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Ending your day with happy thoughts

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Past new year, I stopped promising silly things to myself. “This year, I’ll for sure go jogging several times a week!” — or “This year, I’ll really get into learning another language!”. We all know how these things go. Not that I made something up on the very day, these ideas are usually carefully crafted in my sketchbook and are lingering there to be exposed and finally executed.

But there was someting I came across to on the internet I really, really liked. Something small and seemingly insignificant. These 365 things are not exactly new, I know. And “keeping notes to sort out your thoughts” is something I already do for years using my sketchbook which I carry with me everywhere.

I found another tiny sketchbook I did not use, grabbed a pencil and put these two objects beside my bed. I labelled the book “365", sewed a little hedgehog friend to give the booklet a fluffy look and started writing before actually going to sleep. You should write one sentence, every day. In this sentence, you should be thankful of someone or something — that happened to you today.

Sounds easy? Right. Put it to practice. It sometimes is extremely easy. It sometimes is extremely hard. Really, really hard.

Frustrated? Write. You should. And by “write”, I don’t mean whole pages. Just one sentence: what happened to you today, what did you like? Focus on the good stuff.

I have to admit, sometimes more than other times, I have trouble finding good the good stuff. Some days, my work can be really frustrating, the lawn mower got jammed halfway through the lawn, the bycicle chain broke, … I think you recognize these days.

When I go to sleep, I mull over things that happened that day — it’s not some deliberate action, and sometimes I can’t seem to get rid of certain thoughts. Like how to convince your colleage to use method x and not method y to do work z. No worries — grab that pencil and write in your 365 booklet. Start with 2 simple words: “thank you”. These can end in “thank you dear x for retweeting about a meetup I will attend” or “thank you mother for dropping by and cooking hot soup”. (Yes they sound very cliché, make up your own!)

In my experience, mindfully going through your day and thinking about what you liked most gives me happy thoughts and a sort of satisfaction feeling. It helps me sleep. It’s interesting to reread previous months.

So, thank you internet for all those amazing blogs and great ideas, even if it’s as simple as writing down what you liked that day.

Oh, and here’s a pro-tip: use a pencil.That way, you can write while lying down in your bed.

Originally posted on Medium.

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I'm Wouter Groeneveld, a Brain Baker, and I love the smell of freshly baked thoughts (and bread) in the morning. I sometimes convince others to bake their brain (and bread) too.

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