The Daily Minute v.IV


Good morning, Romeos and Juliets, and you know who you are. It’s another great day here at the mile-high broadcast tower and media complex of The 200 Project, and this is your Take 5 Daily Alignment.

Time waits for no one, and those five minutes are ticking. So, without much ado, here we go:

1. Many of us thought this might be so, but it turns out to be true that getting outside can make us more creative. Believe it: Studies now show that immersion in a natural environment – think “the woods” – gives our brain a much-needed rest from the enslavement to technology that we now can take for granted as a constant in our life. In turn, our inner creative has room to stretch its legs and dance a new dance. So create for yourself the possibility of heading for the great outdoors and letting the sun shine in.

2. How much more straightforward a title can an article have, and how useful a guide? “How to Be Happy,” out in the New York Times, is full of useful, practical and “easy(ish)” tips on upping your happiness game and putting more smiles and joy in your life right now. From hanging out with optimists to having a pet to practicing mindful breathing and much more, this guide is a primer that can provide that gentle nudge – or kick in the butt – that your quest for happiness might have been needing. Such a change can be from one moment to the next and is completely within your control. Just thinking about it makes me smile!

3. It’s been said that the world is full of writers who don’t read and speakers who don’t listen. Whether or not we believe that to be true, we’ve all experienced what can go wrong if we’re not listening well enough. And just think of the potential impact if we took steps to become better listeners. There’s no real magic to it, just the will to do it. Here are a few tips to sharpen your listening skills (our favorite is number 4).

4. Here’s a thought for the day: Isn’t it strange how so many of us seem to be viewing the world with more of a closed mind. And how we assume those with opinions that differ from ours are somehow our enemy. This is a very real loss, since it acts to eliminate healthy diversity from our lives. But there is hope. We can reclaim a more agile diversity in our thinking by an act of conscious will: Listen without judging, read a variety of viewpoints, and hone our skills of critical thinking – rather than merely criticism. Yeah, it’s true: Building bridges to others feels risky. But the risk of not building them is certainly far greater.

5. It could rightly be said that we talk about breath more than mouthwash makers do, and there’s a good reason for that: “Controlled breathing […] has been shown to reduce stress, increase alertness and boost [the] immune system.” It also passes the easy/free/no-prescription-required test. Try these easy-breezy breathing exercises for yourself and see if you don’t feel better!

We’ll be back tomorrow with more curated guides to enhance your life.

Until then, remember that your ears can hear everything you say.

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