You Know What Feels Good?
Feb 08, 2022
Ever find yourself all excited about a new habit or change, and then a few weeks (or even days) later you realize you are back into the same old patterns?
You have the best of intentions and try to do things differently.
Maybe you cut back on back-to-back meetings to give you some breathing space to get your work done, but people kept booking up your calendar.
Or you've tried to put a morning routine in place but soon you are back to checking emails or rushing around as soon as you get out of bed.
Or perhaps you love going for walks outdoors, but never seem to find the time because you need to get to everyone else's needs first.
You might think "tomorrow" will be the day, but tomorrow turns out to be the same, and you're still feeling frustrated, overwhelmed and worn out.
Does any of this sound familiar?
Here's the thing, instead of thinking of breathing space in your calendar, a morning routine or a daily walk as tasks on your to-do list that you just never have time for . . .
Think of these as the things that “fill you up” and give you the energy to tackle your day. Change the story in your mind, and you change everything else.
When we feel good and positive, we are more engaged, productive, energetic, and resilient – this has been rigorously researched in psychology and neuroscience.
Yet the very things that give you joy, energy and lead to positive emotions are often what is sacrificed (making things way harder than they need to be).
Since positive emotions are one of the highest predictors of high performance and energy, it's time to give yourself permission to do what feels good for YOU.
Here are three ways to increase positive emotions:
1. Honor your boundaries.
Think about your last day that was great. Nothing huge had to happen. Just a regular day where you had a genuine good feeling about yourself and felt good.
Don’t overthink it or be judgmental . . . what comes straight to your mind?
What was your morning like? What did you feel like when you got in the office? What were your interactions with others like?
What did you accomplish that you felt good about? When did you have a break? How many meetings did you have (or not have)?
What time did you leave work? What did you do in the evening with your kids and spouse? What were you feeling before you went to bed? When did you go to bed?
What did you NOT do?
Write it all down. This exercise is a blueprint for what makes a great day for you. Pick 1-3 things from this list, put a boundary in place, and make it a part of your everyday.
2. Do something kind for someone else.
Making someone else’s day a little brighter can not only boost their positive emotions, but yours as well. Along with gratitude, this is one of the simplest, most powerful things you can do.
Take a few minutes of your day to ask someone how they are doing, buy a cup of coffee for a stranger, send an unexpected email to praise a team member, be patient with someone struggling or do something helpful for another.
It can be anything really . . . kindness goes a long way!
3. Add more joy to your day.
Brainstorm and write down 10 small, simple things that give you joy and “make your heart sing”.
It can be listening to music, going for a walk, reading a book, coffee with a friend, calling someone you love, watching a funny video, snuggling with your kids, an evening out, whatever it is for you.
Add these to your day and at times when you are feeling negative, overwhelmed and frustrated to cultivate more positive emotion in the moment.
When positive emotions are present, leaders make better decisions and are more effective, people are kinder to others and more helpful, and you experience less negative thinking and emotions.
So, start to see the things that feel good and make your days easier as they fill YOU up and give you the energy you need to tackle your day. This leads to higher levels of performance and satisfaction.
And it will get easier to stick to those new habits and change!
All my best,
Want more support? Wherever you are on your journey, I'm here to support you in the way that works best for you!
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Stacey L. Olson is a Certified Positive Psychology Coach and has 15 years of corporate experience. She works with busy leaders and professionals who want to create more balance, stress less, and perform at a high level. Stacey is the founder of the 'The Balanced Leader' coaching membership and offers executive and leadership coaching, workshops, and speaking.