Where every Tuesday – I confess.
Confession: I do something new every morning in bed.
This is a G rated confession so not to worry!
Every morning as my eyes open, I am thinking about what I’m grateful for. It’s not an easy practice, but I have been working on it for a long time. And the other day I had a really cool experience where as soon as I woke up (before my eyes opened) my brain said “I’m grateful for this bed.”
There are so many proven benefits of gratitude some of which include:
- Improved Sleep
- Reduced heart disease
- Boosts well being
- Improved mood
- And SO MUCH MORE
However, for me it comes from a different place. For most of my life (and still today) I have been working for “the next thing” or I’ve been anxiously awaiting “what’s coming up.”
- This meant I was ready and anxious to go to college when I was 16.
- I was ready to start my job before my senior year of college.
- I worried about being tired the next day if I was out late (I still do this one).
- If I don’t have food prepped and ready to go, I become worried about the food choices I will make or how it will disrupt my schedule because I will have to go get food.
- I spend time and energy dreaming about what my life will look like when I have “abundant money, a house with a yard, a roster full of clients, the ability to do 10 pull ups, and am debt free.”
I ran across an article the other day that sums it up perfectly.
9 Ever-Present Distractions That Keep Us From Fully Living
1. The Promise of Tomorrow. Joshua Glenn Clark said it like this, “We waste so many days waiting for the weekend. So many nights wanting morning. Our lust for future comfort is the biggest thief of life.” It is not entirely foolish to look toward the future and plan accordingly. However, when we endure our days only for the sake of tomorrow (the weekend, the vacation, or the retirement), we miss out on the full beauty and potential of the present.
THIS SUMS IT UP.
Do you do this? Spend time and energy lusting for the future? Dreaming about what it will be like?
I know I have missed out on so many outrageously awesome moments because I was not present and worried about “what’s next” whether that was sleep, getting back home and going to work, or simply worried about how to make the future happen.
And on that note – another snippet from the article.
3. The Regret of Yesterday. To live is to experience regret—nobody escapes life unscathed. We regret our actions, our decisions, and our motivations. But no amount of regret can ever change the past and only those who have come to recognize and admit their imperfections are able to move beyond them. Call your mistakes what they are, offer an apology when necessary, and then move on. Don’t allow regret from the past to negatively distract from opportunity in the present.
We are all going to have regret. As the author says “nobody escapes life unscathed.” But spending each day worried and stressed about the past and what you wish you could redo and then simultaneously worried about the future leaves the present VERY EMPTY.
I spent a lot of my life in this space. Energy spent focusing on decisions I made in the past and energy spent focusing on why my “future” isn’t happening TODAY.
What an EXHAUSTING TRAP.
I have a feeling I’m not the only one who engages in this type of thinking. So in an effort to stay more present and more grateful – I started my in bed practice. I also try to think about things I’m grateful for as I drift to sleep so it becomes part of my psyche.
The cool thing is – you want to practice being grateful for the most minor things. The birds chirping outside the window, the smell of the coffee, the fact that you woke up another day (okay – that’s a bigger one), your favorite shoes, the way your kids laugh, or eating your favorite breakfast.
Because noticing and appreciating all of those little things is what will help move you more into the present moment. You’re not necessarily thinking about yesterday or tomorrow when you take your first drink of coffee or wake up thinking “I love my bed.”
It has helped me to notice some smaller things during each day or to look outside at a beautiful sunrise or sunset and appreciate the moment.
This practice of gratitude is especially important when going through hard times. It’s easy to follow yourself down the self pity trail or to focus on why everything is going poorly. But you can ease that stress, even so slightly, by focusing on gratitude. It can even rewire your brain chemistry and help you to pull yourself out of a negative time.
I still have big dreams for the future and you should too. I am working every day towards “abundant money, a house with a yard, a roster full of clients, the ability to do 10 pull ups, and am debt free.” But I am trying really hard to appreciate everything I have on the way to getting there.
I’d love to know if you start a new routine in bed every morning (gratefulness) – EMAIL ME and tell me all about it.
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