April 6, 2016
5 Ideas, 3 Questions, and an Action
Accepting who we are simply means never having to pretend that we are something that we are not, which can take a lot of energy.
By embracing ourselves and all of our humanness we can shift our focus from perfection to progress. And, when we look for it, we are always making progress, even if it appears in millimeters.
Accepting ourselves in this moment for all that we are in this moment—as well as all that we have been in the past—does not mean giving up and “accepting” that we will forever stay the same. In fact, it can mean the opposite. It can mean freedom.
Learning to acknowledge and name what we are experiencing assists in identifying the obstacles in our way, which are keeping us “the same”. From there, we can almost always envision a new path to move forward on.
So, how do we do that? We can start by learning to accept who we have been. And we can do that quietly by naming our feelings when they are brought to the surface. For example, say that a memory makes us feel embarrassed or angry. What we can do is pause and quietly state, “That made me feel embarrassed or angry. Since then, I have felt lots of other emotions. I don’t need to reactivate this feeling in this present moment. I don’t need to re-feel it now. I can accept that I felt it in the past and I can leave it there.”
What is my favorite memory from this life?
When am I truly my happiest self?
If I had to pick between having four arms or four legs, which would I choose and why?
Desired Result: Be Happier
Concrete Action: Start a Laughing Practice
We’ve all heard of yoga and meditation practices, so what about a laughing practice? That is, a time set aside each day to laugh. Here’s how you do it. Sit at the edge of your bed, set your phone timer for 60 seconds, close your eyes, and begin to fake laugh to the best of your ability. If you really go for it, it will likely turn into real laughter. And then that happens you get all the health benefits of real and true JOY. Note: Because the body cannot recognize fake laughter from real laughter, even if you fake laugh for a full minute, you still:
Strengthen your heart. When we laugh we are taking in huge breaths of air. That oxygen surge relaxes the body, increases blood flow, and improves the function of blood vessels.
Boost your immune system. When we laugh, we decrease stress hormones, like cortisol, which increases the production of immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies.
Release the body’s pharmacy of feel-goods. When we laugh, we release endorphins, which make us feel happy and can even block pain.
Be your greatness. Start. Do. Go.
Zach Carlsen is the grateful lead blogger at StrengthsLife.com
His strengths of Ideation, Connectedness, Input, Strategic, and Empathy have taken him all over the world. He is an inventor, athlete, joyous wanderer/wonderer, translator, poet, and Transformation Coach.
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Facebook: Zachary Carlsen