I work full time, run a home business on the side, and have a family that I need to feed and water occasionally, lol 🙂 Like you I have a full plate, and keeping myself balanced & my stress level in check is paramount to feeling good and staying healthy.
I have discovered some simple practices that really yield big results. These practices also build on themselves, and I have found one of the best ways to reduce stress during my busy work week is to follow these simple mindfulness practices. They put me in the best possible position to start any day, no matter how crazy the day may get🙂
So to help you stay balanced in your busy life, and without further ado, here are 7 super easy ways to mindfully reduce stress and have a great day:
1. Carry one of your baby pictures around with you. Take a picture of one of your baby pictures and carry it in your phone. Or carry a photo in your wallet. Whenever you are feeling unlovable or stressed out, or overwhelmed or negative today, I want you to take out your phone or wallet take a peek at it. Look at yourself as a sweet baby and let yourself feel loved and cherished. Know that you are worthy of kindness and compassion and every good thing life has to offer 🙂
This is the picture I have on my phone of me (I’m on the right and my big sister Chris is holding me). I look at us and feel love and a sense of nurturing for us as innocent little girls. When I look at the little me, it feels very natural and easy to cultivate compassion towards myself. This is loving kindness towards the self, a powerful act of self-love and emotional healing of the past.
2. Schedule a 5 minute morning meditation. Use an egg timer or set the timer on your phone and meditate for 5 minutes before you leave the house in the morning. Just 5 little minutes to sit and be still and quiet and at peace. This is something I have been doing pretty consistently for about 6 months now. I can tell you it’s made a huge difference in how I face my day.
For most of my life I just hit the ground running each morning filled with angst and feeling rushed, stressed, and irritable. What a crappy way to start the day right? Carving out just 5 minutes to sit and breathe and be present for the day is a wonderful gift you can give yourself. It is an absolute luxury and puts yourself in the best possible mindset to face your day.
3. Listen to a motivational cd on your commute to work. I used to really despise my daily commute, but now, thanks to wanting to cultivate peace in my life, I consider it a sacred time. The time spent driving in to work is completely mine to do with what I wish, and that is such a gift 🙂 I love to treat myself to my favorite motivational and spiritual CDs.
My current favorite is The Power of Now. There is so much wisdom in that CD. I love to listen to 20 minutes or so and then turn it off and drive in silence, contemplating what I’ve heard. I try to make each day a spiritual practice based on what I learned on my drive in.
4. Allow yourself to feel genuinely happy today for someone you know that’s doing well. It’s too easy these days to feel less than or competitive or even jealous when you hear about someone doing better in some area of life than you. But know that putting out positivity is such a good thing for yourself and for mankind.
And all positivity returns to you in kind 🙂 Be so happy inside for that person you know who got the promotion, or that family who looks so happy. Doing good feels good. Remember that it is better to give than receive, so give others your highest blessing always. This is a wonderful habit to cultivate by the way 😉
5. Schedule 3 micro-mini breaks into your day today. Here’s how: Take one conscious breath in the morning, once conscious breath at your lunch break, and one conscious breath in the evening. One conscious breath is a slow, deliberately mindful inhale and a slow and complete exhalation with your focus only on the feeling of the breath. This is gives you 20 delicious seconds of peace, right in the midst of your day 🙂
Focusing on your breath stops the stream of thoughts that usually take up your focus and energy, freeing you up from the mind. Also, according to Eckhart Tolle, taking one conscious breath is a complete meditation, and this is an excellent way to ground and reset yourself throughout your day.
6. No matter what, do NOT allow yourself to think negatively about yourself today. No disparaging comments, no mental commentary about yourself, your body, your personality, your past, or your life situation. Only positive thoughts allowed today! 🙂 Really commit to this for the next 24 hours.
If you find this difficult, or find yourself going into negativity without realizing it, take one conscious breathe to break your train of thought. Then take a look at your sweet little baby picture, cultivate a feeling of love and compassion for yourself, and go forward from there. This gets easier the more you practice, so keep at it! 😉
7. Don’t veg out in front of the TV tonight. Limit your television today to one hour or less at the end of the day. Use television purposefully. Use it as a reward and a lovely treat at the end of your day to wind down, not as a way to fill up your day or pass time. Limit your watching to one hour or less. Any longer and it defeats the purpose. Plus you don’t want to end up mindlessly eating chips and junk and then feeling bad later! 🙂
Important: Avoid the 24 hour news channels and shows that are focused on negativity, as this can suck you in and make you feel bad too. Watch a high quality or lightly entertaining show that lifts you up, like Oprah’s Soul Series, a nature show, or a PBS special.
Wow, that was easy right? And fun too 🙂 7 simple tips to help you have a better day. When the good habits you practice are simple and enjoyable, they are much easier to do day in and day out. If you practiced these tips and they helped you today, you know what you have to do right? Rinse and repeat tomorrow! 🙂
Wishing you a wonderful day of peace,
P.S. The Power of Now teaches you how to live fully in the present, where the stress of the past and the future cannot touch you. This book has taught me how to live in the blessed peace of today. To learn more, check out the reviews on Amazon.
Thank you for reading!
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