How often do you wake up tired, in a bad mood and dreading the day ahead?
For the purposes of this article, we'll assume that medical challenges are not the issue. If you think they might be, consulting with your physician is advisable.
Let's face facts. We go to bed late, ruminate about the day gone by, are concerned about our kids or fret over all we have to do tomorrow. Often, it's the late night conversation or argument with a loved one a short time before we prepare for bed.
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 most often react to what we are consciously experiencing without 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 we 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. We take and process multitudinous 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 we hear the patter of rain on the window panes.
This may sound a bit unrealistic... but 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 preparation of commencing our new approach to conquering the morning blues. Perform this a day or two before your new awakening routine.
We often focus on a pleasant image before we begin an exercise.
Exercise: "I'm Feeling Good... Real Good!"
An enjoyable snack
Pad of paper and pen
A quiet spot to sit and ponder
Any device that helps you relax
- Make yourself comfortable.
- Begin by enjoying a bit of your snack.
- Take 10 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, happiest and most joyful moments of your life.
- Stop when you've written all that come to mind.
- Prioritize your list and come up with a "Top 3, 5 or 10" 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, at the appropriate time follow the instructions below. Feel free to add your own variations.
Rules For Prior to Going to Bed
Don't use your laptop or other digital devices two hours before retiring.
If you must keep your smart phone turned on, use it only for an emergency.
Kids can be conditioned to communicate no later than a specified hour.
Of course texting they arrived home safely is fine! Less stress = better rest:)
One half hour before bed use your most effective relaxation techniques.
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 comical book or watch an amusing DVD. Whatever the activity it must be something funny. Nothing heavy, no drama. Humor is the key.
Fun is what we adults often lack in our lives. We frequently think fun is reserved for young people. No Way! Adults Deserve Fun. Many of us have even erased fun from our memory banks.
Immediately prior to lights out spend two minutes looking at the list you compiled as you breathe in and out very slowly. Relive one of those great experiences. Try to actually feel it!
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 and rejoice in the experiences. 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 grandchild (more likely texting), enjoying a conversation with your best friend or pouring cold water over your boss's head. It doesn't matter. Just put down a couple of activities that you anticipate will bring you enjoyment.
Get a "Feel Good Buzz" on and get out of bed. Begin today's adventure... sally forth and have fun.
This is merely one of many exercises designed to start the day on a positive note. Please share your experiences as it's great when we can all help one another. Thanks for reading this article!
Excerpted and adapted from the forthcoming book: "Comfy In My Skin... Transformation From The Inside Out!" by Dave Kanegis