Intentional Thinking Day 10: Know When to Rest

More and more, I’m reading that happiness leads to productivity and success, whereas bad moods can lead to procrastination and inaction. We can sit down and plan all we want, but if we don’t feel like doing the work, we most likely won’t. Time.com says, “We need to think to plan but we need to feel to act.”

So, how can we manufacture the feelings we need to act?

I don’t just mean fake-it-until-you-make-it, because that inevitably leads to burnout. At least, in my personal experience it does. I mean, can we truly manufacture the moods we need in order to be productive?

I think we can and we can’t. Today’s mindset skill requires balance.

When we’re feeling moderate resistance to our work, I believe it’s possible to redirect our feelings. This is the time to use a brief distraction, to take a timeout, to listen to an upbeat song, etc. Do whatever it is you do to mitigate those unpleasant feelings and get back to work.

When that resistance is more intense, that’s when I feel it’s time to listen to what your mind, body, and soul are telling you. Maybe you need a longer rest or more time to process difficult emotions. True, in an earlier post, I reflected that successful people act despite how they’re feeling, but I also believe that successful people know when to rest.

I couldn’t write this post last night, or this morning. I was tired, feeling a little burnt out from work, and having a mini-existential crisis about my future. I chose to get two hours of extra sleep rather than get out of bed at my usual 5:30 a.m. because that’s what my body needed. After work, I felt more peaceful and was able to sit down and write, continuing the work I’m doing on revamping my mindset.

Honoring my exhaustion led to positive feelings because I feel proud of how I respected myself today, and proud that I was able to stick to my goal of writing one post a day for 28 days.

So, in conclusion, positive feelings are necessary for positive actions. When we don’t feel positive, we can generate positivity by distracting ourselves from small negative feelings and honoring our needs to process larger, more difficult ones.

Challenge: Write a journal entry about any resistance you might be feeling in life. Would you classify it as moderate resistance or major resistance, and what can you do to honor it?

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