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While lying in bed, I like to quickly visualize the day that had just passed. This process only takes a few minutes, as I zip through each scene of my day in a TiVO-like fast forward mode.

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Specifically I am looking to:

  1. Identify as many background details as I can (like the color of the jacket the person who sat next to me wore on the train)
  2. Review any stressful events/moments of anger.
  3. Identify any moments where things went my way (any favorable coincidences, random acts of kindness, success).
  4. Recall how my emotions fluctuated throughout the day.

I gain several benefits from habituating this process.

Benefit #1:

thumbnailRemembering the minor details help paint a more vivid picture of my day and give me the pieces to put together a stickier memory for the future. More importantly however, it helps me live more mindfully in the present as I consciously seek out these details during my daily experiences, thus developing a greater awareness of my surroundings. By fine-tuning my mental filter to observe that that used to just be background blur, I am also able to better appreciate the contrast in the visual variety of the world, helping me to identify more instances of beauty in places people might easily overlook.

Benefit #2: 

Analyzing the most difficult moments of the day gives me insight into my current habitual reaction patterns to unpleasant people and situations. By returning to the stressful event in a calmer emotional state, I can objectively grade my behavior and deconstruct the role emotions and the ego played in influencing my actions.

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