Plant The Seeds To Flourish This Spring
As the winter blues and grey rainy days subside and we step towards the promise of blue skies and sunshine (surely, right?) it's the perfect opportunity to shake off the gloom and instead bloom with positivity.
How? By taking 7 steps towards living a flourishing life and making the most of every single moment - rain or shine.
STEP 1 - MAXIMISING POSITIVE EMOTION
According to Barbara Fredrickson in her book, Positivity, it has been scientifically proven that the accumulation of positive reactions over time helps to bolster our resilience. It's not always easy to see the silver lining in every cloud, but doing so makes us stronger and better equipped to cope when the grotty stuff really does hit the fan. As well as creating a Chin Up Buttercup List (and/or, as I call it in The 90 Day Flourish Challenge, a Portfolio of Positivity) there's some stuff you can easily slot into each week that will make you feel good.
- Reminisce. Devote 20 minutes at the end of each weekend to the act of reminiscing by looking through photos or videos on your hard-drive. By first anticipating a happy event, savouring and enjoying it while it happens, then revisiting that happy moment, we amplify it and get more from our magical moments. Bonus!
- Walk yourself into a state of well-being, into new ideas and find creative solutions and walk away from your worries by going on regular gratitude walks. Try listing all you are grateful for as you walk and open your mind to all the possibilities that are open to you as a result of having those things/people/opportunities. It's empowering.
STEP 2 - MINIMISING NEGATIVE EMOTION
Living a flourishing life doesn't mean that nothing bad will ever happen to us again. It will. It does. It's how we react and respond to that fan-hitting stuff that matters.
- Declutter your external environment and your internal mind. Create a conducive environment in which to plant your seeds of possibility, restore your mental energy and save time by devoting time each week to decluttering an area of your home and being able to find everything. Declutter your mind by letting go of the past. Stop projecting past experiences onto new possibilities and opportunities. Don't assume history will repeat itself. Be open and receptive to ALL possibilities and experience things a new.
- Switch off from the constant flow of negative news. Stop watching or reading the news or violent or upsetting exposes. Replace miserable media with feel-good laughter inducing positive stuff - comedies, inspirational TED talks and so on.
STEP 3 - GOOD HEALTH
You need energy in order to flourish. So:
- Try out a few different exercises. Devote a month to trying out different activities, from group classes like Zumba, circuits or Bodyjam or team games such as netball to interval training dvds. Exercise doesn't mean going to to gym. Mix it up a bit and source exercise you enjoy.
STEP 4 - PURPOSE
Having a purpose strengthens your resolve to persist during tough times and bolsters your confidence.
- Find your cause and identify your values. What matters most to you? What causes do you care about? What values do you want to pass on to your children?
- Define your purpose. If you knew absolutely that you couldn't fail, what would you aim to change or make happen in the world based on what matters most to you? What's your ultimate mission in life?
STEP 5 - RELATIONSHIPS
- List your 'positive peeps' i.e. three people who, after seeing or talking to them, leave you with a warm and happy feeling. Send them a card to thank them for no reason, just let them know you are grateful for their existence in your life.
STEP 6 - ACTION
- Set reachable goals by using intention and reward. Write down your chosen reward as an added incentive to achieve your goals. Then consider the 'why' behind your goal. What's your emotional trigger? For example, an athlete's goals isn't merely to win, it's to make their family proud or to overcome adversity. It's easier to visualise yourself achieving your goals if you know the intention behind it.
STEP 7 - GROWTH
- Practice mindfulness mediation. Pay attention to your breathing and watch and accept your thoughts float by.
Ultimately, you can't flourish without pulling out the weeds, sewing the right seeds and watering them. That means focusing on small do-able daily actions across the 7 Steps To Flourishing.
There are hundreds more of these mini 5-30 minute tasks included in The Flourish Challenge. To get started right away on the 7 Steps to Flourishing Journey, sign up to the 90 Day Flourish Challenge at http://www.FlourishChallenge.com
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