103: Tidying your thoughts
As I was reading a post in one blog (https://thenourishmentninja.com/tag/how-to-lose-weight/ ), I kept thinking how much do I want to support it, especially the described practice of gratefulness - not new, but very efficient.
You may call it cognitive restructuring or positive diary. You may call it an evening prayer. You may call it hundred other names - but it's benefit and value will not change because of it. Let's start with basics - it is very natural to remember and to think about everything that is a threat, failure, source of anger, sadness or any other negative emotions or experiences. These are all the things we need to stay away, stay safe from. All bad and scary things are things against which we need to protect ourselves, we cannot ignore them, we cannot not notice them - otherwise "things will be bad", whatever that means. Do we have enough time to think about things that are good, nice, meaningful, happy? Sometimes, and some other times we don't. So why should we think about the other things? Also perhaps followed by "there is no time to think about the things that are in order, not with all those worries we already have".
Well, from what we think throughout the day, we build our memories and our dreams. So if every day it constructed only from the bad memories and anxious thoughts, then what kind of picture of our life do we have, when we look back at the last day, last week, year or the whole life? Anxious, sad and full of threats, with just the slightest shades of the happiest moments?
Research shows that happiest are the people who take time to experience small joys. Even those people, who are VERY happy, however we imagine it - lots of money, beauty, work, material things - they usually have plenty of worries, just different ones than people who do not have all those things. People say that they are happy when they stop to smile next to singing children, pick up a chestnut or pebble and put it in the pocket, look up to watch the cumulus clouds, listen to the end of the sentence that a friend is saying and when waking up in the morning say "damn, it is so good that nothing really hurts". They are those people who admit to themselves and to others that happiness is weighed in crumbs, not in lumps. They are people who stop to experience, name and share the happy moments. No, these are not the pretentious social media posts about the how happy you are - other research says that these usually are twisted and deceitful information. Joy should be real first of all to the one who writes about it, and should remain real even if it is not told to anyone. In this task it is important to teach yourself, to grow the ability to notice and admit not only the worrying things but also the happy moments of your life. MAke space for them in your memories and at least give them a chance to balance out the darker times in your life.
Well, and an actionable recipe for the finish. Take a notebook, phone, email - anything that you like, but it is really important to write. Write at night or in the morning, or during the day - whenever it is convenient, but definitely daily. Write down at least five things that brought you happiness during your day, things that you are grateful for to the universe and life. It can be several minutes with cat in your lap, it can be birth of a child - everything that was good is good to write down.
So where do you start?
My name is Monika, I am health and nutrition psychologist. I help to deal with daily and difficult questions about behavior, thinking, emotions. I write, teach and provide psychological counselling. Book my talk to ask more questions!
Photo: stokpic from Pixabay
#spoonfulofreason #psychology #cognitiverestructuring #tidyingthoughts #positivediary
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