Attention Training

How to think fast, find your focus, and sharpen your concentration.

7 Ways to Sweeten Your Mind-Body-Spirit This Spring

Spring into Joy.

Spring is a season of surging energy.  It is a time of awakening cheer; a time of light, brightness and shining. Spring energy can be, like the sun, sparkling and explosive, productive and rising.

The cabin fever buildup most people feel and are so ready to break out of has function. In many ways it can help you reboot and enhance your peak performance for the rest of the year. The robust push we feel to get out and “do things” can be used to enhance your mindfulness and to drive forward your plans and dreams at the right time, in the right place as opportunities arise.

Spring Fever Can Lead to Fatigue

But you can’t get into a mode where you are pushing 24-7. Spring fever can generate unrealistic expectations. The next thing you know you are pushing to get things done before their time. The energy surges we feel when we spin out of sickness are similar. When your energy swells after you’ve cooped up with illness for a while, and you “just” start to feel a little better, it is pretty easy to overdo it and tire yourself out. All this can leave you feeling scattered, stressed and fatigued.

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Yet, spring fever, so to speak, activates in us this way for a reason. It helps us activate and match intentions with strategies (old and new), thoughts, and the creative energy to drive them. This forward movement is natural and essential and can be used to fire up personal transformation and new growth. Let's take a look.

Optimize Your Spring Energy

  1. Spend more time outside. Take plenty of walks. Welcome the abundance of light with your eyes.  Slow and deepen your breathing. Put a smile on your face and in your mind and feel how this helps simultaneously activate a sense calm and alertness throughout you.
  2. Visualize images of positive change in your life. You can engage this visualization during your outside time or you can find a quiet and calm space indoors. Let images of positive and new personal change float across your mind like reflections on a lake. Don’t attach to any or put thought into any.  Just listen and observe. Each image and feeling you generate carries with it information for potential transformation. Later on, you can reflect on these and decide to move forward with ones you’d like to seed.  Remember they are just images so let them be plentiful and inspiring.
  3. Be positive. When you are feeling pumped up it is essential to focus on positivity. Otherwise, it is easy to send yourself into a tailspin. The irony of that is your robust feelings turn negative and then affect you physically and emotionally that way. Remind yourself often throughout the day to focus on the positive.  Let’s look at some easy ways to do that in the next few activities.
  4. Carry your brain’s sweet spot in your pocket.  Use your iPod or cellphone to take pictures of natural scenes that have a positive and calming effect on you. Later you can view these individually or as a slide show to help you relax and/or balance off urges to push yourself into overdoing things or pushing yourself so hard, for so long that you lose your focus. You’ll be surprised at how fast this easy and fun technique can work.
  5. Use positive language.  List five words that you associate with positive feelings of surging energy (e.g. flow, sparkle, surge, breathe, radiate).  Use these by saying one or more of them mentally to yourself before and after various daily situations—e.g. your drive into work, an office meeting, or a delicate conversation with a partner, colleague, or employer and so on
  6. Meditate a little more often and a little longer. Staying more in touch with your Self as the momentum of spring picks up is important. This will keep your lens wide in terms of taking in new opportunities for personal growth exhibiting itself in your world and will help you differentiate between what’s best for you at the moment and what isn’t.  I suggest meditation in the morning (combined with movement if possible—a walk, gardening, jog, yoga, Taiji, etc.), again at midday (how about outside on nice days), and late afternoon/evening (another good one to combine with movement; try a different one here). Time these to what is appropriate and comfortable for you.
  7. Be harmonious. Put some attention on how what’s going on internally for you is affecting how things are going and growing externally. Synchronize toward positivity.

Happy Spring.  Enjoy!

 

Note:  For a more thorough exploration of the theme of seasonal mindfulness and making the most of each of nature’s cycles, you may wish to check out my newest book, The Five Seasons:  Tap Into Nature’s Secrets For Health, Happiness, and Harmony.

Joseph Cardillo, Ph.D., is the author of Can I Have Your Attention? How to Think Fast, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Concentration.

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