Are you feeling tired? Are you counting down the days until you take summer vacation? Are you focused on the clock at work, willing the minutes to go by as quickly as possible?
I just set my out-of-office message for the summer, and it reads "Gone Fishing." That message communicates what I intend to do for myself over the summer (so that my family, friends and clients get a better "me" in the long run).
Although I will literally be doing some fishing over the summer, I really mean for this message to express the state of mind I plan to create. It is a metaphor for how I want to feel and be over summer. The "Gone Fishing" state of mind, for me, begins with a visual image. (Use whatever image you like, if the one I am suggesting does not work for you).
When you imagine that you have "Gone Fishing," what are you doing? And, what AREN'T you doing?
I'll bet you are:
- Breathing slowly
- Aware of your surroundings (hearing birds chirping, seeing the calm water around you, feeling the warmth of the sun on your face)
I'll bet you AREN'T:
- Experiencing distress
- Focused on the nattering voice in your head
When you are "Gone Fishing," you are doing things that are out of the normal routine. You let go of what you would be doing on a regular day (being constantly connected to your phone or other technology, ruminating about work, worrying about your child) and you escape to an oasis of relaxation (whatever that might be for you).
So, to create "Gone Fishing" for you, follow these simple steps:
1) Disconnect from technology. Install an out of office message, and trust that you'll be a better "you" when you reconnect again.
2) Let go of all things restrictive. Let your hair go wild; substitute constrictive clothing for soft, comfortable items, pull out those wickedly comfortable sandals.)
3) Breathe. Watch Dr. Mehmet Oz demonstrate the proper way to do it here (you might be surprised by what he suggests).
4) Focus "out." Move your attention to the sights, sounds and sensations around you.
5) Just "be." Decide to "go with the flow"; whatever happens, just be with it.
If negative thoughts enter your mind, practice the strategy outlined in this post titled, "How to Rewire Your Brain for Success," by Geoffrey James: Shrink the negative image that accompanies the negative thought and emotion. Make the image teeny, tiny and very grainy. Repeat shrinking it, making it smaller and smaller each time.
Then, draw in a positive image and elongate, enhance and enlarge it. Make it more colorful and vibrant. Repeat this several times, making the positive image larger and more colorful. And, add some sound to it to anchor it more fully in your brain.
So where and when will you "Go Fishing" this summer?
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