At times life can be difficult and we can all do with a bit of support to help us deal with some of the daily challenges we face.
So it can be really useful having a toolbox of techniques available to help make it easier to bounce back. This is what is known as resilience.Resilience is defined as “the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties” and it is a useful skill to build. Part of building resilience is having a happy and healthy mind.
At our recent Catalyst Bootcamp we learnt some valuable tools – courtesy of Hal Elrod author of Miracle Morning – on how to improve your mind and soul first thing in the morning, to encourage a more productive day and a happier life generally. He calls these tips Life S.A.V.E.R.S – which makes them easy to remember – and also because they aim to help you ‘wake up to your full potential.’
The six tips, or ‘S.A.V.E.R.S’ are as follows: Silence, Affirmations, Visualisation, Exercise, Reading and Scribing.
S = Silence
Taking a moment of silence or meditation when you wake up is a great way to provide clarity and focus on what you would like to accomplish that day. It is also a way to promote calmness and reflection. Even dedicating as little as five minutes to silence will help. If five minutes is too long, start with two minutes and slowly increase the amount of time you meditate. There are lots of books and apps which can help you to do this e.g. 8 best mindfulness apps
Research shows that meditating has many health benefits including; lower blood pressure, less anxiety, more feelings of well-being and less stress.If you find it difficult to concentrate when you’re meditating, focus on your breathing and even count your breaths so your mind doesn’t get away from you. Another meditation tip is to do a body scan which is bringing an awareness to every part of your body, one at a time. There’s no set way to meditate as long as you are comfortable and focusing the mind.
Just don’t do it in bed, as it will be so tempting to fall back to sleep!
A = Affirmations
Affirmations, or statements, train our subconscious to achieve the mindset needed to create the change we want to see in our lives. The idea being that by regularly repeating what we are committed to achieving, it will slowly become a reality. By doing daily positive affirmations you decrease the amount of negative thoughts and stress you experience. Affirmations may seem awkward or strange to practice but they have been proven to be effective, however if you want to see progress with your affirmations it requires persistence.
“Affirmations are proven methods of self-improvement because of their ability to rewire our brains. Much like exercise, they raise the level of feel-good hormones and push our brains to form new clusters of “positive thought” neurons. In the sequence of thought-speech-action, affirmations play an integral role by breaking patterns of negative thoughts, negative speech, and, in turn, negative actions.” 35 Affirmations that will change your life
V = Visualisation
This goes hand in hand with affirmations and is the practice of creative visualisation. Visualisation helps us to create mental pictures of desired outcomes and behaviours in our lives. Just like affirmations, visualisation also programmes your brain into the mindset needed to achieve certain goals as well as providing motivation. To practice visualisation, sit with your eyes closed, much like when practicing silence, and picture your affirmations; how they would look, feel and the ways you could achieve them.
E = Exercise
The need for regular exercise is something we are all familiar with. However lots of research has been done on the benefits of doing exercise first thing in the morning. By raising your heart rate and increasing blood circulation, you wake-up your mind and body and become more alert in preparation for the rest of the day. You don’t need to do an intense exercise for the effects to be felt, even stretching, yoga or jumping jacks are effective. Another benefit of morning exercise is that it provides you with an established routine and discipline because no matter how tempting it is to push snooze, exercising will have a far greater impact on your day.
R = Reading
Reading is one of the most effective ways to acquire knowledge and broaden your horizons. By reading about a diverse selection of topics you more easily gain inspiration, ideas and strategies on ways to acquire success in your life. By interacting with the texts through marking quotes, themes or memorable sections you will better remember what you’ve read. Reading inspirational or personal development books first thing in the morning is more effective in promoting self-improvement rather than later in the day when your mind is more distracted. It also engages your brain first thing in the morning which makes for a more productive day.
S = Scribing or Journaling
The final Life S.A.V.E.R is daily scribing or journaling in order to help articulate your thoughts and ideas. Just like with reading, there is no set topic about which you need to write about. You could journal the dream you had the night before, your goals for the day or anything else that inspires you. The more you write, the more ideas and insight you will gain. Writing things down also provides clarity as we will better understand things when we think through them and write them down. At the Catalyst Bootcamp we scribed our top three; feelings of gratitude and also our top three intentions for that day, as both are effective ways to focus your day.
These six techniques when incorporated into your morning routine, should provide you with a more productive day and improve your outlook on life. You can customise how much of each you do each day or even which ones you would like to do for the day. The author recommends not spending more than an hour of your routine doing these six steps e.g. 10 minutes of each.
However if you don’t have much time, you can do this whole routine in as little as six minutes, one minute for each step!
Have a go at experimenting with what works for you and see what positive impacts start to occur in your life. Let us know how you get on.
If you are interested in finding out more about the book is called Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod.
This article was written by Megan Thurlow and Traci Lewis from Catalyse Change firstname.lastname@example.org