When you wake up in the morning, what’s the first thought that comes to your mind? Is it the list of all the things you need to do for the day? Or is it the dreaded commute to a job you not exactly thrilled about going to? Take note of that first thought that crosses your mind in the morning and notice how it affects you. Does it make you feel excited and looking forward to the day?
What you choose to think about and focus your attention to matters. It affects your feelings, disposition, and recent studies show that your thoughts also affect your body. So being irritated and anxious so early in the morning might not be the best way to start off your morning.
Instead of filling your head with early worries, try to look for other things to focus on. How about that delicious cup of coffee that’s waiting for you or a nice hearty breakfast. Instead of thinking about that long drive to work, you can look forward to playing your favorite music and having more time to jam and sing along with it. Instead of worrying about all the tasks that need to get done, think about the triumphant feeling you’ll have once you check those off one by one.
You can choose your thoughts and back them up with positive emotions, and before you know it, you’ll begin to see more good things come into your life.
One of the best things you can choose is to see is how much you have to be thankful for. Try this exercise: take a piece of paper and write down all the things that you consider blessings for today. It could be as monumental as an increase in your salary or as essential as having food on the table. You can even be thankful for listening to your favorite song or hearing a joke that made you laugh. Write down as many things as you can think of both big and small. You’ll be surprised how large a list you’ll be able to come up with. Keep doing this every day and before you know it, you’ll realize just how many things you have for which you can be grateful.
Have you given thought to what your little joys in life are? What makes you smile? What do you find beautiful? The answer can shed light on what the little joys in your life are. When you become aware of them and express gratitude, your list of good things in your life increases. This in turn helps to increase your focus on all the abundance in your life instead of what’s lacking. But more importantly, it will help motivate you to keep pushing for the things that you want because you won’t burden yourself with frustration and negativity.
When you worry, you focus your energy and attention on things that have not happened yet. And yet worrying makes you feel like you already are in trouble or that you’ve already failed. Notice what your actions are when you’re worried. Are they proactive or defensive? Notice how you feel. Do you feel fulfilled or trapped? These feelings affect your actions and the more negative actions you take, the more the negative feelings are reinforced. The situation is mutually reinforcing. The good thing is that you can break that “cycle”. The power is in choosing to think positive thoughts.
So when you wake up tomorrow, what will be your first thought for the day?
To make things easier and to remind myself to write down what I am grateful for every day, I use a gratitude journal. If you’re serious about making a habit of giving daily thanks for everything in your life, I encourage you to use a gratitude journal. Here is the one I use.