I’ll be honest: There have been plenty of mornings that I have woken up with a completely negative attitude. Ever been there? Your eyes open to the ringing alarm and suddenly thoughts rush in about what you have to do today, who needs you, what is coming up, what you haven’t finished yet…talk about anxiety-inducing.
I’m slowly learning to let that part of me go and I’m becoming the person I want to be: a girl that wakes up rested, peaceful, and happy. A girl who can take a deep breath in and out, smile, and feel excited for the day ahead. A person who remembers to thank God for the new day He has given me before turning my phone off airplane mode and letting the world in for the day.
Picture yourself waking up in the morning, turning your alarm off (not hitting snooze), making your bed, drinking a big glass of water, doing ten minutes of yoga, enjoying some silence to pray, and getting dressed for a workout or for your day. How nice does that sound?! That’s what I want! I don’t want to hit snooze, crawl back in bed, or wake up late, feeling disjointed and behind. I don’t want to wake up with an “ughhh….” mindset. I want to wake up excited and happy, not worried and anxious. I’m finding out that this is way easier to do than you might think.
How? By shifting your mind to focus on the positive things you want to do.
Example: “I can’t wait for that workout! I can’t wait to eat that healthy meal. I can’t wait to wake up early and have a relaxing morning. I’m excited for that event this week.”
My mom says it this way: “Let gratitude change your attitude.” When I first heard that quote, I think I rolled my eyes. But now I’m seeing just how true it is. It’s not easy to do this, but it’s better than the alternative. Why would we want to worry? Why would we want to wake up with dread? Why NOT focus on the positives? Why not reframe your perspective to see the bright side?
If I could go back to the Grace who had just graduated from high school a few summers back who worried all summer long about starting college, I would tell her that instead of choosing anxious thoughts, she should choose positive ones (this will work for any situation in your life, too). For example:
- Anxious thought: “I am so worried about what’s going to happen.”
- Positive thought: “I am so excited about this new journey.”
- Anxious: “I have no idea how this is going to go.”
- Positive: “I can’t wait to see what God is going to do.”
- Anxious: “I am so nervous to meet new people. I’m going to be all alone.”
- Positive: “I am so excited to meet new people and make new friends.”
- Anxious: “I love my routine right now and I HATE change.”
- Positive: “I can’t wait to create a new, fresh routine. It’ll be fun to have new surroundings.”
It’s just such a brighter perspective, isn’t it? You’re either going to spend your time worrying or being excited, so you might as well choose the happier option. Why not choose joy instead of dread?
Worry = dread = negative perspective.
Excitement = joy = positive perspective.
We become what we tell ourselves. And don’t just take my word for it. This stuff is literally in the Bible:
Romans 12:2 – “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Proverbs 23:7 – “As a man thinks, so is he.”
We get to choose how we think. Just because your brain naturally wants to default to the negative thought or outlook doesn’t mean you have to let it go there. You can stop that thought and literally tell it, “Nope we’re not going down that negative road today.”
Think of it this way. Walking downhill = easy. Walking uphill = difficult. It’s a climb. However, if you choose to go uphill with your thoughts, if you choose the harder thing which is to choose the positive outlook, you’re going to end up with a much better view at the top instead of staying at the bottom.
Today, try to change one negative thought into a positive and see how it feels. The next time you’re dreading that workout, be grateful you have lungs that breathe and legs that can walk. If you’re procrastinating cleaning your room (as I was this week), tell yourself how grateful you are that you have a room to clean that has a roof over it and that you deserve to live in a clean, organized space.
It might feel weird or unnatural at first, and that’s okay! I’m still working on this, too. So, let’s do it together because I don’t know about you, but I would much rather live my life as positively as possible. I want to find the little wins in my days because I never want to look back and feel regret because I wasted too many days worrying or being negative. You were made to experience more joy and you have full authority to start changing your thoughts today.2