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THE KRAMER CHRONICLES CELEBRATING NATIONAL EMOTIONAL WELLNESS MONTH HOW TO CLEAR YOUR HEAD AND FIND SOME HOPE 10.19 WWW.KRAMERLAWGROUP.ORG | 801.601.1229
I was getting ready to pull out of my office driveway the other day, and I saw a car headed in my direction, but it was still a long way down the road. I had plenty of time to turn on my blinker, check my surroundings, and ease on the highway. Apparently, the driver behind me read the situation differently. He raced up behind me, honked his horn, yelled some expletives, and drove past me with his middle finger waving out the window. The entire drive home, I kept thinking about this interaction and was more and more bothered by it. After several minutes of replaying the situation over and over again in my mind, I realized I had a choice: I could allow myself to sink further into negativity, or I could choose to think about something else. In the end, I opted for the latter, and my night was much more pleasant because of it. I make the decision sound easier than it was, but, after spending years navigating the stress that accompanies life, I’ve realized how important it is to have command over your own thoughts and accept the work it often requires to maintain an elevated mood. Since October has been dubbed National Emotional Wellness Month, I figured there's no better time to share some of the daily habits I use to get my head in a good place. 1. POWER HOUR During the work week, I’ll get up an hour earlier than usual and take part in what I’ve come to call “power hour,” when I devote 60 minutes to meditation, prayer, and exercise. During the winter, I’ll hop on my indoor bike, but, once the weather is nicer, I’ll go for a quick ride outside. If I’m feeling more tired than normal, I’ll stay home and stretch. I’ve found I start my days feeling much more in control and centered whenever I make time for a power hour. It gives me a designated time to consider anything that might be adding stress to my life and find solutions. 2. DITCH THE CLATTER When I commute to the office or visit an injured client at their home, I no longer allow the radio to play
whatever music is topping the charts. While I’m a classic rock fan, opting for uplifting, educational, and inspiring playlists, books on tape, and sermons helps me focus on the positive progress I’m making in my life. 3. CONSIDER NUTRIENTS Another important mood enhancer stems from the food we put in our bodies. While it pained me to do so, I recently made a big effort to reduce the amount of sugar I eat. Because I grew up gobbling every sweet that my Dutch grandma could give me, I really struggle with this step, but I’ve found that eating light, healthier foods really does impact my mood for the better. 4. GRATITUDE JOURNAL At the start of every year, I buy a small daily planner from Walmart that has approximately four lines per page. Every morning during my power hour, I take time to write down four things that I’m thankful for that day. Sometimes it’s more general like my family, my health, and my staff, and sometimes it’s more specific like being able to get a morning bike ride in before work. After making a gratitude journal part of my daily routine, I’ve noticed my mind naturally looks for things to be thankful for. For example, just the other day, I pulled up to Costco to grab some groceries and found a parking spot right near the door, and I thought, “I’ll put that in my gratitude journal.” It’s amazing how the process can open your eyes to the joys all around you. While life is certainly stressful and it’s easy to get bogged down in the difficulties of everyday living, I genuinely believe every single person has the power to change their own thoughts. Don’t be a slave to your own negativity. Find what works for you to gain fresh perspectives, work through complicated issues, and focus on the hopeful aspects of life. I promise it will help.
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