Andrew Carlson shares his favorite ways to shift from outer chaos to inner calm.
Growing up in the Millennial Generation has been one of the most interesting experiences of my short life. My parents have expressed how it’s more challenging than when they grew up, because people are constantly bombarded with messages so many all at once all day long.
With all of these issues at hand, how do you find balance? No matter where you are in your life right now, these four tips will help.
1. Express Gratitude—Expressing gratitude is one of the easiest ways to boost positivity, increase endorphins, and release negative thoughts. The thing about gratitude is that it comes from a place of love, where fear and other negative emotions cannot reside. When we come from a place of gratitude, our relationships, career, family and life instantly begins to shift for the better. The best way to implement gratitude in life is to do a short but effective exercise: when waking up, instantly think of 10 things that you are incredibly grateful for. If you live alone, try saying it out loud so you don’t drift back to sleep. The only rule is that they must be detailed, and they must come from your heart.
2. Pay it Forward—Another way to boost endorphin levels is to simply share random acts of kindness with the world. If you are standing in line at a coffee shop getting your morning latte and there’s someone behind you, give the register person a $5 bill to pay for the next person. Although we may not know their story, it could be just the thing that person needed to make their life. Too often, we are so busy in our own lives that we tend to forget about the people we pass on a daily basis. we may not know them, but one simple random act of kindness could mean all the difference to them. Uncomfortable with purchasing something for someone else? Start by simply holding the door open for someone or carrying their groceries to their vehicle for them. Do something to show someone else you were thinking about him or her.
3. Unplug From Technology—The advancements of technology have created a massive struggle in our daily lives with learning how to just unplug. There’s social media, email, television, music—the list is endless. Our attention spans to watch a simple YouTube video cannot be longer than 3-5 minutes before we want to move onto something else. As I walk along the beach in January, I rarely see anyone just enjoying the moment they are in. They are taking pictures, tweeting, instagramming that posts on Twitter & Facebook and even just mindlessly looking at their Facebook feed. I’ve also seen people check their emails or play Candy Crush. It makes no sense to me. I’ve heard friends freak out because they forgot their phone in the car and it was a necessity to have it on them at all times. They are constantly checking up on everything during dinner. When is it time to say enough is enough? My challenge to anyone who finds it difficult to unplug is to simply go out to dinner or a picnic without his or her phone. It’s time to enjoy living in the moment instead of having to constantly be plugged in.
4. Share life experiences with your loved ones—The problem with constantly being plugged in is that we tend to miss out on experiences that we’ll never get back ever again. Of course we want to capture the first steps or the first words of our children; that’s not what I’m’ addressing here. I’m addressing the precious moments that we tend to overlook. The way our significant other smiles at us, or the way our children look at us when we are explaining something larger than themselves and the wind blowing through our hair. Even things like sunrises/sunsets, the bumblebee buzzing around from flower to flower, the squirrels playing tag, or even the whispers of the wind. Don’t miss out on moments.
Create memories. Laugh uncontrollably. Love deeply. But most importantly, live enormously!