Thank Crunchie it's nearly Friday!
For most of us, this means a whole weekend away from the work routine – being able to relax, no alarms dictating when we get out of bed, and choosing how we spend our moments, doing what feels good – whether connecting with friends or family, being restful or productive, having the freedom to be spontaneous and just to be on our own time clock.
Why does this time ‘off’ feel so golden? It basically comes down to routine. When we are in work mode, our brains become very streamlined so they can achieve more. Routine engages automatic pilot mode which aids productivity. We go through the motions when in ]work mode’, eg get out of bed, clean teeth, put on work clothes. These activities are hardly even noticed because they are so embedded into our daily lives. You travel to work, sit in your office, make a coffee, and read emails. Again, unless something is unusual, these moments are easily forgotten. You chat to colleagues, clients, or customers, with routine conversations of “How are you?” “Fine thanks, you?”, “Doing anything nice on the weekend?”
No wonder work feels DULL!!! Of course, we can’t wait for the weekend! Our brains are so firmly in automatic pilot mode that we barely notice or remember a thing.
My suggestion to you is to get off the grey conveyor belt of work. Shake it up, just a little. Make every day more interesting by doing things in a different order, alter your routine a touch. Take a different journey to work, use a different mug for your coffee. Consciously look through a different lens as you approach each task. Try putting your left shoe on before your right, and swap the following day. Being aware of our bodies’ actions for each mundane task encourages mindfulness and pulls us into each present moment. Give each of your senses a chance to digest by taking an extra millisecond to breathe. Allow yourself to be on a Sensation Scavenger Hunt. Wake up each routine activity by really experiencing it – by being in the actual moment.
It’s OK if the feeling of mixing it up is a little uncomfortable. This is because our survival instincts like everything to stay exactly the same. When everything is completely consistent, we do not challenge our comfort zones, but we can create a claustrophobic safety net. We have two distinct parts of the brain that we use everyday – the intellectual brain, and the primitive brain. The primitive part of the brain’s job is solely used for protection, and it believes that the dangers around us might still be lions, tigers, and bears. This is because it hasn’t evolved since it was created to survive the cavemen era, and thank goodness it was there because without it we wouldn’t be here right now. This part of the brain is not creative or intelligent. It is not concerned about feelings of happiness, fulfilment, or joy. So, to find contentment in each of our lives, we must push the boundaries set by exploring the edges of our comfort zones and allow our intellectual brains the chance to sit in the control seat.
Ideas for your Sensation Scavenger Hunt
How many yellow things can you see on your way to work?.
How many smiles can you witness in an hour of interaction?
How many breaths does it take for the kettle to boil?
How does it feel to alter the order of getting dressed?
How many birdsongs can you hear as you stand outside?
What order do you taste each mouthful of lunch?
What is the nicest smell you can discover today?
How does it feel to touch the floor as you wiggle your toes against it?
How alive do you feel after splashing cold water on your face?
Fleur Demeranville Dash