At my Day Job we have four-hour-long meetings every Tuesday from 9 am - 1 pm. There are about 30 people who attend any given time. Some people say the meetings are soul-sucking. I usually find them unpleasant but take it as an opportunity to practice my meditative breathing. And catch up on email. Anyway.
The meetings typically leave me feeling rather unsettled, so I've taken to going for a walk immediately after, for as long as my schedule allows (which is usually an hour or less.) I'm lucky enough to have a Trader Joe's nearby, but I'm trying to find ways to soothe myself in ways that are free of calories and chemicals, so I avoid going there at times. Yesterday though, during my only free 20 minutes of the work day, I walked over to TJ's, had a free mini-cup of their coffee du jour and bought myself an $.85 bottle of raspberry lime seltzer. Since it was a beautiful sunny day, I took a little longer route back to the office, arriving just in time to get myself some ice and pour a tall bubbly refreshing beverage. It tasted like summer and was completely guilt free. I felt quite virtuous. I felt refreshed and renewed. And as I entered another 3 1/2 hours of back-to-back meetings, my day was just a bit brighter with the promise of better hours and days to come.
Take a walk. Get some seltzer. Find your happy place.
Take 12 minutes to watch this TedX presentation, The Happy Secret to Better Work
, by Shawn Achor. Way better than a latte: It's free, I learned something, and It made me laugh out loud. Achor (in an very entertaining way) explains how most things in life are tailored to the average and not the extraordinary. Our gifts are ignored and become invisible as outliers. Instead of gearing everything to the average, we should learn what those who are gifted and extraordinary know and do and move the graph line representing average up rather than trying to pull them down to the average..
In his book The Happiness Advantage, he gives tips on improving your level of happiness. None of these things takes very long, but can make a world of difference in your outlook. Do one of these exercises a day for 21 days (the length of time it takes to build a habit):
1) Write down three new things you are grateful for each day
2) Write for two minutes a day describing one positive experience you had over the past 24 hours
3) Exercise for 10 minutes a day
4) Meditate for 2 minutes, focusing on your breath
5) Write one quick email first thing in the morning thanking or praising someone in your social support network (family member, friend, old teacher)
These activities exercise your brain and rewire it to look for the positive. Each one only takes a couple of minutes. Nothing to lose, right?