Want to train your brain to think positively and have less stess? After 22 years of researching stress and resilience, we think these are the top 3 habits that have made the BIGGEST difference for the most number of people. And they only take 60 minutes each. The trick is to just remember to do them and so I suggest here 3 times of day to do them. If you can make them a habit for 30 days, they will likely go on auto-pilot for the rest of your life.
1:15 – Start your day with Habit #1
3:00 – Why it’s so important to harness the power of your intention
6:08 – By midday try Habit #2
8:10 –End your day with Habit #3
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This is Episode 60 – 1 Minute Habits that Will Change Your Life Forever. After 22 years of researching stress and resilience, we’ve become clear that these are the top 3 one-minute habits that have made the BIGGEST difference for the most number of people. Hi, I’m Carla Rieger and you’re listening to the Mindstory Speaker podcast helping speaker, leaders and coaches, enhance their inner game success, so they can thrive and better serve others.
Life can be stressful, especially these days. So, I wanted to share with you 3 one-minute habits that vastly lower stress. These have changed my life, and those of thousands of our clients—over the past 21 years. The trick is to just remember to do them and so I suggest here 3 times of day to do them. If you can make them a habit for 30 days, they will likely go on auto-pilot for the rest of your life.
Many top achievers use this trick – pro athletes, musicians, actors, sales people, company leaders, etc. As you wake up, run through your mind the things that are coming up in your day. Instead of worrying about them, imagine them going well. For example:
#1 Imagine calmly and smartly prioritizing your day
#2 Imagine getting ready in time for an important meeting
#3 Imagine a successful conclusion to a prospecting conversation
Why intentionally do this? Because the default for most people first thing in the morning is to be negative, to worry about the future, regret things from your past or complain about someone, something or worst of all yourself. Intention is a very powerful tool of the mind, that you need to harness in order to live a more constructive and on purpose life. Most of us underutilize this skill.
Most people imagine what they don’t want; being unproductive during the day, a negotiation with a potential client going badly, getting sick, running out of money, a loved one being difficult to deal with. You can actually change that, not by trying to stop yourself from ruminating negatively but by training yourself to imagine the opposite. What you look for you will find. Our biases and expectations define what we experience around us. So, you might as well look for, and expect the good things.
Many people ask me, what if what I imagine doesn’t come true? That will happen sometimes. While I do believe our imaginations help create our reality, there are also other people’s agendas, mass consciousness, and universal laws you are contending with, that might work against your mental rehearsal. That said, think of this simple example. Have you ever tried the trick of manifesting a parking spot? I notice if I worry that I won’t find nearby parking at a store I’m going to, invariably, I cannot find a nearby spot. However, if I imagine there being one nearby, invariably one shows up. Is it me, is it luck? I’m not sure, but it works 9 times out of 10, so I mentally rehearse all kinds of things; a phone meeting with a potential client going well, a coaching session going well, a presentation going well, income showing up, a person I care about getting the help they need, healing quickly from an injury.
Hey, there are no bad side effects, other than the disappointment that it may not happen. Since there’s nothing to lose, and lots to gain. Why not take a minute in the morning to imagine what you want during your day, big and small. Once you start doing it as a habit in the morning, you’ll notice yourself doing it throughout the day.
Around midday, stop for one minute and orient yourself to the present moment using your breathe and your five senses – sight, sound, feelings, touch, smell. For example, take a low slow breath in and out then say to yourself:
#1 – I see the sunlight shining on a tree outside
#2 – I feel the floor under my feet
#3 – I smell soup heating up in the kitchen
#4 – I feel a jitteriness in my chest, a sense of impatience
#5 – I still taste the Earl Grey tea I just finished drinking
Most people are racing around lost in their heads during the day. This can fragment the mind and cause disharmony and stress. Getting present like this, even for just 1 minute triggers relaxation hormones and lightens your mood, even if you’re acknowledging a negative emotion like impatience. Strangely enough, noticing impatience and being present with it, helps dissolve it away.
By the way, every time you breathe in fully, rather than shallowly, you’re taking in 10 to the 22nd power of hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, carbon, and other elements that then nourish your cells, organs, and tissues.
As I mentioned, the human mind will default to focussing on the negative…about yourself, others and life in general, unless you have a habit to counteract that. What you focus on grows, and what you appreciate, appreciates. So, anytime you catch yourself complaining about something, find something to be grateful for, just to balance it out. The good news is that you can train your brain to do this by these small habits.
Each night before sleep write down 3 things you appreciate. Or you can treat it like a game with your life partner. Ask them, name three things from the day you appreciate.
#1 Do one about yourself that was an action (e.g. I went for a walk in nature)
#2 Do one about yourself that was a being state (e.g. I felt compassion for myself instead of judged myself when I slept past my alarm)
#3 About someone else (e.g. Laura for helping me re-write my proposal)
#4 About a life circumstances (e.g. Seeing the view of the mountains from my office)
It gives you a better night’s sleep, helps you let go of regrets from the day, and improves life satisfaction and success.
There was an interesting study done about gratitude at University of California, Berkeley campus. When 221 young adults were asked to keep a gratitude journal for three weeks, their sense of wellbeing, optimism, life satisfaction improved by 34%. When they had them keep a daily journal of their hassles, challenges and regrets, their moods and coping abilities decreased by 23%.
All these habits active positive thoughts, which in turn activate brain cells that release neurochemicals such as dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin which make you feel better. Those are often the neurochemicals we subconsciously seek when we partake of addictive substances like sugar, alcohol or drugs. You can actually create those same states of mind just by practicing small daily habits like this.
Every day we wake up with a certain number of what we might call “attention units”. Those units are limited. When we invest our attention on what we want, what’s in the here and now and what we are grateful for, we deactivate that stress center in the brain, we deactivate the adrenaline, cortisol and epinephrine, the stress hormones that causes us to have those jitters and feeling of agitation. Remember, emotions are energy in motion, and you can direct the energy that’s in motion in your body through the neurochemistry with your thoughts. Exercise your right to choose your thoughts, and your whole life changes for the better.
This podcast episode, by the way, is based on our book, MindStory Inner Coach. If you’d like more tools like this, for a limited time we’re offering this book for free on our website: MindStoryAcademy.com. You’ll also see the free book link in the show notes. Along with the book, you also get two short guided audios that are called neuro-blueprints. They help you develop life habits that empower you.
One is called how to end self sabotage, it’s one you would use at night. The other is called your hero’s journey, which is about reframing the challenges of your life in terms of a mythic adventure and how those challenges have forged you in the fire of wisdom to now help others. Sometimes that’s hard to see until you do a process like this. And this is a version you would do in the morning. These take chapters 2 and 10 of the book to a much deeper level. All together, the audios and the book come to $94 but you can get them free right now.
So that’s it for today…Do post a review of this podcast if you like it – on iTunes or youTube or wherever you listen. It makes a big difference to helping others find out about it.
I hope that was helpful. Until next time, I’m Carla Rieger, thanks for listening.