“The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.” ~ Marcus Aurelius
Have you ever wished for a more Zen brain? Is your brain constantly thinking about what you should be doing next or what you haven’t done? Do you find yourself making a mental list only to forget it later in the day? The good news is that there are strategies for quieting your mind which I learned from a very smart guy by the name of Alan Brown (coach, author and ADD’er).
Sometimes we feel as though we don’t have a choice with our thoughts, but it turns out we actually do. Here’s the science…Negative thoughts lead to negative emotions and produce stress hormones thereby reducing your brain’s intake of oxygen and negatively affecting your ability to find creative solutions. If you can shift to positive thoughts your brain will produce serotonin and help you move away from negative emotions. You will also enjoy better decision-making ability, increased creativity and will expand your awareness in any given situation.
Here are a few of Alan’s tips with comments from me.
Re-frame time – we always say we don’t have time, but you would be surprised what you can accomplish in only on brief minute. Try timing yourself doing a few tasks and see how long it actually takes instead of assuming you don’t have time.
Understand the now – “there is no pending problem right now, this very minute, otherwise you would be taking care of it right now” says Alan. We all have a lot of things to do and sometimes become paralyzed because we can’t decide what to do. Pick the one thing that if not already a problem will cause a problem if you don’t do it now.
Quiet your mind – practice quieting your mind for only two minutes by perhaps looking out the window and actually thinking nothing. Your mind is a muscle like any other in your body and a short rest helps it work better.
Recharge during everyday activities – when you are doing something enjoyable stay present in that activity. Most of us are usually doing at least two things simultaneously. Next time you turn on your favourite piece of music, really stop and listen to it and don’t do anything else. When you’re exercising really stay present (yoga is a great way to learn this technique).
Look at pleasing images – well now, this one shouldn’t be too tough. If you have a piece of artwork in your home or office that you really like, stop and enjoy it for a minute. If you think kittens or puppies are really cute, spend a few minutes looking at pictures. I have to say I do enjoy my Get Pets page on Pinterest every once and a while. You will improve your brain function and maybe even live longer.
Say “will do” instead of “have to” – instead of saying to yourself “I have to do this thing” say “I will do this thing now”. Your action will be fueled in a more positive emotional stance and you will get it done more quickly.
Do what you’re doing – don’t let anyone tell you that multitasking means you are getting more done. Stick with what you are doing now by labeling everything else as not what you’re doing now. Be careful of always choosing to do things that are most interesting to you not necessarily most important.
When you have a moment, let me know how some of these tips might work for you. Now, get organized by design!