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Warning: Your First Thought of the Day Is Trying to Ruin You

By Linda Ward March 12, 2024 Mindset

Have you paid any attention to the very first thought you have upon waking? For months after a tumultuous divorce, my first thought was, “I hate my life.” Anyone else thinking that today?

I knew at the time it wasn’t the best idea to give the thought ground, but let’s face it. I did hate my life. My marriage of 23 years dissolved, my eldest son signed up for four years of Army duty during the Iraq war, and my youngest was rebelling to almost every household rule I had.

Yep, I was aware that it wasn’t a good way to start the day. But I held on and justified this thought because it was true.

It’s Up to You to Guide the Day

If Henry Ward Beecher is correct in his quote, “the first hour of the morning is the rudder of the day,” then day after day, I was setting sail in a negative direction.

I didn’t realize that I had control over the first thought, and at that point, I wouldn’t have listened anyway. After months of groaning the phrase and rolling over to the sound of the alarm, I was ready for a change.

It’s not that the thought stopped coming to me as I opened my eyes each new day, but I learned I can replace it with something (almost anything) else. In time (months!), the hate-my-life thought was completely gone. It stopped showing up.

What Inspiring Thought Do You Have?

Today my first thought was about writing. It was inspiring and gave me the idea for this article. I have found in those sleepy moments, between sleep and the new day, I can get inspiration for the day, set a path for what I want to do, or just say to myself, “Hey Linda, I love you.”

It’s a self-esteem boost to actually say to yourself, I love you. Sometimes I thank God for my warm bed and home. Then the thankful list goes on from there. All this before I get out of bed. Click here for inspiring morning quotes.

There Is a Way to Restart

Even if you have a bad morning, you can “restart” at any moment of the day. If you have an event that trips you up as the day goes on, try restarting. It happens first in thought, then actions surround the thought.

For instance, if you heard back from the car dealership that your car will cost $500 to fix, your thoughts start going down the rabbit hole of scarcity, worry, and defeat. Or, you can stop, reset, and shift into neutral with your thoughts. Breathe deeply and clear your mind. Allow ideas to come as to how you will overcome this issue. See what happens.

This Is Pure Encouragement

My son is often discouraged with his life. He shared with me a song by Alex Aiono he listens to every day. I encourage you to listen to it. It will encourage you too. It’s one of the most inspiring songs I’ve heard.

Even if this isn’t you, you may know someone who could be given a glimmer of hope to change the day by listening to this song. Here are a few words:

Nightmares and mistakes
Swim around in this bed that I made
No, the past doesn’t change
But we’re pushin’ past it today
Go get up!

We all know there’s turmoil everywhere in the world right now. Thinking of the turmoil as your first thought won’t change what’s happening. Use those precious first few minutes, before the world pushes in on you, to choose a positive, strong, compelling thought.

Having trouble finding one? Try repeating a quote or a phrase that touched your inner positivity. When reading a quote that does this, write it down. Keep it on a card by your bed and turn to it when nothing but bad enters those sleepy first moments. Do whatever you can to reverse the thought. If it’s the rudder of your sailboat for your day, then it’s worth giving it something upbeat for guidance.

Maybe You Need a Helping Hand

Honestly, your situation could seem too overwhelming to work this into your life. Please reach out to a therapist, a life coach, or someone who has your best interest in mind. This too will change your life and set you on a better path.

These outstanding people have dedicated their lives to help others find a way to happiness. They are smart, compassionate, and have heard it all! It’s time to trust someone professional to help.

As Alex Aiona sings in his song,

….it might be the day, where nothing’s right.
Might be the day that changes my whole life.
You never know, they both start with good morning.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

What was your first thought this morning? Have you had negative thoughts lately? Is it easy or difficult for you to start your days with positive thoughts?

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I’ve noticed that my day significantly improved once I started a METTA meditation to my family first thing when I wake up. It fills me with love and joy

Linda J Ward

Joanne, You have found a way to begin the day with such positivity! I’m proud of you. Linda

Viktoria Vidali

Neuroscientist Jill Bolte Taylor (My Stroke of Insight) would concur. She lives the truism that you can change quickly from a negative thought pattern to a positive one and stay there. It’s simply a matter of remembering to do it!

Last edited 2 months ago by Viktoria Vidali
Linda J Ward

Thanks for sharing Viktoria! I’m living proof that a lifetime of negative patterns can be changed. I’m so thankful! Linda


Am I the only one whose first thought upon awakening (any time of day or night) is,”I REALLY need to get to the bathroom!” 😂😂😂


I can truly relate to this article and thank you for putting it out there. Every morning you have a choice! I used to say “I have to go to work today” and have replaced that with “I get to go to work today.” Life can be challenging but I always try to thank God for just giving me another day to get it right. It helps me start my day by being thankful for all that I have and not all that I sometimes feel I have lost. Each day is a blessed new beginning. I wish everyone a blessed day!

Linda J Ward

Wow Julie, such encouragement in your words. I love how you point out that every morning we have a choice. It’s something I never realized, until I started to concentrate on changing that first thought of the day. I hope others find this truth like you have. Linda


Our first thoughts do tell a lot about the state of our lives! It takes courage to not accept a life that is not enlivening and figure out what lead to embracing the day with anticipation and curiosity. I use my wake up thoughts as a gauge for how well I am managing this precious life. Thanks for the article! (My Mom’s family name is Ward…We go way back to the early 1700’s in the US. Maybe we are related?)

Linda J Ward

It would be fun if we were somehow related!
I’m happy that you have figured out how to use your inner courage to be thankful for each day we are given. ☀️. Linda

The Author

Linda Ward is a Writer and Life Coach living in Minnesota. She specializes in helping mature women find everyday happiness and a satisfying life. She zeroes in on life after divorce, retirement transitions, and finding courage no matter what the circumstances. Her inspiring new eBook is called, Crazy Simple Steps to Feeling Happier. Linda’s Professional background is Social Work and Counseling.

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