When you wake up in the morning, what thoughts go through your mind? Do you wake up with feelings of dread, ‘Oh no, its time to drag myself out of bed’, or do you wake up with feelings of excitement and a sense of anticipation at what the day might bring?
I guess it probably depends on what you have planned for that day. If you have a heavy schedule of meetings that you know are going to be long, tedious and boring, then you will probably wake up feeling less than enthusiastic. If you have a day off and are planning to do something nice, then you probably wake up feeling excited.
It might also depend on the time of year. For me, the months of January and February are the worst months as those are the days of grey, wet weather and short daylight hours. I am sure I have a touch of SAD (Seasonally Affected Disorder) although I’ve never actually explored the possibility. Of course, as you all know, I am an outdoorsy person and I like to get out as much as possible – its what brings me alive. The winter months are not the best time therefore, especially if, as over the last few weeks, I go down with any seasonal illnesses and am unable to get out walking or cycling.
The truth is though, that we have a choice as to how we approach the day regardless of what we have planned. When we wake up, we can simply decide that it is going to be a great day even if we have mundane things to do. Some people have this natural up-beat approach to life but some need to work on it more.
I always think we are like power boats in a rough sea – when I was younger I used to watch the offshore powerboat racing off the Dorset coast, the Cowes to Torquay and back. Invariably the winning boats were the ones that seemed to have the ability ride over the waves, bouncing along the top of everything that hit them, often leaping right out of the water. The ones that failed were those that seemed to plough into every wave, almost grinding to a halt before resurfacing again on the other side. I guess this is partly down to the design of the boat and partly down to the skill of the driver and pilot but you get the picture.
I recently read a book by the explorer, Erling Kagge, who walked across Antarctica alone, pulling all his supplies behind him in a sledge. The trek took many weeks and naturally things went wrong at times, sometimes seriously. He says that although he was on his own in the middle of nowhere, he would never let an expletive escape from his lips, even when something potentially life threatening happened because he knew that that simple thought/word would just be the start of what would become a downward spiral into negativity.
Now I don’t think anyone should beat themselves up for thinking negatively, after all, it is a natural human instinct and is what in many ways kept us alive in times gone by. It is that ability to see everything as a threat, keeping us alert, and kicking in our ‘fight or flight’ reactions. Just check out the wild birds in the garden, they too have that instinct, so that they are constantly twitching with alertness as they look around them, and then at the slightest perceived threat, they are off. These days though, we don’t need that self-preservation negativity that we needed in cave man days but it is still inherently there.
The bible says, ‘Take very thought captive’, and I like that. Allow a negative thought to linger and it will take root like a seed which will grow into something much bigger and harder to shift. So don’t let it take root!
So, back to the question in my title, how do you approach your day? If you wake with negative thoughts on the day ahead, try simply letting them go, refuse to allow then any space to take root or grow, and replace them with more positive thoughts.
We wake up each morning with a blank canvas ahead of us and we can paint a positive picture from the moment we wake – it just takes practice!
Thanks for visiting Time to Reflect and for reflecting with me.
Until next time.
(All words and pictures in this blog are copyright of Terry Yarrow and must not be reproduced without permission)