Tuesday, May 13, 2014

10 Ways to See Things Differently

1. Take a breath. Stop and close your eyes. Breathe in and hold it.  Now, breathe out.  Do it again. Sometimes just that is enough to clear the anxiety and the troubles from your mind and help you to face the day afresh.

2. Take a new road. Go for a walk or or a run or a bike ride or even a drive -- but go on a road or a path that you don't usually go down. Pay attention to what you see.

3. Go on a picture-taking expedition. This sounds silly... but this makes you slow down. The journey becomes less about getting somewhere and more about experiencing everything there is to experience along the way, as you look for the little things worth capturing on film.

4. Get high. Have you ever looked at the world around you from up really high?  Maybe it's from the top of a tall monument or a cliff that overlooks a valley. Things look different when you're above it all, and somehow perspective comes.

5. Get low. By contrast, it looks different from down-low too.  Not your level.  Lower.  Get down on your knees... look at the world from a toddler's height.  See what a child would see... the cracks in the ground, the bugs in the dirt, the individual blades of grass.  This, too, is perspective-changing.

6. Exercise! I know, you hate me for this one. But, I promise it's true.  Those endorphins that exercise releases into your system work, friends. It's like a quick little happy pill, and absolutely changes the way you view the day and yourself and your problems and the world around you.

7. Go somewhere crowded and people watch.  But, not just idly...  You're watching for people's stories. The harried mom, the overworked businessman, the awkward teenager who can't quite fit in. The girl that just lost her mother, the father that just lost his job, the couple that just got engaged. Somehow, I think that other people's real stories help us to step outside of ourselves and focus on something else.

8. Put away your phone. We're awfully connected, and I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing. I love being able to connect with so many friends that live so far away. But sometimes, I think we've forgotten how to be idle. It makes us uncomfortable... and perhaps learning to be idle again is exactly what we need.  So... not all the time... but some of the time, put your phone away. And remember what it was like to not be reachable, to not need to always be reaching out.

9. Talk to people. Find out what their real stories are... don't settle for "Fine" when you ask them how they're doing. Really find out... be the kindness they need. Give of yourself... I promise new perspective will come.

10. Clean something out.  Your closet, your pantry, your car, your make-up drawer. It doesn't really matter what it is, but there's something awesomely refreshing about getting rid of things that you don't really need. It's like a fresh start and lifts a weight you didn't realize you were carrying off of your shoulders.

11. (Sorry, I forgot this one... but it's important!) Change your music! Stop listening to all that melodramatic stuff you've got on your iPod and find something peppy! I promise it will change your mood!

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