Three ways to get a spring back in your step
April may be the cruelest month, but January and February seem even more depressing. Post Christmas blues, credit card bills and miserable weather can play havoc with our emotions! The question is how can we feel happier without waiting for better weather? By being mindful of our physiology, focus and language (Tony Robbins’ TRIAD), we can immediately become more optimistic, even if it’s raining outside!
We know that body language influences the way others perceive us, but controlling our physiology (body language) also has an amazing impact on our own mental state. When you are aware of this, you can harness it for your own benefit. Remember a time you were feeling super confident. How were you standing? What were your shoulders doing? And your hands? Replicate this whenever you need more confidence. If you can't think of a time, replicate the body language of someone you admire. One study shows that people who stood in a really open, ‘power pose’ for just two minutes felt more confident and had surprising changes in their hormone levels. So it’s not just all in the mind!
Our focus dictates how we feel and what we experience during the day. Do you mainly focus what you don’t want? Problems that might happen? Spend a day or two noticing your thought patterns. If you continually focus on the negatives of any situation, this can explain feelings of anxiety or sadness. When we continually focus on possible negative future scenarios, we feel anxious. When we repeatedly play over past disappointments, we feel sad. Choose to practice more placing your focus on more positive things: decide what good things you want to happen each day and choose to focus on those instead.
Our thoughts revolve around questions. The quality of the question dictates the quality of the answer. Unhelpful questions: ‘Why do I never stick to a diet?’ generate equally unhelpful responses: ‘Because I am useless with no willpower’. By changing your questions, you change your results. Experiment with different questions: notice the answers. ‘What can I do differently to lose weight and keep it off?’ or ‘What can I learn from that situation to ensure it goes better next time?’. Our responses to these types of question help us grow and learn.
Good luck trying out those tips… I hope we can all start feeling happier now, whatever the weather!
About the author
Gill Westwater is a life, career and happiness coach. She believes that mindset is the most important influence in our lives and that we all have the potential to amaze ourselves by what we can achieve if we decide to make plans and make progress. Coaching helps us clarify our goals and maintaining motivation while we work towards them.
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