Soon it will be Thanksgiving here in the USA, so this week I’m focusing on how you can renew your mind simply by being thankful. Gratitude is a powerful way to change your perspective on topics that trigger negative thoughts for you right now, because when you notice elements you can be grateful for, it opens your mind to new, positive thoughts. Whether you’re struggling with negative thoughts about difficult people or challenging situations, you’re bound to find something to be grateful for about them if you intentionally look.
This Thanksgiving is a difficult one for me, because a family member has recently hurt me and other family members by making a decision that has caused lots of unnecessary pain for us all around the holidays. Frankly, when I think about this particular family member right now, the only thoughts that come to my mind, at first, are negative. So I’ve challenged myself to figure out how to think more positively about this difficult person in my life.
What works for me, when I try to do that, is to purposefully take an inventory of anything I do like about her. For example, this family member is kind to animals. Noticing just one positive trait opens the door for me to find others, and once I’ve started a flow of positive thoughts about her, my perspective on this person gets bigger — and more accurate, since everyone and everything in this world has both negative and positive characteristics.
Who or what is triggering negative thoughts in your mind right now? This week, I challenge you to find several positive traits about that difficult person or challenging situation in your life, reflect on those traits, and see how that changes your perspective for the better. Then the next time you must deal with that person or situation, you’ll be better equipped to do so.