I’m at the Oregon Coast with my kids and life is about as perfect as possible. At the moment I took this picture I could really feel that.
Shortly after this picture, my mind wanted to return to the litany of worries I cycle through as I go about my day.
Scanning for the negative can become a habit like anything else.
We’re wired to search for danger.
Worrying and complaining can seem productive.
Sometimes it feels kind of good.
But we rarely create positive results from a negative space.
Thankfully, we can retrain our brains to take a more balanced view.
For me, that looked like giving my brain positive questions to answer:
How is this helping me in the long-term?
What is good in this moment?
What unexpected and wonderful thing will happen today?
At first, answering these questions felt like work. Now it’s fun. Negative thinking is inevitable, but it’s so much easier to redirect my mind now. I feel less fragile.
It’s not about being a Pollyanna. It’s about shifting perspective ever so slightly to get a different view.
When my clients practice using questions to shift their perspective this way, they notice that the urge to “take the edge off” at night is fainter. The need for an escape starts to fade. They feel more engaged and excited about their lives.
Our brains love to answer questions. If you ask it to look for the negative it will find it. If you ask it to find the positive. It will find it.
What do you want to look for today?