Photo Credit: Cultura RM/JAG IMAGES/Getty Images
There are times when I feel rattled and out of sorts because of all the projects, work and family demands in my life. When this happens, my mind races, already anticipating a difficult day. I feel drained before it even begins. And my attitude — well, lets just say that it’s less than stellar. It’s an awful way to feel, and I know I’m not coming from the best place within myself. If you find yourself in this situation and would like to turn things around, try this quick and easy way to make a change:
Take 5 minutes at the beginning of your day to shift your focus away from the pressures and your stress-filled perspective. Simply focus your attention on your breath — just noticing how it feels to breathe in and out. This will help to quiet your mind and stop the ruminating. When your mind wanders (which is normal), simply refocus back to your breath.
After about 1 minute of breath focus, bring to mind the positive blessings in your life — like being alive today and feeling grateful for your level of wellness; having meaningful work and opportunities to use your gifts and skills; having people in your life who love and care about you. The purpose of this exercise is to gain a healthier perspective about yourself and your life. When you tap into the gratitude within yourself, your energy increases and the negative thoughts dissipate. You’ll notice that your heart feels lighter and your face opens into an easy smile. At the very least, you’ll stop frowning. You’ll feel more aware of the possibilities. Taking just 5 minutes to shift your focus will help you move into your day from a place that is capable, positive, creative, industrious, welcoming, and ready for whatever the day holds.
Jane Ehrman, M.Ed, CHES is a Mind-Body Coach at the Cleveland Clinic Center for Integrative Medicine and a Behavioral Health Specialist for Lifestyle 180, Cleveland Clinic’s disease reversal program.
Need more mind-body insights? Visit Jane at ClevelandClinicWellness.com.