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 enemy.
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.
Here are 5 Healthy Habits For A Refreshed Attitude
I’m sharing these not as an expert or counsellor; just as someone who’s found these habits helpful for those days when you just feel a bit blasé. While feelings are like a thermometer of sorts, they aren’t meant to take the lead in our lives. They are the worst mind drivers ever. 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.
1 Breathe Better
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.
Here are two posts with some exercises to help walk you through the process. One of them shares what I call ‘The 3 Ps & a Q of Breathing Well” in my coaching sessions: 1. 3 breathing exercises to do right now 2. Jumpstart your mind with 3 breathing exercises to get some work done
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. Stretch/Move often
This can look like:
- a purposeful 10 min. daily (or few times a week) series of your favourite stretches
- a brisk walk around the neighbourhood
- a morning workout
- gardening mission
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.
5. Consider others
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 – you get the idea…
For the past 3 months, there’s a group of people who are obviously in need. I was called to reach out and share the call with a few discreet and praying people. One by one, helping hands volunteered to assist in some way or another – most, anonymously. It’s no big deal to us, but it is to them. Some people feel forgotten and unloved. We are called to be bright lights in this getting-colder-by-the-day world. Think about 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. This is another reason why I love writing. I prayed before prepping this post, then wrote it for y’all and you know what…? Just took a deep breath and a stretch and am feeling grateful.
Any more healthy habits you want add to the list? Feel free in the comments. And if you enjoyed this post, share the link with someone you love to encourage them. Thanks for reading, and oh – a new interview is on the way with a guest from the U.S who helps people get un-stuck so stay tuned.
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. If you are struggling with chronic depression or any kind of diagnosed behavioural challenge, compassion to and prayers for you. Please consult your certified counsellor or medical doctor for any advice and assistance, but you’re welcome here to visit anytime for sisterly love and online breathwork sessions from a vocal perspective based on 10+ years of coaching singers, speakers and CEOs.