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Always Look on the Bright Side! Try it and Notice the Difference

We have a natural bias to look for things that could go wrong in life. This can be a good thing when we then look at ways to overcome potential problems or plan for the future. However, when we churn these potential problems over and over in our minds we find ourselves worrying, which can make us more and more negative. We become quick to notice even the smallest of problems, rarely spending any time at all appreciating the good things. Things that make us smile or feel good are all too often forgotten or perhaps not even noticed in the first place. Each negative thought we have converts to anxiety, and if this level gets too high we can suffer in some way – with sleepless nights, feelings of panic, lack of confidence and various other conditions.

So, how can we help ourselves become more positive, ultimately helping ourselves to feel happier, more motivated and more alive?! Quite simply, by concentrating on the good things in our lives. This raises our overall satisfaction with life and helps us have a positive outlook overall. It has also been shown to reduce health complaints and help us cope better with difficulties. The way we think has a direct affect on our physical and mental well-being. So, why not try this technique and start to notice the changes in your life?

For the next week, each night, perhaps at the end of your working day or before you go to bed, reflect on your day’s positive experiences, they can be big (an unexpected gift from a friend) or small (a delicious sandwich) or something of even more importance to you. Find at least three things that went well for you during the day and write them down, a lot of my clients buy themselves a nice book to note down the events. By doing this we spend a few minutes each day consciously focusing on some of the good things that happen to us. For each good thing, reflect on your role in them. Your role in some of these events may not always appear obvious to you, if the weather was warm and sunny today, what did you have to do with it? Well you noticed it did you not?

If you tend to wake in the morning with feelings of doom and gloom try listing all the things you’re looking forward to in the day too.

Some of my clients also choose to talk about the good things that happened in their day in the evening, at the dinner table, with their family or partner. If parents practice this with their children they too can learn to appreciate the good things and hopefully get the benefit for the rest of their lives!

The positive effects of changing your thinking may not be apparent immediately. Research shows that it can take four to six weeks to change the way we think. Rome wasn’t built in a day! Have patience and enjoy the journey and you’ll probably find yourself appreciating the good things as they actually happen.

“As a result of more positive thinking and actions I started to notice I was making choices and this lead to positive things happening; a move in house back near to family and friends and successfully getting a new job. The positive things just kept coming then! Family and friends also noticed the changes in me.” AW Nr Minehead

Looking on the bright side … can become a habit for us, training our brains to be positive can have a huge impact on our lives.

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