Imagine it’s Monday morning. On this particular Monday morning, you feel really good — you’re looking forward to the day ahead. But then one thing or another happens. Maybe you get distracted by the news or an upsetting text message. Or you realize halfway into your commute that you forgot something important. Perhaps you are on top of your game, but your spouse or your pet or your kids are not. They are moody, sick or unreasonable, and their dark cloud casts a shadow over your sunny disposition.
How can we recover our good cheer when things go sideways?
It’s natural—easy—to feel good when we have a handle on all the threads of our life. But variables outside our control can come at us quickly and unexpectedly. These twists and turns show up, and before we know it, the tone of our thoughts, mood and day take a new direction.
Often, our default pattern is to move forward on autopilot. Instead of resetting, we carry—or drag—the minor mishaps and major problems of the world around with us for the rest of our day.
Luckily, each day is divided into multiple intervals of time. Each new experience we walk into contains its own unique opportunity to reset and feel different. With practice, we can create small habits of thinking and awareness to help us feel our best throughout the ups and downs of our day.
Feeling our best isn’t about ignoring uncomfortable emotions or smothering our experience of life with so-called positive thinking. Feeling our best is about recognizing we have a say in how we move forward. It’s about consciously choosing what we continue to give life to, and how we treat ourselves in the process. Feeling our best is giving ourselves permission to reset and experience our next period of time, bringing the truest version of ourselves into the equation.
How do we actually bring this practice into everyday life? you may ask.
It may seem counterintuitive, but feeling our best takes practice. I practice. In nitty gritty terms, I set myself up to feel good throughout the day by talking to myself. Out loud. It sounds weird, I know.
But as I age, I worry less and less about what seems weird. Embrace the weird. The next part is fun!
Here are the sorts of things I say to myself to set up a different feeling moving forward. Use what you like, leave what you don’t. Make your own list of pep phrases and powerful questions that inspire you to switch out of autopilot and focus intentionally on what you most want to experience.
Wrap up every obvious interval with words of compassion:
- Well, maybe that wasn’t pretty, but that’s okay. I’m okay. I’ve got this.
- That felt great. I really enjoyed that experience and the people in it. Lucky me!
- Oh dear, I wish I didn’t say or do that. I can’t change that now. Sigh. But I can reach out and own my part. I can move forward from an accountable place.
- Whew, that was hard. A disaster, really. Oh, well. What can I do at this point? Hmm… not much. I think a reset is in order. New opportunity coming right up!
- I feel really sad/upset/mad/jealous. I needed to let that out. It’s okay to feel what I’m feeling.
- I’m not going to allow others to dictate how I feel about myself. I’m the boss of me and I’m a good person. Thank you very much.
- I wish this moment would last forever. Life is good!
Set up the next interval and experience with powerful questions:
- How can I bring the best version of me into this next setting?
- How do I most want to experience the people I’m about to interact with?
- What feeling do I most want to walk away with in this next period of time?
- What might feel different if I simply slow my roll and shelve that worry until later?
- Who do I most want to be in this situation? What kind of friend, listener, neighbor, customer, coworker?
- New experience coming up! Take in 3 slow, deep, intentional breaths. What am I releasing? What am I making room for?
Our perspective is powerful. Don’t be afraid to use your perspective and your creative genius throughout the day to reset and feel centered in the best-feeling version of who you are. Life is short. It would be a shame to spend your days wishing they were different, or to wait for a whole new day to feel relief. Remind yourself often that you’re a powerful creator. Each moment you get to be here is an opportunity to dance to a rhythm that feels good and true to you.
Article originally published on emilymadill.com