Our pandemic reality is generating mental health challenges for even the healthiest people. Fortunately, we do have good news on the horizon. And to help get us there, I have created these morning exercises to help us feel better about ourselves and our lives.
These should only take a few minutes and they are fairly straightforward. I would recommend that you plan a regular time in the morning to read them. Then execute them immediately if at all possible.
It’s important to note that, for these to have an effect they must be done earnestly. But they are easily worth the effort.
Let’s physically write out, or type out, or even share via social media, three things that we are genuinely grateful for as we start the new year. And we do ourselves a disservice if we toss off three easy, lightly-felt examples. We’re looking for the stuff where, without it, our lives would be tragically different.
Maybe we’re grateful for our divorce because without it we wouldn’t be in our great marriage. Maybe we’re grateful for a child we never thought we’d have. Maybe we’re grateful our parents emigrated, or that we saw our homeland, or got an education, or that a loved one is still with us.
These shouldn’t be things where our gratitude is a hollow verbal transaction. We want the cases where we feel an intense sensation very similar to the feeling of being in love.
Right now, figure out when and why you will laugh today. If you don’t already plan to watch a comedy, or to talk to a funny friend, then just choose a short video off of YouTube or listen a funny podcast on a drive.
Make sure to schedule it now. Make sure it happens. I know I’m going to re-listen to this French Canadian comic tell the story about taking his girlfriend fishing.
Finish by actually say this to yourself (even better if it’s out loud): “Today I intend to use my awareness to help me steer my thoughts towards the most charitable interpretations of whatever is going on around me. I’m going to do that selfishly, so that I can feel good about the world and myself, which helps me to make good things happen in my life and in this world.”
That’s it. It’s that easy. We all just took another step. Yeah, it doesn’t feel like much right at the start. But with only a pick axe and time, a miner can make a mountain disappear. And with dedication and perseverance we can, day by day, turn 2021 into a good year. Enjoy your day.
A serious childhood brain injury lead Scott to spend his entire life meditating on the concepts of thought, consciousness, reality and identity. It made others as strange to him as he was to them. When he realized people were confused by their own over-thinking, Scott began teaching others to understand reality. He is currently CBC Radio Active’s Wellness Columnist, as well as a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, AB where he still finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.