New year, New you?

Looking for a resolution you can make and keep? A best practice for new habit formation is to start small and do something simple daily and repeat for for 21, 30 or 90 days (that's how long a new habit takes to form depending on which research you read).

But which new habit to form? Reflecting on my many coaching conversations from the past year I would like to suggest, if you are interested, that it's worth focusing on Relaxing and gaining composure before trying to problem solve. Most of the time, you won’t be looking at the real problem when you’re emotionally activated, so there’s no efficiency—no time saved at all—in trying to solve problems while you’re triggered. Here are some ideas for calming the mind

  • Write it out: Journaling is such a great technique. Try writing daily and answering just a small number of questions to aid in your self reflection and spot patterns in your behaviours and environment.

  • Exercise. Run, walk, lift weights, swim, climb. The research is definite, exercise has huge benefits to mood, health energy and focus. If you don't already, try it!

  • 4 deep breaths The 4-7-8 breathing technique, also known as “relaxing breath,” involves breathing in for 4 seconds, holding the breath for 7 seconds, and exhaling for 8 seconds. This breathing pattern aims to reduce anxiety.

  • Slow down and do a body scan. I've used Yoga Nidra to help me sleep / rest more deeply and the body scan is a related practice. A great way to release tension, the shift in focus from whatever has triggered you to the whole body is super helpful. Here is a link for one way to practice this technique

  • 7-second pause. Just count to seven, the pause will allow you time to think and respond versus react.

  • Reframe your self-talk. Talk more kindly to yourself...

  • Take inventory of your resources. Originally used for those experiencing panic attacks, I have found this really useful when I need to pause before responding.

So, whatever your resolution, have a great 2022!

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