It might’ve actually been a great day for you. Your exams just got over. You just started watching 'Stranger things' , the series almost everyone has recommended for you to watch and so far it is just mind blowing! You had great family time, by watching news and arguing about politics. And you are reading a great book and its really keeping you inspired. But then, something bad happens. It might’ve been as little as developing a zit to something as bad as having a really bad fight with your friends. And then what do you do? You think about it over and over again and it totally messes up your mind. And then this day which was great for most of the part suddenly becomes a bad day.
Then the next day you tell everyone what a bad day yesterday was. Am i right? So this is what happens to most of us. You might’ve had a hundred things to be happy about, but then this one bad thing happens and you forget all the happy things. Focussing on negativity is a common phenomenon now. These negative thoughts can affect our confidence and will adversely affect all our day to day activities. It can create chronic stress which can affect our body’s hormonal balance, depletes the chemicals required for happiness and damages the immune system. Chronic stress can actually decrease our life span.
There are a lot more to negative thinking. But I’m not here to talk about the consequences cause that would be me engaging myself in more negative thinking and simultaneously engaging you in negative thinking as well. What would be worse than a shy introvert maladaptive daydreaming negative thinking girl right?
Now you might be thinking why is it that most of us get focussed on the negative? It’s simple. It’s because of fight or flight response. It might seem like a cool word, but trust me it won’t be when it happens to you. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. It plays a critical role in how we deal with stress and danger in our environment.
According to an article written in the website called 'verywell mind' written by Kendra Cherry, the term 'fight or flight' represents the choices that our ancient ancestors had when faced with danger in their environment. They could either fight or flee. In either case, the physiological and psychological responses to stress prepares the body to react to the danger. It was originally named for its ability to enable us to physically fight or run away in dangerous situations, it's now activated in situations where neither response is appropriate. That moment when your heart started beating faster and drops of sweat started forming on your face and your vision started becoming narrow when you were asked to do a presentation or a speech with tens or hundreds of people staring at you is your fight or flight response's doing, the exact reason why I said it won’t feel cool when it happens to you.
Now you cannot really stop the fight or flight response like you stop a movie. It’s there and it’ll always be there. So all this might seem like a lot of info for something that happens to you on a daily basis or at least weekly basis. Well, the solution is quite simple. just two words and then I can stop writing and go back to watching 'stranger things'. DISTRACT YOURSELF. Yes that’s it. Need more info? Ok then, stranger things can wait. Your urge to focus on negativity is something that is engraved in you. To overcome this, you need to force yourself to focus on the positives. The best way to do this is by starting a gratitude journal.
Do you feel like your hair looks really good on this particular day? Write it down. You survived a week without a single zit forming on your face? Write it down. Write down 'I’m happy and grateful that my hair looks really good today', 'I’m happy and grateful that my face is clean and clear'. This might seem silly but this really works. You topped your economics examination? Write down 'I’m happy and grateful that I topped my economics examination'. It doesn't have to be something as big as scoring top marks. The tiniest things, which you don’t even notice usually, start noticing from tomorrow onwards and jot it down. If you wake up early in the morning write down 'I’m happy and grateful that I woke up early in the morning'. There may be several things that happened that you might not particularly feel good about but force yourself to write it down. Remember the famous phrase 'fake it till you make it'. You can even choose topics to write about on a weekly basis. You can write on topics like 'the person you love the most' or 'the three things you're really good at'. When you write about the former, write about who that person is and why you love them so much. What is it that makes them special. It could be your mother or father or your best friend. When you write about the latter, write about what you are good at and why you like doing them. Also write about your achievements. You can also write about each of your family members and what are the things that you like about them. This will make you feel grateful to have a family. Also write about your favourite book, tv show, or your favourite food.
And if you feel like there is nothing to be grateful for, be grateful for your existence, be grateful for your life. Remember that life is a gift. And as Oprah Winfrey said 'The single greatest thing you can do to change your life today would be to start being grateful for what you have right now'.
Shy introvert maladaptive daydreamer gratitude practising girl signing off!