Since the semester has started, I’ve picked up and developed a couple of activities. I think these activities are small and simple, but I’ve literally seen significant improvements in my daily life. I’m not entirely sure of the mechanisms for why these are so awesome, but I’m loving the effects! So, I’m gonna keep them.
Habit/Activity 1. Writing 3 Things I’m Grateful For
This one is pretty popular, and extremely simple. Every day (mornings, preferably) I just write down a list of three things I’m thankful for. I like doing it in the morning because I have to write something that is already there for me (family, health, opportunity), even if sometimes I’m writing “I’m thankful that today WILL be a good day.” If I do it in the evening I’ll write something like “I’m thankful that I got a lot done today”, which isn’t bad but I prefer the mornings for this activity.
Habit/Activity 2. Journaling Daily and Consistently
I’ve been journaling since I was 10 years old, so the practice of writing about my day, my feelings, and my thoughts has been going on for more than half of my life. However, it hasn’t always been consistent. It goes through periods of dry writes, skipped days, and then times when I’m sobbing and my tears mess up the fresh ink. So this semester I committed to doing it every day. Sometimes it’s a page, sometimes it’s four. Sometimes I’m writing, or just putting some bullet points on my phone’s notes. Whatever the format, I log a daily reflection of the days events and perceptions.
Habit/Activity 3. MEDITATING
I love this one. Even though I understand it the least, I feel like it has the greatest effect thus far. I’ve been prompted many times in the past to try this activity, but the urgings of my most recent audiobook was what finally tipped the scale. I’ve never truly practiced meditation before, so I opted for some apps to guide me through. (Specifically, Headspace and now Gaiam) I really appreciate the guidance, even as I’m “getting the hang of it now”. I’m not sure what meditation is but increasing awareness of our body in the present moment. It seems way too simple but also the benefits seem so complex! I hope to explore the mechanics of it’s benefits later, but for now I just now that I feel amazing because I’ve been doing it.
I’ve noticed a common theme. All three of these habits/activities INCREASE MY AWARENESS and make me PAY ATTENTION. They are just different ways of doing so. I direct my attention towards positive and meaningful things, and am better able to handle stress/anxiety by controlling my breath. I feel like I’m adding hours to my life because I’m noticing all that is there. I’m maximizing what I love and minimizing that which doesn’t help me.
I still can’t say why, it’s a little beyond me. But I’m seriously loving what these activities are doing for my mind and daily experience. I encourage everyone to look into and try these.
Is anyone practicing these already?