How can you make sure that 2018 is your happiest and most productive yet?
1. Accept stuff happens
Life happens to all of us. Your computer crashes halfway through a document, or the Wi-Fi signal drops. Being happy is about appreciating that we can’t control everything and we have a choice to get cross or accept the situation and make the best of it. So if the Wi-Fi is down, refocus and get on with phone calls or other tasks on your to-do list.
2. Think three good things
Many people lie in bed at the end of the day thinking about what they have not done or worrying about what they have to do tomorrow.
Rumination is one of the largest contributors to unhappiness and to lost productivity. Instead, ask yourself what were the three best things that happened to you today. Reflect on each in turn, and why it was good and what you felt like. This will help you sleep better and feel more rested for the day ahead, and longer-term, mental strategies like this will help your neural-network to focus more on the positives in life than the negatives.
3. Use social media less
The average UK home now has eight screens and there is evidence that extended periods on social media sites leads to poor sleep as a result of the effect of the blue screen on brain activity late at night. So,
- ban technology from your bedroom altogether
- don’t use technology anywhere after 9pm
- reduce the frequency with which you check your phone or social media sites during the day.
4. Adopt the rush hour body scan
Traffic jams and train delays provide an ideal opportunity for a micromeditation; focus on your breath and guide your mind through your body, checking out how each part is feeling. Be aware of any tension and let your breath flow into each area of tension.
Whether you have 2 minutes or 20 minutes, this exercise contributes to improved physical health, mental wellbeing and enhanced concentration.
5. Eat and walk at lunchtime
Lunch hours have almost disappeared, but you can still take 10 minutes away from your desk to eat, and think about your priorities for the afternoon. Secondly, take 20 minutes to go for a brisk walk and raise your heart rate. When you return to your desk, you’ll feel ready to refocus your efforts.
And Jonathan adds: ‘Happy people are not different; they just have decided that focusing on the good things in life, rather than the bad things will bring about a more positive attitude, which ultimately makes them happier and more productive.’
Find out more about the Henley Centre for Coaching.