IN IT TOGETHER: Take time to practise feeling good

Maple Ridge mom wraps 20-part series of wellness columns aimed at helping navigate COVID-19 crisis

By Alex Bruce/Special to The News

The more that we practise feeling good, the better we get at it.

The better we get at feeling good, the more internal resources we build to draw upon when needed, such as in times like these.

Close your eyes or allow them to gaze softly at something.

Now, gently bring to mind something that is good in your life right now.

It could be anything. It could be that you have an award that you’re proud of, you’re good at something, you have someone that you love in your life, you have a pet that you adore or anything else big or small that is good in your life right now.

If multiple things come to mind, allow them to enter – invite them all in… one after the other.

One thing that is good in your life.

Gently investigate how it feels to think of this good thing or these good things.

Observe how simply thinking a good thought makes you feel good.

Step number one is thinking about the thing or things that are good in your life right now.

Step two is to soak them in. Sit in this moment. Be a curious examiner that wants to see what it’s like to be a human being thinking good thoughts.

Bathe in positivity. Simply by doing this, you are creating new neural synapses in your brain that make it easier for you to see more good, to feel more good.

Step three is to make a commitment to yourself, a resolution to look for these things more often.

Every single time you take a moment to stop and think about what is going well in your life, you change the neural activity in your brain, increase your immune functioning and you feel better.

Yet again, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

This exercise is one of the top favourites among all the youth who I teach.

Please share these exercises with any and all children and youth in your care.

A second exercise is to imagine your best life.

Close your eyes and see your life as you would love for it to be.

Maybe it involves a warm vacation somewhere, maybe it is you on stage doing what you do best or perhaps it is being somewhere isolated and quiet with the person of your dreams.

Let your imagination run wild with the most wonderful future you could ever imagine.

Now soak that in. Invite the corners of your mouth to gently lift up as you imagine all of this.

What would your life look like? What would you feel on your skin? What would you see? What would you be smelling or tasting?

Soak it all in as if to memorize it in your core.

Sit and breathe and relax and smile and imagine. Imagine to your heart’s content. When you are done, sit with yourself and see what you’re feeling.

Are your muscles soft or tense?

What are the thoughts like in your head? How are your emotions? How do you feel physically?

If there is anything you like, lock it in. Memorize how it feels, memorize every single thing about feeling good that you can.

Your brain is thanking you. Your body is thanking you. Your emotions are thanking you.

By feeling good, you are putting so much good out into this world that you can’t even imagine it.

There is nothing selfish about feeling good. In fact, although we haven’t been taught to believe it, us feeling positive is one of the best things that we can do for this world.

Our bodies respond well to feeling positive and we respond positively to others and to the planet when we feel good.

Feeling good is the least selfish thing we can ever do for this world and now, more than ever, is the time to practise that.

• Thank you for joining us on this 20-part series of In It Together. My book, Let’s Be Calm: The Mental Health Handbook for Surviving and Thriving Through Pandemic includes these tips and more, and is available for $1.99 on Amazon.

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FIRST COLUMN: Maple Ridge woman offers series of wellness tips amid COVID crisis

2nd: We mammals are in this together and will thrive together

3rd: Trying something new can help

4th: Celebrating inclusion in team humanity

5th: Learning to learn at home

6th: Take good care of yourself, so you can care for others

7th: Important to move your butt

8th: Join together in sharing gratitude for Canadians

9th: Ponder a mini vacation and make the best of what’s happening

10th: Taking time to focus on the good in your world

11th: Keeping the faith will make us all stronger in the end

12th: Picturing yourself strong

13th: Taking a few deep breaths

14th: Smile at life and share it around

15th: Naming emotions help free people from those feelings

16th: Send positive thoughts to family, friends, strangers, even pets

17th: Come on back to the present – stop time travelling

18th: It’s time to relax, let stress fade away

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– Alex Bruce is a health and wellness author and accredited meditation and mindfulness instructor, and this is excerpt from her: “Let’s Be Calm: The Mental Health Handbook for Surviving and Thriving Through Pandemic”

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• If there is more to this column, please let us know about it. Email us at editor@mapleridgenews.com. We look forward to hearing from you. In the meantime,

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