The pandemic and other world events have dramatically impacted everyone’s lives and created lots of stress. Now, more than ever, it’s important to take care of our bodies and minds. Shalom Lamm says that taking 10 minutes a day for quiet introspection and reflection can dramatically increase our feelings of well-being and peace. Below are some simple suggestions to begin a reflection practice.
Ten minutes of gratitude can improve our psychological well-being. It can increase our self-esteem. It can improve our relationships, because those who express their gratitude are more likely to see their friends through positive eyes, and are more likely to work through any difficulties that might arise. It can also make us more spiritual, optimistic, and more giving. Gratitude can make us less materialistic because it makes us appreciate what we already have.
It can even help improve our physical well-being. It can help to reduce depressive symptoms, improve sleep and reduce blood pressure. In one study, participants who expressed gratitude were even more likely to exercise!
Explore a New Idea
Take ten minutes to write down thoughts about a new idea. It can be as complicated as a new business plan, or as simple as a new recipe. It’s important to take time to use our imagination. Thinking outside of our day-to-day realities gives us something to look forward to and can help build creative-thinking. We never know what we’re capable of until we try. Write down three thoughts about this new idea. Write down three things that are exciting about it. Follow this with five details about the idea. Finish up with a list of next steps. Often, generating new ideas leads to even more new ideas.
Highlights of the Day
Taking ten minutes to reflect on the highlights of our day is a great way to increase our appreciation of life. Think about (or write down) things that were enjoyable; things that were challenging; a person that did or said something nice; something yummy; something funny, or sad, or meaningful. With all of the things that make up our day, it’s easy to speed through it without really noticing what’s going on.
Think About Goals
Shalom Lamm encourages us to spend some time each day thinking about our goals. Setting goals gives us something to look forward to; it keeps us moving forward. Some people need goals to give their lives direction. Each day, we can take some time to write down the steps we took towards meeting those goals. Maybe it was doing some research, or setting aside a little money, or talking about our goals with a trusted friend. Even just thinking about these goals is taking a positive step towards reaching them.
Find Joy in the Moment
Sometimes it’s important to just stop and in the moment. Look around. Take in the smells, the sights, the people. Is there something funny, or pretty that we may not have noticed if we’d just kept going?