It's officially the worst day of the working year. Time to lighten the mood.
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Hello Monday! Are you cringing at the idea of going to work and having to last the whole week until you are finally free to do what you really love most? If that's you, here are 5 feel good brain exercises to lift your mood whilst in the office.
Fake it until you believe it
Yes, let’s be honest, you can’t possibly be happy and positive all of the time. But guess what, people will respond to how you behave. So tell yourself that just for today, just for now, you are an actor in your own life. You can decide to be however you want to be – so act happy and smile. Then observe how others respond to you. You'll be pleasantly surprised. Positivity breeds positivity.
Bust away any anxiety
Anxious about that all important meeting, presentation or workshop coming your way? This can often be a complete energy drain in terms of your own morale in the office.
All of a sudden you are bad-tempered and nervous, regardless of whether it is scheduled to take place on Monday afternoon or not until Friday morning. It’s there, it’s in front of you and it’s annoying. Now this one is fail- proof. Close your eyes, and think about how you will feel approximately 15 minutes after the successful completion of whatever it is you have to do.
Make sure that you are really focusing on what you will see in that particular moment, what you are feeling. Where is the anxiety now?! That’s right. It’s gone. Now you can tell yourself that you know how it feels to not be anxious anymore. Practice recalling that feeling as and when you need it.
Give yourself a break
When life isn’t really going my way I tend to keep myself busy. This in fact runs completely counter to what I should be doing. Instead of re-alphabetizing my CD collection or tidying my inbox, I should simply focus on being and appreciating all the things that I can and should appreciate.
You can achieve this one with your eyes closed or open. I usually like to have a cup of tea in my hand but that is optional too. Take a couple of deep breaths, focus on filling your belly with air and pushing all that stress/pressure down each time you exhale. Feel all that negative energy travelling down through your body, your legs and into the ground.
Become aware of your body and all the tension that is going on inside, and when you notice tension, just breathe it out, right down through your legs and to the ground. This can take several seconds or minutes. It even be done on a conference call – don’t tell anyone I shared this with you!
Like many of us, I am not one of life’s most avid networkers. I personally freeze at the thought of meeting new people and have to admit that I have hidden away in my car or even in the girls’ room just to avoid having the customary 15 minute “networking” breakfast/lunch before a meeting.
I despise having to wear a name badge and asking the person next to me “so, what do you do”? And that’s me being a HR professional. A people person so to speak.
What I have found very useful when I am at these events, is to consciously ramp up my curiosity radar as I like to call it. I set myself some challenges – getting to know 10 people’s names, or what their hobbies are and how they do what they do. One question I like to ask in a networking event is why people do what they do? What their biggest lessons were or what would they tell their younger selves.
By setting small curiosity goals, you can get through any one of those awkward moments and even do it with a smile. It works wonders in the sales process too, ultimately people love talking about themselves, love stories and love other people who are like them.
Be in the now
We rarely spend time living in the moment. Yet that is where we will find happiness. Bear with me on this one. We are all busy, all have bills to pay and have a multitude of things that we are worrying about. Now, think of a time when you were truly happy. I like to think of my wedding day and especially our wedding reception.
Now in that moment, did I still have bills to pay and a multitude of things I was worrying about? Of course, I did. But in that moment, I was experiencing real happiness. The secret of happiness is just that. Being in the now, not ruminating about the past or living in the future. It is about appreciating the present moment.
Bring an effective corporate athlete it is not about burning the candle at both ends but being able to demonstrate endurance, resilience and internal power. Let’s face it, we’re not machines. Focus on finding out what makes you feel whole and good. Great even. Then do more of that.
As I shared with you earlier, I am not so great at being extroverted – despite this, I often stand in front of large audiences, present at board meetings or I am out at networking events. I am consciously aware that such activities can be a strain. Therefore I make sure I treat myself to alone time as a way to rejuvenate and simply be.