Refresh Your Life for Less Stress and More Happiness

Spring is in the air and so is the wind and the rain lately! It is a time of renewing, letting go of the old and stepping into the new. As the daffodils bloom everywhere and the hillsides are green from the recent rains, I started to look at what needs refreshing in my life, where have I gotten complacent or what isn’t working that I am just habitually continuing to do.

Just like on our computers we regularly need to refresh the screen or scan for problems, fix them, clean our cache and make more room. Things work faster and cleaner each time we take a moment to do this. I think it is important to do this in our lives as well, and to help our children do the same.

Modeling the importance of looking at our lives and making shifts and changes to increase our efficiency and/or happiness isn’t about failure. It is about the wisdom to course correct when we get off course. It is about caring enough about ourselves and our lives to keep learning, refreshing and discovering ways to bring the best into our lives. As you refresh, share your experiences in your family, not as a lecture, but as an opportunity to share your life growth. Your children will learn from you.

So where do you start? Simple things – baby steps! Here are  5 ways to Refresh your life this Spring, or anytime. Try one or all of them, try them multiple times and see what works best for you. Remember perfection is not the goal; the intention is the key. Little shifts can bring big results – less stress and more happiness.

  1. Make a list of your projects, big and small. Declare done and complete the ones you haven’t done in years, aren’t going to actually do, or really don’t need/want to do. Your list will shorten significantly. You can always add a project back on if it seems important to do so. Some people make a list of “Someday Maybes” for the ones they would like to do but not now and who knows when.
  2. Take a look at your habits. Choose 1 habit you have that you would prefer not to continue — the one you say, “I shouldn’t do this but…” and you do. Maybe it is watching 3 hours of TV every night or eating ice cream at 10 p.m.  Now let go of the “should” — just accept that you do that thing without judging yourself for it. The judging doesn’t make it go away or make you feel better. OR stop doing the action. Try it for one week and see if it makes a difference. Do you feel lighter, easier, happier?
  3. Stop for a minute and BREATHE – and look into your heart. What do you want to do next, right now? What will be of the greatest service to you, your family, etc. to do next? And do that, at the earliest possible time, even if it seems silly and out of context. For example, recently I was so tired I couldn’t work. I kept telling myself I should work, I had things to do. My heart (and my girlfriend) said, “sleep!” Finally I did, I took a nap, and I was profoundly more productive and calmer for the rest of the day.
  4. Count your Blessings. Appreciate the moment. Find the Good in what is going on Right Now, even if you have to reach. This will often help you find the next action to take and remove the judgement clogging up your mind so you can clearly make your choices.
  5. At the end of the day, before you drop off to sleep — ask yourself these questions: 1. What did I do today that was less loving than I’d like? Forgive yourself and remind yourself that you are good, doing your best, even when it doesn’t turn out the way you’d like. 2. What did I do today that was loving? Appreciate and acknowledge yourself for that and how it felt/feels. Then Let It Go and Refresh yourself with a good night’s sleep.
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