We humans LOVE making lists. There are many different types of lists that we have written over the years — the classic to-do list, the adventurous bucket list, and the dreamy wish list to name a few. Why are lists so near and dear to our hearts? They can bring order, help us remember, be long or short, relieve stress, and focus our minds.
When it comes to the types of lists we can create, any sort is possible. There are no hard and fast rules. Here are three lists to write that will help free your mind, lift your spirit and relieve stress.
During stressful times it pays to list what is bothering you. Write down everything that is causing you distress. Once you are finished, take some time to read through the list. You will find that some of the irritations after being written down no longer bother you. The simple act of writing problems down puts them in a new perspective and takes away the power they have over you. Writing this list (even if it’s digital) represents a transference away from you, and now you can release the hurt, pain, frustration, and anxiety surrounding the items. If there are items that you wrote that you cannot let go of, this is the first step in the healing process as it gives you the chance to reflect on what you need to do to move forward.
I Did It! List
How great would it be to celebrate all the time? Well this list is all about celebrating and focusing on what you have completed. At the end of the day or week, take 5 minutes to reflect on all that you have accomplished. The items on your list can be big or small. For example, perhaps over the last week you finished a big project at work, enjoyed a few healthy lunches, or exercised on most days. Or perhaps at the end of the day you find that you made your bed in the morning after you woke up, took a walk in your neighborhood, went grocery shopping, and called a friend. Our daily lives are filled with accomplishments and too often we focus on what we need to do rather than what we have done right. With this list, you applaud what you have done no matter how big or small.
At Five to Thrive, we write a lot about gratitude, its healing power, and how to incorporate it into our daily lives. Practicing gratitude is like putting gas in your car. You need to continually fill the tank if you want to keep driving. Writing a Gratitude List is a way to fill that tank. Before bedtime, write down five (or more!) items that you are grateful for. Then read through the items on your list and pause after each. Fill that tank! The next night, revisit your list and add to it as you see fit. Use this activity to keep your positive outlook fresh and strong.
What lists do you like to make Thriver? Let us know.