Try: Changing Your Body Temperature

Henri Matisse, Seated Woman, Back Turned to the Open Window, 1922.

Henri Matisse, Seated Woman, Back Turned to the Open Window, 1922.

I've found that when I'm stuck in cyclical thinking, or just feeling stuck changing my body temperature actually makes a difference. A hot bath is one way to go, but lately I've been finding a cool breeze is often what I need most.

Try removing a layer of clothing or opening a window when you're stuck in your thoughts. It’s simple, but it actually helps bring you back into the moment. The goal is getting grounded. Changing your body temperature helps.

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Try: Using the Phrase "Don't Compare"

comparing yourself to others

Since you're a human being and you're alive in 2017, I'm guessing you're aware of the "comparing yourself" problem. You know, the situation where a person wastes time worrying that their neighbor/friend/coworker has a better life / things more figured out / a better job than they do?

It's a cancerous thought problem, and this experiment is meant to tackle it head-on.

You're hearing this from the frontlines: it's possible to dent the "comparing" problem.

Change the habit.

I've lessened the amount that I compare myself to others in the past three years by building on my mental habit. At first it took brute force. Over time it has gotten easier and more natural. Here's how it works: If I feel my mind start to bend toward comparison, I literally say the following two words to myself,

DON'T COMPARE.

 I then think about how I couldn’t live like others even if I wanted to.

Keep it simple, build the muscle.

It can be very hard to put theoreticals into action. That's why this experiment really is just about saying these words aloud to yourself:

“Don’t compare.” “Don’t compare.”

I hope this experiment works for you! Sending you good, non-comparison thoughts.

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Try to: Say 100 Things You Are Grateful For

This comes from the ancient Jewish practice of Mussar, the study of character-building. I first learned about Mussar from Tiffany Schlain (Webby Award founder) when I saw a film she created as part of a 2014 project she entitled Character Day.

The Making of a Mensch from The Moxie Institute. The 100 Blessings concept starts at 4:53.

The idea is very simple. From the film's transcript:

For example, say you want to increase your sense of gratitude, which there's so much research today saying that if you feel more grateful you're gonna be healthier you're gonna have more mental strength and you're gonna sleep better.

There's a practice on gratitude based on the Jewish tradition of a hundred blessings a day. My good friend Armas first taught me about it. Every day you say say a hundred blessings. Everything from waking up first thing in the morning to the big moments to the little moments. Even when you go to the bathroom (that's the Jewish way).

100 blessings every day. Do I say them? I try.

At the end of the day as you're going to sleep instead of looking at your screen close your eyes and think about all those moments all those things are grateful for.

I love the image they chose to represent the imagining of the Day's gratitudes at sleep.

I love the image they chose to represent the imagining of the Day's gratitudes at sleep.

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