If I were to tell you to completely change your attitude and to begin thinking in new ways immediately, that would be a very challenging task.
If, however, I told you to go out for an hour walk at dusk amongst the trees and the cool wind, you could do it easily.
Thoughts are much harder to control than actions and yet actions have the power to change our thoughts and make us feel really good. Since that’s true, becoming proficient at using actions that will raise your spirits is an important life skill.
Changing your focus changes your state of mind
Whatever you focus on determines how you feel. If you focus on happy thoughts, you’ll feel happy. If you focus on depressing thoughts, depression is what you’ll get.
Heck, if you focus on anything but those negative thoughts, you’ll feel relief. While I believe it’s wise to change your thoughts when you’re feeling melancholy, it’s not the only method you should use. That’s like an army relying on one way to attack an enemy instead of many.
Easy actions to instantly change your state of mind
Read. This method is one of my favorites because not only can it take your mind off your problems, but it can also provide you solutions to your problems and inspire you.
Hike. While walking of any kind can be beneficial, there’s something particularly magical about leaving the concrete jungle for a little while and entering the domain of nature. When you surround yourself in trees, rivers, meadows, and wildlife it’s as if all your problems are left behind and you’re given a fresh perspective while exploring the natural world.
Work on improving a craft you enjoy. I think everyone should have a craft they enjoy refining. This way, there’s always a goal to move toward.
One craft I always enjoy improving is my writing skills. All I have to do to improve my skills is to read and write. The great thing about this craft is I can improve it no matter where I am as long as I have a little free time.
Other examples of crafts you can constantly refine are martial arts, sports, art and playing a musical instrument.
Have a craft you love so that you can refine it whenever your spirits are low. Not only will you improve at something worthwhile, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment, too.
Consistent action often creates the best results
While you can use any action above on an as needed basis, consistent action will often give you the best and most permanent results.
Take reading for example: reading 30 minutes of inspirational material a day will do more to solidify a happy disposition than reading only when you’re feeling down.
Exercise is the same: If you were taking a martial arts class three times a week, this would do more to change your mental state than just once a week.
Meditation, too, works this way. The more often you meditate, the more of an influence it will have on your mind and spirit. A daily practice is recommended.
When striving to develop a happy state of mind, it’s wise to include actions into your tool box. Changing your thoughts is good. Changing your thoughts and including regular actions that boost your happiness is best.
Bamboo Forest is an Email Life Coach, helping people work on something in their life over the course of a month through email. He’s also the founder of Tick Tock Timer.