Your Day - You Have More Control Than You Realize

It’s Christmas. Some people celebrate it. Some people don’t.

This is a newsletter about mental health, so I do my best to make it inclusive.

Whatever you are doing today, know that you are loved.

Interestingly enough, that is true each and every day.

You have the power to bring that love into your day.

I’m going to explain what I mean.

Your Days Go By...

When I was a child, the days seemed to last forever.

Summer lasted longer than it does now. And it seemed like an interminable wait until days I was excited for, days like my birthday. One day could feel like an eternity.

Whether it’s because we all have more days (and more perspective) now, or whether it’s because we get stuck doing the same thing day after day and it all blends together, the days, inevitably, go by faster and faster. It’s a fact.

It can feel like you have no control over the days. It can feel like your life has become a blur of technicolor emotions, thoughts, and behaviors.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

Every Day is a Gift

In keeping with the holiday theme, consider each day a gift. You’re not sure if you’ll see it happen, but then it does, and it’s amazing. Anything can happen, literally anything.

Where negative moods partly come from is that you feel you have no control over how your days will go. You’re swept up in the tidal wave that is your life, and you feel as if you’re swooping downward heading for a deafening crash.

But if each day is a gift, why don’t you open it — and open up to it?

If each day is a present, why don’t you — you guessed it — live in the present moment?

Living in the Present is Hard

There are other people in the present, it’s not just your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. In the present, there are people with different motives, with different dreams, and with different goals. The present contains an infinite amount of possibilities, and what’s most frustrating is that these possibilities don’t all belong to you. They are spread out among all of us.

So you try to escape. Life is hard. You either avoid big events, or you put as much expectation as you can muster into big events. These events, whether they’re holiday gatherings or birthday parties, become larger than life. So much emotion and time — or no emotion and time at all — is invested in them that they begin to take on a life of their own.

This is the great overwhelming reality of the present moment.

And You Have More Power and Control Over Your Day Than You Think

Fortunately, each day is an experiment. It’s a chance for you to begin anew.

Don’t like what happened yesterday? Try something different. Don’t want to spend time with the people that are bringing you down? Go find a different crew!

I’m oversimplifying it, of course, but life really can be that simple. If we allow it to be so. We can call a friend instead of going over to their house for drinks and food. We don’t have to go on that trip. We can stay home and pet a cat.

Your day is made up of lots and lots of tiny choices. When you feel you have no choice, you cede your power to others. But you have way more power than you realize, and that power is nestled in the choices that make up your day.

Think about your choices today.

Think about how each one makes you feel.

Even if you’re feeling really adventurous, you can right down all of the choices that you make during the day. If you’re like me, there are a lot more than you anticipated.

Take control of more choices, and you take control of more of your life.