I woke up the other morning in a bad mood. I wondered if I'd had a nightmare. Nope, I couldn’t recall any. I wasn’t hungover. I hadn’t even checked my social media yet, so I hadn't activated any angsty comparison triggers. I just opened my eyes that morning, and had a sense of foreboding. I simply felt like life wasn’t great, for no obvious reason at all.
Do you ever feel that way? Some people think of this as the yin and yang of life, the natural ups and downs of being human. But left unaddressed, it can ruin your day (or worse).
Taken from Tiny Buddha’s Gratitude Journal by Lori Deschene, here are some prompts to help you get out of a funk and have a “happier, brighter life."
Ask yourself these questions:
1. What’s the best thing that’s happened to me so far today, and what did I most appreciate about it?
Big or small... go! So far this morning I've appreciated the bulletproof coffee my husband made me and the business I’ve built, which allows me to work from my bed. Bliss!
2. Which household items do I most appreciate and why?
I love my books, my tea, and my favorite chair. Look around you. What do you love?
3. What do I most appreciate about my body and why?
Your strength? Your great hair? Your height? Your clear skin?
4. What are some things that recently went right or better than expected?
Whether it was a tough conversation, a job interview, a Pilates class, or winged eyeliner—don’t discount the small stuff! A happy life is just string of many small, happy moments.
Finish these sentences:
5. I’m grateful that I’m healthy enough to…
Travel? Work out? Start a side hustle?
6. Though I may not be rich, I’m thankful I have enough money to…
Order your favorite food? Visit your friend in another state? Live in your favorite city or neighborhood?
7. I appreciate that every day I get to…
Kiss your spouse. Walk your dog. Do some yoga. We tend to take our privileges for granted.
8. The best things in life are free, including…
My dog’s unconditional love. The power of happy memories. My husband’s sense of humor. Central Park. What comes to mind for you?
9. I appreciate that tomorrow I’ll get to…
Have coffee at your desk? Skype your sister? Wear your new jacket? Walk to work on a sunny morning? Keep going with this one!
10. I appreciate that I had the courage to…
This is my fave! I listed: Start a business. Move to New York. Learn to speak in front of groups. Network with people who felt more important than me. Give up recreational drugs. Quit my high-paying job. Release a book. Write about my life with honesty and vulnerability. Be myself!
What comes up for you when you finish these sentences and ask yourself these questions? You don’t need a bonus check, a text from an ex, or low number on the scale to feel a boost in your well-being. Happiness can mean accepting and enjoying exactly where you are right now. Put simply, it’s called appreciation.
Deschene states, “We need gratitude the most when we feel least able to access it.” Like when we wake up in a funk.
And these great, small things are all true. What can you turn around with some truth today?
Susie Moore is Greatist's life coach columnist and a confidence coach in New York City. Sign up for free weekly wellness tips on her website and check back every Tuesday for her latest No Regrets column!