By PLA Grace
To say that life at university is busy is an understatement. Students juggle so many activities and tasks during the day and there is never enough time to get everything on your to-do list done. Lying in bed at the end of the day, thoughts go swirling through your head about what you should have done. You say to yourself, “I should have gone to the gym instead of taking a nap,” or “I should have started to study for that midterm.” You then go to bed dwelling on all the things that didn’t get done rather than reflecting on the things that did or things that went well for you. I tend to focus on the negatives at the end of the day and that perpetually puts me in a bad mood for the next morning, day and continues as one vicious cycle.
Recently, I learned about emotional intelligence and the importance of gratitude. It may seem like a simple concept to some, especially at this time of year when we are preparing to gather to give thanks. But how many of you really finish your day off thinking about all the good things that happened? Once I learned about gratitude, I immediately knew I had to apply to this my own life and make a positive change.
So, here is my challenge to all of you: at the end of the day, take 5 minutes right before you go to bed and sit in silence reflecting on 3-5 things that went well for you that day. Rather than focusing on the negatives (the shoulda, woulda, coulda) think about what positive things you did – it can be the smallest thing having a good laugh, a good coffee, or meeting a new friend, or a huge accomplishment like finishing a pesky assignment. Promote positive self-talk (internal monologue) and see how this makes a difference in your day-to-day life.
Gratitude has made me appreciate the little things in life and helped me eliminate that voice in my head chanting its “shoulda-woulda-coulda” monologue. It is something that is so easy to do and many of us wouldn’t think to do it. I go to sleep with a smile and wake up refreshed to tackle my new tasks for the day. Gratitude has helped to make me a more positive person overall. With everything that goes on during the day, it can be easy to get lost in the chaos and commotion. Gratitude will help pull you back in and stay on track. Always remember to take a minute to reflect on all the good in your life, no matter how big or small.