“It’s never too late to re-start your day.”
I saw this saying on a decorative sign in a home-goods section of a store the other day. At first it just sounds like another annoying piece of fluffy advice dished out by a marketing company to make a buck. Then I gave it a second thought. I have had days where an interaction with someone goes sour, or I will get disappointing news. My thoughts about what has transpired can get pretty negative. I call it “kitchen sink” brooding. When one thing goes wrong, throw in all the other things you can think of that you are unhappy about into the pot including the kitchen sink. Before I know it, I am in despair. Then, somehow I notice a bird singing or a kid giggling in a nearby yard. My life doesn’t have to suck just because the previous moments did. I can reboot. When I do reboot my thinking and focus on the here and now, my life instantly improves. You can re-start your day anytime. Follow the tips below for a better day:
1. When something upsets you, feel it. We can’t all be Buddhist Monks. Things will upset us. We will get hurt, angry or disappointed.
2. Notice your thoughts about the upsetting event. Tune your attention to what you are thinking. Are you kitchen sink brooding?
3. Do nothing about the thoughts. Do not take action on the negative thoughts you are having. Just notice the thoughts like a scene out of a train window. You notice it and it goes by.
4. Notice what you are feeling. Allow time to process the disappointment. Give yourself around 5 or 10 minutes to feel whatever your reaction is to the upsetting event and your thoughts about the event. I find a releasing a primal scream in the car to be very therapeutic.
5. Decide to have a good rest of the day. Making this decision may seem hard in the moment but do it anyway. You can choose to be in despair or you can choose to have a good day.
6. Notice the moment. Observe your surroundings. What do you hear? What do you see? In the moment are you safe, full, warm, clothed?
7. Reboot your thinking. After you notice your thinking, you can choose to think more positive thoughts. Can you laugh at yourself? Is there something near you that you can smile about?
8. Choose to be happy. Once you reboot your thinking to more positive thoughts you can choose to be happy. The upsetting event is now history.
The way we feel in any given moment is up to us. Blaming it on something or someone else is a waste of time. I know, I have tried and it doesn’t work. What makes us feel better is bringing our thoughts into the present moment. Try it. What’s the worst that can happen? You might just have a better day!
Tracey Ashcraft, MA, LPC is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Coach. She has helped hundreds of people reduce stress. As a result these people are learning to take better care of themselves and are enjoying more fulfilling relationships and happier lives. To set up your free phone consultation call 303-668-5995 or drop us a line here.