To begin the renewed search for a healthy balance in my day, I only have to list 5 likes and dislikes. It’s important to keep in mind the parts of life which bring me to a place of appreciation and gratitude. The hard part is maintaining an awareness of such things in the midst of everyday challenges. My thinking goes on a problem-solving mission and life becomes more about reducing stress. When this happens, the little pleasures, calming activities and valued connections with others are hidden behind the obstructions. The list of likes written in black and white is a very handy reminder.
My list of dislikes serves as both a beckoning call for adventure and a sometimes a detour sign for when I need to stop and retreat. Sometimes I get into the habit of avoiding a healthy action due to the expectant discomfort. Making a certain phone call (dislike) could be the step which turns a stressful situation into a problem resolved. A compliment made to a person who I usually treat with indifference might turn into a friendship.
But there is also the value in paying attention to personal boundaries and what situations take my energy. The phone call which repeatedly brings on negative words and arguing may be considered an unecessary waste of time. In order to do my part in making a change, the period of this call will be purposely limited or avoided all together. I make the choice.