Blasting away the thoughts that are holding you back from happiness can be simpler than you think. Here are five ways to get started.
1. Blow it up
“Shut your eyes and visualise yourself blowing into a balloon, releasing all your negativity and emotions into it with each exhale,” says Sue Stone, a UK-based success coach. “Then imagine yourself letting the balloon go and watching it disappear, getting smaller and smaller as it floats further and further away from you.”
2. Set the right agenda
“Resist the temptation to think, ‘It’s going to be one of those days’ just because you’ve stubbed your toe this morning,” says vitality coach, Lisa Clifford. “If you think it’s going to be a bad day, it will, so instead, try thinking, ‘It’s going to be a good day’ and enjoy the results. I try to do that every morning, focusing on my intention to make the day a good one, and imagining how satisfied I’ll feel at the end of it.”
3. Tear up old grudges
Bearing a grudge can elevate your heart rate, raise your blood pressure, increase muscle tension and might even contribute to an increased risk of chronic disease, according to US research. It can also lead to feelings of being out of control. “Sweep away those negative feelings by writing a letter to the person involved,” says Stone. “It feels very healing to get it off your chest. Then tear up or burn the letter – don’t send it.”
4. Release yourself
“If you feel low, anxious or downright annoyed whenever you think of a particular person, imagine them physically hooked onto you with a giant safety pin,” says Stone. “Then, see yourself physically undoing it and sending them off into the distance, getting smaller and greyer as they disappear into the ether.” Do this once a day and you’ll feel a real sense of release.
5. Shake it off
Try not to take things personally. Instead, develop the habit of looking at other people’s actions as just the way they are and less of a personal statement about you. Keep in mind that you can’t make another person change, but you can change your own thoughts or the way you react to the things that happen to you.