Every day I do at least three things make my day brighter and maintain my perspective and sense of humour. I use these three to counteract my ANTS – automatic negative thoughts and help create positive neural pathways.  I share these with you because they are effective stress busters: they are antidotes to anxiety (they also have solid scientific research proving their method).

1. I walk the dog

Pet therapy is a fantastic way to lower blood pressure and create feelings of relaxation. Walking your pet outside offers additional benefits as research suggests, and even a brief walk may have immediate positive psychological benefits.

If you are feeling blah, disengaged or sluggish, re-energize yourself by taking pups on a brisk walk around the block. If you don’t have a pup to walk, go for one yourself around your office, through the mall, or anywhere and you will feel better after five minutes.

2. 30 minutes of yoga 

I can hear your objections already, I don’t have time, I’m not flexible, etc. I became a certified yoga teacher at the age of 40, I can absolutely attest to the multiple physical, psychological, and emotional benefits. The great thing about yoga is that you can pretty much do something anywhere, anytime.

My family often finds me on the kitchen floor doing a two-minute stretch while waiting for a pot to boil or something to warm up.
When I’m on the phone I use the speaker and I do some standing poses or balances (make sure to remove your shoes first). It’s amazing how quickly two to three minutes of yoga or stretching throughout your day can add up to 30! Stretching is not about starting off flexible, it is about maintaining or increasing our flexibility so that we age gracefully.

3. I meditate

After years of practice and adding to my skillset, I use multiple approaches to meditation. If you are a beginner, there is a simple three- to five-minute technique I teach my coaching clients, and here it is:

  1.  Sit comfortably, in your office, in your car, or wherever you are
  2. Close your eyes
  3. Breathe in with a count of three or four
  4. Breathe out with an exhale that matches the length of your inhale
  5. Focus on your heart centre in your chest
  6. Imagine you are breathing in and out through this centre, still counting your breath with matching exhalation
  7. Think of someone or something that you appreciate or that brings a smile to your face

Breathe in feelings of love, appreciation, joy, and gratitude for three- to five-minutes and bathe yourself with uplifting positive energy. Simple, powerful, and effective!

It is possible for you to enjoy peace of mind, better health, and greater happiness with these gentle modifications.

To Your Outrageously Happy Life!
Elizabeth Manuel