Our minds are very powerful! Unfortunately most of us don't use our brain to its full potential. We are caught up with daily life. A lot of things might be spinning in your head and many don't serve you in a good way. In this article you will learn tips and tricks to maximize the use of your brain.
At any given time I want to use my brain for any of the following: be happy in the now, visualize a better future or be grateful and learn from the past. In reality how much time do you spend in each of these categories in a day? If you are like most people probably not a lot.
Be Happy Now
Step 1. Identify Those Things You can Actually Control.
Take out your phone and go to the note section of your phone. Now do a brain dump and write down everything that is in your head.
Yes, that's right. Everything. Keep writing until everything is out. If you are not a fast writer on your phone you can go old school and use a pen and paper.
Now go back over this list and see what things you can actually do something about and what things are out of your control. Try to let go of the things you can't control and make a to-do list with the things you can do something about. Prioritize your to-do list and schedule a time in your calendar to deal with it.
This exercise is just a way to empty your brain and it can be done whenever you feel a need for it.
Step 2. Make a To-do List of Those Things You Can Control and Free Your Mind for More Important Things.
According to the best seller Getting Things Done we all have to empty our "ram memory" so we can focus on the bigger things. Spending time thinking of what you need to buy for dinner while in the office is simply a waste of time. So is having your to do list in your head of all the things you need to do at work when you are at the beach. In smartphone coaching we teach our students to have a system of having your to do list in your phone. Many times ideas come up in our mind when we can not do anything about them. For these things we need a system to capture them for later. If not, these ideas will keep looping in your head.
For this I recommend you to download a to do list application. There are many of them out there. Personally I work with one called producteev (free). What I like about this one is that it syncs very well between my iPhone, iPa,d and MacBook. A downside is that the newer version requires Internet connectivity in order to update. This can cause a problem when you are traveling and don't have an internet connection.
There are many different to do apps. I recommend you download a few and play around until you find one you are comfortable with. The main thing should be that the app allows you to prioritize your list and create different categories. I have a category called Books to Buy, for example. If someone gives me a book recommendation I add it to this list and next time I am in a bookstore I can go through the list and buy the right book.
Once you have this system in place you can capture all random thoughts and put them in your phone. This frees up space so you can focus on more important things.
Get the Most Our of Your Past, Present, and Future
We want to use our past for mainly two things: to learn from and pick up positive emotions. Most positive emotions you want to feel in the future you have at one point felt in your past. Make a folder of pictures with happy memories that can help you connect with these emotions. Find pictures of yourself or close family and friends doing something you enjoy. Any time during your day you can take out your phone and flick through this folder and again connect with that emotion.
It has been said that all fears, worries, and anxieties comes from living either in your past or in your future. In the now none of that exists. Living a good life means being in the present. One way to do this is with the app spotify (free). Find music that you love and that gives you positive emotions. Make a playlist and put it in a folder called Happiness Music. During the day listen to this folder and practice getting completely in the now.
You need to take control of your future by identifying attractive goals that pull you in the right direction. There is always room for improvement. One way to do this is to make a Goal Folder next to your Happy Memories Folder. Think of goals in the major areas of your life. Google images and find suitable pictures for each goal. This becomes your idealized future.
Bringing the Past, Present, and Future Together.
Take 10 minutes every day to go through your Happy Memories Folder and feel the emotions in the now. Next go through your Goal Folder and imagine them as already real. This will connect your positive emotions to your goals. You can do this while listening to you Happiness Music playlist.
Block time in your calendar to make sure you really follow through.
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Image: flickr, Gerald Stolk