The Huffington Post | By Lindsay Holmes
Each day we have tons of inquiries — for our co-workers, our friends, our families. But do we ever ask ourselves any questions? If we don’t, we may be framing our own mindsets through someone else’s lens. Below are seven questions that will not only help you take a positive perspective on your day, but set up tomorrow for greater success.
What did I learn today?
Just because we’re no longer in school doesn’t mean we have to stop gaining insight about the world around us. In fact, research suggests a constant pursuit of new information as we grow older may contribute to more well-being. It doesn’t matter if it’s a few words in a new language or how to use the copier at work — end each day with more knowledge than the day before.
How do I feel?
We should always prioritize our mental health. Your emotional wellness is just as crucial as your physical wellness, despite what the stigma around mental illnesses may have you believe. “Unfortunately, in health care, we tend to split the mind and body sometimes,” John F. Greden, M.D., the executive director of the University of Michigan Comprehensive Depression Center, previously told HuffPost. But, he says, the two actually work in tandem. Pay attention to shifts in your thoughts and feelings, for if they go unresolved it could start affecting your behavior.
How did I make others feel?
How you treat someone else says a lot about who you are. Approaching someone with compassion, authenticity and kindness can go a long way. In fact, research suggests that extending generosity to others not only improves their lives, but increases our well-being also.
What can I do better tomorrow?
No one is perfect. We’re constantly making tiny errors or massive mistakes — but we’re still here. It’s important to acknowledge your speed bumps, but set goals for yourself in the future. In other words, we need to make friends with failure. Author Mike Liguori explains why screw ups are actually blessings in a HuffPost blog. He writes:
Failures … provide us clarity. Initially, when something doesn’t work out, we tend to sulk on how bad the situation is and how we completely screwed up. When the dust settles and we can shift our focus to the pros and cons of the experience, clarity brings perspective. It allows us to view what went wrong and instantaneously we look to the next venture aware of past mistakes or reflecting back on the previous experience.
What am I grateful for?
Gratitude isn’t just some vague, spiritual concept that only works if you believe it does — there’s actual science behind practicing a little thankfulness. Studies show writing down what you’re grateful for can lead to stronger relationships, better sleep andincreased happiness.
How much stress did I experience?
Burnout is a silent killer when it comes to our productivity and happiness. If we just roll through the motions each day without taking a critical look at our lives, we may not realize how exhausted we really are until it’s too late. As HuffPost President and Editor-in-Chief Arianna Huffington explained to Time, we need to check in with ourselves as often as we do with our phone’s batteries:
We have a million ways to recharge our phones, portable chargers, cables, extra battery packs, but look at how we treat ourselves. Our own energy has to be below 5% before we figure out that we need to sleep, to recharge, to take a break. That has to change.
What made me smile?
Because everyone deserves to end their day on a happy note. Just think of how much better you’ll sleep if you go to bed with more jubilant thoughts. If your day was the absolute worst, this just might cheer you up.