Focussing on the negative
Sometimes, we can focus too much on the things that we don’t have that we miss out on the significance of the things that we do have. So why is that? It is easier to pinpoint the negatives because our brains are naturally wired to scan the environment for threats and to try to fix potential issues. This is known as the “negativity bias”.
Our problem-solving nature often serves us well, but it may also inadvertently get in the way. It can lead to extra worry, stress, and a more pessimistic outlook, which create additional mental hurdles to fully enjoy the wonderful things and people that are in our lives. So what can we do about it? Seek more gratitude.
What is Gratitude?
Gratitude is about appreciating and being receptive to the things that bring us joy (i.e. hobbies, interests, life’s little pleasures), increase our standard of living (i.e. food, shelter, social support, and good health), and increase our subjective well-being (i.e. enhancing self-expression, authenticity, and aligning personal preferences). To take it even a step further, we can reach outside of ourselves and help others and our communities through acts of kindness.
This week’s take away
Although you may be presented with some challenges, half the battle really comes down to the question of perception. It is a choice whether you perceive life to be hard or not and how you choose to proceed. The Roman emperor, Marcus Aurelius, put it perfectly when he wrote, “our life is what our thoughts make it.” So what are you grateful for today?