Have you ever asked anyone how their day is going and you get a two-hour answer? Not only that, but their answer leaves you feeling depleted and depressed?
When we ask “How are you?” most of the time we’re not signing up for a lengthy litany of complaints. However, admittedly, there are some days we’d love to let loose our own set of frustrations on a willing listener.
The source could be a nagging pain or injury, maddening children and/or grandkids, that ever-present belly that we just can’t lose… the list goes on.
Setting the Expectation for a Terrific Day
Does this sound like you every so often? Then congratulations – you are human! As are we all. However, there are some things we can do to set up the day ahead to be the best day ever. Here’s how:
The moment you wake up, before you do anything else, take a moment to show gratefulness. Why? Because since you woke up yesterday morning, some 172,800 people died, according to the Ecology Global Network.
However, you woke up. That alone gives us something to be intensely grateful for right away. Then, give thanks. Thanks for the roof over your head, food, friends, a partner, whatever is in your life that deserves acknowledgment.
Including that snuggle muffin dog/cat/lover/husband snoring away next to you. There are few emotions as powerful as gratitude. Starting the day being thankful is a reminder that we are fortunate indeed. It’s a red carpet mindset for good to flow towards us.
Meditate or Pray
Before you do anything else, take a few moments to meditate or pray. I have a Buddha shrine in my house, as I love the practice of meditation. This pulls me into the present.
As I quiet my mind before the busy day begins, I offer up thanks again, and ask for help, humor and happiness during the day. It’s hard to get what we don’t ask for, so why not?
Set Yourself for Positive Expectations
Set the expectation that you are going to have a terrific day. There will always be law-conformable ups and downs. However, when you begin the day with the commitment to look for what’s right rather than expect things to go wrong, you create an environment around yourself that acts like a magnet.
What do you want to be right about today? How gorgeous the snow looks? The quiet sound of the rain? Or will you want to complain that the day isn’t sunny? The day is just the day. How we choose to perceive it is in our power.
Don’t Spend Your Days Buried in Social Media
Stay off of Facebook and social media except to communicate with loved ones. Research consistently shows that too much time on Facebook can be deeply disturbing to our mental health – and not just among young people.
Not only can it create depression, but it provides a skewed world view, especially about things over which we have little to no control. Rather, let the first act of your day be a gift. For example, you can call someone you love and tell them so.
Send a loving email to a friend to remind her that you’re thinking of her. Take something nice to a neighbor. Not only is this hugely empowering, such small acts of kindness will remind you that you have positive influence within your spheres.
You will make someone else’s day as well as get yours off to a terrific start.
Life can be full of frustration. The toilet backs up; the furnace goes out. A neighbor trespasses and cuts down a limb in our yard. Life happens. We don’t have to give those events permission to twist us into harridans.
What we can do is set boundaries. Handle life’s inevitable vicissitudes – a cranky knee, a complaining elder – but don’t allow those experiences to define our day. They can only ruin our state of being with our full cooperation. Life is just life.
Choose to See the Good All Day
Choose to see the good all day. This isn’t about being Pollyanna. The good is always there. We can teach ourselves to look for what is wondrous, or we can complain about what’s wrong.
When we move through the world with the expectation of finding things to be happy about, we see them. If we have a chip on our shoulder and are looking for reasons to complain, we’ll find them. Which do you want to be right about?
List the Things That Filled You with Joy
At the end of the day, make a list of what made you joyful. This simple gesture will get you into the habit of seeing what’s right, what’s good, and what else to be grateful for every single day.
As I embrace my morning, I will wish you the most beautiful day ever. How will you begin your day today? Please share your routine in the comments below.