If tonight, when you lay your head down on your pillow, you have to recall the day’s events and activities to determine which moment was your favorite, could you do it? I bet you could, and I bet you should.
Our lives have become a blur of things that we do, see, and experience. Whether in reality and real time or in social or other media we are constantly consuming images, thoughts, and emotions. This compilation of experiences has the possibility of dragging us through any number of emotions throughout the day. Laughing one moment, and anxiety ridden the next. Because life can sometimes become stressful and overwhelming, we often try to escape through some artificial means. This may be a cocktail at the end of the day, or it could be scrolling through social media, or binge-watching multiple episodes of our favorite program. Regardless of what it is, I believe it is a natural form of protection and a way of staking a claim in affirming our control over at least one part of our day. I happen to believe that this is normal and not a bad way to deal with stress, as long as we only visit these forms of escape and not set up a permanent residence, where they can become a habit.
Without trying to overshare, I have found myself lately being pulled in multiple directions. Every one of them important, every one of them needing my full attention and none of them insignificant. By the end of the day, sitting by the warmth of our woodstove, I may avail myself to one or all of the aforementioned activities to unwind. However, I have taken a more affirmative discipline when I lay down to sleep. Much like how I may save the last, best bite of the food in my meal to help me remember how delicious it was. I don’t want my last thought of the day to be one created by chance or by someone else.
As I place my head upon my pillow, I try to remember the very best part of my day and will always be able to find at least one. It could be something small and insignificant like a conversation with a friend, or a smile from a stranger. It could be something larger like quality time spent with one of my children. Regardless of what it may be, I focus on that memory and it brings a smile to my face. Literally, in the dark, in my bed, I will smile. Because I am a man with spiritual convictions I thank God for the day, and in particular the event that I am recalling. If my memory involves another person I ask for God’s blessings on that person, if not I merely say a prayer of gratitude.
If you don’t have a spiritual inclination, you can still focus on this positive part of your day and be grateful for the goodness in it and how it made you feel. I have to believe that ending the day with intention and an intention towards the positive you will be reinforcing those things that bring you joy and put in its proper place the things that don’t. Give it a try tonight, I am willing to bet that you will have a restful slumber.