Are you are taking a break from something right now to read this article?
Maybe that’s because you are distracting yourself from something else you should be doing. No worries – we all do that!
Or maybe you are taking a break because you know that taking a break is actually good for you. Research tells us that short breaks in our day help us be more efficient, productive and engaged in what we are doing.
Whatever the reason, if you are going to make the time for a break, why not try making it a positive one?
What exactly is a positivity break?
It’s a break during which you consciously choose to direct your focus and attention on something that is upbeat or inspiring or funny or well, quite simply, something positive.
I love this idea for two reasons.
First anything that shifts your perspective and focus onto something positive is a great idea. We spend way too much time thinking about what’s not working in our lives and far too little time reminding ourselves of our many blessings large and small. Cultivating positivity is always a good thing.
The other reason I like the idea of a positivity break is because it sets the intention ahead of time to shift your focus. If I schedule a positivity break in my day, it means I am consciously choosing my attitude.Scheduling a positivity break sets the intention ahead of time to shift your focus. Click To Tweet
So go ahead and set aside 10 minutes in your day. Make an appointment with yourself. Write it in ink. Set the alarm on your device.
Then take that 10 minutes to do something that helps lift your mood and re-energize you.
Here are some ideas:
Look at a tree
We all know that it’s good to take a break and go outside for a breath of fresh air. People have this quirky connection to nature that makes being outside, particularly around trees, a mood elevator. So if it’s possible head outside and take a quick walk. But what you might not know is that just looking at nature photos can give you a mental boost too. According to researchers at the University of Michigan, looking at pleasing images of trees or other natural elements can have a more positive benefit than a walk down a busy city street. That might make you rethink the picture on your screen saver or what you have hanging on your office wall. If you can get outside amongst the greenery, go for it. If not a beautiful image of some trees just might do the trick.
Listen to some music
Music and mood are linked together. The way we look at the world changes depending on the music we are listening to in the moment. Play something upbeat and you suddenly feel more energetic and optimistic. Take a break and listen to some music that creates energy in your body. Look for something that has a quick pace or bouncy beat that makes you want to move your body, whether you chair dance or actually get up and boogey. Or choose a song that has uplifting or empowering lyrics. Remember that music is personal so take your break with your headphones on.
Express your gratitude
Instead of taking 10 to check what’s happening on social media, use the time to take a break and thank someone. Get up and go find co-worker who helped you out or always brings a smile to the office. You don’t have to make a long speech – just a simple “I wanted to let you know how much I appreciate ______”. Or write a thank you note to leave on someone’s desk or even pop into the mail. Not only will you get a boost, so will the person on the receiving end of your gratitude.
Yes really. Hydration and mood are actually linked. That’s probably because our brain tissue is 85% water. If you are dehydrated then your brain can’t work at its best. Neither can the rest of your body. It only takes 2% dehydration before energy level, mood and cognitive function are negatively impacted. Dehydration can also decrease serotonin, one of the neurochemicals which help regulate mood, and increase the stress hormone cortisol. So take 10 and go fill up your water bottle.
Have 5 fingers of good stuff
I don’t mean a hefty pour of a good quality Scotch. Use a break to count on your fingers 5 good things that have happened today. Or 5 things you appreciate. Or 5 blessings in your life. Or 5 things that are going well. We usually spend time listing the stuff that irritates or annoys us. Or grumble about the things went sideways, didn’t turn out, or didn’t get done. When we focus on what is working in our life, we shift our energy away from the negative towards the positive.
Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment, share, like, tweet and/or pin this article.
What’s your favourite way to take a positivity break?