Friday, June 24, 2011

Gotta Have It

Energy, that is. We’ve all been there – some more than others – wish you had more energy to do more, stay awake longer, or have more concentration. Yeah, you’ve been there.

Jon Gordon, author of The 10-Minute Energy Solution says that, "Everyone has lows. The key is to know when your energy is down and what you can do to turn it around." He maps out a 30-day plan with a simple 10-minute exercise each day to give you a boost physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Here are 10 things you can do:
1. Start your day with a positive energy walk. Step briskly and say what you're thankful for. Think positive thoughts like "I look forward to the rest of the day, the people I'm going to meet, the things I'm going to learn." Or complete these sentences: "I believe that... I trust that..."
2. Neutralize the "energy vampires," the people who drain you. They’re everywhere. Counter their negative comments and attitude with kindness and compassion. Notice something? Another person's negativity can only bring you down if you let it. Like I always say, attitude you give = attitude you get.
3. Lose your mind. No, don't go any more crazy than you already are. Go meditate. Sit in a quiet place. Focus on your breathing. Inhale and think of a word like "so" or "one" or "peace". Exhale and think of the same word or another. (Gordon likes the mantra "so hum".) Repeat with each breath. If a thought floats into your head, let it float out, and focus on your breathing and mantra again. "You want to lose your thoughts, your thinking mind, so you can be one with the moment," Gordon explains.
4. Add play to your day. Run around the yard with your kids or your dog (chase a squirrel). Put on your favorite pick-me-up song and dance. Grab three tennis balls and try to juggle them. Go for a bike ride. Build something out of Legos or Lincoln Logs – remember those? Write the lyrics to your life as a funny country song (and then share it with me!).
5. Connect. Call an old friend you haven't talked to in a while. Invite a coworker to lunch. Drop a line - not by email but by good, old-fashioned pen and paper (wow, what a concept) - to someone you don't see often.
6. Smile and laugh. Walk around your office and smile at your coworkers. They won't think you're strange (probably), just in a good mood. Several times a day, think of a funny joke or experience, and laugh.
7. Let stress go. "Energy is like a river," Gordon says. "Stress blocks it." To get it flowing again, first, list your stresses. Take a deep breath and clench your hands into fists, as if you're holding on to all the stress. Exhale forcefully, opening your hands and throwing your arms wide. Feel your tension release? Good. Say, "I choose not to have my stress. I let it go." Repeat this exercise for each stress you listed and let it go.
8. Pray for someone. It recharges your spiritual batteries. Studies suggest those who have a strong faith are better able to handle adversity. Make a list of people and what they need help and prayers for. Find a quiet spot and get comfortable. Listen to your breath, feel your heart beat. When you're nice and relaxed, pray for each person on your list.
9. Look for signs of grace. Think about the times in your life when you thought something bad happened, but it turned out to be a blessing. It may have happened and you just haven't realized it yet. Write these experiences down. Next time something you didn't want or expect occurs, look back on this list and remind yourself everything happens for a reason, even if you don't see it just yet.
10. Do a little lifting. Giving someone else a lift gives you a lift too. In one study, college students who performed five small acts of kindness a day (such as helping a friend with a paper or visiting an elderly relative) experienced a significant increase in well-being.

What will your five acts of kindness be? Plan two. Then look for three random opportunities to be kind as the day unfolds. If you come across more, keep going! As Gordon says, "Positive energy never decreases by being shared. With each gift, it grows."

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