Here are some mindfulness brain tricks which I find astoundingly effective.
1. Come Back into Your Body
Imagine that you have been dead for a while, doing whatever people do in the afterlife, and suddenly you find yourself back in time, in your body. You might think, “Oh yeah! I remember this body!” What do you see and feel? Perhaps you only have one day back on Earth in your body.
When I do this, I find that I really appreciate everything – the sensation of being alive, the air, the sun, the use of my hands…. In fact, any pain or discomfort I may have been feeling dissipates completely or becomes an intriguing sensation of life. Tiredness goes away. My posture even improves. It’s pretty amazing.
2. Focus on What Doesn’t Hurt.
We all have physical and/or emotional pain, and we know that we can be distracted from that pain. One interesting way to distract yourself is to focus on all the things that don’t hurt! Perhaps your backs killing you… but your earlobes feel fine. And there’s nothing wrong with your elbows. Catalog all of the parts of your body, and your life, that feel pretty good. Perhaps you have a job and can pay rent. If not, maybe you have the money to buy a tasty lunch. Or you have someone who loves you. Or you live with a cute pet. There’s so much that doesn’t hurt and, in fact, is pretty good.
3. Back in Time
Have you ever fantasized about going back in time and warning yourself not to make a wrong choice that negatively affected your life? Why wait? Imaging, right now, that your future self has come back in time to warn you not to make a bad choice at this very minute. What would your future self be saying? And will you listen? If you’ve gone through all the trouble of time travel, it must be an important message that you have for yourself.
This is one I didn’t come up with myself. It’s a well established fact that smiling releases chemicals that can positively affect your mood. And a better mood means less stress which means better health. Force yourself to smile for a couple of minutes straight – it can be the most fake smile you can muster, but it may help. And don’t think you don’t deserve to smile. The Universe needs you at full working capacity, so take the time to tinker with the engine. Smile.