A couple of blog posts ago, I shared with you a pretty powerful morning exercise. Remember?
Reminder: Each morning before you start your day, you were to take a minute to focus on the two or three feelings that you want to experience the most during the day. Click here to see the blog article.
How did it go? Did you notice that those feelings increased throughout the week?
I’ve got another exercise to help you increase those feelings even further. You’re going to need a reminder app that goes off at regular intervals throughout the day. I am on a Mac and have an iPhone so I use the free reminders app by Apple. You may already have one on your phone or computer. If not, there are a ton of them out there for only a few dollars.
Okay, here’s the exercise.
Exercise: Hourly Feelings Reminder
Step 1: Program your reminders app to go off on a consistent basis. How often is up to you. You want it to go off often enough during the day that the effect is positive, but you don’t want it to go off so much that it drives you crazy and you end up ignoring it. When I do this, I just do it along with the modified Pomodoro technique I use to get things done. That works for me. Your ideal reminder might be more or less.
Step 2: Pick a feeling that you want to experience more of throughout the day. For example, mine is joy. I want to feel joy throughout the day. So I put the word JOY in my reminder app.
Step 3: When the reminder goes off, say the word out loud and take a moment to feel that emotion. At first, you may need to remember a time when you felt that emotion in the past to bring it up in the present (it gets easier the more you practice). Feel how good it feels. Pay attention to what it feels like in your body. Using my example, from the time I wake up in the morning to the time I go to bed, I am literally reminded to feel joy once every hour. This will work with any feeling or emotion.
Step 4: At the end of the day, reflect on your day and write about it in your journal if you’d like.
Step 5: Repeat daily.
Imagine if you did this every day for a month. Can you imagine how much better you would feel at the end? Often, our negative feelings come from no more than habit. I’m not talking about major loss or grieving. I’m talking about the minor irritations and negative thoughts that we’re not even aware of half the time. For example, let’s say someone cuts you off while you’re driving to the office. In your head, you may be grumbling about it all the way there. For some people, it affects their entire day. I’ll be talking more about how to decrease negative emotions in later blog posts.
The point of this exercise is to build habits of positive emotions.
Try it out.
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With love and joy,