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Getting Your Head Together In 10 Minutes a Day: A Busy Person’s Guide to Keeping Sane!

Getting Your Head Together In 10 Minutes a Day: A Busy Person’s Guide to Keeping Sane!


    Too busy in your hectic life to “take ten” to ground yourself for the day? Too much to do and too little time? Stressed out beyond belief and you can’t imagine sparing any extra time to stop and take stock and take a daily pulse? Do you want to get off this endless cycle of “to dos” but can’t seem to get away from your life “inbox?”

    Just when you feel like you cannot take “one more thing,” perhaps it’s time to try this “Get Your Head Together” plan for just one week.

    What have you got to lose? No more than 60 minutes.

    And what you can gain? A lifetime of a clearer head and a happier heart – and a chance to manage your stress rather than carry it.

    Isn’t it worth the trade off?

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    Even if you exercise in the morning before you start your day, surely you can spare 10 minutes to exercise your mental muscles! So let’s start by giving a ten minute plan to start the day off right!

    1st Minute: Start the day by writing out one positive intention.

    Think of an action or resolution that will help you put a positive spin on the day. Examples: Today I will make an effort to smile more. When I am in the meeting, I will say at least two things even if I fear sounding stupid. This will help me to less immobilized by my fears. 

    2nd Minute: Take a mindfulness moment for a morning mediation.

    Consciously slow your breathing, taking deep breaths and attempt to focus only on the sensations around you. How do you feel? What do you smell? What do you visualize? Example: Help yourself breath deeply by putting your hand on your stomach, feeling it extend and deflate as you breathe.  Most of us have shallow breathing and this “backwards breathing” as they teach in Yoga takes in more air to nourish the mind! 

    3rd Minute: Have on hand a menu of inspirational quotes or passages that you can choose from every day.

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    A moment of inspiration will prevent a lot of mental perspiration! Example:  “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” – Milton Berle; “We might not have it all together, but together we have it all! ” – Unknown.

    4th Minute: Think in “victor language and not “victim” language.

    Take an inventory of any negative thoughts that interfere with a positive outlook and take a minute to W.A.I.T. and ask yourself What Am I Thinking?  Identify irrational, judgmental thoughts and replace them with more rational thoughts. Separate fact from fiction! Example:  Replace negative and illogical thoughts such as ”My boss made me so mad yesterday. I can’t stand him” with “ I was mad when my boss raised his voice to me yesterday and scolded me, and I will tell him I do not deserve to be talked to like that.”

    5th Minute: Each day strive to be conscious of gratefulness for the gift of life.

    Identify at least three things you are especially grateful for. Example:  “I am grateful that I have a family that loves me and to whom I can give love, that I have freedom to choose a positive attitude, and that I get another chance to learn from and build on my successes and mistakes of my yesterdays”

    6th Minute: Surrender any grudges and bitterness.

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    Realize that a lack of forgiveness pulls you into the world of negativity, and strive to forgive everyone for everything. Example: “I forgive my ex-spouse for falling short in his behavior towards me, and although I do not condone certain behaviors, I will not keep the bitterness within – it only poisons me.

    7th Minute: Visualize a successful outcome today.

    Even if it does not come true the way you visualize, the positive visualization makes your attitude more positive no matter what! Example: Roleplay in your mind or visualize a calm response in dealing with your argumentative children.  

    8th Minute: Smile and Say Cheese!

    Swiss Cheese is full of holes – and so is our lives. It’s how you get through these holes that counts! So smile and embrace life’s imperfections!  Learn and grow from them! Example:  “I will make an effort to have a sense of humor when faced with obstacles instead of losing my sense of humor when things do not go the way I  think they “should.”

    9th Minute: Stretch your mind!

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    Think of a metaphor that will inspire you today. Comprise a list of metaphors to pick from each day. Think of your metaphor as your daily mascot to keep you in check! Example:  One powerful metaphor is that of the sunflower. A sunflower is big, bold, loves lightness and with enough light grows rapidly and robustly. It reminds us that if we keep thinking positively, we will flourish!

    10th Minute: Tell yourself something nice about yourself each day.

    This is called a positive affirmation. Tell yourself something you really admire about yourself, and this reminder will help you start the day off right by thinking straight to feel great! Example:  “I am proud that I keep trying new things and I embrace change.”  

    Wishing you the best on taking a time out as you work on transforming your life and yourself 10 minutes at a time! Are you truly too busy for that? I welcome comments to hear your reactions and tips!

    (Photo credit: Businessman Emotional via Shutterstock)

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    Judy Belmont

    Mental health author, motivational speaker and psychotherapist

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    Last Updated on December 9, 2019

    5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

    5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

    Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

    Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

    Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

    1. Get Rationally Optimistic

    Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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    This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

    In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

    The result: no more mental stress.

    2. Unplug

    Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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    How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

    It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

    Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

    3. Easy on the Caffeine

    Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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    Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

    4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

    That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

    How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

    • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
    • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
    • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

    While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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    5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

    This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

    The result: mental stress will be gone!

    So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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    Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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