By Peggy Tee ©
The hectic, busy details of your life can sometimes take away any pleasure you feel from it. Operating on auto-pilot is no way to live; to fully experience life, you must be engaged with it and take every opportunity for happiness that comes by. It takes practice to elevate the everyday to enriching, but these simple tips can help.
Start with a sensual morning
The way your morning starts sets the tone for the rest of your day. Instead of using a blaring, beeping alarm clock, use a clock that plays soft music, or can be preset to your favourite radio channel. Studies show that classical or instrumental music can lower your heart rate and soothe you. Change your music choice every few weeks so that your brain does not get conditioned to it, which will allow you to snooze through the alarm.
Hop into a warm shower when you roll out of bed and use bath products with a citrus scent. Lemon, orange and grapefruit have been proven to energise and invigorate, which will help your mind and body wake up. Just before heading out the door, spend five minutes sitting silently to centre yourself. Giving yourself this time will help to focus your day. Turn off your mind and stay in the moment. Being still and silent will calm you and help you to experience your day ahead more fully.
Energize your day
The majority of workers sit in sterile, glass and steel offices for most of their day. Bring the outdoors in by decorating your desk with simple objects from nature such as a bowl filled with rocks, one or two pretty seashells or a plant. Eating lunch on the run, or not at all, can impact the quality of your day and your enjoyment of it. Make the midday meal an event by packing good cheese and some grapes as an appetizer before the main meal. Inject a little luxury with quality paper towels and proper cutlery, even if you are eating at your desk.
Use all your senses, even at the office. Smell can affect our appreciation of the space around us. If you love lighting candles at home, keep a diffuser on your desk during work hours. To energise your brain during that dreaded slump at three in the afternoon, take a music break and listen to some music. Try a genre or artist you are unfamiliar with – since your brain is not used to it, you’ll grow more alert as you process it.
No stress in the sanctuary
Your bedroom is your sanctuary at the end of a long day. Banish the television and draw the curtains close before you head to sleep. Spray your bed linen with lavender – the scent will calm and relax you. Keep a soft throw at the foot of the bed. This will make the room look cosy and feels wonderfully soothing when wrapped around you. Scientific studies have shown that when skin brushes against softness, the brain releases dopamine, the happiness-inducing hormone. Lastly, end your day the way you started, by allowing yourself the luxury of five minutes of silent, still meditation.