Let’s face it: at times life can be very overwhelming. However, I’m a firm believer that we do have a choice in how we respond to it. We can either let the stress of situations, a full to-do list, and others opinions and demands, spiral us downward if we succumb to the “pressure’ or we can take a deliberate time-out to step back and weigh in what we will do differently to reset, refocus, and reposition our mind to handle the new found stress. I call these time-outs, “pattern interrupts” and they are on my opinion a key ingredient that highly successful people employ to get more things done and manage the multiple demands and deadlines life presents them.
Here are six excellent ways to deliberately interrupt negative or fear-based thought patterns when they attempt to wreak havoc on your thoughts and mindset.
#1: Put on your favorite music. Music can change a mood or attitude immediately. It is powerful and can redirect emotions in a way that few other forms of stimuli can.
#2: Take a short walk outside by yourself. I love this one. It frees us from distraction, gets oxygen flowing and removes us from a situation or other people to get us thinking in a different way.
#3: Review your goals and gratitude lists. There is something magical about looking at what drives us and inspires us to push on when we feel like we’ve hit a roadblock. A book I highly recommend you get and apply is The Magic by Rhonda Byrne. An incredible book that has positively changed my life for the better.
#4. Listen to or watch a funny video. As my friend Judy Johnson said to me years ago, “Laughter is a momentary holiday.” She was spot on with these five words of advice. Laughter is amazing and changes an emotional state to joy and happiness.
#5. Take a 5-minute prayer or meditation break. Turn inward and self-reflect on what is really important in life. Connect with the Creator or God and bring a quite mind. Often times this peace is exactly what we need to shut down the loud voice of the ego and busy, digital world.
#6. Shut off your cell phone for 30-minutes. Yes, this is a tough one, but highly effective. Here’s why: when you are distracted by messages, calls, and updates it kills concentration and splits your attention. If it’s that damn important for someone to reach you, they’ll leave a voicemail or send you an email. If you let others control your time, you will eventually break down or burn out. It’s only a matter of time. Take back control of time and monitor access to your life and schedule.
Yes, we all have a say in the matter of how we think and respond or don’t respond to life’s changing situations and unfolding. I strongly encourage you to utilize and implement these six pattern interrupt techniques so you can save time, reduce stress and worry, and reset your mind and actions towards a positive and productive path to greater overall wellness.