So you want to begin turning your negative beliefs around. Here is how to begin, buy yourself a notebook that is small enough to carry around comfortably during your daily life. On the front of the book, write “A Fresh Start”. This book will be your best friend and will be your go-to guide when things get tough during your recovery. Keeping track of the positives in your day is very easy to forget. A good example of this was during the first few weeks of my recovery, I remember clients and co-workers at my tennis club that I was working at noticing and sharing with me how my body language was changing, in fact it was quite a common occurrence. By the end of the day, though, what do you think were the things I remembered? You guessed it; anything that happened that didn’t support my progress. For example, the one person that morning that told me I looked like hell in a joking tone.
Why only recap the negative experiences of the day just before going to sleep rather than the positive ones? The reason is because I was still in a very sensitive mental and physical state, and the habit of thinking negatively would take time to be replaced. Every single evening, just before going to bed, set your timer to five minutes and write down all of your positive experiences throughout the day. Write it as if you were writing a note to someone, and I mean all of them down to the smallest thing. Don’t forget to time yourself, or else you may find yourself falling short at the beginning. It could start with, ‘today my day started off with my amazing affirmations which gave me tremendous confidence, and then I remember Joe telling me how cool my new tennis shoes were which made me feel really hip and with the times, then I gave an old friend a lift to his house where we had a great conversation about our kids and how we should set up our play dates’. The great thing about this exercise was after a few weeks of writing about the great experiences I had during the day, I started to sleep like a baby, and waking up way less grumpy. I looked forward to the evening when I could write in my book again, and sometimes five minutes didn’t seem long enough to get it all down. The benefits of actually paying attention to the positives are innumerable, and before you know it, you will be a much more positive person in every aspect of your life.