Recently I have become fascinated with the concept of micro actions and how small inconspicuous changes in our behavior can lead to greater changes in our lives over time. There is increasing research on the idea that small, repeated actions can lead to major changes, and these ‘keystone‘ actions (Charles Duhigg. The Power of Habit) often require little time and effort.
The YOU app is a fine example of using these actions. I have used the app and support their claim that “Small changes, done daily, can lead to big results. 1+1+1+ … = A LOT.” Small micro-actions are suggested daily and you choose to take action, or not. By posting images of your action your images are seen by the YOU community and together you gently cajole each other towards a healthier you.
Making your bed in the morning, switching your coffee to half-caffeine, pausing to think about your food before eating, making a charitable donation, giving someone a compliment….these are all small steps towards to a healthier, happier you.
This week’s #slowchathealth blog will suggest 5 micro-actions for you to work towards and share with those around you, perhaps even your students. If you feel comfortable, post images or comments regarding your success as you achieve some or all of the micro-actions. Remember it’s not a competition.
1. 5-Minute Meditation – Finding time to quieten your mind has been proven to reduce stress, improve concentration and increase happiness. Additionally, almost every article I read from successful individuals includes mention of meditations role in their success. Find time to focus on one specific thing such as your breathing, a sensation in your body or a particular object outside of you. Focus strongly on your chosen ‘thing’ and continually bring your attention back to that focal point when it wanders. The Headspace app come highly recommended and meditations can be found easily on You Tube.
2. Listen To The Sounds Around You – Take a moment to consciously listen to the sounds around you. Mindfulness actions like this can improve concentration, energy levels and productivity. You can improve your listening skills by watching (and listening to) this TED talk from Julian Treasure.
3. Eat At The Table – As Michael Pollen says – “If we eat while we’re working, or while watching TV or driving, we eat mindlessly – and as a result eat a lot more than we would if we were eating at a table, paying attention to what we’re doing”. Today eat everything at a table, no snacking from packets, boxes or cartons. No eating in front of a TV, Laptop or iPad. Sit down and enjoy your meal. Michael Pollen fans will want to check out his new Netflix show called Cooked.
4. Straighten Something Out – There is great power in tidying your surroundings. Every time you leave a room, straighten something out. Put a stray book back on a shelf, clean plates back in their place, loose coins in a jar (or put your money notes in value order in your wallet). This micro-action can only help to alleviate mood, reduce stress…and improve your surroundings. This article eloquently suggests how powerful it can be if you make your bed every morning.
5. 2-Minute Workout – Not every workout has to be an arduous sweat inducing session. And yet, not moving can be very harmful. Today, find 2 minutes to incorporate a quick workout into a gap in your day. I’m a big fan of the workouts from Darebee.com. She even has a 2 minute workout.
No #slowchathealth questions this week, just suggested actions. Try the action of the day, or any action that felt right that day. Feel free to share proof or comments regarding your completion of an action.
Q1 Have you tried the #slowchathealth action of the day? 5-Minute Meditation.
Q2 Have you tried the #slowchathealth action of the day? Listen to the Sounds Around You.
Q3 Have you tried the #slowchathealth action of the day? Eat at the Table.
Q4 Have you tried the #slowchathealth action of the day? Straighten Something Out.
Q5 Have you tried the #slowchathealth action of the day? 2-Minute Workout.