Dave Kanegis shares some techniques to help you start every day with the right frame of mind.
How often do you wake up tired, in a bad mood and dreading the day ahead?
We frequently go to bed ruminating about an argument with a loved one, concern about out kids, aggravation about work or all we have to do the next day.
If we’re single rumination about never finding someone decent to date is common.
The list is virtually endless — and it’s not the way to hit the sack!
We tend to live our lives as if we are in a hammock swinging back and forth between feeling stressed or relaxed, worried or serene, busy or too busy.
Basically we are in React & Respond mode, not stopping to catch our breath, regroup and assess what’s really going on.
You’ve read and heard a lot about living in the moment, self-awareness, mindfulness and the multitude of ways you can live a happier life.
There are lots of approaches and what works for one person might not for another. That’s why it’s important to try different techniques. In a few moments, you’ll have another weapon in your arsenal for waking up happy!
Let’s talk about constructs for a moment.
A construct is simply an image or idea. Every day we take and process incredible amounts of data and create a mental construct.
I put ‘good mood constructs’ in Google and came up with 1,930,000 results in 0.29 seconds. Wow. If you’ve got the time, energy and patience, you’ll find a lot of great information.
As a life coach and after many years of informal observation, study, anecdotal stories and heavy duty self-analysis I’m convinced we can train ourselves to ‘wake up’ and start our day in a great frame of mind.
Mind Acrobatics™ defines the process as ‘The Good Mood’ construct. It’s about awareness and making a pledge to ourselves that we won’t let our feet touch the floor in the morning until there’s a twinkle in our eyes and we see blue skies even if the blinds are drawn and there’s rain pouring down outside.
Sound unrealistic? IT’S NOT! If we are mindful, self-aware and live in the moment we can create a ‘Good Mood Construct’ for our mornings.
Here’s a Mind Acrobatics Exercise to have some fun with in before committing to your new approach to conquering the morning BLAHS. Perform this a day before your new WAKE-UP routine.
Exercise: “I’m Feeling Good — Real Good!”
Pad of paper and pen
A relaxing spot to sit and ponder
Make yourself comfortable.
ENJOY YOUR SNACK
Take 7 slow relaxing breaths.
Think for a moment about your pleasant surroundings.
Begin writing in stream of consciousness about all that makes you happy.
Include the best, joyful OR MOST WONDERFUL moments of your life.
Stop when you’ve written all that comes to mind.
Prioritize your list and come up with a top 3 or 5 that make you smile.
Get up and place the pad, pen and list on your nightstand.
Take the pledge: “I Promise Myself To Wake Up In A Good Mood Tomorrow.”
Now that you’ve completed the exercise follow these instructions the next time you get ready for sleep.
Rules For Prior to Going to Bed
- Don’t use your laptop or other digital devices at least one hour before retiring. Absolutely no checking e-mail!
- If you must keep your smart phone turned on, use it only for emergencies.
Kids can be conditioned to communicate no later than a specified hour.
Receiving a text they arrived home safely is fine! Less stress = better rest:)
- Fifteen minutes before bed use your most effective relaxation techniques. These might include meditation or stretching. Whatever works best for you.
If you find unwinding difficult don’t get frustrated. It takes practice!
- Set your alarm to awaken 1/2 hour earlier than usual. Once you get into the routine the extra time won’t be necessary.
When you go to bed, decide if you are tired and will enter dreamland shortly or are keyed up and not ready to sleep. There’s no sense tossing and turning for an hour. Read a LIGHT book or watch an amusing DVD. Whatever the activity make certain it’s something funny. Nothing heavy, no drama. Humor and laughter are what it’s all about.
Immediately prior to lights out spend two minutes looking at the list you compiled. Think about one of those enjoyable experiences you had.
Now this is key. When you wake up immediately ask yourself whether you’ve had good dreams or bad ones and slept well or fitfully. Be mindful of the mood in which you awaken.
If you are aware that you haven’t woken up a ‘happy camper,’ look at that list of great times in your life before getting out of bed. Pick one or two, close your eyes and relive them.
Break that negative cycle and start feeling good!
Whether you’ve woken up feeling great or not so hot, grab the pen and pad from the nightstand.
Write down two things you will do today that will bring fun and joy into your life. It might be talking to your child or (more likely texting), having a great conversation with your best friend or pouring cold water over your boss’ head. It doesn’t matter. Just think about a couple of activities that you anticipate will bring you enjoyment.
Starting the morning in a bad mood tends to darken our outlook and responses.
Beginning the day in a good frame of mind allows us to feel positive, more relaxed and handle daily stressful situations in a healthier and happier manner.
Prepare yourself for a new outlook on life.
Get a “Feel Good Buzz” on, get out of bed and begin today’s adventure in a great mood!
All of the above is merely one of many techniques you can use to start the day on a positive note. Feel free to experiment and discover what works best for you. Please share your thoughts and ideas about what cheers you up in the Comments Section.. An open exchange of ideas creates a dialog and contributes to a kinder and nicer world in which to live.
Follow David Kanegis on Twitter: www.twitter.com/MINDACROBATICS
Contact Dave at: [email protected]
A version of this post originally appeared at the Huffington Post. Reprinted with permission.
Photo: Getty Images