On average, each of us has approximately 30,000 thoughts a day. Where we choose to focus our thoughts affects us physically and emotionally. When we choose to focus our thoughts on the positive, we feel better. Focusing on the negative is toxic; it drains us mentally and physically and keeps us from achieving our full potential.
Take a moment to consider the following questions:
1. How many times a day do you find yourself thinking or saying the words “I should have” or “if only”?
2. Do you imagine worst case scenarios for events before they happen?
3. Do you replay past failures or embarrassments over and over in your head?
Beating ourselves up for past mistakes doesn’t change the past; it only extends it into the present. Stressing and focusing on worst case scenarios produces the same physical and chemical reactions in our body as if the event actually happened. That means we are either putting ourselves through needless stress when all turns out well, or we are putting ourselves through it twice if the worst case does happen! Now why would we do that? I sometimes wonder if we in some way help create worst case scenarios because we focus on the negative, instead of the possibilities.
Moving from a negative focus to a positive focus on life takes work. Here are three techniques to help keep a positive focus.
1. Cut yourself some slack. Nobody is perfect, including you. If you’re not making mistakes, you’re not learning.
2. Give yourself a pat on the back. Don’t downplay the gifts you bring to those around you. Value them, believe in them and share them.
3. Speak positively. There is no such thing as perfection. We are not perfect, our partner is not perfect, our kids are not perfect, and our job is not perfect. That’s life. But if we focus on and speak about only the negatives, that’s what we reinforce. Be kind to yourself, be kind to others and look for the good in all things. Yes, sometimes that means digging pretty deep, but it is there. Keep digging!
We all have 30,000 opportunities each day to look up, to focus on the positive and to improve our life and the lives of those around us. How are you going to spend them?
- Negative chatter: banish with positive affirmations! (nutritionalspread.com)
- 10 Ways to Defend Yourself Against Negativity (dwomoh.wordpress.com)