Making these a habit will help bring greater satisfaction to your day! Start by noticing the changing colors around you in a this new season!
• Focus on the present and pay attention to your surroundings. Tune in to what you are doing this very minute. Use your senses: look, listen, smell, touch. Enjoy and be mindful of right now. The world is ever-changing. Flowers are blooming, the sun is shining. A sense of mindfulness can inspire you to slow down and appreciate a more relaxing pace.
• Pay attention to the people around you. Smile and encourage those with whom you have contact. Make a habit of connecting with others in ways you enjoy too. Who can measure the effect? Kindness is contagious and makes you feel good about life.
• Breathe. It sounds trite, but taking slow, deep breaths throughout the day is another way to ease the anxiety that can result from a stressful or hurried day. Try it as you race through the mall. Slowly inhale through your nose. Breathe deeply as if inflating a balloon where your stomach sits just above your belly button. Exhale out your mouth even more slowly. As you exhale, think of a short word or phrase to say to yourself. Examples: peace, surrender, faith, calm, God is present, the Lord is my strength.
• Take a personal time out every day. Refresh yourself doing something you love. Listen to music, sing, play the piano, garden, enjoy a recreational activity, read, sew, take a bubble bath, have a pedicure, etc.
• Maintain a sense of humor. Spend plenty of time with friends who make you laugh and who think you’re funny too. Entertain one another; it will brighten your day. Who is that friend for you?
• Cultivate a thankful heart. “Count your blessings” is not just a catchphrase. Keep a gratitude journal and list what you are thankful for every day. Review these pages as reminders of what you have to appreciate.
• Do one spontaneous thing every day, no matter how small it seems. Fluctuate your morning routine, drive an alternate route, hop on your bike, visit a new store, take the kids to a different park, perk up your brown bag by coloring a picture on it—anything, just as long as you put intentional living into practice.
Obviously, not all of life can be unplanned. Most women can’t live in spur-of-the-moment or spontaneous situations on a regular basis. Additional strategies for making time for friends are probably necessary, just as enjoying and living in the moment, takes conscious choice on your part.
But if “drowning in busyness” hits a nerve for you, give these seven simple ways to live intentionally a try—I’m confident it will bring you unexpected, simple joy. It’s a great place to start.
www.judydippel.com from Judy and Debra’s book, Friendship Interrupted