Reduce Stress: Try a One-Minute Happiness Shift

Have you ever noticed that you tend to make dumb decisions when you are stressed out?  That is, you might talk excessively or lash out angrily. By contrast, when you are calm and peaceful, it is much easier to find creative,insightful solutions. One way to move from stress to calm creativity is to shift to a happier state. 

Dr. Lynn Johnson, in his book, "Enjoy Life," gives tools to train the brain to calm and shift to higher functioning. He suggests a simple three-step process: Shift, Recall, and Ask.

Step 1: Shift your attention away from your fear self-talk to breathing and focusing on your heart.  Breathe slowly. Be glad you are still alive.  Notice,-- your heart is still beating. Continue to breathe and calm yourself for about 30 sec.

Step 2: Recall and relive a positive emotion when you felt peaceful, confident, and secure.  Think of a time when you felt genuine love for someone. Let it fill your heart.  The memory of this feeling will activate the frontal lobes of your cortex. Do this for 30 seconds.

Step 3:  Ask yourself:  What is the highest and best way to handle this situation?"  Listen carefully to the wisdom that comes from within.  When you take time to quiet yourself with positive emotion, the frontal lobes activate your creativity and insight, Trust what comes and do it. Sometimes it is hard to shift when the mind is very active. Dr. Johnson points out the difference between thinking and sensing. 

In the shift, focus on changing from an active, self-talk mind to sensing quiet mind.  This mind is more observant and notices without inner commentary. Often we look for answers outside of ourselves that are better found within. The shift-up process helps you to gain access to the vast resources of your brain. 

Try it several times a day, and make it a habit. It will help you find your heart's wisdom in solving your daily problems.  A similar process has also been by the Heart Math program.

Warm Regards,

Dr. Alice Vlietstra