Halloween Health: When You Feel Like a Witch
Here are five tips to bag the hag and become someone others (and ourselves) want to be around:
1. Positive speech makes you younger. Socrates suggested we mindfully speak by answering these three questions: Is it true? Is it kind? Is it helpful? To find out what percentage of the words you say are uplifting, go one full day with no complaining, put-downs, belittlement, mean-spirited jokes, dredging up of past wrongs or slights, or ranting- even towards yourself. Surprise your family by reacting peacefully when you normally lose it. They will love you for it. You will love you for it!
2. Caring for others makes the witch go away. Never suppress an urge to serve someone or say something complimentary; in fact, say something sincerely to three people within one hour of reading this. Mark Twain said "I can live two months on a good compliment." I am still beaming over a compliment someone gave me on my handwriting eight years ago! You may be the only person who sees the need of another; when you are given that insight, do what you can to fill that need as soon as you can. It will change more than one life- especially your own. Do you know of a need right now? Make plans this instant.
3. Breathing deeply will give you a peaceful face, increase your physical energy and keep your foot out of your mouth. Here is a breathing practice to do right now: place your hands on your belly; breathe deeply into your stomach, feeling your stomach push forward into your hands. Exhale longer than your inhale. Breathing into your stomach, as opposed to breathing up in your chest and shoulders, delivers the maximum amount of oxygen to your bloodstream. This means that O2 gets to your brain, causing your to think clearly and to stay logical. It causes a relaxation response in your body. It helps maintain tall posture and will make you more energetic.
4. Staying physically active will keep the nag, hag and meanie mom away. Burning off steam and calories, especially through walking, will make you clear-headed. Small annoyances will fade into the background. You'll become more affectionate. Do physical tasks, exercise or work, that will turn you into a kitten. For me, spin, boxing and Zumba beat the monster out of me and I'm ready to face my life like an adult. Tonight: go break a sweat to break the negativity habit!
5. Surround yourself with people you admire. You know- the mom who doesn't yank her kids' arm, your neighbor who never bad mouths her husband, the friend who makes you feel loved and special. Being around those folks changes our "normal" and we by association see it as possible that we can be like them. And they want to be like us! You are wonderful! Goal: spend time with one person this week whom you look up to.
Not only do these simple tips make us more enjoyable to be around, but they give us self-respect. I don't like myself when I'm out of control, mean or cold. It doesn't have to be that way, and each day is a gift- start over as many times as you need. It will come. We can put that witch's hat away!