Insight/Lifestyle: Approximate time reading this post: 2 minutes
First off, I would like to thank all of my wonderful friends and a few acquaintances I have met in the past few weeks that have been so encouraging, inspiring, and throwing me numerous ideas during my minor blog hiatus. My appreciation for knowing such genuine beings continues to grow more and more everyday.
Now, I would like to kick off your Monday with a little insight I received over the Valentine’s Day weekend (And no, this is not relationship advice. I won’t torture you this time.) while I attended the National Collegiate Leadership Conference with my community college and other colleges from all over the country. I attended a workshop called “Ripple of Positivity, Wave of Revolution” where the speaker, a student from Sam Houston State University, analyzed the world of positive psychology. If anything, this workshop was a great reminder on how to create lasting positive change for myself in order to reach my version of happiness.
He discussed the following five simple to take action and improve your growth of positivity (which some of these may sound familiar from my own blog, but they are a great daily reminder):
- 3 Gratitudes: Write down three people, places, or things that you felt gratitude towards in the past 24 hours. No explanation needed, just three nouns that put a smile on your face.
- Journaling: Think of one meaningful experience in the past 24 hours and jot down everything you remember about it. I have come to realize that blogging has been a pleasant outlet in reminding myself of positive experiences that occurred most recently. Once you are reliving this memory by journaling, your brain actually cannot tell the difference between the actual moment your memory happened and the memory itself. In turn, you are receiving just about equal gratification and a boost of positive neurotransmitters that you originally experienced when this memory occurred.
- Exercise: Yoga, running, weight lifting, flag football, pole vaulting, you name it, just do it.
- Meditation: During the workshop, we were asked to close our eyes for two minutes and just meditate. Actual meditation can take years to master, but it is very rejuvenating to take a simple two minutes out of your day to close your eyes and empty your mind. I found my mind attempting to wander into any loud and anxious corner I could get my hands on in these two minutes, but by repeating the phrase “breathe in, breathe out” I found my meditation much more effective.
- Intentional Acts of Kindness: Give a compliment to a stranger at your job, your barista, or someone close to you; tip the extra buck; support your favorite artist and buy their music off of iTunes instead of pirating it (I really need to work on that one); or like, subscribe, and comment on this blog. I just had to throw that one in there ;)
If you can complete just one of these actions for eight minutes a day, 21 days in a row, you will find yourself in a state of lasting positive change. Afterall, it only takes 21 days to break habits. When someone asks you how you are doing don’t just respond with “I’m hanging in there.” You don’t want to just hang in there. By thinking that you can get away with “hanging” through life, your brain never reaches desired cognitive happiness. I hope that you find a way to reach your cognitive happiness or even just a small portion of it today. Happy Monday, readers, make the most of it.
➳ ➳ ➳
A few things that improved my cognitive happiness recently:
“Gratitude = Happiness: The Science of Happy” (The speaker of my NCLC workshop showed this video and it might make you cry endless happy tears)
“Surprise Yourself” by Jack Garratt (You have probably seen me post this on FB or have had it sent to you by me. If you have yet to watch his performance, do it now. Now.)
“Hacking Into Your Happy Chemicals: Dopamine, Serotonin, Endorphins and Oxytocin” from The Huffington Post
“Kids analyze the candidates” from The Washington Post
“The hottest place on Earth is covered in wildflowers after heavy autumn rain” from The Washington Post