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Remember to enjoy the ordinary

published: 08-20-2013 Journal entry icon

Many of us have the habit of focusing on the negative stuff in life and expecting the worst outcome. This tendency can be compounded by military training that teaches you how to assess risks and plan for the worst outcome. If this way of thinking crosses over to your personal life, you’re shortchanging yourself. What are you taking for granted? Look around—recognize and appreciate the little things in your day. Focus on appreciation and gratitude. Try breaking your habit of fixating on the negative for just one day—instead, spend it acknowledging and appreciating the ordinary good things in your life.

  • When you wake up in the morning, stop and take a moment to think about something good that you’d like to happen in your day.
  • If you’re in a relationship, take a few minutes to really appreciate your significant other.
  • If you’re deployed, reflect on how your buddies support one another when times get tough.
  • Before eating lunch, take a moment to be grateful for something that keeps you going each day—maybe it’s as simple as the first cup of coffee in the morning, an easy commute, or your buddy’s positive attitude.
  • At dinner, spend a moment thinking about your loved ones. Have you told them lately something you appreciate about them?
  • Finally, before you go to sleep, acknowledge something about yourself you’re proud of.

Start again tomorrow, reflecting back to today—did acknowledging the magic of the “everyday” help you have a better day?

For more information on mental strategies, visit HPRC’s Mind Tactics domain.


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