Boom baby! Does your life feel like you are on a treadmill going nowhere fast? Do you catch your mind racing and wondering where the day has gone? Or do you choose to take a time out to practice mindfulness?
Are you frantically trying to decide what to make for dinner as you are approaching home from the kids’ soccer game or day at work? Or do you have the whole foods already waiting for you upon your arrival, ready to be thoughtfully prepared to share a home cooked meal together?
Many people feel as though they are stuck on a metaphorical hamster wheel – trying so hard to keep up with the Jones' so that they can have the same things and go on the same vacations. What these people don’t understand is the huge price they are paying for those choices in terms of not only stress and bad health, but financial disaster such as extreme debt.
Comparison is a zero-sum game that you should avoid at all costs. Instead of focusing on what you wish you had, you can work on cultivating simple habits in your life that can help you to reset during this season of transition.
Here are some simple strategies for you to consider for creating more simple pleasures in your life.
- When you wake up every morning, keep a gratitude journal near your bed to write down three things you are grateful for and three things you want to accomplish each day. You will be astounded how focusing on the positive first thing in the morning will help stave off the negative. At the end of the day, you can look back and see what you accomplished or need to accomplish later. Keeping track of your attitude this way can helps you get in a mindset of gratitude and your good vibes will help your productivity soar. Consciously choosing to be gracious is one of the best gifts you can give yourself.
- Create a list that you can look back on of simple pleasures that you enjoy. What are some of the simple things in life that give you pleasure? Perhaps it is a hot bath at the end of the day, playing fetch with your dog at the park, a soothing cup of coffee in the morning, or a fire on a cold night. Revisit this list when you are feeling blue and use these pleasures as tools to help you stay in the moment, reduce your stress and help you recharge.
- Keep your phone out of the bedroom! Instead, use an old-school alarm clock to wake you up in the morning. Research shows how constant interruptions from the alerts on our phone actually rewire your brain …and not in a good way. Don’t make the first physical touch be reaching and touching your phone. A better way would be to physically touch your partner next to you in a loving stroke or embrace in a hug.
- Get physical! Go outside, leave your technology at home, and go for a walk or play a game. Being in nature has a way of clarifying our thoughts, settling our emotions, and best of all, it costs you nothing.
- Make a point to find three strangers to smile at each day. A genuine and sincere smile can really turn someone’s mood around, and it can help lift your mood as well. Studies show that smiling also causes your brain to release feel-good neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin and endorphins, all which aid in calming your nerves and lowering your heartrate. Even smiling when you don’t want to have its benefits and can help ease stress in times of pain or sadness.
- Keep track of your short and long-term goals to help you stay focused on what you need, versus what you want. Be very clear about it, too. What are some of the resources, tools and strategies you can utilize to accomplish your dreams? Is it to run the Boston Marathon? To score that promotion at work? Often, the things that we desire most of out of life are not anything we can buy in a store.
As spring fast approaches, we can use this time of transition to pause, reflect and rebuild on that which is most important to us. You are a sum of the choices that you make every day, and this life has no dress rehearsal. When you are feeling blue, use some of these tips to remind yourself how blessed you truly are (even if you don’t feel like it). By choosing to stay grounded in the simplicity of life, you will be making the most of the moments that you have left.
I am a financial expert and yet true wealth is more than how much you have in your bank account. You get to choose, instead of Boom Baby…Bloom Baby Bloom.