This morning began with me running down the road in my slippers.
When I answered the doorbell my dog Bailey decided to shoot out between my legs to chase her nemesis…Troy the cat.
As I ran down the road shouting at the dog to come back (she was having none of it. The allure of finally catching the cat was waaay too strong!) my phone fell out my pocket and disappeared under a parked car. The morning was not going well.
Some time later I got back in the house flustered ready to start the day, help the kids get to school on time and get ready to start my working day.
5 minutes later the kids are fighting and I’m hearing things like….
“I hate school!” “Where’s my bus pass?!” “Can I have a biscuit for breakfast?”
My positive vibes were slipping away quick! I told myself today is going to be rubbish. Nothing is going right.
Although today’s challenges are trivial compared to the worlds problems right now my point is that when things aren’t going well it can feel like nothing is going right and totally overlook the positives.
When we can’t think of something positive from our day it’s most likely due to the way our brains work.
Human beings have something called a ‘negativity bias’.
So even when it seems like there is nothing good to focus on and our days are turning out, well pants. I can guarantee something good will have happened.
Because our brains are always on alert, switched on and tuned in to those things that might harm us.
That may have been helpful to our ancestors, who had a lot more to be fearful of. But it doesn’t always help us in today’s modern world. In fact it can work against us causing stress and anxiety.
So what can we do about this inbuilt bias for the negative?
Studies show that taking time to track the positive can counteract that negative bias and help us when we’re feeling low.
It doesn’t have to be huge things. Maybe it’s a call with a loved one, a cuddle with the kids, a bubble bath or just 10 minutes of quiet time (oh what bliss that would be right now!).
Focusing on the positives can actually help to reprogram your brain to look on the bright side.
I recommend an app called Grateful which is a prompt based gratitude journal. an app for counting your blessings!
Studies prove that making this practice a part of your life will help you feel more optimistic and reduce negative thoughts.
So try it out yourself. Whether it’s the app I mention above or a notebook, try to write down a couple of things you’re grateful for each day. Take the time to tune into how those moments made you feel.
Like everything to reap the benefits of this practice we have to work on creating a new habit. So try setting a reminder on your phone so you don’t forget. Or place a notebook and pen next to your bed so you see it at the end of the day.
I know things are tough right now so sending you love and gratitude for being here. I hope this daily practice will help during these tough times.
Oh and by the way no cats came to any harm and I got Bailey (and my phone) back in the end!
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