It has become second nature for many people to see the glass as half empty instead of half full without even realizing it. What would happen though if you were to be more conscientious of your thoughts? Well, you just may be a happier person and it could improve your relationships.
Don’t believe it? Take a few minutes to focus on a time when you had strong negative emotions such as the loss of a loved one, a failure, or humiliation. Notice what is going on in your body and how you feel. Next, do the same thing but think about a time when you experienced intense joy such as your wedding day, birth of a child, or a great success. Notice any differences in how you feel just by thinking of different situations? Will it change your situation? Absolutely not, but it could make you feel better about your situation.
Three Tips on Making This Work For You
1. Continue to pay attention to your thoughts and how they make you feel. It is likely that you will notice that when you attribute negative intentions to others or think about how something inconveniences you, you will have more negative feelings such as stress, sadness, and frustration. How does this affect your relationships with others? Do you notice that you are more impatient with your children or spouse when you are stuck in negative thinking?
2. When you notice yourself thinking negatively, make every effort to change the thought to make it positive. Although it can be difficult to see the silver lining, it usually can be done. When it comes to chores, think about how you feel when the house is clean or when a task presents more challenges, think about the experience and lessons you will learn. No matter what it is, make sure it is something you can really buy into.
3. If you cannot think of a positive, try to think about solutions to the problem instead of dwelling on it. So you get into a fight with your teen, you have a couple options, you can ignore it, you can figure out a solution to the problem, or you can continue to fight. By thinking about solutions you’ll not only have a better outcome in the long run but you will feel better about the situation and your relationship.
Happy thinking and even happier days to everyone!
Jessica Stebbins, M.S., Registered Marriage and Family Therapist Intern
Discovery Institute, P.A. Rockledge, FL
Serving Brevard County