Did you know that optimists have better heart health and live longer? AND that there's a proven way to increase your optimism?
In the scientifically validated "Best Possible Self" exercise you pick one dimension of your life, imagine that everything has gone as well as it possibly could, and write about it for 5 minutes.
This worksheet will prompt you, and provide space to write.
Now let's fill that glass half full...
As you go through your day and encounter someone who you think is different from you, silently say, “Just like me.” Imagine how that might be true. Consider that each of us wants the same things: to feel cared for and understood, and to experience a sense of belonging. Each of us has been sad and disappointed, content and caring.
Thinking of what we share as human beings—even with people you might not always see eye to eye - helps foster a sense of connection.
If you'd like to try a formal, guided, "Just Like Me" practice, click on the track below.
How can we spend some time on activities that will enhance our well-being or happiness? If you could reallocate a few extra minutes every day, how might you do it?
We’ve got a worksheet to kick-start your thinking. Write down some ideas. Guesstimate how much time each would take you, and when you plan to give it a whirl. Prioritize activities in a way that’s meaningful to you.
And then put down your phone and get started.
Thoughts are a natural part of the human experience. When skillful they help us problem solve, create and relate. When unskillful they can pretty much make our lives miserable. The intention when working with our thoughts is to see them for what they are – energetic phenomena in the brain. They are not who we are and we need not believe or act upon each and every one of them. Pema Chrödön reminds us that “we are the sky and everything else is just weather”.
Click below to play a guided meditation to help “unhook” from the thinking mind without pushing thoughts away or ignoring their presence. This practice will help cultivate an awareness of the mind that thinks, by developing our capacity for presence, and becoming the observer who bears unattached witness to the thinking phenomena.
Reflect on what you value and how you want the moment to be (whether the moment is today, this week or this year), and then write it down. Giving words and form to your intention provides clarity and consciousness. It can be something simple or more profound. The only requirement is that it has meaning for you.
This print-ready worksheet includes four "sticky notes" you can use for intentions big and small.
When we make a choice to find something to be grateful for, we begin the process of paying attention on purpose. Gratitude is a gateway to mindfulness, and all sorts of other luscious goodness.
So, cultivate a gratitude attitude. One gratitude a day, one minute a day. If you miss a day or two or five, it’s perfectly okay. Just start again.
We’ve provided a few prompts for inspiration.
We can use mindfulness practice to notice when the mind jumps to unproductive conclusions or clings to judgmental or reactive thoughts. When we notice, we have an opportunity to create some distance between us and the thought or feeling, and let it go.
We can change our relationship with our thoughts, so we are less attached to and controlled by them.
Would you like to try an exercise to evaluate the facts and feelings of a challenging situation? Download and print this worksheet to guide your reflection (you can click on the image on the left to see an example of a situation I thought through when I had coronavirus).
Set aside 20 minutes of quiet, uninterrupted time, and use our Stop-Start-Continue worksheet to guide a reflection about what is working and what you would like to improve. Think about activities that have felt constructive (Continue); identify activities that have not been helpful (Stop); and create intentions around activities that may be nourishing to you (Start). Note them on the worksheet.
We’d like to suggest that you approach this reflection with two perspectives. The downloadable printout includes two worksheets so you can do both exercises:
1. While we are still operating under COVID-19 guidelines, what activities would you like to Start-Stop-Continue?
2. What have you learned from your new routine that you would like to apply in the future?