1. Body, breath and mind awareness. Do a head to toe body scan. Notice where you are holding tension in your body: Release - Relax - Retrain. Be aware of your breathing. Notice your in and out breath. Breathe deeply, slowly and quietly. Notice your mind. Return to your in/out breath when thoughts wander. Simply return. See your mind as the clear blue sky.
2. Sit, Smile and Laugh. Turn the corners of your lips up and laugh your blues away. A little smile releases tension in you and everyone around you. Laughter releases feel-good brain chemicals that increase feelings of joy. Smiling and laughing lifts your mood in minutes.
3. Notice your inner dialogue. Be aware of what you say to yourself. Let go of judgement, blame and worry. Be aware of what you are doing, in the present moment, non-judgmentally. Practice positive, compassionate, affirming self talk. Notice the difference.
4. Be aware of what is not wrong. Practice noticing when things are going well. Train yourself to see the positive in life. Be aware of everything that you are grateful for (even the tiniest things). Less blame, more reframe. Can you see the situation from another angle?
5. Use the power of your mind. Visualize tonight and tomorrow with positive outcomes. Also visualize that if things go differently than planned, you can handle it with ease.
6. Get enough high quality sleep. Dim the lights before bed. Count your breaths. Relax every muscle in your body, toes to head. Let all tension melt away. Imagine that you’re in a deep, deep sleep that will last all night and will allow you to wake fully refreshed.
7. To be more calm yet alert, drink plenty of water throughout the day. Eat a little more fruits and vegetables and a little less junk. With every meal or snack, have a protein.
8. Several times a day get your blood flowing with arm swings, twists, bends, or any fun moves. Dance, play, enjoy moving! You’ll get oxygen to every cell in your body and brain!
9. Practice handling minor discomfort. Train yourself in patience. Notice your discomfort, breathe, relax, and try responding in new way. Either stay meditating on your minor discomfort (noticing it has a beginning, middle and end) or respond with clarity, compassion and understanding. Life is full of ups and downs, we can handle both mindfully.
10. Develop a daily routine of mindful meditation. Can be sitting, standing, walking or moving meditation. Start with 5 minutes a day and work up to 20 minutes. Sprinkle mindfulness throughout your day. Breathe, relax, and let go, as often as needed.
Mindfulness & Stress Relief with Robert Rivest
Robert leads Mindfulness & Stress Relief programs in schools, colleges and corporations
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