Some days, positive thinking just won’t cut it.
Perhaps you start your day in a good mood. But in the face of a constant barrage of negative news, emails and snarky comments from coworkers, you have to make a real effort to stay in that positive mindset.
There’s an easier way to stay in good spirits. And it has little to do with your mindset, says Joseph Cardillo, holistic psychology expert. Cardillo’s book, “Body Intelligence: Harness Your Body’s Energies for Your Best Life,” pretty much sums it up.
So how exactly do you stay vibrant and optimistic throughout the day?
We asked Cardillo to design a full day of practices for great energy. Comments were lightly edited for space.
Your alarm goes off.
“Slow down and get mindful. If you move too quickly, your body and mind will ironically compensate by literally slowing you down. You’ll feel less energetic physically and mentally less sharp. If you like to have coffee or tea, treat yourself to a well made cup, and don’t chug it. Your body’s rewarding neuro-cocktail will elevate and even out the effects of the caffeine and you won’t need so much.
Use the morning light and try some mild exercise. A morning walk, stretching, gardening etc.
Be like water. Cool water on your skin helps activate and focus your energy. It also helps shift from one mood to another.”
Commuting to work.
“Strive to leave your home mindfully and in peace. Practice making your movements graceful, which will help increase your positive energy.
Prepare two playlists in advance: one of relaxing tunes and one with activating ones. Dose them out to yourself as needed. If you’re in high traffic and need to reverse anxieties, hit your relax file. When you need to crank your energy up, hit the activating file. Bawdy edgy lyrics can be good for athletic endeavors.
Soothing natural oil products with spicy scents can stimulate and flowery scents like lavender can relax.”
“Take time regularly for little breaks to clear your head and physically stretch.
Mindfully leave and enter each activity in peace and fresh.
Incorporate a short afternoon meditation; even 5 minutes is good. Or just take a moment and breathe, telling yourself “I am fully here.”
Hydrate periodically with water with slices of fresh citrus or other fruit.
Walk outside and get more natural light, especially mid-afternoon when your body is craving vitamin C.
Incorporate a creative activity — writing, drawing, reading — to relax your analytical mind letting it re-energize you.
Eat a light lunch.”
“Massage energy points at the bottom center of each foot.
For busting stress: From a seated position, turn your left foot so that it is bottom up. Then holding it in place with your left hand, massage the center of the foot with the thumb of your right hand. Switch feet. You should feel this energy streaming through your body. Take a slow breath and exhale.”
*Energy brownie points
“Compliment people, using feel good words.The power of words is real. They can spark anything from athletic performance, to memory, to emotions.
Boost alertness through color at your desk with reds and yellows.
Use a really silly photo both before and after predictable stressful situations to shift you out of a funk fast.”
Snack On This:
Pay attention to what energies are affecting you and how, Cardillo advises.
He graciously agreed to share Audrey’s chart. “The table tracks how Audrey, a forty-two-year old business professional, was affected by the energy she encountered during a typical day,” Cardillo explains.
Make your own energy table to see what things increase your positive energy and what decreases it.