Mastering your mindset does not have to take a month in the Tibetan hills, a 10-day silent retreat, or even just one mental health day from work. You can begin the process of rewiring your mind and plugging in to positivity in minutes. If you’re like me, both an expert in being “busy”, and a procrastinator (we do exist, and usually fight against ourselves because of it!); then my five-minute mindset hacks might not be in the too hard basket! Swap one Facebook scroll-a-thon, one tea break, one sneaky YouTube video at your desk - for one of these instant energy boosters.
Gratitude holds massive power by grounding us in the positive and in the present moment. If stress is skyrocketing, you’re having “one of those days” where nothing is going to plan, or you feel stuck in a comedy of errors, then try this one.
Take a moment to either write, say aloud, or take a picture of something you are grateful for today.
Keeping a record can be a great thing to do to build a “bank of gratitude” that you can use as a visual representation of all the positive things in our lives! Don’t overthink it. It doesn’t need to be earth shattering (and shouldn’t always be!). The sunshine coming in your window, the mechanic getting your car back to you on time, a colleague taking your dishes to the kitchen, your newly painted nails, your favourite song coming on the radio, the comfort of your bed. We have so much to be grateful for but we rarely acknowledge it.
Let’s admit it, if someone tells you to “Just get some fresh air” when you’re having a meltdown you’re secretly thinking “Get real! The last thing I can do is stand outside and do nothing right now!” but this is one of those overused phrases that is actually true #sorrynotsorry
- Rejuvenates - the natural environment reawakens our senses and our instincts as we respond to environmental stimulus. So a quick walk around the block can see you more aware and alert than when you left. A much better state than in the seventh circle of stress.
- Boosts immunity - fresh air cleanses the lungs, releases internal toxins, and increases natural ‘killer cells’ to help battle those office epidemics.
- Gives energy to muscles (including your brain!) - that’s why your trainers always tell you to breathe at the gym. If you’re feeling stiff, suffering headaches, or eye strain, then take 5 outside for a physical energy boost.
- Is a natural stimulant - scents in fresh air have been shown to reduce anxiety. See if you can get a whiff of cut grass, blooming flowers, or the scent of rain as a natural “upper”. If you’re a concrete jungle, seek out a nearby park, florist, water fountain or piece of open space.
A declaration of love...
Worry, anxiety, comparison, and self doubt, are all emotions that operate from a place of lack (what we don’t have or like). The more we surround our experiences with negative energy, the more we believe the stories and worries we are telling ourselves. Release the story of suffering and rewrite it as one of confidence, pride, and self belief by declaring every day “[Kris], what I love about you is [insert]” The more comfortable we become with declaring what we like about ourselves, rather than what we lack, the brighter and more joyous your day will be. Try using your own name to cement the declaration rather than keeping it internal. Again, allow yourself everything from the seemingly small to the big wins. From your smile or your hair, to getting up early for the gym, to your commitment to solving a problem at work. If it’s a day of particular struggle, you can simply give love that you are aware of your emotions and are in need of kindness.
Another one for the skeptics among us. I spent two years starting and stopping meditation before the benefits became so clear to me, that I finally accepted it. I know the idea of a meditation practice can seem too woo-woo, too daunting and too time consuming. Yet I challenge you. Release the idea that you have to find 30 minutes a day and nothing short of nirvana equals “success”. There is no right or wrong way. Meditation is not about meditating on if you are meditating right! It can be as little as 5 minutes a day. Try closing your eyes and focusing on your breath, use an app on your phone (like Stop, Breathe & Think), or a short guided meditation on YouTube (I love Boho Beautiful). I find meditating for 15 minutes even every second day, calms my knee-jerk and reactive responses and trains my mind to default to positive rather than negative. You’ll also learn to feel more “at home” in yourself, as you are actually spending time with you!
Humans are inherent storytellers. We have been since the beginning of time. We pass messages, morals and histories to next generations through artwork, song, dance, and the written word. Such exploration of the world and our values has even greater effect now, as we have greater tendency to lose touch with our intuition through the trappings and distractions of everyday life. Journalling our beliefs, feelings, and inner talk can have a profound therapeutic effect, but also a profound ability to reveal insights, patterns and desires within ourselves that we have not given voice to. Try one of these journalling prompts to get you going, or set a 5-minute timer and free write, letting whatever comes out of your pen (or keyboard) flow.
- A letter to Future Me…
- Nobody knows that I…
- Three things I’d do if I had no fear are…
- The motto I’d like to live by is…
- If I had all the self love in the world I would…
- What is life asking me to do differently?
Did any of these help you? Do you have your own methods to master your mindset? Leave me a comment below!