This is the last of this current series of Feel Good With Jo, your Friday guide to leading a happy and healthy life. These are my thoughts on how to look after yourself and manage the busy stressful lives that we all seem to lead.
What I’d like to talk about is getting a balance between giving and receiving.
One thing that is very important is time.
If you give people time, but you also allow yourself time, that will really increase your level of feeling happy and healthy.
Children, for example, want your time more than they want the latest X Box. The same is true for you, to some extent. Giving yourself time will actually nourish you more than buying anything that interests you.
A similar related point regards giving and receiving attention.
And this is about the quality of attention. When you are with somebody, you don’t have the phone out, don’t have the iPod out, don’t have the computer on. Just have your attention on them, give them your attention.
One of the things I’ve been studying recently is around eye contact in coaching or listening contexts. Maintaining eye contact encourages somebody to think as creatively as possible. For this reason, you need to have almost continual eye contact. Now, their eyes will be off in every other direction. That’s fine. That’s part of the thinking process, but you, as a listener giving really good quality attention, keep the eye contact, so you just keep looking at them softly. Not like a crazy person, just softly. Then, it will really increase their ability to think. The fantastic research on Thinking Environment® by Nancy Kline demonstrates that.
But also you need to receive attention.
If you’re not getting that from your significant other, from your friends, from your family, you need to ask for it. And this is where my message is about being soft and strong. You need to be able to assert that you need somebody’s attention. It is something you have the right to ask for.
The third most important element for me in giving and receiving is love.
Really, just understand that it is in infinite supply. There’s no end to how much love you can contain or you can receive. In fact, the more you give love, the more you get it. So, just don’t be afraid to show that you love people. And don’t be afraid to be loved.
Also, in terms of balance, I’d like to invite you to a balance between grounding and inspiration.
When we get stressed, one of the things that happen to our energy is that it rushes up out of the body. This leaves us in that sort of status that we tend to describe as “a headless chicken“.
One of the ways to deal with that is grounding.
You can do it by walking in nature, gardening, eating foods that literally grown on the earth, like potatoes and carrots. Also, don’t leave your electrics on in your house. Between the friends who are “grounding” and the ones who are “ennervating”, just spend now a bit more time with the people who are “grounding”.
My final point is this: the balance is in inspiration, too.
We’ve all had at some point in our life that time when we got locked into routine and life is boring because it’s just the same old, same old. If that’s something that you’re resonating with at the moment, even if it’s 5 to 10 minutes a day, I really encourage you to go back to something that sets you going. Whatever it is, whether it’s listening to music that you haven’t listened to for 20 years, whether it’s playing golf, painting or whatever you have felt in the past that has really lit you up, or that you discover now that lights you up, make time for it. People don’t seem to think it’s important. But in terms of well-being, it’s absolutely critical.