5 Ways to Shift Monday Morning Anxiety
Okay, so tell me if you've been here before . . .
I started my Monday morning off silently complaining to myself about all the stuff I had to do in the week ahead. Not enough time, too many intrusions, how will I ever get my blog writing done, work on my book, see clients I have scheduled, take care of my dogs, do house stuff, and on and on and on . . .
As I'm chugging coffee and letting my imagination build a giant case for a bad week, I realized what I was doing.
Whoa! I checked my runaway thoughts, which were plunging me into a mammoth feeling of overwhelm and helplessness.
I made the decision to turn them around.
Here's how I did that.
I pulled out my iPad and started writing.
#1 I wrote down 5 things that are really good about this week coming up.
My purpose in doing this was to shift my focus and perceptions away from the limited thoughts I was having. I was locking myself into a "no way out" reality, which was stirring up feelings of anxiety.
Anxiety is paralyzing and prevents creativity and action. It actually shrinks your mind.
The truth is, our daily reality is driven in part by the circumstances and experiences we encounter, but more by how we perceive, react to, and feel about what is happening.
We interpret everything through our own internal lens. That lens is made up of our beliefs, personal history, values, and habits. Our reality is constructed in large part by our perceptions.
Unfortunately, we tend to default to the most negative and narrow perceptions. It takes awareness and conscious effort to instill habits to counteract that tendency.
By writing down 5 things that would be good about the coming week, I was shifting my perceptive lens to a more realistic balance between positive and negative.
It worked. I started feeling better.
#2 I listed 3 things I wanted to accomplish this week.
I placed them on my calendar so I didn't have to think about them until it was time to do them. One of them had several steps, so I put each of those steps on the calendar separately.
A sense of accomplishment always helps you feel better. If you can bring those accomplishments into focus by defining them and scheduling them, you're already on the way to a better week.
Scheduling them on the calendar has the added payoff of relieving you from having to rehash the list over and over in your mind. That gives you some mental space.
#3 I thought about what has improved in my life.
I thought about jobs I've had in the past, and I had an immediate appreciation for where I am now.
Whatever your present circumstances are, look at what has improved. You may not be in the job you want, or live in the home you want, or even be in the relationship you want, but if you have awareness of those things, then you are on your way to making changes.
Be grateful for anything that is better than it was before. That will help you create the momentum to make more improvements.
#4 I visualized the end of the week, and felt good about meeting my three goals.
I felt a sense of accomplishment even before getting there which helped put me in a good frame of mind.
Visualize your success at the end of the week. Imagine feeling good about what you did accomplish. This will not only help you get there, it will begin to set up a pattern of accomplishment for the weeks that follow.
This creates momentum, momentum moves you to action, and action gets results. Go!
#5 I gave gratitude for 5 things in my life, and for what I can do right now.
"Giving gratitude" is in vogue currently, and if you've read much in the way of self-help and success blogs or books, you've seen a lot written on this subject. I have also written a blog about keeping a gratitude journal.
The reason it is so popular is because it works. Keeping track of what you are thankful for brings more things to be thankful for. It also helps you balance that negative default I mentioned above.
Be sure to include in your list gratitude for what you can do right now to make life better, or accomplish what is important to you. Even if all you can do is change your attitude or frame of mind, this is progress.
Start your day with gratitude, and you will reshape how you perceive and approach what's ahead. Works every time.
Have More Ideas?
Do you have any other tricks or practices that you use to change your negative train of thought as you approach each day, and especially on Monday? What have you found that works?