Mind Power – Happy new you

Boost hap­pi­ness and health in just a few min­utes a day.

True Love - - News - By EL­LIE MOSS

Worn out? Burnt out? Stressed out? If you’ve tried ev­ery trick in the stress­re­liev­ing book and still feel wired, don’t give up just yet. The key to a har­mo­nious and happy life could be at your fin­ger­tips. Well­ness ex­pert Jan Bruce, psy­chol­o­gist Dr An­drew Shatté and Dr Adam Perl­man all be­lieve this could change in just a fort­night. It sounds am­bi­tious, but they’ve pooled their ex­per­tise to cre­ate a per­son­alised sys­tem that’ll boost your stress re­silience and get you from tired to blissed in just 14 days. This plan gives you 14 days to de­velop es­sen­tial stress-man­age­ment skills. It sounds good, right? Then what are you wait­ing for?

DAY1 CALM EMO­TIONS

Pay­off: You’ll feel free­dom from de­bil­i­tat­ing emo­tions and a deeper re­serve of com­po­sure and clar­ity. The idea is to help you ‘neu­tralise’ pow­er­ful emo­tions when they’re not war­ranted – if you get an­gry when some­one bumps into you or you get eas­ily frus­trated, sad, guilty or em­bar­rassed when it isn’t nec­es­sary. We all have a go-to neg­a­tive emo­tion in times of stress, and these are picked up on your emo­tional radar. Of course, it’s fine to feel any one of these emo­tions, but they can pop out when you least ex­pect it, and this ex­ac­er­bates stress. So­lu­tion: Work out what ex­actly you’re feel­ing, why you’re feel­ing it, and then ask yourself: “Is this feel­ing re­ally war­ranted?”

DAY2 SLEEP SMART

Pay­off: You’ll re­store en­ergy to do the things that al­low you to re­lieve stress. Tired­ness leaves you poorly equipped to deal with stress. In fact, stud­ies show the worst sleep­ers were shown to be one-and-a-half times as stressed as the best sleep­ers. So­lu­tion: Stick re­li­giously to good­sleep tech­niques. Set reg­u­lar bed­times, make your bed­room a sleep-only and sleep-friendly zone, and cre­ate a re­lax­ing bed­time rou­tine.

DAY3 UN­LOCK YOUR POWER

Pay­off: Be able to clear think­ing and an abil­ity to solve ev­ery­day prob­lems. Some­times we’re guilty of al­low­ing our prob­lems to be­come more

over­whelm­ing. This can cause you to fall into ‘think­ing traps’, where you look to blame oth­ers for the prob­lem. So­lu­tion: The se­cret here is to be pre­pared. Know the trap you fall into, iden­tify when this hap­pens and be ready with your es­cape route.

DAY 4 AC­CESS IN­STANT CALM

Pay­off: Get im­me­di­ate re­lief from high stress in pres­sured sit­u­a­tions. While this process is all about long-term so­lu­tions, hav­ing a few speedy chill-out tools for stress­ful sce­nar­ios will keep you on track. So­lu­tion: Think deep breath­ing, mus­cle re­lax­ation and pos­i­tive im­agery. Master these, and you’ll ace that next big pre­sen­ta­tion or event.

DAY 5 FUEL THE RIGHT WAY

Pay­off: Im­prove stamina, bet­ter health and immunity. A nu­tri­tious and healthy diet leaves you bet­ter pre­pared to tackle stress. So­lu­tion: Mind­ful eat­ing – in other words, know­ing why you’re eat­ing what you’re eat­ing – is the key. Eat slowly.

DAY 6 NAV­I­GATE OLD BE­LIEFS

Pay­off: Over-emo­tional out­bursts will be con­trolled. This is all about ad­dress­ing the ‘big be­liefs’ we have about our­selves. They’re re­ferred to as ice­bergs, be­cause it’s only usu­ally the tip of these that shows up in our con­scious mind – “If I can’t do some­thing my way, I won’t do it at all.” So­lu­tion: Spot ice­berg be­liefs by keep­ing an eye out for ‘should’ and ‘must’ in your think­ing. Em­brace the ice­berg – al­low it to ex­ist, but don’t beat yourself up if you can’t al­ways live by it. Melt the ice­berg – have a mantra that con­tra­dicts your ice­berg. For ice­bergs that show up in spe­cific cir­cum­stances, steer the ice­berg – de­velop spe­cific ‘ice­break­ers’ to ad­dress par­tic­u­lar prob­lems.

DAY 7 BANISH BURNOUT

Pay­off: You’ll feel greater ful­fil­ment in your ev­ery­day life This is all about ad­dress­ing the bal­ance of ‘bad’ events ver­sus ‘good’ events in your daily life. The the­ory is that the more good you stock in your favour, the bet­ter you will be able to man­age your stress. So­lu­tion: Think about what sort of ac­tiv­i­ties and ex­pe­ri­ences nour­ish you, and plan ways to in­clude more of these in your daily life.

DAY 8 TUNE POS­I­TIV­ITY

Pay­off: There will be a deeper abun­dance of pos­i­tive emo­tions to sus­tain you through chal­lenges. Be aware of and seek out pos­i­tive emo­tions, and take ad­van­tage of them. Many peo­ple man­age to see the neg­a­tive in even the hap­pi­est of sit­u­a­tions. So­lu­tion: At the end of the day, write down three good things that hap­pened to you. Read them back to yourself first thing the next morn­ing. Then the next evening add three more things, and read those back to yourself the next morn­ing. Do this for 10 days, and you’ll have 30 good things writ­ten down.

DAY 9 FIND FIT­NESS FAULTS

Pay­off: Be mo­ti­vated and have en­ergy to stick with a fit­ness regime. Strug­gling to fit your fit­ness in around the rest of your life, es­pe­cially when things go wrong? Stick­ing at it is es­sen­tial to boost your en­ergy, stamina and strength. So­lu­tion: Day nine looks at putting to­gether a fit­ness plan you can stick to. The first ele­ment of this is ad­dress­ing any un­der­ly­ing ‘ice­berg ’ emo­tions that may have thwarted your progress in the past.

DAY 10 STRIKE A BAL­ANCE

Pay­off: Get a smoother han­dling of the com­pet­ing de­mands in your life. Your emo­tional ‘ice­bergs’ make yet an­other ap­pear­ance here. When it comes to bal­anc­ing work and fam­ily or personal time, we tend to feel big emo­tions that re­flect our deep­est be­liefs. So­lu­tion: Iden­tify the ice­berg be­liefs that keep you at your desk for hours on end, and re­mind yourself of the fol­low­ing mantra when you bump up against one: “I’m hu­man and can only do what is hu­manly pos­si­ble.” And try to think about the other goals you have. Is work your only goal?

DAY 11 GET UN­STUCK

Pay­off: Re­lease yourself from the prob­lems that con­found you. Day 11 looks at solv­ing that one prob­lem that seems truly un­solv­able. One of the prob­lems with seem­ingly ‘un­solv­able’ is­sues is the way we ex­plain them to our­selves. So­lu­tion: Try opt­ing for the ‘Not me, not al­ways, not ev­ery­thing’ ap­proach: “It’s not my fault, this is a one-time oc­cur­rence, and it doesn’t af­fect any­thing but this one thing.”

DAY 12 LIVE YOUR LIFE GOALS

Pay­off: Have a sense of pur­pose and pas­sion in your ev­ery­day life. If life seems too busy to achieve any of the big things you re­ally want to, this is the day to make that change. So­lu­tion: De­cide where you want to be in 20 years’ time, then define your goals. Choose one thing you want most, take one small step and use the pos­i­tive mo­men­tum to keep go­ing.

DAY 13 EN­ER­GISE WORK

Pay­off: Feel deeper job sat­is­fac­tion. Day 13 is about find­ing con­tent­ment and ful­fil­ment at work. This is the place you spend most of your time so it has to be worth it. So­lu­tion: The key is es­tab­lish­ing what your con­tri­bu­tion is – why this job is mean­ing­ful.

DAY 14 CON­NECT TO SOME­THING MORE

Pay­off: Re-in­fuse your life with mean­ing and joy. To ef­fec­tively man­age stress in the long term, con­nect to some­thing big­ger than yourself. So­lu­tion: Look be­yond your own goals and in­volve yourself in your com­mu­nity. Al­ready do­ing this? The next step is find­ing your own spir­i­tu­al­ity. This could be a set of val­ues that’s very im­por­tant to you. It’s about a com­mit­ment to some­thing that con­nects you to the world and brings you pure joy.

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