I like inspirational quotes as much as the next person. But does it feel like recently it's gotten out of control? At any given moment you're only one click or scroll away from someone telling you "Today is the first day of your best life", or "The greatest wealth comes from investing in your health".
And sure, these fluffy one-liners might make you think for a minute, but have they ever successfully changed your outlook or lifestyle? Probably not.
But that doesn't mean that short phrases, mantras, or principles can't be powerful - they can be!
You just have to find the one that works best for you. Below is a list of 5 wellness principles and techniques that can actually help you live a better life.
Did you roll your eyes? It's okay, I did too when I first heard about the power of being grateful.
But this is a scientifically proven practice. It can reduce stress, improve sleep, lower blood pressure, and promote better relationships. In the field of positive psychology, gratitude is king.
Gratitude reminds us that there are good things in the world and good things in our lives.
It takes practically no time and no effort to think of things you are grateful for. And there are only benefits! So if you really want to start living happier and healthier, start with one gratitude statement a day.
The "Win The Day" Equation
For those that love to-do lists, this approach could work for you. It starts by thinking or writing a list of everything you need to do today. Only include those items that absolutely need to be accomplished.
Next, make a list of a few things you would like to do today. These can be things that would put you ahead of schedule at work or things that you simply take pleasure in doing.
Then, plan your day to include the must do's with the few want to do's you wrote down. Better yet, learn how to couple the activities together.
At the end of the day, your list should be nearly complete! So instead of looking at a long list of unfinished items, you're looking at a list of all the things you accomplished today.
Today I Will Be...
A good mantra is one you create yourself. It doesn't have to be complicated nor does it have to be lofty. Start by finishing the line, "today I will be ..."
Patient? Generous? Curious? - pick anything that speaks to you. Find a trait you want to practice and eventually master.
Or, you can try something a bit more advanced, like "today I will be..."
A good partner? An enthusiastic mother? A diligent employee? - find something that describes who you want to be.
Using this one line you can set an intention for the day and when opportunities present themselves, you'll be ready to act like the person you want to be today.
The "I Am" Mantra
This strategy is a combination of gratitude and the "today I will be" approach. It is a way to remind yourself of how incredible you are. If the idea of this makes you uncomfortable, you are the perfect candidate.
I may not know you, but I know that you have a long list of positive qualities. And you should acknowledge what those are. And doing this on a regular basis will improve your confidence and even your health over time.
Pick your top three or four characteristics. Recite them aloud or in your head - "I am passionate. I am thoughtful. I am intelligent." Now you have a tool to use anytime you are doubting yourself or your abilities. Focus on the positive.
The "I am" mantra can be used whenever you want, but it's a great way to start your morning. And you can continue to add or change the characteristics as you want to. But keep it positive, because you are awesome and deserve to feel that way.
The 2-minute Drill
The 2-minute drill comes from the idea that habits are built slowly over a long period of time. But that shouldn't stop you from initiating the process of change.
Say you want to finish a book but you just can't find the time. Instead of letting it collect dust on the bookshelf, commit to reading it for 2 minutes each day. Suddenly, the prospect of starting a new challenge doesn't sound so bad. It's only for 2 minutes!
What makes this practice so successful is that most people start with the intention of doing the activity for 2 minutes but once they start, it's easy to do it for 5 or 10 or even 30 minutes. But even if you were to read a book 2 minutes at a time, you'd still finish the book eventually.
We often anticipate that an activity will be harder or less enjoyable than we want, so we avoid starting it. But the 2-minute drill makes anything seem easy.
Putting Ideas Into Practice
Now you have 5 new wellness principles to use in your own life. Try them out and see what works for you.
There is no single way to get healthier or feel better. It's a journey of learning about yourself, your values, and strategies that appeal to those values. But the most important takeaway is that you have the potential to be the person you want to be. One day at a time.
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