Have you ever been in a slump or just felt kinda ‘off’ for more than a day? It could spring from up from a few things: irregular sleeping pattern, disoriented sense of purpose, burnout, the current times, a disappointing something, eating junk, stress somewhere, feeling ‘ugh‘ about the job/workspace/career choice or an attack by the adversary. The thing about an attitude is that is spills over into our approach towards anything and anyone.
Ever felt irritated by one little thing, and then it snowballed (or sand-balled in this case) into another thing and another, and you find yourself wishing you could dry erase a part of the day or press backspace on some thoughts and words? A poor attitude can affect our home and work life, relationships, physical posture and even the most basic encounter with a stranger waiting in line at the store or on the other end of the phone.
Every day is chance for a fresh start.
Here are 5 Healthy Habits For A Refreshed Attitude
While feelings are like a thermometer, they aren’t meant to take the lead in our lives. They are the worst mind drivers. Feelings can indicate something stirring, building, processing or lingering, but they’re way too fickle, flimsy (and sometimes selfish) to stand on. So, let’s get to some healthy habits to help set a new pattern for a refreshing result, bearing in mind that life is a journey.
When’s the last time you took a full breath? Unfortunately, many of us start taking shallow breaths the moment our brain starts cranking and preparing for the day as time passes after waking up. Did you know that when you’re resting or sleeping, you’re likely breathing from your diaphragm (picture a belly-breath) but throughout the day that healthy default pattern starts to dissipate and turn into ‘shallow breaths’, poor posture and strained shoulders.
Try making a habit of checking your breathing pattern at intervals during the day, and tweak to suit. Even something as simple as sipping your cup of tasty herbal tea or delicious coffee while slowly inhaling the aroma is taking deeper breaths in what would otherwise by an everyday possibly-overlooked moment.
Pray More (speak less)
Why not just ‘positive thoughts?‘ Because those are relative, and seeming more like what we want to hear rather than what we need to know. Plus, what happens when we’re having a low moment or day? Where do those positive thoughts come from? Quotes? Memes? Other imperfect people who wrote, said or typed something at a bright time? Just so you know I would’ve probably rolled my eyes at this years ago. But let’s take a light walk through this, ok?
Comfort and encouragement are lovely and necessary, but when they come exclusively from or through us, they are gonna have ‘off-days’ since none of us is always (or ever) at 100%. Prayer brings a “peace that surpasses all understanding” and a joy that doesn’t spring from things that expire. It quiets and energizes the mind, consoles the heart, regenerates our sense of purpose, refreshes our thoughts, extinguishes any fears, renews the mind and adds heavenly fuel to the fire of our soul. I can’t do a thing without God, and it’s amazing He’s willing to take direct calls from any of us through prayer. Keep that line free, sis – and make that connection. It’ll change everything – including you, for the better.
Write (and read) daily
Hmm…how do I say this? Do you speak a lot? Such a gray question, I know because ‘a lot’ is relative, but just in case you actually replied in your head to that prompt, think about it for a moment. Do you? Okay, now do you write a lot? Not type – write. This isn’t a post for points – just an invitation to set aside some gifted time…to write.
See, writing usually goes hand in hand with pockets of quiet; which is a clear contrast from speaking. When you’re pouring out on paper – or drawing, or doing practically any creative and tactile activity really, it stills the mouth and slows the mind down to a pleasant pace that can let thoughts line up in single-file for better focus instead of one trying to overtake the other and flooding the mind.
Tactile activities (beyond thumb-tapping or screen scrolling): cooking, skin or hair care, sewing, sketching, building something, designing, crotchet…and the list goes on.
This can look like:
- a purposeful 10 min. daily (or few times a week) series of your favourite stretches
- a calm or brisk walk around the neighbourhood or safe pasture or park
- a morning workout
- dancing to songs of praise at home
The increase in energy and mental clarity that is stirred up with physical activity and purposeful movement, intermittent fresh air and sprinkles of sunshine will kick in and give both your mind and body a boost and detox, on a physical level. It’ll also inspire more deep breaths, healthier lungs and a habit for drinking plenty water.
We can get caught up in ourselves and our this or that sometimes – well, a lot of the time. But since neither of us is the only person on the planet and we’re created for connection (even when called to be ‘set apart’) it’s healthy to be aware of any tendency to be self-absorbed and choose to serve or reach out to others in a way that leaves breathing room for you too. It could be a call to share comfort with someone going through a challenging time, an encouraging text, a warm meal to a hungry someone, a food or clothing donation to a family in need, an anonymous kind deed. We are called to be bright lights in this getting-colder-by-the-day world.
It doesn’t need to be spring to scan the space you live in, ask The Highest what you need to get rid of. Some things we hold onto or have around out of tradition or habit can influence health and happiness since they’re a part of our environment. Items like cosmetics, mock hair (or worse yet store-bought human hair which is DNA, certain books, jewelry, figurines, greeting cards, symbols, devices, photos, letters – can affect our health, sleep patterns, thoughts, dreams and relationships. A thorough clean in seasons is good and general daily maintenance as much as you can to keep the space clean and the airflow flowing.
Growing food or flowers is a beautiful thing. Being in creation listening to the birds singing while you water or plant something, working with your hands in the soil, tending the plants and watching them spring up and turn into food is amazing. And the fact that fruits, veg and provisions come with seeds or stalks that you can plant again is yet another miracle from the most High. Farming and gardening is hard work…it’s also refreshing, energising, peaceful, muscle-building, therapeutic and educational. You learn to be more patient yet still vigilant and when you make a meal with what you grow, it’s a beautiful feeling that’s hard to put into words.
A lightbulb; it doesn’t shine on itself. It shines on others.
Which one of the 5 healthy habits interests you most and you think can help you best right now? You might find that you start with one and it naturally leads to another. I literally just took a deep breath and a stretch and am feeling grateful. Any more healthy habits you want add to the list?
P.S: I’m not a counsellor, life coach or a medical professional and encouragement shared here is solely based on my own personal journey as a daughter of the Most High who is a daily work in process. If you are struggling with chronic depression or any kind of diagnosed behavioural challenge, compassion to you. Please consult your authorised healthy care professional for any advice and assistance.