Do you struggle with “shutting your mind off” at night? Do you have trouble getting to sleep because you are stressing out about things? Do you go to bed defeated and wake up already dreading the day?
What if I told you things could be different?
What if you could go to bed encouraged and feeling accomplished? What if you woke up every day determined and ready to tackle the day? And what if the solution was SUPER SIMPLE?
Guess what, IT IS!!! 😃
There is just one super SIMPLE and very real practice that I have done over the years that makes ALL THE DIFFERENCE. When I do it, I feel better, sleep better, and get more done. When I don’t do it, well, it’s not a pretty picture. So now I’m going to share with you how to do it so you can reap the benefits too.
It’s as simple as answering 3 simple journaling prompts!! Yes, really! It’s a daily discipline of “calling to mind” the goodness from the day and making a record of it. If you are anything like me, it’s really easy to beat yourself up about all the things you didn’t do, or the things you didn’t do well. It’s a LOT harder to think of your wins. But if you only focus on the negative, you will feel negative. If you put effort into recalling the positive, more positive will come to mind. It’s what you train your brain to focus on.
Of course everyone makes mistakes. That’s part of being human. But as a friend once told me “the only real mistake is one you don’t learn from”. So one way of reframing your mistakes is looking for the lesson. Does your toddler spend all morning being grumpy? Maybe earlier breakfast or more protein might help. Did you grab take out because you forgot to defrost meat for dinner? Maybe meal planning can help. So instead of grumbling and complaining about how everybody is whining all the time and you are total screw up in the cooking department, tell yourself what needs to be different. Speak life into those frustrating areas. Sometimes, the lesson or the solution isn’t easy to see. Sometimes you just know something is off. That’s okay. The lesson could be “I will figure out better morning routine” instead of a detailed plan. That’s enough. And it’s a great place to start.
Did you know it’s physically impossible to be angry and grateful at the same time? I’ll save you the boring biology lesson, but because of the way God designed our brains, those two emotions can not happen at the same time. Now, you can toggle between them quickly, but not at the same time. So if you are trying to get yourself out of a grumpy mood, gratitude is the BEST place to start. Maybe you had a terrible-no-good-very-bad-day. But is there one thing you can be thankful for? Can you push yourself to find two? It’s all part of training your brain to find the good, to be thankful. And the more things you can find to be thankful for, the greater your satisfaction at the end of the day will be.
So here it is- the simple 3 step solution for calming your mind and ending the day on a satisfied note. Make a list of three things:
- WINS– what did you do right today?
- LESSONS- what can you learn from today?
- GRATITUDE- what are you thankful for today?
This doesn’t need to be super fancy or difficult. Just a plain notebook or journal to write them down is totally fine. I have created a sheet that I use in my planner for recording these things and I would be happy to share it with you, if you want something more concrete. Even just a little list on your phone works. But someway of recording it makes a difference. I’ve been tempted in the past to skip the writing it down step and just mentally go through my list while trying to go to bed. However, it’s really great to have a record of it to review. Having a hard time, feeling down on yourself? Look back at the good things from the past. It follows the principle in Lamentations 3:21-23 “Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning, great is thy faithfulness!”
Try it tonight and see what a difference it makes!