Do you wake up each morning feeling stressed and anxious about the workday ahead of you? Do you feel dread and fear when thinking about what you have to do? If you're like the vast majority of people, the answer is a resounding yes.
Eighty percent of U.S. workers say they are stressed at work, according to the 2014 Work Stress Survey conducted by Nielsen on behalf of Everest College.
The American Psychological Association found that the most commonly reported sources of stress include:
- Money (64 percent report that this is a very or somewhat significant source of stress)
- Work (60 percent)
- The economy (49 percent)
- Family responsibilities (47 percent)
- Personal health concerns (46 percent)
What if you could alleviate some of that fear and stress each morning? The solution lies within your subconscious mind.
The subconscious mind.
We have two distinct minds, the conscious and the subconscious. As author Brian Tracy explains:
Your conscious mind can be thought of as the gardener, planting seeds; your subconscious mind can be thought of as the garden, or fertile soil, in which the seeds germinate and grow.
Your subconscious mind will act upon any request or instruction you give it. It cannot distinguish between what is real and what is imagined. It's been said that your subconscious mind is in control of at least 95 percent of your day.
Simply put, if you wake up feeling stressed, anxious, and fearful about the day ahead, and picture all of the bad things that are going to happen, many of them will. If you flip that on its head and focus on all of the good things that are going to happen, many of them will.
Dr. Joseph Murphy sums this up perfectly in his book The Power of the Subconscious Mind:
As you sow in your subconscious mind, so shall you reap in your body and environment.
Here's how you can help to program your subconscious mind to set you up for success each day.
5 steps to a better day in 5 minutes.
Before you get started with these simple steps, I want you to put all thoughts of stress, fear, and doubt to the side. Take a deep breath, and let's begin.
1. When you first wake up, sit down for five minutes with a pen and a piece of paper.
That is all you will need. Don't open up your laptop and definitely don't check your email or anything on your phone.
2. Say the following words out loud: "Today is going to be the best day ever!"
Yes, you're most likely going to feel weird saying this at first. That's completely fine. Say it in private if you need to, but just say it.
The purpose of this is to pass a command from your conscious mind to your subconscious mind. Your subconscious mind wants to believe what you tell it (good or bad) and it will do whatever it takes to turn those commands into reality.
When you tell your subconscious mind that today is going to be the best day ever, it's going to try to do whatever it can to make that happen.
3. Take out your pen and paper and write down those same exact words at the top of the page: "Today is going to be the best day ever!"
One of the rules the subconscious mind follows is that the beliefs it holds grow stronger with repetition.
4. Take your pen and paper and start to write out how your day is going to unfold. Be as specific as possible, and be completely positive.
Envision everything's working out in the best possible way and feel good about whatever is in store (no matter what it is).
Write in statements like this:
My meeting with the new investors is going to be amazing! I am going to be confident, prepared, and excited. They are going to love what we are doing and want to work with us.
My quarterly review is going to go so well! I have worked hard this quarter and I know I did a really great job and they are going to recognize that.
I am going to get to my daughter's recital on time. I will be completely present and make it all about her. It will be a great experience!
Get it all down on paper and feel the excitement. The more that you feel it and believe it, the more you are helping to make it a reality.
5. Finish writing out your day and then write two simple words at the bottom of the page and say them out loud: "Thank you!"
It doesn't matter what your beliefs are or whom you are actually saying thanks to--just write it down and say it. And then think about it for a minute.
Think about all of the amazing opportunities that you have in your life and all of the great things that you are going to get to experience today.
Trust the process.
Doing this will feel strange at first. Be patient with yourself and don't take it too seriously. Have fun with it.
Your days will probably never unfold exactly as you write them down and envision them to. That's completely fine and even a good thing. Life would be pretty boring if we could predict it perfectly, wouldn't it? But this will help you to go into each day without dread, and with a positive outlook.
This simple, five-minute practice can help drastically change your attitude and allow you to create the best day ever, every single day of your life!
Want to go deeper? Check out my Morning Pages practice, which this exercise grew from, and find out how to unlock your hidden creativity and silence your inner critic.