In my last post on this subject, I focussed on how you can help yourself with your emotional rehabilitation and at the same time be helping others to feel good too. Now it is all about you, yes really. You can feel fine after a heart attack. After a cardiac event, you may feel like you’ll never feel fine again. It’s not the case, you just need a little time, cardiac rehabilitation for the body and the mind.
It’s time to share with you activities to calm your mind, care for your body, raise your energy and get you achieving your hopes and dreams.
It really is all about you!
Warning: Regular daily practice of these activities can seriously affect your life for the better. Caution: May cause positive feelings and behaviours that will improve your life and well-being.
It’s strange that it is actually the simplest thing to do and yet it is also incredibly difficult to achieve. It helps you to gain the most amazing results in your life. That’s why it’s called meditation ‘practice’!
Set a timer for 10 or more minutes. I use my iPhone with some relaxing music playing and set it to turn the music off after 10 minutes. Gentler than an alarm going off.
- Get comfortable in a chair and relax.
- (Preferably not laying down as this might encourage you to doze off, so you might want to use this at night if you have difficulty sleeping too)
- Place your feet flat on the floor; your hands loosely on your lap.
- Use diaphragmatic breathing for two or three breaths finding your own rhythm. Close your eyes, concentrate your focus on your breathing for a few breaths.
- In your imagination take yourself to your favourite place, somewhere you enjoy and feel safe. Maybe a beach, woodlands, a park, in the country or even in town.
- Imagine all the little details, what you would see, hear, smell and feel.
- As you become more relaxed start saying the word ‘one’ over and over gently in your mind.
- If your mind wanders off, gently notice accepting that it is okay and then bring your thoughts back to the word ‘one’.
When the music stops or your alarm goes off, job done and continue with your day.
Take action: Next time you sit with a cuppa, follow the instructions above. If you notice yourself saying you haven’t time that’s even more reason to take 10 minutes for yourself.
It’s OK not to feel merry at Christmas or happy on your birthday … Are you just not feeling it today? You can’t quite put your finger on it but you’re feeling out of sorts, a bit off colour, maybe sad, unwell or just unhappy. Exhausted, or anxious, concerned or fed up. A remedy can be really quite simple, be kind to yourself and just be. Don’t fight the feeling and yet don’t collapse into it. Choose to be kind to yourself and maybe just have a duvet day on the sofa with a good film and some treats. Tomorrow is another day and you will feel different.
Take action: Do what ever it takes for you to feel good now. Remember it can be just about you. Get some ‘you’ time too!
Do you have those days where nothing seems to be working? Had a bad day in the office? When you wake up and from the moment you open your eyes it all seems a bit …. Meh? Your energy and mood are at an all-time low, you feel uninspired and just can’t be bothered? Yep me too!
Then go choose some up-tempo music with a strong rhythm and a fast beat (I have a playlist of my favourites). Find the kind of music that would boost your energy and have your foot tapping just by hearing it. This will really get you in the mood for dancing, it will be easier and so much fun.
Play the music loud. Let yourself go. At first, you might feel a daft and a bit self-conscious but keep it up. Remember the phrase “Dance like no one is watching,” just do it.
Let out any unwanted emotions, negativity, tension, let out all of your pent-up angst. You can even yell and make noise, sing along too it helps. (Do bear in mind your neighbours)
Keep dancing and moving around, give yourself a chance to get a bit warm and breathe a little harder. After a while you will begin to feel differently, more energised. You’ll no longer be thinking about the problems you’ve had as you’ll be focussing on the music and dancing.
Leave all your frustrations (or whatever you were feeling) on the dance floor.
Take action: Just do it!
Have you got a BIG HAT?
If I had a penny for every time someone said to me think positive or have a positive mental attitude I would be rich. Heck, add all the times I have said it to other people and I would be a millionaire!
It seems to have turned into one of those phrases that are said when somebody is having a difficult time but what does it mean?
Believe me, I have tried this and if I am honest it does have an effect but it always seems short-lived and it is exhausting keeping track of my thoughts.
It definitely is about the mind-body connection; thoughts, feelings and behaviours are all linked together.
But I want a quick, easy and fun way of achieving feeling good. I want to apply it quickly and whenever I need it, not too much preparation time.
Instead of trying to change my thinking holistically and in all areas, I decided to concentrate on each situation, circumstance or behaviour at a time.
I decide what it is that I want to be able to do, feel, think or behave in a certain situation and then I ‘act as if’ I already have all the necessary knowledge, behaviours, beliefs and feelings. It helps me to feel the fear and do it anyway.
If I am doing something that makes me feel uncomfortable then I know that I am growing and developing. I have an expression that I use that is I am wearing my “big hat and no knickers” today. It gives me courage, to “act as if” (big hat) so no one can see my vulnerability (no knickers).
Take action: When you’ve got something to do that you’re not particularly confident or sure about, take some time to imagine how you would be if it was easy for you. Grab your ‘big hat’ and ‘act as if’ it were true.