Gratitude and Mindfulness
First, take a look at what you were challenged by today, what didn’t go the way you wanted it to go, what was the one thing that got you emotionally activated. If there is more than one thing, that’s ok, just pick the one that’s easiest to work with, the one that’s freshest in your memory. If you think there is nothing that got you emotionally activated today, take the time to sit in a space of Wise Mind, and ask your system for guidance. We are emotional beings, so we are constantly activated by our thoughts and feelings. It also doesn’t have to be something that was devastating for you to experience. Maybe your coffee wasn’t good in the morning, or that person didn’t hold the door open for you as you tried to get into your building. Perhaps your journey home from work or school was challenging today, or maybe you didn’t get the acknowledgment you wanted from a friend. Whatever it is write it down as the thing that you were challenged by today.
Next, ask yourself, “What could I do differently?” See if you can mindfully connect with what happened in that situation and find a different solution. How could you have behaved that would have made things end in a “better” place for you? What could you have said, or not said, that would’ve influenced the outcome? Take the time to write this down in as much detail as you can. Remember, this is a nonjudgmental observation, so its not designed to beat yourself up, simply to provide a level of education as to what you can do differently should a similar situation come up for you again.
"There is no right or wrong way to do this, its just a matter of actually doing it, from a Wise Mind perspective"
Follow this with documenting something you did well today. Recognize the thing that you achieved. This may be difficult to do at first, but persevere with it, even if it seems as though its something small and insignificant, it really doesn’t matter. Write it down and mindfully acknowledge this as something you did well. I have worked with people in the past who are struggling with the symptoms of clinical depression, and it is almost impossible for them to get out of bed at any point in the day. So, we set the goal of getting up for 1 minute, and opening the curtains, then acknowledge this as an achievement. Even though this seems like something simple, it is an action that was hard to do, given the emotional state you are in, so let’s acknowledge this and give ourselves a pat on the back, mindfully, and authentically, so we can build more motivation.
Finally, what are the parts of your personality you want to acknowledge today. There is no need to get specific with the naming of these parts. The part of me that exercised, the part of me that helped my kids, the part of me that drove my car safely, or the part of me that had a conversation with my wife from a nonjudgmental place, have all been recognized in my evening check-ins. There is no right or wrong way to do this, its just a matter of actually doing it, from a Wise Mind perspective. On the following page is a worksheet to use as a guide to build your practice of mindfully checking in with your system, to flex your emotional muscle. Build this into your routine at the end of your day, set aside a time to practice this and you will see the benefits over time, as your motivation will increase as you look in the mirror to flex your emotional and mental muscles.