Happiness and Positive Listing
“I bombed the interview. Got stood up for lunch. Stained my new shirt. My dog needs a bunch of expensive tests, I was late for a meeting, got in a fight with my sister, forgot to DVR my show, burned my dinner, AND I have a hangnail!”
This is what I call negative listing – a way of thinking that we can get sucked into when we’re in a funk and searching high and low for evidence that things are not going our way and life is against us! Whether or not it’s obvious to us, our mind sees this as a challenge, a game, and this is one reason it can be hard to stop.
So replace it instead. Notice you’re doing it, take a deep breath to switch gears, and start positive listing. Think of all the things that are going well in your life. Things that you love about yourself. Things you’re grateful for. Try to make this list at least a little longer than your negative list. It’s not a cure-all for a bad mood, and when something serious has happened it needs to be respected, tended to, and not dismissed with this strategy. But when you’re throwing a pity party that’s spiraling into a darker place, it’s an effective way to flip on the lights and tell everyone they don’t have to go home but they can’t stay here.