There are many factors that affect the way we engage in and experience our daily life. Conscious and unconscious forces are at work and we are responding to their taunts, whether good or bad, throughout the day.
Conversations that you had before you left the house, or the motorist who cut you off on the freeway causing you to spill you 1/2 caff caramel machiato are a couple of examples of events that shape our attitude, and as Zig Ziglar said, “Your attitude, not your aptitude, determines your altitude.”
Have you ever wondered why sometimes your mood just tanks and you don’t know why? Or, sometimes you feel great for no apparent reason? There are invisible forces at work that are shaping those feelings. Once you understand that you have the ability to affect those forces, the journey of life takes on a radically different, more positive, form.
Here are three simple things that you can do today to begin changing your sense of joy, peace and happiness throughout the day.
1. First Thoughts
The attitude and shape of your day begins before your feet even hit the ground. It begins before your first perceived thought. Your first perceived thought is intimately linked to your first semiconscious thought. It is here, the moment of your first thoughts, that you have the ability to shape how you will feel and engage the day.
Do you remember what your first thought was today? This week, keep a journal or spiral notebook by your bed. As soon as you begin to become aware of the place the exists between dreams and awake, write down what those rapid fire thoughts were in your notebook.
As you begin to see what thoughts you are thinking as you begin the day, you can choose to change and replace them with better, more positive and more powerful ones. This is also a great time to have a good morning conversation with God where you can speak a creative word with Him about your day. Developing this powerful habit will change your attitude and outlook. Instead of saying, “Good Lord, it’s morning…” we change it to “Good morning Lord.”
Invite God into the journey of your day asking Him to empower you to think, act and speak differently.
2. Last Thoughts
The last thoughts you think before you go to sleep are also attitudinal and life shaping thoughts. Many of us go to sleep battling the anxieties, stresses and worries of the day. If you go to sleep with those destructive thoughts, they will invade your subconscious dream life which sets you up for a miserable “First Thought” the next day. It truly can be a vicious cycle.
An end of day review is a powerful way to look over the events of the day. Note the good moments, the moments when God was most present in your actions. If there were some interactions that were hard or painful, this is the time to release them to God, placing them in His care and ability to heal.
The end of day review can also help you see what you need to do differently tomorrow, and with God’s help, you will begin moving in that direction even as you enter the world of dreams with a healthier plan for the next day.
Intentionally reviewing your day… setting your expectations for tomorrow….Releasing all your thoughts to God will prepare your mind for restful sleep and positive thought resetting while you sleep.
3. God Thoughts
Perhaps what is most important is that a relationship with God is the ultimate need of every human being in order to experience true peace, true joy, and a soaring attitude. We try so many things to find joy and happiness. You are aware that there is circumstantial happiness and joy…when we buy something we have wanted…when someone gives us an “atta boy”…or even when we find that extra 20.00 in our pats pocket. However, the downside to circumstantial happiness and joy is that it is tethered to an object or thing that is limited and short lived…in otherwords, the happiness and joy always fades.
There is, however, an intrinsic sense of happiness, joy and attitude that comes from a divine source, not a circumstantial happening. I think that C.S. Lewis said it best:
“God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.”
In order to experience true, lasting, intrinsic joy…you must be tethered to God, who is by very nature, joy and goodness. To tether to anything else will affect our first thoughts and our last thoughts.
This week, note your first thoughts and change them into God-saturated positive thoughts.
This week review your day, celebrate the good moments and determine with God’s help to do better tomorrow. Then, release the anxious thoughts to God.
This week, tether your hope to God and nothing else, for God longs to give you happiness and peace, but in order for Him to give those to you, He must give you Himself as the source of all things good.