Decide to have a Good Day
Every moment of every day you get to decide. Leaving aside events that you can’t control, those tiny moment-to-moment choices you make determine whether you have a good day or a bad one.
We’ll start with some suggestions of how to physically prepare to have a good day. Then we’ll examine how and why the way we think affects the quality of our day.
A Good Day Begins the Night Before
You are set to have a good day, if you start early. Like the night before. Good choices include:
- Select your outfit and put it ready.
- Go to bed 30 minutes earlier.
- Ignore your phone. The light from a screen stimulates the brain and delays sleep.
- Intend that you will have a good day by writing it down in your journal.
- Read a real book and put it aside when your eyelids start to droop.
- Set the alarm 10 minutes earlier. Those few minutes give you a head start in the morning and make you feel virtuous.
A Good Day Needs a Good Start
- Don’t press the snooze button. Don’t think about how hard it is to face the morning. Open your eyes, let the light in and get up. Follow your usual routine.
- Eat breakfast, even if it is only a piece of fruit or a single scrambled egg. Do not open the cookie jar.
- State the intention to yourself that this will be a good day and you are off to a good start.
- Become Aware of Your Internal Dialogue
Your Internal Dialogue Dictates Your Day
Your internal dialogue is your inner conversation with yourself. It is the constant ego-driven commentary in your head. These thoughts determine the quality of your day, your week and your life.
This internal voice is the result of the filters, perceptions and beliefs which you have adopted as your own. The self-talk that fills your waking moment also creates more filters and beliefs, cementing them into place, day after day, minute after minute.
Through this filter you make your choices and judgments of people, situations, and all the feedback your receive via your senses. You can override your default internal dialogue any time you choose in order to create the reality you want. You can create a good day because you choose to.
Change the Filter
It is hard not to slip back into our default setting, our usual mental dialogue, those easy-to-make judgments which color our day. It feels as though we don’t have a choice. Our thoughts are our thoughts and in that moment, we can’t choose them because they just happen. In order to break through internal chatter, we have to decide to change it.
Visualize your dialogue as an actual filter in your mind. You might see it as a paper or muslin surface through which all your sensory perceptions flow. Only the ones that fit in with your beliefs can get through. That filter is pretty much clogged up by now, so your inner dialogue has a narrow range. It’s time to change the filter.
Take a few minutes to sit quietly. Breathe deeply and slowly. Imagine replacing your filter with a fresh, clean one. Actually see yourself physically remove it like a beekeeper removes a full honeycomb. Now replace it with a clean, empty filter. This is what is called ‘an open mind’. You are open to new ideas, beliefs and are able to suspend judgment. You feel free. Now you get to make new choices.
The Negativity Bias
Deepak Chopra explains that our brains are wired with a negativity bias. In other words we tend to see events which confirm our negative opinions more easily than we see the opposite. This is because our ancestors lived in ‘survival mode’ – they had to be aware of the possible worst outcomes of a situation in order to stay alive. Our world is not like that anymore. Becoming aware of built-in negativity bias is halfway to changing our inner dialogue.
To change our negativity bias, we need to actively choose to replace it with a positive one. One technique is to practice gratitude and appreciation. There was an elderly lady who carried an aura of grace, friendliness and happiness. People would ask her how she was always so positive. She replied, “I’ve always been a grateful person.”
Small Choices that Make a Difference
In every moment you get to choose. You make a million little decisions and judgments through the day. Most are merely thoughts in your head. No-one else experiences them except you. You may be thinking negatively but presenting a positive attitude in order to appear willing. Why not change that to thinking and acting positively?
Don’t react automatically. When faced with a situation, take a breath and decide whether to accept it or push it away. For example, your boss asks you to produce a report. You can choose in your mind to accept the task gracefully or mentally moan about it. Either way, you know you have to do it, so you may as well be positive – both inwardly and outwardly.
Watch What Comes Out of Your Mouth
We don’t mean your words, although they count as well. Pay attention to every time you sigh in frustration or groan about an unwanted prospect. Include eye-rolling, and other such facial expressions. Even, OMG, when you do it in an attempt to be amusing. These small actions confirm, cement, support, and underline your choice to activate the negativity filter. You don’t realize how often you do it.
Was it a Good Day?
You’ve spent a whole day making different choices, so how’d it go? Take a little time to think about the changes you made and if they helped you to have a good day. Journal what you felt worked and what didn’t. Set your intention to try again. There’s another great day to be had tomorrow.
Images via Pixabay