11.18.2014

The Destroying Negative Thoughts Challenge

"...the destroyer of inner peace is not some external foe, but is within us. Therefore, the solution is within us too." --Dalai Lama 



When you wake up in the morning, what is the first thing you do? 

Me? I'm guilty of checking Facebook, the news, Instagram, and other media outlets. At times, this can be inspiring; other times, this can set a negative precedent for the rest of the day. And yet, I'll religiously do this the next day despite knowing that comparison or sad news can put me in a very, very dark mood. I then start to believe that the world is dark. And before the day even begins there is a burden. The curse of being such intelligent beings is that we are able to create very sad worlds with our own thoughts, even if that creation does not match reality. 

I'm deciding to break the cycle. I want the first thing I listen to or read in the morning to be a proper day starter: something that gets me excited for my life and what it has to offer. I've taken to doing a few things that are good day starters: 

1. Listening to a TED talk. This. This has gotta be the number 1 thing that helps me face the day with confidence and an ability to think outside my circumstances. I love speeches because they get me especially fired up. 

2. Yoga routines. This is a typical answer, I know--but it's one that works. It's hard to think about anything other than the move I'm trying to master. "Don't mind me while I try to hold this bendy octopus/pretzel position!" 

3. Writing cards for my friends. What better way to vanquish negative thoughts than by doing something positive for someone else? Writing kind words to a friend puts a smile on my face instantly. And I feel less selfish! 

4. Taking a Walk. You mean to tell me humans are made for exercise? Gee whiz!  

5. Giving somebody a hug. Do I need to even explain this one? 

Do I always do these things? Heck no. I'm one lazy S.O.B. Staying in bed is seductive; being productive feels so laaaaaame--until I actually start doing something. Then I think to myself, man! I love getting moving, I love walking, I love Yoga...I love life! Because I act like a toddler at times, I have to give myself a challenge: 

For a week straight, I vow not to check my phone first thing in the morning. I will not look at e-mails. I will not scan Facebook. I will instead do something positive (like those items listed above) FIRST thing in the morning. I'll blog about how I feel after a week, and hopefully...I can make this a continued practice! 

...well, all after coffee, of course. I am human! 

***
What do you like to do in the morning to put a positive spin on your day? Do you want to join my challenge? 

9 comments:

  1. What a great list/challenge/experiment. I am definitely there with you with TED talks. Although as far as morning routines go, nothing beats yoga!

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    1. Right? I would also put reading down, but in all honesty I don't have the best attention span first thing in the morning! ha.

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  2. this is such a great idea - the first thing i do normally is check timehop but i stay away from other social media. then i cuddle my cats. yoga is the best in the morning!

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    1. Yoga is also a favorite of mine before bed ;)

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  3. I've actually deleted the Facebook app from my phone and focused on writing and writing cards to people first thing in the morning. It helps jump start my brain (and my fingers) and then we're off. Avoiding contact with other people is kind of key :)

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    1. I like the idea of deleting the Facebook app from your phone. I don't use it much throughout the day, though...just the morning! Hence this practice of not looking at it in the morning!

      I think writing is a HUGE one for the morning, and one I should implement more often!

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  4. I don't do TED talks, but I've got a similar routine with Design Matters. Ok, I may peak in at social media while I'm doing that but still.

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  5. Snail mail always has a way of slowing things down for me. It's like my brain has to take a step back so that my hands can catch up. Great list!

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  6. I love this post! Every work morning I email my friend Kim, happy 3 things email. We've been doing it for years and rarely miss and when we miss it makes us feel wonky.

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