Most mornings I wake up feeling utterly grumpy at the long list of things to do that lie ahead of me for the day. This is followed by a long sigh when I have to clean the cat’s litter tray out. My start to my morning is plain stupid. It’s a ‘how not to’ strategy as a negative antidote to the thriving self-help industry on how a great start to your morning sets you up for the day to be the next Bill Gates or whatever.
While not buying into that spiel, I have recently begun to practice gratitude as a much nicer opening salvo to my day.
Here is how it goes. Wake up and lie in bed for a few moments basically thinking about the things that I am thankful for – good health, paid work, a roof over my head, a cat that adores me and follows me around even if I have to clear out her litter tray every bloody morning and my new smartphone. You should have seen my old phone!
Your list doesn’t have to be deep and meaningful all the time. The point is to find things that make you happy. Dig deep and give it some thought. You will be surprised at just how much you are, indeed, grateful for without realising it.
Practising gratitude is also an opportunity to explore aspects of your life. There may be positives which you have overlooked. There may be negatives that you wish to change. There may be gaps where you can make positive changes. The point is to start the day in reflective mode while concentrating on what it is that makes you happy.
There is plenty enough time later in the day to ponder on what irritates the hell out of you but raising your blood pressure first thing in the morning is not a stress buster.