As quarantine changes for some, it is still essential to stay healthy and happy. Try these three five-minute exercises to quiet your mind and calm your body.
When we are stressed, our breathing often becomes quick and shallow. By taking a deep breath, you are taking in oxygen and letting your body know everything is okay. The goal is to slow down your breathing, and with practice, this technique will be there in times of stress or anxiety.
- While counting to four inhale deeply through your nose.
- Now hold your breath as you count to seven.
- Then exhale slowly through your mouth for a count of eight.
- Repeat this 4–7–8 breathing for five minutes.
Scroll Through Happy Photos
Spending five minutes looking through photographs of a special time can elicit positive emotions you associate with those memories. Seeing your loved ones can invoke the feelings you feel for them and affect your emotional state of being. Reminding yourself of the reason you’re trying so hard in life, can put things back into perspective. If this does not work, trying scrolling through photographs of animals, nature, or art that you find engaging or visually appealing. It would be a good idea to make a folder of your favorite images or try to make a Pinterest board.
Identify One Happy Thing
Describe one moment that made you happy today in as much detail as possible.
You want to savor the moments that make you happy. As you get better at changing your attention to the present moment, your happy thoughts will stick with you longer. Good thoughts and moments will feel like a blur if you allow the more worrisome ones to occupy your thoughts. You have a choice over what you give your attention.
The next time your focus is on a happy moment, purposely try to cling to what makes it a happy moment. Notice it. Roll it around like a piece of hard candy. The more you experience joys like this, the more you can recall it during the tougher times. Negative emotions are inflexible and narrow your thinking. So, if you learn how to redirect your emotions to the positive, you will be able to think with flexibility.