Denver is getting colder and darker- most of us take note of this seasonal change, loose our focus, and have a dip in mood. When we loose our focus we can feel more melancholy and can get trapped in our negative thoughts. Our brains do a better job of focusing on the negative and if we let it, it can run wild. So let’s stop it in its tracks and train ourselves to refocus our attention. This might matter even more so now, when we really need it. You can choose to shift your focus and see a little more positivity. Ultimately, what we focus on, will expand.
We can choose what we focus on in each moment, each day, each hour. We can focus on what matters, focus on what gives us joy, focus on the small wins. And we can refocus. How do you do this? I think of it as a lifelong practice of making small shifts in thinking and small but intentional changes in how you respond. You simply keep working at it in tiny ways that add up. When you hear the negative thought pop in your mind, put the brakes on, literally think about your thinking (the fancy word for this is metacognition) and see where you can take another angle, hopefully a positive one or a more hopeful perspective. Each lemon can make lemonade so add some sugar to it!
I once had a coworker who would frequently focus on negative topics and I found it totally draining and killin’ my vibe! So I practiced responding with positivity and smiling and seeing the silver linings in her messages. It helped both of our moods! Her intentions were to connect so I found a way to refocus what we talked about. Same topics, just a different feeling to it.
Refocusing on the positive can come in the form of small gestures in your day to day life. Saying hello, giving your coworkers a smile, changing your tone in how you respond, incorporating humor in your reflections, taking a moment to take a deep breath, knowing that this current moment in time is a chapter and that things can and will move forward.
Right now, we could flip on any news channel and things sound bleak. You can choose not to watch it. You can choose to get your information elsewhere. When you watch the news, the news chooses what they want you to hear. Instead, choose which articles you read or change the channel.
So, I encourage you to find light (Literally, get outside when the sun is still out!)
Here are some ideas to keep you uplifted:
#1 Brene Brown – She has a beautiful way to reflect on life. She does excellent, uplifting interviews and she also has several books. Check out her podcast: https://brenebrown.com/podcasts/
#2 Positive News – Check out this list of options: https://leighdavid.com/good-news-10-sources-for-positive-and-uplifting-news/ Add one now! Also, most news outlets have a section on uplifting stories.
#3 Positive Psychology – Learn more how to incorporate positivity and see the benefits in your life: https://positivepsychology.com/positive-thinking/
#4 Schedule Therapy- Reach out to the team at Colorado CBT for some individualized support: https://cocbt.com/contact/