Talking about our problems is our greatest addiction. Break the habit. Talk about your joys.
Humans are serial complainers by nature. We speak incessantly of the problems that surround us and allow minimal stage time for the things in life that actually bring us joy. Don’t get me wrong – talking about our problems is a fundamental coping mechanism and one I wholeheartedly endorse, but there is a fine line between venting for emotional relief and painfully agonising over spilt milk. When you’re engaging in the latter, you are single handedly breeding a colony of pessimistic thoughts and feeding the doubt and despair monsters that handcuff your spirit. Do yourself a favour and break the habit that is forcing you to inhale a bleak perspective. I’m not suggesting you stop verbalising your problems. I’m merely suggesting that you make a conscious effort to reposition the spotlight. The next time you catch yourself or someone else spinning an unproductive web of problems, counter it with a list of things that you or someone else ought to be grateful for.
TIP THE SCALES
We’re all on the blind pursuit of happiness, eager to escape the problems that ironically receive maximum bandwidth in our thoughts and conversations. It’s ludicrous that we feel more comfortable talking about our problems than we do talking about the things that make us happy. Instead of brooding over your troubles, inadvertently feeding the addiction that is smothering your happiness – shift your attention to the moments that make your heart sing, the things in life that are worthy of a happy dance, the simple things that add an extra bounce to your step.
These collective acknowledgments will activate your joy switchboard – you know, the switchboard that powers your perspective. Here’s the truth – the pursuit of happiness is a load of garbage. Happiness is yours for the taking at any moment. So, isn’t it time to change the status quo and tip the scales (in favour of your happy thoughts)? Ask yourself – what am I grateful for? Let this be your mantra and never, never stop adding to the gratitude bank. Consider it your rainy day fund. When you do this consistently, you build an attitude of gratitude that prevails (or at the very least inspires resilience) when trouble strikes. Change your thoughts and you’ll change your world.
TRAIN YOUR MIND
From the moment we expose ourselves to media – be it our social feeds or the news, our minds are instantly polluted with tragic headlines and alarming issues. It’s no wonder we are conditioned to prioritise attention to the most pressing problems around us. The reality is that problems are always going to exist. It’s how we perceive and handle it that matters. When you make a conscious effort to search for the silver lining, irrespective of how thin it may be, the obstacles that emerge on your path and the complications that you encounter will become a thousand times more manageable. The frustration, the anger, the mental exhaustion – you’ll still endure those raw emotions, but your resilience will keep you afloat.
Forming this habit early on will keep you from ruminating helplessly about the things in life that lie outside your control. The noble producers on The Project have the right idea – they understand the importance of tipping (or at the very least balancing) the scales in order to make the news as we know it, a little more digestible. They introduced a “Good News” segment – a weekly dose of inspiring stories aimed at putting a smile back on our dial. So, let’s take a page out of their book and search for the good news in our life. It may be buried underneath an avalanche of unpleasantries, but it exists and it’s your job to uncover it.
Happy good news hunting.