I do tend to think of myself as positive person. This was reinforced recently when my team took part in a positive thinking workshop at work. We did a number of exercises including writing down lots of things that annoyed us and then crossing out the things we had no control over. This reminded me a little phrase I used to say to myself. “Nothing has the power to mess with your zen” (although I may have used a stronger word than “mess”! More on that in a bit!) In many situations you don’t have control as to what happens but you you can control how you respond to it. This was tested on me last night when there were issues with my trains. We were held outside the second stop due to a problem with the train in front which was taken out of service. Our train become very crowded and then we were informed it would be terminated the stop before mine. There was a lot of huffing and swearing from my fellow passengers but I was just glad I had a seat. Shortly after we were told our train would in fact terminate a few stops earlier. I got off with everyone else and sat down on the bench on the platform. Our trains are every few minutes so instead of pushing and shoving onto the next one I sat and finished reading my magazine, then got on the third train. I was then told that this train was going to terminate the stop before mine so off we all got again. I saw fellow commuters getting more and more stressed while I was calmly reading through my emails. I ended up getting home an hour later than usual and I didn’t get to go to a shop I was planning to on the way home. I still spent a lovely evening with my husband, had some pancakes to celebrate shrove Tuesday and got an early night.
Following on from our positive thinking workshop our team has installed a “swear jar” with a 10p charge per curse word. I am very surprised I have been the top contributor and had to put in a I.O.U. yesterday as I had run out of change!
Recently I have also been practicing the 4-7-8 breathing technique where you breathe in through your nose for 4 counts, hold for 7 counts and breathe out through your mouth for 8 counts, for a cycle of 4 breaths. This really slows down your heart rate and makes you feel a lot calmer. I find this works especially well before bed and since I’ve been monitoring my sleep on my fitbit I have been falling asleep in under 10 minutes.
Today also marks the first day of Lent. I usually try to do something in Lent although I didn’t last year as it was my 30th birthday and we went on our honeymoon during that period. This year I have decided to give up coffee. I don’t drink it everyday, but it is a treat I have a couple of times a week. I also want to try and reduce the amount of sugar I eat (and not just replace it with sweeteners). I don’t think I’ll be able to avoid it completely and will still be eating fruit but I’m interested to see how much it affects the food I eat. I think I’ll be OK avoiding sweet treats but I know I’m going to miss baked beans and salad dressing! I am also going to try and fast once a week and go to lunchtime mass although I’ll see how this goes as I haven’t done this since I was at uni.
I am writing this on the train to work and have just been informed there’s going to a 15 minute delay, better start practicing that breathing technique!
Hope you have a positive week!