Habits

I’ve been working on getting myself out of a funk. As always, I learn something when I deliberately try to improve how I’m feeling.

I listened to a few Kyle Cease videos on youtube. He’s a former comedian who now teaches people to go for the lives they want. In one video he leads an exercise that starts with listing 50 to 100 experiences/feelings/things that we want.

I did the exercise. There was another point to the exercise, but what I came away with was that a lot of the experiences I want in my ideal life, are available to me now. I can eat really good tasting, healthy food. I can sit on my porch in the spring and watch the birds. I can dance.

It was the inspiration I needed to get back to deliberately trying to enjoy my life. You wouldn’t think it would be hard to deliberately enjoy life, but I find it difficult. If I don’t pay attention, I fall into habits of worry, resentment and self-criticism.

Recently, I’ve been trying to revive healthy habits – yoga, meditation, eating more vegetables. I’d started feeling a little better physically. The morning after watching that Kyle Cease video, I made a conscious choice to enjoy my morning as I got ready for work.

Instead of trying to cram in as many tasks as possible, I relaxed and enjoyed my breakfast. I did what I felt like doing, at a pace that felt good, until it was time to leave for work. On the way to work, I made a point of enjoying the scenery and the sunny weather.

I’d been feeling stressed and overwhelmed at work, but this day, I felt inspired in a way I hadn’t felt in a long time. Instead of dragging myself through my work shift, I felt energized and focused. When I feel good at work, I find myself almost skipping down the hallways. That’s how I felt that day.

I’d been wanting to get back to that feeling at work. It amazed me that it just took one morning of pampering myself to feel that way again. The good feelings didn’t quite last through the whole day, but for several hours I felt really good.

The lesson for me this time, is that I have to make a deliberate habit of trying to feel good. I have to deliberately relax as often as possible. I have to make sure I make time to do the things I enjoy. I have to be really nice to myself and everything else falls into place.

Making myself feel good is a discipline for me to master. I need a post-it note on my forehead to help me remember. I need a “to do” list full of fun things. I have to “force” myself to do things that feel good, until the momentum takes over and it comes naturally.