We've all experienced a moment with someone whose energy is not very pleasant. To excuse them, we may silently say or think: "They must have gotten up on the wrong side of the bed."
href="https://www.nzherald.co.nz/wanganui-chronicle/midweek/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503658&objectid=11917513" target="_blank">Louise L Hay, author of many self-help books, has been quoted many times about living life from a positive perspective. A favourite quote of hers that many have adopted and shared is: "How you start your day is how you live your day. How you live your day is how you live your life."
That one quote throws an immense amount of importance on beginning our day on a positive note. It does not establish when the day starts – it could be early morning, mid-morning or even early or late afternoon (for those that work night shifts), the important thing is what type of mental attitude we adopt after being nudged from sleep to wakefulness.
Every one of us is given the gift of 1440 minutes each day, but the reality is, the first hour of our day, and especially those first few minutes, wield enormous power for the remainder of our day.
In fact, they define and hold the weight of the day – good or bad.
Recent studies on consciousness back this up and reveal that the last few minutes before we fall asleep and the first few minutes after waking possess great creative power because they exist in a unique energy realm between sleep and wakefulness and the energy is very receptive and malleable in those moments!
With that knowledge in mind, it's imperative that we take our first hour, and especially those first few minutes of each day, seriously and grace them with as many positive vibes as possible.
So, if you have not already, it's time to examine your own initial thoughts upon waking and the empowering or disempowering words that follow.
As you lay there coming out of sleep into conscious life once again, what are you thinking about? Are you grumbling about having to go to work and focused on what's not good in your life or is your focus on gratitude for the new day unfolding?
Are your initial thoughts grouchy grumbles under your breath about a task that needs completing or joy-filled visions about the unlimited possibilities the new day offers?
It might be single concerns about your life that get your immediate attention and energy when you wake. Or possibly you have multiple worries that combine into a raging storm within your mind before you even get out of bed.
If so, you've begun your day traveling down a negative path strewn with damaging fear, laced with thoughts that invade and steal away your peace and along with it any chance of enjoying a positive day.
Maybe you experienced a particularly challenging day previously – we all have them. But, if you have not released that energy, if it is still kicking around in your mind as you retire to sleep, guess what?
It hangs around waiting to greet you when you wake. Your initial thoughts and words will immediately turn into complaints and concerns about your previous day's activities.
These peace-destroying gremlins are brutal as they rush in to steal the "gift of your present" moment. And the worst part of all – they bring their cousins with them and before you know it, your mind is filled with destructive, negative, fearful thoughts and so is your day.
And, I can assure you that these types of destructive thoughts will never attract or create positive situations because they simply do not resonate the same frequency. Life always gives back what we are resonating because everything vibrates!
Resonate fear and discord and you experience more of the same. What started out as a molehill of a few negative morning thoughts about what happened yesterday or what you are up against today grows into a mountain of dissonance (a true beast) in everything you touch.
On the flip side, if you turn the tables and resonate gratitude when you wake, you can watch your day unfold and blossom around beauty and unlimited possibility.
And, just as disease of our body is much easier to avoid with "positive healthy lifestyles" than it is to eliminate it once it gets hold, the same principle applies to our waking thoughts and words. Once we allow negative thoughts to take hold, it's much harder to eliminate them.
So, the real key to having a positive day (week, month, year and life!) is to avoid giving power to a destructive mind-set in the first place. In other words, just like disease, it's easier to train yourself to avoid negative thoughts than it is to eliminate them once they get hold.
This does not mean that you won't face new challenges as your day unfolds. A day without challenges is a day of stagnating "same-old, same-old". What it does mean is, start the day in a positive way and you will bask in positive energy backed by a positive mindset able handle new challenges in a positive, constructive way.
Here's a few ideas to get you started each day on the "right side of the bed."
If possible, try and give yourself at least 10-15 minutes per morning (even more if possible) before beginning your regular daily routine. Consider this your self-care, prep time, setting the right mood for the day.
Affirmations: Affirmations are powerful positive statements that address our thoughts. With a little work and repetition, we can train ourselves to immediately focus on these gratitude filled thoughts when we wake. By filling our mind space with them, we leave no room for any negative Nellie's to take root.
Simply repeat affirming statements like, "this is going to be a really great day!" "I am filled with gratitude for all that the day contains." "I am grateful for the life I live, the health I am experiencing, the loving people that surround me and the job that pays my bills." How lucky am I that I get to go to school/to my job/to the gym today!"
And, don't forget to give thanks for the many things you currently take for granted such as the bed you just woke in. How many people in the world don't even have that simple luxury! It is also the perfect time to envision what it is you want to attract in life because the power of visualisation works miracles!
Gratitude is the most powerful attitude. It multiplies what we are grateful for rather than subtracting from what we take for granted.
We all know how great it is to feel loved when someone wraps us in a genuine hug of love. As you pass by the mirror on the way to showering, pause and wrap yourself in a big bear hug and give thanks for the amazing miracle of your body that functions automatically and carries you through each day!
In fact, you should be the first person you hug every day! Look directly into your eyes as you peer at your reflection in the mirror and genuinely hug yourself. You will feel an enormous surge of self-love and self-love is the conduit that flows positive energy.
Writing in a journal can also be very empowering and uplifting. Use it at night to congratulate yourself for your accomplishments (no matter how small and insignificant they may seem) and to release any negativity you may have felt and first thing in the morning to establish positive energy for the day.
Be patient with yourself as you consciously work at shifting your morning mindset from negative to positive.
Create your affirmations, tape them to your bathroom mirror, on your refrigerator or wherever you might need a "gentle reminder" but most important of all, use them!
Eventually, your morning mind will be trained to create only the most positive notes about yourself – those empowered to carry you through the day on a symphony of self-love, heart-felt gratitude and positive actions.
• Carolyn Hansen is co-owner at Anytime Fitness