Here we are at the start of the first full week in January. Many people will be returning to work and for many the holiday is over. So to really kick start the year I thought that I would share with you a new activity that I will be trying this year. For many years, during my counselling sessions, I have talked to my clients about writing a journal. For many this has worked, but for others they have expressed the feeling that this is too time consuming and they only manage to keep up this activity for a few days before it becomes a chore.
So this year I am going to be trialling something a bit different. I would like to invite you, my readers, to join me in this activity. I am going to call this activity Daily Snippets. This activity involves consciously spending a few minutes each night before you go to sleep focusing on some of the good things that have happened to you during the day. By doing this you will start to notice the things that go right as well as those that go wrong in your life.
Even on a bad day there are some good things that happen, however small and by doing this activity regularly you will find that those things that do go wrong in your day, can be viewed in a very different way.
This activity should help you to start looking at life from a GLASS HALF FULL perspective, which in turn should help you to start feeling happier and more in control of your life. I have bought myself a diary that I will be using for this activity. It is a diary with a small blank section for each day. I bought this from my local supermarket. You could do the same or you could just use a small notebook that you can keep next to your bed.
If you’d like to participate in doing the same, it’s quick and very easy. I’ll show you where to start.
Each night, before you go to sleep, think back over your day and remember three good things that happened: Use the following formula to keep a record of these thoughts.
1. Write down something that your body allowed you to do. This will heighten your appreciation of what your body can do rather than what it looks like. This means something that you did using one of your senses or using your body physically. E.g. Watching the birds sitting outside my bedroom window, eating a beautiful meal, listening to the water in the stream, listening to the beautiful sound of my grandchild making his first sounds, smelling the aroma of fresh coffee or feeling the cool breeze on your skin on a hot day, going for a long walk along the beach, in the bush etc.
2. Write down something that you did for someone or something else. This can be something big or something really small. This will be something that you did for another person or it could be an animal or even a plant. E.g. Smiled at someone on the street, friendly conversation with someone working in the supermarket, fed a stray animal, gave your dog a good brush, watered the garden by hand on a really hot day, phoned someone who is lonely and had a chat to them etc. This one usually involved some act of charity.
3. Write done something positive that happened. This should be something that you are really grateful for and why you are grateful for this. This can be something big or something really small. E.g. The seeds I planted have started to germinate and I am grateful because soon I will have pretty flowers in my garden, My dog jumped up on the bed and woke me and I am grateful because if he hadn’t woken me I would have been late for work, I babysat my grandchild today and I am grateful for the healthy and happy little boy that he is growing into.
(This might be something that at first thought doesn’t seem so positive, and might initially feel quite negative, but try to find the positive in what has happened. “I got a speeding fine today which was pretty bad, but the positive thing I learnt is that it is not worth speeding, and that I need to leave the house a little earlier in future so that I am in time for things and don’t need to rush”).
Sometimes it is really difficult to see the positive in things that happen in our lives because sometimes things that happen can be pretty tough to deal with. The best way to deal with these times is to be kind to yourself and to give yourself the compassion and unconditional love that you would give to someone that you loved dearly. The positives at this time might just be…I’m learning to forgive myself when I make mistakes…I got through another day… Or I managed to survive another day in my horrible job which is making me stronger, more tolerant and more patient….The more you look at things from the GLASS HALF FULL aspect, the stronger you will become and the more you will be able to face those challenges that are thrown your way.
Sometimes just managing to get out of bed in the morning is an achievement. Recognise that you are struggling and that you are making progress even if that progress seems so very small, it is still progress. In the wonderful words of Martin Luther King Jnr:
“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”
Thank you for reading this and I hope that you will join me in my 2016 challenge to start looking at life in the HALF FULL way and I hope that you will join me and start making HALF FULL JOTTINGS each day. I look forward to hearing from you how your jottings are going. Please comment below and share your thoughts.