If you ask my friends about me, they’ll tell you that I’m in my head a lot. Sometimes I feel like I can’t turn my damn brain off. Living in the present moment can be very difficult when you’re constantly thinking about the million other things going on in your life. I’m not going to lie I find it extremely draining and tend to beat myself up because it feels like I can’t stop my thoughts. But there is one thing that has helped me immensely.
What I’m about to tell you is nothing new. I’ve talked to other people who do this. It’s almost so easy it seems stupid. I’m a huge believer that our minds are more powerful than most let on. There’s so many of us out there who are just going through the motions, without realizing there is a huge potential for some serious mental growth.
I was in a dark place at the time I implemented this strategy and was so desperate for anything to get me out. I began on a Monday. To put it into context, I could barely hold my life together. I mean seriously, I really wasn’t okay. I couldn’t bring myself to do anything except go to work, come home, and lay in bed. I was barely eating, I was sleeping a lot, and frequenting the bathroom at work for mini breakdowns throughout the day, pretty much counting down the hours until I could crawl back into bed again. But by Friday of that same week, I felt immensely different. This was a huge breakthrough for me after marinating for months in my depression.
So what I do is this. As soon as I wake up, I grab my notebook and write “5 Things I’m Grateful for & Why”. Then, you guessed it, I write down 5 things I am grateful for and why. I literally do this before I even look at my phone. Then, at the end of every day, right before I fall asleep, I take the same notebook and write “5 Great Things That Happened Today & Why” and then I write em out.
What does this do for you? It gets negative thoughts out of your head. You are literally conditioning your brain to think positive thoughts. When I first started, I was able to come up with maybe 3 list items, and you can forget the ‘why’ part of the equation. It was actually crazy difficult for me to write out my list, especially when I was having a tough day. But that’s the whole point. You need to force your brain out of its comfort zone. Your toughest days make the biggest difference here.
Secondly, it forces your life into perspective. Whenever I struggled with something, my dad would always ask me: “do you have a roof over your head? Food in your mouth? A bed? People who care about you? Then you’re okay I promise.” And he’s right. Sometimes we forget how good we have it because we are so focused on what we don’t have or what we aren’t able to accomplish. On my bad days, these are the things I’m grateful for.
Thirdly, it’s a reminder that you have control over your own thoughts. When I get deep into my crazy thought patterns, I immediately grab my notebook and start writing. Once I get it all out, I tell myself that I’m done thinking and it’s time to just do.
I didn’t get to where I am in a day, and there are definitely people out there who have a much greater sense and control over their mindset, but this is something so small that I think anyone can begin to implement. When you’re in a dark place, everyday tasks seem pretty impossible to accomplish. The idea that I didn’t even have to get out of bed to complete this exercise made it that much easier for me to do.
I wouldn’t be sharing such a small task if it truly didn’t make a huge impact on my life, but this practice has transformed my mental health in ways that…to be honest it just feels completely ridiculous. So ridiculous maybe it can help one of my readers out.
I hope you enjoyed this post, I apologize for being MIA but let’s be honest, we’re used to it by now. Thank you for reading!