How to feel 50% better with 1% effort
1% doesn’t sound very much does it? How different would your life be if you changed just 1%? When things are bland, boring or even shitty, it can look like we have to make huge changes to have a different life but is that true?
Trying to change too much at once
When someone goes on a diet they often decide to change everything. They cut out foods they like and attempt to add in foods that they often don’t like and then wonder why the diet doesn’t last very long.
And how about in relationships? You might read lots of ‘how to’ books and watch videos about making your relationship sexier, book counselling sessions that you both sit seething through or attempt to change the person you’re in a relationship with so they act the way you want them to.
Good luck with that!
It’s a lot of effort and it doesn’t get you the results you want.
The same thing happens when someone decides to change things at work. Maybe you read books and blogs on how to build success, how to influence people, how to get on with the new boss. Again a lot of effort with often little or not reward.
How about if you just made a small change. How about if you just changed things 1%? And I’m not even talking about making physical changes, I’m talking about treating yourself to 1% less thinking about the things you need to change.
So instead of focusing on the diet you need to go on, and whether your stomach wobbles when you clean your teeth, you let go of 1% of that thinking.
And instead of focusing on how much you want your partner to change and what you can do to make them change, how about letting go of that thinking and spending 1% on what you like about your partner?
What does 1% look like?
Let’s take an average workday of eight hours. 8 x 60 minutes. 1% of that is 4.8 - nearly five minutes. That’s all.
Just to let go of persistent thinking for five minutes a day. You can do this however you want to. As soon as you feel a familiar feeling, and know that you’re in that type of thinking again, you just notice it and say, ‘oh that again’, or ‘not now’ or whatever occurs to you to let the feeling go.
Insecure, unhappy, anxious thinking becomes habitual without you even realising. But, when you stop running those patterns, you feel better and who wouldn’t want to feel better for even 1% of time?
And the better you feel, the more likely you are to want more of that and 1% can become 5% and on and on.
Imagine feeling worse for 1% of the time? Five more minutes a day feeling upset or sad. It may not sound very much but research proves that every minute counts.
If you’re spending minutes a day obsessing over worrying thoughts, the impact of those minutes can be felt at any time during the day. This is why some people are surprised to feel panicky when they aren’t aware of having panicky thoughts - because they aren’t having them now, they’re feeling the effects of their earlier panicky thoughts.
And how about 1% more action versus 1% less action?
Most of us that aren’t fitness fanatics think about doing some exercise more than actually doing it.
So how about if we use the five minutes that we spend thinking about doing something to actually doing it? Think of what you could do in five minutes? 100 star jumps? As many pushups as you can manage? Skipping? Running on the spot? The list is endless.
But most of us spend those five minutes thinking about why we can’t do any exercise. Maybe, if you’re like me, you feel that you have to change into exercise clothes and that looks like too much time and too much effort. You think about stripping off, getting the lycra on, stripping off again afterwards and maybe showering before getting dressed again. I’m always exhausted before I’ve done anything.
But how about letting go of 1% of the thinking that you have about exercise and spend five minutes doing something. Within a few days you might spend seven minutes? Even if you do a few stretches, rather than doing something torturous, that keeps exercise simple and is easily slotted into your day.
Spend 1% of your day today, just five minutes, noticing how many minutes you spend worrying, obsessing or complaining about something in your life and then maybe spend 1% of your time looking at what you want, rather than what you don’t want.
And I guarantee you’ll feel 50% better with 1% effort.
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