saying how unhappy you are? If you want the promotion stop saying, “I’m always overlooked.” What comes out of your mouth comes from the heart. Words do more than convey information. Words carry the power to change your life. Use them carefully and intentionally, not loosely.
This article originally appeared at DrDeanaMurphy.com
In our workshops we deal with these issues and more. In our Include Yourself workshops, we teach smart-driven women how to emerge with a true voice and experience a flourishing life, career and business. In our Flourish at Work workshops managers learn how to effectively lead themselves while inspiring and empowering their people. Contact us to learn more at [email protected] and visit us at DrDeanaMurphy.com and Lead2FlourishWomen.com