How I started changing my thoughts to a glass-half-full kinda gal

Glass with literally nothing left

I don’t know about you, but when I first hear my alarm clock go off in the morning my first thought is usually not PG rated.   A certain charming word that begins with the letter ‘F’, usually becomes the first word of the day, followed in quick succession with the carefully crafted word ‘This’. A combination of age,  and chronic illness,  is then responsible for a long series of groans as I actually attempt to sit up and open my eyes. Then, I do the worst thing possible.   I reach for my phone, and my eyes are immediately assailed with completely horrible news stories and just bad vibes all around.  Putting my phone down exasperated, I then reach over and open the blinds, and recoil and shudder at the maddening possibility that the Canada would ever get snow in the middle of the winter!  Snow in January? How absurd!  After vowing not to leave the house today due to such absurdity, I spend time meticulously deciding between my grey jogging pants or my black ones, ( because why even attempt to see if my jeans still fit),  and I throw on my super sleek oversized hoody, (mainly so I don’ t have to wear a bra), and I make my way downstairs.  By the time I get down the first few steps, I am in a mood.  By the time I make it to the kitchen, I am certifiably irritated and not someone that will be fun to be around.  My husband and kids, exchange a quick look and head the other way. Good call family.

What if I pressed rewind and we did this all over with cheery ole spin instead?

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

Glass bubbling over

I don’t know about you, but when I first hear my alarm clock go off in the morning my first thought is usually totally PG 13!  A certain charming word beginning with the word ‘F’ followed by the carefully crafted letters U and N, usually becomes the first word of the day!  A combination of age and chronic illness is then responsible for my appreciating everything in this world that I am totally capable of doing today, when I find that I am lucky enough to sit up and open my eyes today!  Then, I do the best thing possible!  I reach for my phone and my eyes are immediately embraced with positive news and great vibes all around!  I put my phone down with a huge smile, and I open up the blinds and I beam with the incredulous possibility that it snowed again, and we get to run out and make snow angels today! I love snow!  After vowing that I will leave the house as much as possible today to enjoy the snow, I decide to put on a flattering pair of jeans, and a wonderfully cozy shirt, as I make my way downstairs. By the time I get down the first steps , I squeal with delight at how cute I look, and by the time I make it to the kitchen, my kids and husband run up to me with kisses and hugs abound.  Admiration abound, with how great of a day this is going to be.

Nope

So here’s thing.    The first example is probably how I am used to waking up a good 90% of the time.  Ok, maybe 98 % of the time.  The bottom one , never F#$king happens. Like ever. But that is what I am striving towards, albeit with a little less of the fluffy unicorn and rainbows feel too it.  I read an article a while back that talked about how those who look at their phones when they first wake up, are more likely to feel overwhelmed and stressed, then those that wake up with a different routine not looking at negative news.  So why not change up your morning routine to one with a little less negative energy and a little more positive light?  

Photo by Lachlan Ross on Pexels.com

5 ways that I changed up my mornings, which started changing up my thoughts

I Changed my alarm tone

One thing that I learned from my paramedic days, is that the first thing I am trying to do now is open my eyes and say thank you.  Thank you for another day.  Thank you for the privilege of opening my eyes.  Thank you for letting me face this day, good or bad. I am alive, breathing and living.  Amen to that! The next thing I did was changed my ring tune and alarm tone on my phone. I now wake up to the gentle crescendo of ocean waves. It starts out really quiet, and then gradually gets louder.    I have residual PTSD from the blaring tones that would happen when a call would come through at the EMS stations  The Shrill alarm would make me jump out of my skin. It created a heart pounding and debilitating reaction to all things loud.  To this day, waking up to anything resembling and alarm, isn’t allowed in our bedroom.  Ocean waves is soothing to my soul, and it lets me start my day in a much calmer fashion.  

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
Set your alarm for some ‘me’ time

Set your alarm earlier and allow yourself to stretch, have coffee, meditate, or whatever it is that you need to do to keep yourself zen to start the day.  My sister-in-law taught me the art of this.  She gets up an hour before her family does, so that she can start her day with a coffee and a book and for some much needed alone time.   How you start your day, leaves a ripple effect in your mood that carries you through your day. So start it the way you dream of starting it.

Look good for yourself

The next one is something I think most people struggle with, especially during a pandemic.  It’s easy to throw on the baggy clothes and not care what they look like.  Maybe try and put on something that makes you feel good every day.  Clothes, make-up, jewellery , it doesn’t matter, just FEEL GOOD!  When you like the way you look, you’ll like the way you feel. 

Find the positive in the most negative of places

Finally, for all those who suffer from depression, anxiety, chronic illness, Monday blues and whatever else is going on in your life that brings you down; try and find ways to be positive.  If your first instinct is to be negative, stop the thought and find a way to look at it through a positive lens.  Children see snow as fun, why can’t we as adults feel the same?  Kids don’t start their life knowing how to be negative.  They learn that feeling.  Who is teaching them?  Try to be a positive reflection for your kids, so that they can grow up with the right tools.  Teach them that it is ok to have bad days, and negative feelings. But, also teach them how to overcome those feelings, and strive for a more positive life. Start catching yourself in the middle of a negative thought, and find one way to make it positive. Do this all day long. Eventually it will become a habit, and you will find all the positives in the most negative of places.

Make a list of 5 things you are thankful for every single night

Feeling pain and and down or crappy really sucks. But, take the time to embrace it, and know you are alive.  For those of us in pain, we feel very alive every day.  It is not easy to see it as a blessing, but it is.    Pain or not, you are here.  You are alive. You are needed. Hope for a cure.  Hope for better days. Every single night, make a list of 5 things that you are thankful for every single night . When you first start, this will seem impossible. The more positive you become, the easier this gets. So look forward to the day that it is easy, and remember this quote by Dennis Brown that defines it all:

You alone are responsible for the type of life you live.  You can change it, or you can accept it.   I’m choosing to change it for the better.

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