Do you want to feel more positive about your life? The key to feeling more positive is – gratitude. So often we take the good things in our life for granted. Until they are taken away.
There’s some interesting research on how couples feel about their relationship: If people experience as many good moments together as they have bad ones, they think that their relationship is in trouble. In fact, we only experience their relationship as happy if they have five good experiences to every bad encounter.
That’s interesting, isn’t it? It means that bad moments have much more impact on us than good ones–especially if we take them for granted.
Let’s take some liberty with these findings. It could mean that in order to feel content, we would need to find five things to be grateful for, for every one thing we dislike about our life.
It’s easy to focus on negative aspects, especially when our thoughts are fueled by irritation or resentment. If we keep on thinking the same negative thoughts, we carve a groove into our brain. That negative groove leads to bitterness and unhappiness.
Here’s how to get out of the negative groove:
- Exercise your ‘gratitude muscle’
At night, just before you go to sleep, go back through the day and make a list in your mind of all the things you can be grateful for.
- Focus on the ONE GOOD THING.If you haven’t reached sainthood yet, you’ll know that we all have moments when we tend to think unkind thoughts about our loved ones. At those times, it’s useful to pinpoint one good thing that we can say about that person.Of course, when we’re mad at those we love, it can be difficult to find that one good thing. The trick is to then tack this thought onto every negative one. Like this:
“It really bugs me that he/she is so …[negative thought]. But he/she is … [positive thought]
- Use a wristband
The way to use the wristband is to change the wristband to the other arm the moment you notice an unkind or negative thoughts. When you are angry, it may fly from wrist to wrist. But it will ultimately help you notice and change your negative thoughts.
The most important things is to get into a habit to using skillful thoughts. And to learn to let go of unskillful ones. Unskillful thoughts are those that harm yourself or others.
These three tips are easy to practice. Having a cheerful disposition is a skill that we can practice.