My husband and I like to watch TED Talks from time to time, you just need that bit of inspiration every now and again. I don’t have the link but there was one on how practicing being grateful rewires your brain (hey I never said this was a medical blog) in a good way. We decided that every night before we went to sleep, we would tell each other 3 things we were grateful for, no matter how bad the day. Some nights it’s hard, but we do it, and we always fall asleep feeling mildly pleased with things.
I extended this into times when I’m feeling really really stressed or worried about something too. Actually it was when I was trying to study, I’d be overcome by “this is unbelievably stupid”, “I’m going to fail”, “what kind of new mother DOES this?” thoughts, so I came up with a solution which I’d write down on a Post It. Try it for yourself.
Negative thought: “I can’t do this, I’m so overwhelmed”
Take 5 deep breaths.
Say 5 things you’re grateful for.
Solution: i.e. “Read one more line of the book, then go and make a cup of tea”.
It wont solve all your problems but it’s like a pressure valve. I ended up with a giant stack of post its like these. You don’t have to write down your 5 gratitudes, but it’s good to have the negative thought or feeling, and the solution you came up with for yourself.
Right now I’m grateful for:
1. This laptop that I can blog anywhere from!
2. My Fitbit which tracks my sleep, I think it’s fascinating.
3. My ever-patient husband who quietly encourages me along.
4. My advanced trainee who is basically who I want to be. That rarely happens these days.
5. The baby. Oh lord the baby. Hard as it is, no day is ever the same now.
Feel free to post your gratitudes!