Bad Thought: My day is ruined.
In my October 20, 2018 blog entry, I discussed “learned optimism,” the idea that we’re not hopelessly locked into a pessimistic mindset, even if we may have been practicing it over many years. We can begin to shift our mindset toward looking on the bright side of life. And we should for at least a couple of reasons: it feels a whole lot better than the alternative, and studies show that optimists live longer. An article so good has just been published in Greater Good Magazine that I’m simply going to summarize it for you here and provide a link to the piece.
The writer, Catharine A. Sanderson, tells a funny story about once having gotten a flat tire while driving with her boyfriend. Her mind went immediately to the worst-case scenarios: getting the tire fixed would take hours, she’d have to go on foot for help or be left alone with the vehicle, the whole day would be ruined, etc. Meanwhile, her boyfriend had the tire changed in minutes, and they were soon on their way again. The absurdity of the problems the anxious mind is inclined to generate!
Sanderson offers a number of strategies for more constructive thinking:
1. Reframe events: an airport delay means time to catch up with a friend or do some reading.
2. When you make a mistake, practice self-compassion, talking to yourself the way you would a friend.
3. Acknowledge your own feelings thoughtfully. You might tell yourself kindly, “I’m lonely,” or “My job isn’t going well.”
4. Notice what you do have, rather than what you don’t.
5. Look for the humor in things.
Incidentally, Sanderson married the boyfriend whose response to a flat tire reminded her that, Life isn’t always as bad as we think. Here’s the link:
You're reading the Bad Thoughts Blog, which maintains that feeling good is as simple as thinking a better thought. I'm Debbie Covino, hypnotherapist, coach, and creator of the Master Your Own Mind self-hypnosis audio program and the All Day Hypnosis audio courses, available at https://www.hypnotic-wellbeing.com/digital-audio-programs
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