Earlier this week I had one of those days. Do you ever get them?
I was trying to do a number of different tasks on my computer that involved uploading pictures and changing web pages. Nothing seemed to go well. Things that should have taken ten minutes were not done after a couple of hours.
I was becoming more and more frustrated and I confess swearing at my computer!
And then I realised it!
We have a choice how we feel, how we respond to things and what we do.
I made a decision. I decided to stop what I was doing and go into the garden and sweep leaves. I’m not sure I can describe to you fully the pleasure I gained from this simple task. The sun was out, the air was crisp and clear. The birds were singing and the dogs were bouncing round me having fun.
It was a great reminder that by switching our attention we can free up our minds and hearts. I felt good. The frustration of the morning disappeared.
When I returned to my computer the technical issues still needed solving however I was in a much better place to do something about it.
Now I know that I am very fortunate in that I am self-employed so can make choices about going outside and leaving my office work where it is. You may not have that freedom in your job however switching from one task to another can still be a way of managing your level of happiness at work.
When we stop focusing on a problem and allow ourselves a break to do something more enjoyable we free up our creative processes. When we return to what had been a frustrating task we discover that solutions often manifest. So even if you work for someone else you can switch from one task to another to free up your creativity.
For people going through challenging times switching attention can also be a way to bring you to a better place in your life. Many of you will remember the really simple exercise I have mentioned in previous blogs that involves writing down five positive things.
For those of you not familiar with it the idea is that you write your five positive things down just before you go to bed at night. If life is less than easy you might have to start with things like “got through the day!” As you notice and focus on small things that were positive like a smile, a flower, a hot shower you will be amazed at the changes in your experience. Positive Psychology research on this technique has suggested that most people experience a significant improvement in the well-being and life satisfaction when they do this exercise.
Give it a try and see what you notice.
By the way, I’ve solved the uploading of pictures issue!