Occupy Sanity Tool (OST): Perspective
“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” – Dr. Wayne Dyer
I remember feeling bored as a child. Looking for some relief I would lie on my bed on my back and hanging my shoulders & head over the edge. I then could see the room from a different perspective: upside down instead of right side up. I spent 15-20 minutes at a time looking around in this position, imagining myself walking, sitting, and standing on the ceiling. I created fascinating stories and adventures. Because I chose a new perspective, boredom was gone and clarity came to me naturally.
Gain New Perspective With Inversion Poses (Yoga)
In my early 20s, I learned about the benefits of inversion poses through my Hatha Yoga practice. While not as simple as an exercise as lying on my bed, over time, I began to build strength, balance, and stamina with those poses. I enjoyed the thrill of accomplishment doing the crab pose and eventually, the headstand. Yet there was more happening than I could have known at the time.
In her article, Here Are 10 Reasons To Do Inversions (In Case You Needed An Excuse), Elisha Thompson reminds us of the benefits of practicing yoga & life from an inverted position. In yoga:
“An inversion is generally considered as any asana, or posture, that places the head below the heart.”
The 10 benefits she notes are:
- Improved Circulation
- Increased Energy
- Increased Immunity
- Improved Balance
- Increased Muscle and Core Strength
- Gain Patience
- Fun and Playfulness
As Thompson suggests:
“In order to gain new perspective, you have to look at things from a different angle. Inversions, and yoga overall, invite you to step outside of your comfort zone and take a look at your conscious and unconscious habits and patterns. By literally turning yourself upside down you invite change and new perspective into your consciousness.”
Perspective – A Multi-Purpose Tool
This OST is like a Swiss Army Knife: a multi-purpose tool all in one container. Whether you’re facing a challenge, looking for creative solutions, needing inspiration, or even wanting to escape boredom consider a shift in perception by trying this tool.
10 Perspective Changing Exercises
1. Turn upside down: You can try lying on your bed and hanging your head over the edge. (Please be mindful of your neck! Do not do this if you have any cervical spine issues.) Spend 5-10 minutes doing the Box Breathing Method. Remember to slowly come out of this, giving time for the blood to regulate before you stand up. Make a note of anything you noticed.
If you do yoga and haven’t tried any inverted poses, try a couple while considering your mood, problem, etc. and see what happens. Besides, the physical benefits alone will be a bonus.
2. Move: Try this Walk in a Circle exercise. If you can, go outside. Imagine a circle. Walk a quarter of the way around, stop & look back to where you were while you consider the issue or problem. Keep walking and stop at different intervals. Go around the circle clockwise, then counterclockwise. If your balance is good, walk backward. This exercise can also be done inside by making a loop around a room or the house/apartment.
3. Flip it: In my blog post 5 Ways Movement Can Boost Your Overall Well-Being, I suggested trying some new ways of thinking or doing something different. You might find another angle on a situation by using the opposite words. For example, you might say, “I hate washing dishes.” Note how you feel in your body and mind when you say, “I love washing dishes.”
4. Look from a higher position: That can be as simple as standing up.
Another option is to go to the top of the stairs and look down. Walk halfway down. Sit on that step. Walk to the bottom and look up. What do you notice in each of these positions on the stairs?
Try mind maps. “A mind map is a diagram used to visually organize information.” Sometimes a visual representation can offer just the shift in perspective to see a solution or new way to proceed.
5. Lean in: Often, avoidance & procrastination prevent us from seeing the path or stop us from any movement at all. To lean in might mean to push ahead anyway and do the task you are avoiding. Or set aside time to feel those uncomfortable feelings like sadness and grief or have ‘that’ conversation you’ve been putting off.
6. Lean out: In contrast, when we’re too focused or intent on finding a solution, you stress out and inhibit creative thinking. Stop, take a breath, and choose a different activity for 15-20 minutes. Put on some music and dance around. Lie down and relax.
7. Talk it out: Ask a friend, a colleague, or, if necessary, hire a coach or therapist. Sometimes it’s enough to have someone listen and reflect. Also, you could make an audio recording of your thoughts, then listen to yourself.
8. Journal it: There are so many options for journaling. I have done both written and visual themed journals. I like to combine the two. Again, the point is to get the info perhaps swirling around inside you, out! Search the internet for journal prompts if you need help getting started.
9. Laugh about it: Imagine you’re in your sit-com. Which character would you play? How would the other cast members react to you? Create one of those ‘flashforward’ moments imagining where you’ll be and ask yourself: will this matter a year, five years, ten years from now?
10. Be Still: One of the main benefits of stillness is that it calms the mind and answers can rise up naturally.
“In desperate times, much more than anything else, folks need perspective. For perspective brings calm. Calm leads to clear thinking. Clear thinking yields new ideas. And ideas produce the bloom…of an answer.” ~ Andy Andrews
Let us know your experience with this tool and contact us if you would like some support at firstname.lastname@example.org.