Sometimes, at the end of a rough day, it can feel like everything went wrong, and everyone was conspiring against you. That’s the problem with negativity – it can be consuming, and cloud the reality of situations. At the end of a rough day, it might seem hard to think back and pick out the bright spots from the bad, but every day has them, and when we choose to remember and focus on the things that made us smile, we remind ourselves that everyday holds happiness. We just have to allow ourselves to see it.
I’ve decided that, good day or bad, I’m going to think back each night and choose three moments from the day that made me smile. If I had a hard day, these moments will remind me that it wasn’t all bad, and that I have the power to choose to either dwell on the bad or remember the good. If it was a good day, I can pick three memories to remind myself, with specific instances, of what a lovely day it was.
I decided to pick three specific moments from each day for a reason – when I think about general, nice things from the day, it’s pleasant, but it doesn’t have the same impact as recalling the details of what it was exactly that brought a smile to my face. When I remember something specific, I can bring back the same emotions I experienced when it was happening. We do this all the time with bad memories, unfortunately – replaying an embarrassing moment, a fight or a regret – but less with the moments we should be revisiting! Visiting friends today, for instance, was wonderful, but remembering a specific moment from that visit – my friend’s five month old laughing, her delighted, toothless smile and her burbling little chuckles -brings back that happiness all over.
What Will You Remember?
There are all kinds of things that bring joy in both small and big ways throughout the day. You might be surprised at what you still remember at the day’s end, at what still makes you grin or touches you. I loved hearing the baby’s first laughter, but I also loved seeing a mother and daughter stop to help a wheelchair-bound stranger navigate a bumpy sidewalk. Not only does remembering that scene still tug on my heartstrings a little, it serves as a reminder of the goodness that is out there, every day.
You can certainly just rethink these moments in your head, but writing them down, even just for a week, would make for an interesting read at the week’s end, bringing up happy memories as well as providing concrete evidence of happiness in our lives, if only we let ourselves recognize it. It would be nice to share your happy memories as well, asking a partner, child or friend to name something specific from their day that made them smile. Not only does this create positive conversation, it provides more examples of the smile-making moments in all of our lives, as well as some great stories!
[Editor’s Note: This is one of the lessons in my ecourse, 30 Days To Positive Thinking. If you want to transform your life and reach your dreams, I encourage you to check it out.]