Ever wonder why we tend to remember difficult times more vividly than the good times in our life? This is actually pretty normal evolutionarily speaking; it’s a basic survival thing. We remember the awful events so that we may avoid them from happening in the future. For example, eating toxic red berries that cause severe abdominal pain. This is why it’s so easy to dwell on the seemingly “negative” aspects of our life and the things that are lacking rather than appreciate what we already have in this moment. It’s basically the way the human brain is wired. Thankfully, we can change the mind’s pessimistic tendencies by redirecting our focus on the positive aspects of life.
Every day, write down in a journal five things that you’re grateful for. They could be simple things like your morning cup of coffee or your fuzzy bunny slippers. Or they can be thoughtful things like having loving parents and a comfortable space to call home. The important thing is the “writing it down every day” part. This isn’t a new concept; it’s not “woo woo” either. What you focus on will expand, so if you focus on the goodness in life, you create more of it; as so eloquently stated by my girl Oprah. Your brain essentially gets rewired thanks to a wonderful process called neuroplasticity.
If the holidays evoke feelings of sadness, emptiness or lack, I encourage you to try this simple but effective approach to a more positive mindset. You will realize pretty quickly just how blessed and fortunate you really are. With that said, I wish you a warm and cheerful holiday season surrounded by the people who love you for being you.
Artwork by @katie_marie_creative